Monday, November 03, 2008

Joseph Can Now Breathe

Joseph has been struggling with his asthma as of late. We have spent the last month doing on average 6 breathing treatments a day with at least half of them being in the middle of the night. We told Joseph he couldn't run at recess and that he needed to take it easy for a few days. He would always come home and inform us he did not run at school, he just played soccer or capture the flag. Apparently he didn't quite understand the meaning of no running. (How do you explain to a 5 year old boy he's not allowed to run in order to breathe?)

His teacher approached me one day and asked if he had any medication at school that he could take as he was having problems breathing just sitting in class. I knew then that this was now the point we needed to be referred on to the asthma specialist. So we called the doctor to schedule an appointment and found he was not going to be in for 2 weeks so we opted for the on call doctor (which happened to be our previous doctor who had retired. yay!). She asked Joseph to take some deep breaths for her. He did his best but was never able to take a deep breath without coughing up a storm. She then ran a pulse-ox (sp?) on him and discovered after his recent breathing treatment he was still only at 95. She gave us 3 new perscriptions (1 for school) and sent in the referral to the specialist and advised us to get him in right away. Thankfully someone had canceled their appointment for the next Monday so we were able to get him in within a few days.

I had never met this doctor but had heard great things from Ronny and a few friends who had seen him. (this is the same doctor Ronny sees for his throat problem) I was expecting an older gentleman as he had previously been a pediatrician before specializing in asthma and allergies. I was shocked when in walked a mighty fine looking doctor! Ronny laughed when I told him this later. Anyway he listened to Joseph breathe, took a pretty complete history on him again, and asked us exactly what medications he was taking and how often. He was surprised at what he was taking and the condition Joseph was in. When I told him I didn't think his medication was working very well he informed me it was keeping Joseph out of the hospital for the time being. When I related to him what the last two weeks were like he told me Joseph probably should have been admitted then. Oops! (That didn't help the guilt factor). He then did a poke test (allergy test) to see what Joseph was allergic to. It came back that he was allergic to mold, grass, and trees. I laughed and said he was pretty much allergic to Oregon. He agreed!

Anyway, Joseph is now on new medication that comes in the form of an inhaler attached to a spacer. No more nebulizer treatments! This was good news to all of us. He is doing so much better. He can now run and play and not worry about coughing. His teacher has informed us he is doing much better at school as well. Hopefully this keeps him out of the hospital when the next cold comes and helps ward of pneumonia this year!