Trust Your Gut Instinct
The longer I'm a mom, the more I learn to trust my gut instinct.
My oldest son is nearing 30, so I've been a parent for a long time. When I think back to when I was a new parent, it makes me shudder. I have learned so much over the years.
Understanding your child with asthma
There's something to be said about knowing your child - each child. Like all parents, each of my children were different, they looked different, they acted differently, and their asthma was different.
How my children's asthma differs
My oldest son had mild asthma and wasn't really bothered by it that much when he was growing up. Even now, he just has problems when he exercises or if he gets sick. Those are the only times he needs his rescue inhaler.
My daughter was hard to treat. She would get really sick, really fast. The asthma doctor tried many different brands of inhalers and strengths of inhalers - but she still struggled. She was in the hospital 4 times.
My middle son was really hard to control. We saw many pediatricians who weren't sure how to treat him. We saw a LOT of pediatricians during after-hours clinics (because you know how kids ALWAYS get worse at night - as soon a the pediatrician's office closes!)
A tough childhood asthma case
The asthma specialist thought he knew what to do with m middle son, but he still ended up in the hospital 8 times. He was a tough case. We tried everything with him, lots of different inhalers, timing his medication, using a biologic to treat him, and keeping a bottle of oral steroids at home for when he would suddenly get worse.
The asthma doctor would tell me, "You know your son. You know how sick he gets and how fast he 'drops'. I want you to keep a bottle of steroids at home. If he gets sick, and his peak flow meter starts to make those big drops, I want you to start him on steroids. Don't wait until morning to call me and ask if you should start him on steroids. Start him on steroids immediately! Then call me in the morning and tell me what time you gave him steroids. If you wait until morning to ask permission to give him steroids, it will be too late and he'll end up in the hospital again."
The asthma doctor trusted me. He trusted my gut instinct as a mom. He knew that I was in tune with my children. I knew how they normally acted, I knew how they reacted when they got sick. I knew when they were a little sick but I could handle it at home, or when they were getting much worse.
You know your children the best
I knew when something was just plain wrong. I would tell the asthma doctor (or the emergency room doctor) that something was wrong. I would say "I can't put my finger on it, but something is wrong." Sometimes I would worry because my kids were too lethargic, sometimes I worried because they seemed really pale, or there would be something else that just didn't seem right.
Once, I took my daughter to the after hours clinic, around 8:30 pm and the pediatrician said she had strep throat. But it just didn't seem right. I took her to the doctor because she was breathing funny. We started her antibiotic, but I just felt like something was wrong. So, at 10:00 pm, I told my husband that something was wrong and I was taking her to the hospital. My husband replied that the pediatrician had said it was strep, and she was on an antibiotic, so she would be okay. But, I KNEW something was wrong.
The emergency room doctor diagnosed my daughter with pneumonia and admitted her to the hospital. Right then.
I was so glad I had listened to my gut instinct as a mom! Who knows what would have happened if I would have just put her to bed that night? And not gone to the hospital?
For those of you out there who are taking care of children with asthma, listen to your gut instinct. If you feel like something is wrong, call your doctor. And if you still feel like something is wrong, call again. Or if you feel like your child is really sick, you can go to the emergency room.
Have you experienced a collapsed lung?