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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Paranoid about sick people

I am paranoid about sick people

Yes, it's a fact. I was talking with a friend online last night about germs and sick people. She has it much worse than I do. She has a daughter with a rare muscular disorder that also affects her breathing. The daughter is dependent on a tracheotomy tube and is wheelchair bound. She is also hibernating for the winter inside her nice, safe house-away from sick people.

I can't say to her that "I know how you feel" because I don't. I can commiserate to a degree. And I'm not saying what we go through compares with their struggles. The problem with asthma is that any respiratory infection is magnified. There's no such thing as a simple cold-for us anyway. The minute I hear someone coughing, we get up and leave. I know it sounds dramatic, but I can't expose my kids to other sick people.

When my kids get sick, it means a trip to Asthma Doc (I love that man for keeping my kids alive the last 11 years!) Often times, we end up with antibiotics and steroids. Of course that's on top of their maintenance medication and additional breathing treatments with the nebulizer.

Sometimes that isn't enough, and we go to the next step-which is a shot of Decadron. More steroids! Often times that will keep the kids out of the Emergency Department or out of the hospital.

Sometimes I know I'm in over my head, so we head to the Emergency Department. I am more than happy to let the professionals take over (of course I watch them like a hawk to make sure the kids have oxygen on, then I quiz the medical personnel about what medication and doses they're giving. We have had medication errors)

Admittance to the hospital always means more steroids (usually a Salumederol IV) and oxygen.

So, if I get up and leave an activity because someone is coughing, don't take it personnally. Some of us have had more experience than we would like with hospitals. If you are sick, please stay home! You may just be irritated by a little sniffle and cough, but for some of us it can turn deadly.

Please keep your germs to yourself.

Thank you,


My life as an asthma mom


  1. Just wrote an article about natural and economical ways to reduce asthma symptoms. Would love to have you read it...

  2. I love this post! It is so true-I have always been a germ-a-phob but since all of Presley's medical stuff I literally get ANXIETY when I hear someone cough or sniffle. My stomach just twists and I think, "I hope I dont take this home to Presley-and if I do, PLEASE dont let it kill her." To some it sounds dramatic-but its my REALITY every single day. Basically with what she has:SMARD-they say there is no definite prognosis. She can live until she gets something her body cannot fight off-which could be next year or it could be 10 or 20. I would not wish this on anyone, all we ask and hope is people can repect that we are trying to keep her healthy and let US know if they are sick or might be sick. I have people close to us that say, "oh its just allergies, its just the weather" Ya, your Green nasty boogers and croupe sounding cough is just the weather-and if it is true, how do you know you dont have something else on top of your "weather and allergies". Im paranoid, i admitt. But when my daughters life is at risk I say, "Allergies and weather induced symptoms are contagious in my house!" :) Love your blog!!

  3. Jennifer, well written. I have been writing little tips for keeping the house asthma proof as well. It can be overwhelming for some people, so I just do one at a time. You have some interesting links to natural treatment products on your website. To each their own- we are sticking with traditional medications. The one time we tried natural remedies, my son almost died. They just aren't effective for him, we need the tried and true. Good luck with your battle with asthma!

  4. Mindy, I know you understand what it's like. You can understand if you have watched your child struggling to breath in the hospital, hooked up to various monitors-including the heart monitor (because the doc wants to know if they go into cardiac arrest and quit breathing). To say it's scary is an understatement. We probably have post traumatic stress syndrome, any cough makes us panic and flash back to what happened the last time one of the kids were sick......good luck hibernating from all the germ infested people!