I had to go to the hospital last week to meet with a colleague, and as soon as I walked in - there was "that smell." There is a certain scent that I recognize from having my kids hospitalized 14 times. Not a bad scent, just a familiar one!
My kids were usually admitted to the hospital with pneumonia or from problems breathings smoke from forest fires. For me, having a child admitted to the hospital was actually a relief. There comes a point where I have done everything I can as a parent to try to help them breathe easier. To quote a line from Mall Cop "Backup! Backup!!"
I need someone who knows more than I do to take over! I am NOT a respiratory therapist or a nurse, so sometimes I need the professionals to take care of my child.
I have all the preventative (or daily controller) medicine at home. When they get sick, I will start giving them Albuterol breathing treatments with the nebulizer. (The nebulizer machine turns the liquid medicine into a mist so it's easier to breathe in.) If you aren't sure how to use a nebulizer, here is a video from NationalChildrens
If they are still getting worse, Asthma Doc will either give the kids a steroid shot of Decadron or a steroid pill like prednisone. If they have the steroid shot, they MUST have a "burst" - 3 or 5 days of taking the steroid pill and slowly tapering down the dose. It's definitely one of those medicines that you can't stop suddenly. (Steroids will take the swelling down in the lungs so it's easier to breathe, but you have to take them EXACTLY as prescribed or it can cause other problems.)
If they STILL aren't getting better, I head to the emergency room. My kids can get an even stronger steroid IV, plus oxygen, and be connected to breathing monitors. That way, the professionals can monitor their oxygen level around the clock and an alarm will go off if the child's breathing gets worse. Years later, I can still hear the sound of the alarm going off in my head......
I'm not going to lie - it is VERY scary and stressful to have a child in the hospital.
Watch what the nurses do and ask questions. If they have a heart monitor on your child, it's REALLY serious!! From my experience with my son, that means they are really worried that your child might stop breathing - which will make their heart stop - and then they can die. It's rare - but you may need to know about it just in case...
Talk to your doctor about when to take your child to the emergency room. Here's some information from emedicine's website. Sometimes kids with asthma can go from bad to worse very quickly, so keep a close eye on their breathing.
Isn't it fun raising a child (or 3 children in my case) with asthma? Sigh....it's all part of My Life as an Asthma Mom!!