Tuesday, December 01, 2009

There is nothing worse than watching your child struggle for breathe

About ten days ago, I blogged about the fact that Katie was in the throes of bronchial distress directly related to that foam pit that she played in while at a birthday party. Now, Katie has been diagnosed with asthma and the last 2+ weeks have been nothing short of horrifying; both for her and for us.

Initially, she was placed on Albuterol Syrup in order that her airways stay open, but it was not enough to stop the terrible bronchial spasms that were causing her to cough and struggle with her breathe until she vomited. The doctor even placed her on an antibiotic in the hope that this may be a bacteria that would be killed off. Finally, on Saturday evening my terror level reached new heights as her situation worsened and I got in touch with her pediatrician who was forced to place her on the nebulizer for breathing treatments and in addition prescribed oral steroids to reduce the inflammation. When she did this, it was with words of caution that things would deteriorate before they improved. Well, she was correct! Katie's symptoms were even worse than before and to compound the discomfort, was the fact that the steroid causes sleeplessness and irritability. Katie's emotions were off the chart and she was basically jumping out of her skin.

Last night it got so bad that she was inconsolable and we took her into our bed to comfort her. Thankfully, it did comfort her and she slept. Since she is a major bed hog, no one else did...but I digress.

She woke up and I could sense immediately that she seemed to be a bit better. She was not exploding into uncontrollable attacks of coughing. I called the Doctor to ask her if we could adjust the steroid a bit as it was really playing with her little body. After listening to what she was going through and hearing that we had a bit of improvement she told me to skip the nighttime dose and double dose her in the morning. I am bringing her back tomorrow so that she can be assessed and to see what our next step is. My understanding is that once they get it under control completely, then they place her on a maintenance medication. Tonight has been peaceful so far and she is sleeping....fingers crossed!

Katie made a statement last night that was actually a refrain that I have heard throughout this ordeal. It really has struck me; both in it's deep sadness and the insight it gave me into our four year old's amazing little mind. "Mommy, I want to be normal again, I just want all of this to go away so that I can be normal..."

I gave her the only answer that I could "Baby, you will be normal again; I promise you will..."

I always keep my promises!


Tammie said...

My heart is just tearing in two. I know well how asthma can affect a family. The fact that Katie Starr is going through this just saddens me. OTOH, it sounds as if she is on the road to recovery. Thank G-d for Dr L & her ability to hear what a parent is saying rather than just steamrolling with a diagnosis.

Katie Starr will be normal again. This adjustment period is hard but it will be overcome.

Sending hugs!

Anonymous said...

Lori, one of my dtrs adopted from China developed the same kind of asthma at the same age--4. And it was really scary. But the doctor said she had a fifty-fifty chance of outgrowing it and now at 13 she totally has.


Donna said...

Lori, my heart is breaking! Nothing is worse than watching our children suffer and being unable to "fix" it. I know we'd swap places with them in a heartbeat if we could. Just to take their distress or pain away.

I hope this nightmare is over soon!

Our Blog: Double Happiness!

M and M Girls said...

I know the walk you walk my dear as you know my little one has just spent time in the hospital with similiar issues. There is nothing worse than watching your child who can't breathe - can't even sit up because she can't breathe. Horrible. If you need anythign from afar...support...I am here.

So sorry she has to go through this. Tell her M is walking her same journey. She is not alone.

tweeters said...

I understand where Katie's coming from. I got diagnosed with allergy induced asthma when I was 8, but the month leading up to my diagnosis was absolutely awful. For some reason, my cough mostly came at night (looking back on it...it could have ALSO been from the foam pit at my gymnastics gym. I worked out 5 nights a week...) and it would keep me up no matter what we tried. I don't think I had as severe of fits as Katie, but I do remember when they did the test at the doctor's office. I was placed into this tube thing where some sort of allergen was introduced. I could not stop coughing! It was absolutely terrifying because I couldn't catch my breath and I felt like I was slowly suffocating. I'm actually surprised I didn't pass out. This was all while sitting in front of the test administerer and my mom. It was kind of traumatic, but after I took the albuterol (I think that's what it was...) my airways started to open up and my breathing turned to normal. Not a fun experience though!

Anyway, I outgrew my asthma and it only gives me trouble when I swim in a chlorinated pool now. I hope Katie gets meds and things figured out soon so she can return to normal too!

Teresa said...

We never really appreciate "normal" until things are not "normal" do we? Peter had impetigo off and on for two years and finally outgrew it. What a relief for both of us!

I'm glad to see some of the encouraging comments/stories of others who have gone through the same thing as Katie.

Vivian M said...

I have spent my entire life watching my Mom dealing with Asthma that she developed as a young child. Times have changed and the medications are way better now for controlling symptoms.
And there is the possibility that Katie will outgrow it. I am sending you all huge hugs and hope that this too shall pass. And in the meantime, that the docs find a treatment plan that works for Katie.
She will live a normal life. My nephew has asthma too and he even plays sports.