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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Blue suckers and asthma

I love these suckers from Oriental Trading, they make me feel like a kid again!

What do they have to do with asthma? Well.......there are certain things that only another asthma mom would understand!

My Sweet Friend has a nursing background and has several kids with asthma.  

She sent me this text the other day:

"Lesson for me! Don't give your sick asthma child a blue sucker. I just went to wake my daughter up from her nap and nearly had a heart attack at seeing her blue lips!"

"Earlier that day, we had stopped to see my mom and she gave my daughter a sucker. I went straight home and put my daughter down for a nap. She was recovering from pneumonia, so when I checked on her and she had blue lips, my heart stopped and all of my training kicked in. All that education forced me to calm down and start assessing her. When I realized she was breathing perfectly fine, only then did I remember the blue sucker from earlier!"
Talk about panic!! The one thing you NEVER want to see is a child with asthma that has blue lips.

For asthma, Webmd lists when to call 911:

  • Severe wheezing when breathing both in and out
  • Coughing that won't stop
  • Very rapid breathing
  • Chest tightness or pressure
  • Tightened neck and chest muscles, called retractions
  • Difficulty talking
  • Feelings of anxiety or panic
  • Pale, sweaty face
  • Blue lips or fingernails
  • Or worsening symptoms despite use of your medications
Call 911 if you have any of these symptoms.

It's probably my fault that Sweet Friend panicked. My kids were hospitalized a LOT for asthma when they were younger (12 hospitalizations.) She heard all of the stories about their hospitalizations. In fact, Son #2 ended up in ICU twice - with blue lips (that shows that there is a dangerously low oxygen level.)

When my kids would get sick, I would always call Sweet Friend in a panic. She has a gift for listening to lungs with a stethoscope. She could hear crackling (pneumonia), balloons rubbing together sound (bronchitis), and reduced air movement. She would tell me which lung it was in (left or right) and upper or lower lobe. 

Sometimes I wasn't sure whether I should take my child to the doctor or not. I would call Sweet Friend and beg her to come over with her stethoscope. When she would hear something bad, I would head to the doctor. More than once, the doctor would say, "they sound fine." I would say, " friend is a nurse and she heard reduced air flow in the lower left lobe." The doctor would listen again, and low and behold! He would hear the same thing.

Then he would start oral steroids, give the kids a shot of steroids, or send us to the hospital so our child could be admitted for asthma.

So, blue lips can be a VERY dangerous symptom of an asthma emergency. 

Or....... it can be from a blue sucker!

Only another asthma mom would understand.

(Note to self: don't buy any more blue suckers - buy the other colors instead!)


  1. What are your thoughts on the measles outbreak and the proposed law requiring children to get vaccinated? I think it's crucia because 1 in 20 kids with measles will develop pneumonia. Plus people with weakened immune systems who are vaccinated aren't fully protected because their immune response isn't sufficient to produce the required antibodies. I received the whooping cough vaccine but caught it from an unvaccinated kid at work because I am immunocompromised.

    1. Well.....we had a VERY lively debate going on Facebook one day!

      Some parents don't want to vaccinate because it's "their right" not to vaccinate. However, when their "right" interferes with other people's rights, what do you do?

      There are a LOT of people across the country who are being quarantined right now because they were exposed to measles. What if those people lose their jobs because they have to take 21 days off work?

      One of my sons was exposed because someone visited his work with kids who unknowingly had measles. Luckily, my son was up to date on immunizations and didn't have to stay home from work or miss any college classes. Can you imagine missing the first 3 weeks of a semester because you were quarantined?

      And what about the babies that are too young to be immunized?

      What about those with impaired immune systems who are compromised? My kids were frequently behind on immunizations because of the hospitalizations that required large doses or steroids. Because of that, they had to wait to be immunized. We were always terrified that they would catch something before they could get the next immunization.

      Parents who are against immunizations can get faulty information. Some people still cling to the idea that the MMR vaccine causes autism - even though the original research has been discredited, as was the scientist who falsified his research.

      Did you see this from the Autism Speaks organization? They are encouraging parents to get their kids immunized!

  2. Where does your son work? California, utah? I ask about there's lots of cases in California but there are also cases in utah. I'm so glad autism speaks encouraged vaccines because that's a big autism organization parents take seriously. I go to Texas A&M which has a vaccine manufacturer on campus, which I want to work for after I graduate. I'm taking graduate level courses even though I'm a junior. This semester will be hard!

    1. Oh wow, don't over do it! I hope you don't burn out. I know you are brilliant, but pace yourself.

      You need to have fun too! Go to the basketball games and make time for friends and movies too.

      Oh sheesh, I sound like such a mom!

      But I tell my sons the same thing, remember to balance school and work and fun! :)