Oh, boy was I guilty of this!
Mom’s are experts at feeling guilty about everything
Should we continue our career? Or stay home with the kids? Why can't I keep up on the piles of laundry, make sure the fridge stocked, the cars are clean, the weeds are out of the flower bed, and get the kids to the dentist, soccer games, band concerts, and dance recitals?
If parenting isn't hard enough, some of us have a child with a chronic illness.
And I had mom guilt. Boy, did I have guilt! Moms are supposed to protect our kids from getting sick and ending up in the ER or admitted to the hospital.
I would wonder, "What am I doing wrong? What did I miss? What can I do differently next time?"
I would write down what the doctor told me, kept a medication chart on the fridge, and check off each time they used their controller inhaler, nebulizer, or needed another dose of prednisone. I learned how to make our home allergy and asthma friendly.
But when my kids would get sick, they would get very sick, very fast.
Even the hospital staff would say, “Well, they don’t look too bad now. Their oxygen level is a little low...but let's just keep an eye on them."
Of 13 trips to the ER, my kids were admitted 12 times to pediatrics. Ha! I was right!
The "mom instinct"
I trusted my "mom instinct." I knew they were getting worse and needed more than what I could do at home.
Over the last 18 years, I learned about asthma terminology, equipment, and medications. I read medical journals, attended annual Asthma Educator conferences, and listen to monthly webinars. I wanted to learn as much as I could about asthma to protect my kids.
Was it just that I didn't know enough about asthma? No.
Researchers now know that asthma is a “syndrome”, not just one disease. So, there are different phenotypes and endotypes which means there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to asthma. Without getting too technical, it means that biologically we are all different, so we may need a medicine that is targeted to our "type" of asthma.
So, I wasn't doing anything wrong, it's just that the doctors were still learning about different types of asthma and how to treat each person. Our life changed in 2007 when Asthma Doc finally started my son on monthly injections of a biologic to control his severe asthma. That was the end of my kid's hospitalizations. We finally found the right medicine.
I learned to not be so hard on myself as a mom. Because I am just that - a mom. Not a Pediatrician, Asthma Specialist, Pulmonologist or Respiratory Therapist.
Just a mom
Even when you do everything right - become a hand washing maniac, avoid being around other kids that were sick, time every dose of medicine, change things in your house so it's allergy and asthma friendly - your kids can still end up very sick and in the ER.
Follow your mother's instinct, keep trying until you find the right medicine and dose for your child.
And try to stop feeling mom guilt!
Have you experienced a collapsed lung?