Asthma Moms Are Super Moms!
Parenting can be hard stuff - there are no days off or weekends off, and you can usually say "so long" to sleeping through the night!
Moms usually cook, clean, do the grocery shopping, and laundry. We pick up kids from school and dash to soccer or dance. (Argh - forgot the half time treats for soccer!), then make dinner and check the kid's homework. Sometimes we find something the kids can take for show n' tell in the morning and run to the store for poster board for an art project or athletic shorts for PE class in the morning because the new term has started (true story!).
Don't get me wrong, dads and other family members help too, but it's usually mom that coordinates everything - and it can be exhausting!
Add to that having a child (or several) with a chronic medical condition and that makes things even harder. Asthma moms are always on high alert.
Asthma mom tasks
We supervise the kids to make sure they take their controller inhalers every morning and every night. We make sure they have their rescue inhaler in their backpack and sports bag. Additionally, we keep track of refills on each kid's controller and rescue inhalers.
Then check to make sure there are enough canister kits for the nebulizer, and enough vials of albuterol. In our family, there are 4 of us with asthma so we all use our own canister kit and clean it out when we are done.
And if the kids are sick, asthma moms have to track when the next breathing treatment is due, which kid needs their dose of an antibiotic, and who needs another dose of their oral steroid.
We have to organized the week to fit in allergy shots. Since the kids can't do physical activity 2 hours before or 2 hours after shots, we plan shots for a day when none of the kids have soccer, swimming lessons or dance. (Did you know that if you exercise before or after allergy shots, it increases the risk of an allergic reaction?)1
And speaking of that, might be time to check the expiration date on the epinephrine auto-injectors.
After hours clinics
Asthma moms usually know the routine. Call the pediatrician, and their answering machine will list the phone number and name of the doctor on call for that night. Asthma moms usually know where other pediatric clinics are so we can head to that clinic for after-hours care.
We know where the urgent care clinics are, and the hours they are open. We also know the fastest way to the ER. Some of us even have favorite ER doctors or respiratory therapists (sad, but true.)
We also know the importance of giving a 10-second recap of our child's asthma. My middle son has been admitted 6 times for asthma previously. He uses a controller inhaler morning and night, we are giving breathing treatments every 4 hours, pediatrician already started him on antibiotics and high dose of oral steroids and my oximeter shows his oxygen level is 88. There is nothing more I can do it home, I need the professionals to take over.
I also have to assure the nurses and x-ray techs that my kids:
- Know how to hold still while an IV is inserted
- Know what an oximeter is (and what a good range is)
- Know the different poses needed for x-rays
Even after I tell the staff that, they say, "You weren't kidding. Your kids know what they are doing!" Sadly, yes.
All night pharmacies
Isn't it fun going to the ER and being released at 3 A.M.? (Truthfully, my kids are usually admitted, there was only one time my daughter was sent home.) Since asthma moms are in a sleep-deprived stupor, it's hard to remember which pharmacy is the all-night pharmacy so you can get the kid's prednisone and antibiotic started.
And many asthma moms also have asthma, so we get just as sick as our kids. Usually, my whole family is on antibiotics, oral steroids, and breathing treatments. Ever seen a very sick, sleep-deprived, very short mom struggling to carry her lethargic 5-year-old kid into the ER?
Somehow we manage to find superhuman strength, even when we're not sure if we can go on.
Are you an asthma mom?
For all you asthma moms - I get it. I really do. Let's hear your stories of how you are a super mom!
Have you ever gotten "moon face" as a side effect of prednisone?