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Monday, September 22, 2014

Cold or sinus infection?

(Shutterstock image)

So, it was only a matter of time until one of my teenagers came down with a cold. 

Colds are miserable enough, but with colds can come sinus infections. How do you know if you have a sinus infection? Well, it may feel like a cold, but Webmd explains it as:

Some of the primary symptoms of acute sinusitis include:

  • Facial pain/pressure
  • Nasal stuffiness
  • Nasal discharge
  • Loss of smell
  • Cough/congestion
Additional symptoms may include:
  • Fever
  • Bad breath
  • Fatigue
  • Dental pain
The Webmd page lists these symptoms for an acute infection (meaning it will only last for a short time.) It says if you have two or more of these symptoms, and also have a thick, yellow or green discharge - you may have a sinus infection. 

When that happens to us, we call asthma doc to see what he says. There are different ways to treat sinus infections  Some doctors will suggest you use a decongestant, steam inhalation, nasal sprays or antibiotics. Your doctor will decide what's best for you.

Some people swear by Netipots. If you have never used one, know that you have to follow the directions very carefully, especially making sure you have sterile water in your neti pot. (There have been some rare but creepy infections people got from using regular tap water.) 

Everyone has different symptoms, and may react differently to treatment plans, so ask your doctor what he wants you to do.

Until then, Teenager will be having LOTS of chicken soup and orange juice, and resting and watching some videos. 

After all, it's important to let your body heal. Hey, maybe Teenager will even let me hang out with her (as long as I keep my distance and try not to annoy her .....)

Monday, September 15, 2014

September Epidemic??

Yes, I am ALWAYS reading...anything and everything. The latest article I read was in Family Circle magazine's September issue. It's called "The September Epidemic." The website version is called "Everything You Need to Know About Asthma"

In the article, Dr. Stanley Szefler, director of the Pediatric Asthma Research Program at the Aurora's Children's Hospital Colorado said that:  "More schoolkids are admitted to the hospital for asthma attacks in September than in any other month."

Dr. Szefler says that it is known as the September Epidemic. There are a few reasons they mention:  
  • It could be because kids head back to school and share germs with all the other kids in school. 

  • It could also be because kids go on vacation during the summer, not just from school, but from using their maintenance medications. They are not in a school routine, so they forget about it. Or maybe Mom thinks she can keep an eye on the kids during the summer, so they don't need to take their maintenance medication. (Bad idea!!!!!! You should NEVER stop taking your asthma medicine without your doctor telling you to. We have made that mistake before and Son #2 ended up in the hospital because of it.) Sigh.The things you learn over the years about asthma....

  • It could also be due to fall allergies. The article says that, "Up to 80% of children with asthma also have allergies, with fall being especially problematic."  They say that "When breathing is constricted due to allergy congestion, the likelihood of asthma flare ups increases."

The article also talks about viral infections, the flu and obesity causing problems with asthma. 
 There's always so MUCH to worry about as a parent, if  any of these things seem to be a problem for your child, call your doctor. He/she is there to help!

Good luck with sending kids back to school and managing asthma :)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Scary virus hospitalizing kids with asthma

(Shutterstock image)

I am REALLY worried about a new virus that has hit 10 states already,  made over 1,000 kids sick so far and hospitalized numerous kids - including many in ICU (the intensive care unit.)

My stomach has butterflies in after watching the story on ABC news called "Unidentified Respiratory Virus Likely To Hit Kids Across Country."

I have asthma, as do all three of my teenagers. When they were younger, Son #2 and daughter Kitty were hospitalized 12 separate times for asthma - 2 of those were in ICU. So when I hear about a new virus that is affecting kids with asthma, I am VERY nervous.

The story says that children under 5 are at the highest risk of being hospitalized, but even teenagers are ending up in ICU. 

One teenager interviewed in this story, was a little sick one day (he had a runny nose and a cough) and the next day he was in ICU. That teenager turned blue on day 2, was rushed to the ICU and was given an emergency breathing tube (a ventilator.) Scary stuff!!!
 I have had Son #2 suddenly end up in ICU, it's scarey how fast kids can get deathly ill.

One of the doctor's at Children's Hospital of Colorado, Dr. Christine Nyquist, said 
"the virus usually ends up appearing similar to a severe cold but can be particularly dangerous for children with asthma because of how it affects the respiratory system."
"The kids are coming in with respiratory symptoms, their asthma is exacerbated," Nyquist said. "Kids with no wheezing are having wheezing." 

Webmd explains wheezing as  a sort of whistling sound. With my kids, it is almost a windy squeak at the end of when they breath out. Kind of a weird sound, but once you hear it, you will never forgot it. Their website also tells you when to go to the doctor.

If you have ANY doubt about your child/if they don't seem to be breathing right, call your doctor - don't wait. He may want you to bring your child to his office right away or drive to the nearest emergency room. This illness travels fast, and kids with asthma can go from bad to worse MUCH fast kids without lung problems.

They also recommend making sure you have all of your kids asthma medicine, inhalers, nebulizers etc near by. 

I'm worried, worried, worried.....



Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Asthma doesn't just run in our family - it gallops!!

I was watching some videos on Youtube from "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon Show." He has a segment each week where he reads off tweets from the weekly hash tag. One segment was called Hashtags: Dadvice

It's pretty funny to watch him read off the tweets. This episode had advice from dads to their sons. 

 This is what one tweet from @mikeruss39 said
 "After the first time I got drunk my dad told me to be careful. 'Alcoholism doesn't just run in this family - it gallops.' " 

I thought that would be the perfect thing for me to say about asthma in my family. 
Asthma doesn't just run in our family - it gallops!

My parents, siblings and I all have asthma. All three of my teenagers have asthma, as do many of my nieces and nephews. 

The same can be said for Hubby's side of the family - grandparents, parents, siblings, nieces and nephews all have asthma. 

So, when Hubby and I married, it was the perfect storm. Our kids didn't have a chance of NOT inheriting asthma (and allergies.) And if my teenagers marry someone later who has allergies and asthma on their side of the family, the genetic defect will continue!

Sigh. I hate asthma. But at least our family can have a funny quote about it now!