Having a child in the hospital can be pretty stressful. My friend is in the hospital with her son now, he doesn't have asthma but is having some other medical problems.
It brought back memories of having my kids in the hospital (14 times total-12 of those were for asthma.) It's really frightening when your child is having problems breathing. Asthma can go from bad to worse VERY quickly. There were many times when I knew I was in over my head. I knew that what I was doing at home (breathing treatments, oral steroids) weren't working and they needed more help than what I could give them. I am grateful that my husband's job provides good medical insurance and we could go to the emergency room and turn the care of the kids over to the professionals.
So when do you stay home and treat asthma for your kids and when do you go to the emergency room?I looked up some information on Webmd, here's what they have listed for "What are the symptoms of a severe asthma attack?"
- Persistent shortness of breath.
- The inability to speak in full sentences.
- Breathlessness even while lying down.
- Chest that feels closed.
- Bluish tint to your lips.
- Agitation, confusion, or an inability to concentrate.
- Hunched shoulders and strained abdominal and neck muscles.
- A need to sit or stand up to breathe more easily.
These are signs of an impending respiratory system failure and require immediate medical attention.
Keep in mind that people with asthma can end up hospitalized with a severe asthma attack, or from an illness. Usually when my kids get a cold or flu, it turns into pneumonia. That's what has caused their 12 hospitalizations. Any cold or flu is always worse when you have asthma.
If there is ANY question in your mind about how sick your child is, listen to your gut. Do you have "a feeling" you should call your doctor or head to the nearest emergency room? I have done that multiple times. I just had a feeling something wasn't right with the kids. Every time that happened, one of the kids ended up getting admitted to the hospital for 3 days while the doctors and respiratory therapist took over their care.
Take care of yourself during that time, especially if you have other kids at home. You can feel like you are spread way too thin. If people say, "let me know if there's something I can do...." let them! Give them a task-can you pick up junior from preschool? or the elementary school? Can you bring in a meal for the kids and hubby that are at home? Let people help you, it's the only way you'll make it through a hospitalization.
And let your kid's school teachers know that they have a sibling in the hospital. I have had many wonderful teachers who gave my kids a little extra TLC when their brother or sister was in the hospital. They could tell my son or daughter was acting differently, but didn't know why. It warms my heart to have their teachers keep a close eye on them during the week and give them a little extra love and attention.
Hopefully you won't have a child in the hospital, but if you do maybe that little bit of advice will make the hospital stay a little more bearable.