Denial. It's not just a river in Egypt. Denial is a state. It is a place I go to avoid the inevitable. It is the place I go to ignore the unthinkable. It is the place I go to evade the undesirable. AND, unfortunately, I am the Queen of Denial...in some cases.
There a many things that I'm pretty blunt about. I can handle it. Just let me know what I'm facing, and I'll tackle it head-on. I'm one of those pushy moms. (And that is being nice about it.)
At my son's kinder graduation, I was right up front for the ENTIRE thing. I took about 80 pictures of my child in his mini-cap and gown. Did I need 80? No! But I'll be dadgummed if I'm going to let someone get in the way of me and a photo op.
Do you know Marie Barone? She is the nosey mom on "Everybody Loves Raymond." In one episode, she kisses Ray on the forehead and says, "This man should be in bed!" When asked if Ray had a fever she stated, "Not yet, but something's coming." I am that mom. When my 3rd son starts to get a fever, I'm on it. If the thermometer shows nothing, I keep my eye on him because I KNOW it's coming. In fact, by feel alone, I'm pretty accurate in telling the temp of my child.....accurate to about 1/2 a degree.
HOWEVER, when it comes to my child's asthma, maybe I've been a queen that has been allowed to reign too long.
Back around Thanksgiving of 2004, my 3rd son started having breathing problems. He had problems to the point of us rushing him to the emergency room because his lips began to turn blue. We found out that he had pneumonia. My baby, barely 18 months old, had to sit with a nebulizer attached to his face for a few hours. We were in Austin, but were scheduled to travel back to North Texas to come back home. We were told NOT to leave the interstate as it would be easier for us to get to a hospital or for an ambulance to get to us should he have more problems in the short 3 hours drive. It was scary, to say the least.
We took him to the pediatrician that following Monday. We were given antibiotics and nebulizer meds for a week. All cleared up, the episode was soon forgotten. We had no worries...for about 3 months. Sadly, it took EVERY MONTH for at least 6 months of everything happening all over again for me to start wondering. Denial? You betcha! Every time we went to the doctor I prayed, "Please don't say 'asthma.'"
I was told that every time I thought he was about to have trouble that I could give him the meds via the nebulizer. We soon learned that after about 2 days of treatments every 4 hours, that he would clear up, for another 3.5-4 weeks. As previously stated, after doing this at least 6 times, something finally clicked and told us to pursue bit more information.
Now, we LOVE our pediatrician, but I believe God arranged for our call to come when our doctor was out of town. We saw a different doctor in the same office. It took just a few minutes of examination, questions and reviewing the baby's chart before he said it...."This is classic asthma."
My heart dropped. I did NOT want to hear that. Asthmatics can't do anything outside. Asthmatics are allergic to EVERYTHING. Asthmatics can't play sports. They can't run. They can't play. Had I not been the reigning queen, I would have been a bit more optimistic.
I was quite upset. Suddenly, we had to put my baby on heavy oral steroids. He had to have breathing treatments everyday for an entire year. The good news is that he stopped having his monthly breathing attacks.
I slowly began to come out of my funk and start to look more into the situation.
The first thing was to make an appointment with an asthma/allergy specialist. I had read that most asthmatics have allergies. We went for testing. We were thrilled to find that my baby does not have allergies. That makes his prognosis VERY good. In fact, there is a chance he could outgrow his asthma.
My child still has to have nebulizer treatments daily. But the meds are a low-dose steroid that is strengthening his lungs. We are hoping that in about 6 months, he will no longer have to have the treatments. He runs and plays like a normal boy. We do not have to have rescue inhalers. He has not had to go to the hospital since that Thanksgiving. For that, we are so glad.
We do have to watch him. His colds involve a lot more than runny noses. His colds start with a little bit of snot and a little bit of coughing. Within hours of hearing the coughs, he starts to run a fever. His heart begins to race, he develops dark circles under his eyes and you can hear the gasps as he tries to fill his lungs to full capacity. It is a painful and frightening thing to hear. During that time, we know enough to increase his nebulizer treatments to include abuterol...an asthma medication.
As an advocate for my child, it is my job to step down from the throne. I need to delve into information and find out as much as I can about asthma. God forbid he ever has an attack that sends him to the hospital. I will begin to learn more...what causes it? What triggers his attacks? What can I do to help his breathing?
As I lay beside him last night, listening to his raspy breaths, I determined to do just that. I will become as much of an expert as a stay-at-home-mom of 4 can be.
THE AGE OF THE QUEEN HAS ENDED!