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Friday, July 2, 2010

Flash-back Friday

Hmm, my first flash-back Friday post. I guess I should start with the first time one of the kids was diagnosed with asthma.

#2 son was 5 years old, and was sick and coughing (as usual). I had previously taken him to the pediatrician with an article from a parenting magazine about asthma. He seemed to be sick quit often, and when he was sick, his cough was horrible and would last for weeks. The pediatrician assured me nothing was wrong with him.

This time, along with the cough, sore throat, and malaise, he was quite pale and I felt like something was wrong. When I got to the pediatrician's office , I explained that I was supposed to be on strict bed rest, (I was 8 months pregnant) and could they quickly take a look at him? I thought they would give him a prescription for an antibiotic and send us on our way. But, they took one look at him and suddenly the room was full of people working on him. They administered a breathing treatment, and I had to hold him up as he kept passing out. His oxygen level didn't increase after the treatment, so the doctor said "he needs to be admitted to the hospital so we can help him with his breathing." Apparently, his oxygen level was 82 (it should be as close to 100 as possible).

I took him out to the car, and drove around to the hospital entrance where the valet took the car. The pink ladies took one look at me and couldn't tell which one of us needed a wheel chair! I pushed him up to Pediatrics and it took the nurses 5 tries to get his IV in because his oxygen level was so low. Of course the stress sent me into preterm labor, so I had to be treated as well.

Although my husband works an hour away, he made it to the hospital in record time!

After doing a breathing treatment, the respiratory therapist said "did anyone ever tell you he has asthma?" I sputtered "I just had him at the pediatrician's office to get checked for asthma and he said no!" Well, they assured me, he does. I told him that I didn't know much about asthma, so he came back a few minutes later with 30 pages worth of printouts from the internet. I'm the type of person that read everything, highlighted, asked questions, and learned as much as I could. Talk about a crash course in asthma! That was 10 years ago, and my life has been full of asthma episodes since then.

Asthma has completely changed the direction of my life. Originally trained as an Interior Designer, I have made the decision to return to school for a secondary bachelor's degree (this time in Public Health). Even though I have spent the last 10 years helping other families understand asthma, I now have a much broader reach. I feel compelled to help others with asthma, so they don't have to learn the hard way like I did. I'll spend as much time as someone needs me to explaining the difference between maintenance medication and rescue inhalers, showing how to use a nebulizer and clean it after wards, knowing when to take their child to the doctor versus the emergency department, etc, etc.

Well, sorry for the long post. Hopefully some of my stories can help other people out there!

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