Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Bad News...Ben has Asthma

Ben had an asthma attack on Saturday and Russell had to bring him home so I could take him to the doctor to get checked out. I knew he was having bad allergies, (he always does this time of year), and made sure to send his medicine with Russell to Keryn's place where Russell is staying now. When Russell called me to say Ben was sick, I figured the allergies had progressed into a chest cold which often happens, and told Russell to bring Ben home immediately while I called the urgent care clinic to make the appointment for him to be seen.

I was so hopeful that when Ben got here it wouldn't be too serious, but unfortunately when I saw Ben and listened to his chest, I realized he was having an asthma attack. So off to the clinic Ben and I went so he could be treated for it. Russell knew Ben was in good hands and went back to Keryn's.

I suspected Ben had asthma a couple of years ago, but his pediatrician didn't think so. I knew she was wrong. Fortunately Ben didn't have any kind of attacks after that small one and I started to think maybe I was wrong and she was right after all. That all changed on Saturday. My initial instincts were correct.

I have been a life long sufferer of asthma and know very well how to spot it, how to administer emergency treatment in case I can't get medicine or to an er right away, and how to manage it. Ben's asthma is primarily related to allergies like mine is, but stress is certainly an aggravator as well. I've been giving Ben allergy medicine for a couple of months now, but for some reason he had an attack while at Keryn's. It could be her cats or something in the air, or it could very well have been stress. Asthma can be brought on by any one of these factors, even running can cause an attack.

At least I know now his asthma is confirmed by a doctor, and can get the right medicine to Ben quickly if need be. We have a nebulizer that I have taught Ben how to use, as well as Russell and Sam. I am going to take him for a follow up appointment with his pediatrician and ask that she put Ben on a medication that will control his seasonal allergies so he doesn't have more risk of attacks, and an inhaler for him to keep at school, and one for me to keep in my purse incase we are out somewhere and he needs it.

I kept Ben home from school yesterday because he was still wheezing. I didn't want to take a chance that he could get too excited and relapse. Today he was much better after his oral medication and breathing treatment, so I felt comfortable allowing him to go to school. I met with his P.E. teacher and explained to her that he has been officially diagnosed with asthma, and she was very understanding because her son has it to.

I also met with his class room teacher to let her know what to be on the look out for incase he has any trouble, and to restrict his going out in the heat, no recess, etc... She was very sweet and understanding. Today I am sticking close to home just in case I get a call.

Poor Ben, I feel so sorry that he has this disease. It was very debilitating to me when I was in grade school. Fortunately I grew out of it for many years, but sometimes I still have attacks when my allergies go haywire. I usually get an attack once a year and end up having to use my nebulizer or go to the doctor for steroids. Sometimes the attacks are small and I'm able to stop them right away by staying calm and drinking coffee. Caffeine is a stimulant and acts similar to epinephrin, which is commonly used in ER's to stop attacks quickly.

So that is the update for Ben. Sorry it's not great news, but he will be okay.


Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

Sorry to here the bad news. Asthma is really common in australia, so we always had 4-5 kids in my class who had it.

It is manageable though, and I have known a few people that even became athletes with it.

Unfortunately I also knew of a girl in the year above me that had a severe attack that killed her.

So best of luck to you and Ben, hopefully you can manage it so that it doesn't cutail his activities too much.

Ara & Spirit said...

I am really glad to read your words even though they are of an obstacle he will have to deal with for a while. And yet with your help he will surmount it.
Save the shoes for Big Bend!!! Much hiking and camping there, specially with the cool weather on its way, at least it is here in Utah.
Great pictures... genuine smiles... keep it up Ginny!
Be well... Ara & Spirit