Asthma from a Dad’s Point of View

On our way back from a long road trip, I realized that even though asthma is my entire life’s focus now (personally and professionally), it’s not for my husband. Many times I wonder what it’s like for him as a dad? So, I asked him!

A little background: Our 3 adult children and I have asthma, but when they were little, Asthma Doc struggled to control their asthma. In fact, they were hospitalized 12 times – including 2 ICU admissions. I also hate pneumonia and wildfire smoke, that’s what caused most of their hospitalizations.

What’s it like to have three children and a wife with asthma?

He said, “I never know when one of you are going to be impacted by asthma. Many times, we can’t do what we want, like go on a walk or a hike because all of a sudden one of you will have an asthma attack, and we can’t go.

What’s it like to have a child in the hospital?

“I feel bad for the kids because when they were younger, they didn’t know what to tell us. A 5 year old isn’t going to tell you how they feel. You know they’re struggling, but you don’t know to what degree. And you can’t do anything – it’s out of your hands. It’s hard to watch them have a steroid IV, and see how that affects them. ” (Our kids would get really cranky, be unable to sleep, want to eat a lot, and were just plain miserable. But when they were sick enough to be in the hospital, it was the only thing that could get the swelling down in their lungs.)

“In the hospital, they can’t sleep, and the monitors are always going off. And when they finally get to sleep, the nurse or respiratory therapist has to wake them up in the middle of the night and do a breathing treatment or take vital signs.

Do you still worry about the kids now that they are adults?

“Not as much, because they know their triggers, and if they’re getting to the point that they better do something about it.”

“I can’t really help them because it’s hard for me to know the difference in medications, I turn to you for that. I don’t have asthma, and don’t use any medications, so I don’t really understand it.”

What about when they were younger?

“Learning how to use the nebulizer was hard at first, but then I learned how to put the pieces together and I learned how it’s supposed to sound when it runs out of Albuterol and starts to sputter. When you or the kids need the nebulizer, I know that means your asthma is getting worse, because you can’t get enough relief using your inhaler. You and the kids know it’s getting worse, and that’s more stressful for me because I don’t know how to help.”

“The sounds of the nebulizer brings me back to when the kids were young and we would have to get up in the middle of the night and give them a treatment because they couldn’t breathe. And that usually meant we were going to head back to the hospital.”

What’s your overall view of asthma?

“Asthma sucks because it’s kept us from doing a lot of things together, because the pollen levels are elevated and that sets off asthma attacks for you guys. Or the smoke from the wildfires keeps us from doing activities together. And we have to cancel outdoor activities and stay inside.”

“Be patient. It’s important that the kids know what their triggers are, help them keep on top of their asthma, and be understanding.”

Now that you have heard a dad’s point of view, I would like to hear from you! How do you feel when a child you know is struggling with asthma?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Asthma.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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