Catching our Breath: Relief in an Asthma Diagnosis

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child with asthma inhalerWe had a rough weekend. My youngest son (Monroe) has had issues over the past 8-9mos with, what they have called, ‘bronchiolitis.’ Whenever he gets a cold, his lungs get inflamed and cause him to experience shortness of breath. Most of his episodes have gotten so severe that I am scared he will stop breathing. I toss him in the car and spend the whole drive to the emergency room talking to him in the back seat. “How are you doing, buddy? Stay with me, buddy. I love you, Momo. Mama’s going to get you some help.” You can just imagine…

We had another one of those nights this weekend, but this time the doctors said, “We are no longer going to call these episodes ‘bronchiolitis,’ he has asthma.” While this may seem like a bad thing, I actually feel relieved. Now that we have a more concrete diagnosis, there are things we can do. Steps we can take. Today we met with his primary provider to create an Asthma Action Plan. They prescribed a daily inhaled steroid that will improve the inflammation in his lungs long-term and hopefully reduce the number of scary drives we have to make to the ER.

My son’s symptoms have gotten much better over the past couple days. He is acting more like himself. I was finally able to get a full night’s sleep for the first night in a while. I didn’t have to worry so much that he would wake up gasping for air. My ears weren’t on high alert. I wouldn’t jump up at the slightest moan just to make sure he was still breathing.

Now that we are through the scary part, I can feel my nerves loosening. I can feel the tension releasing; tension I have been secretly carrying. I know that my husband loves my children. I know he would do anything to take care of them. But I don’t think he carries their hurts with him quite like I do. Moms are connected to their children in a way that dads aren’t – not bad, just different.

As I breathe a sigh of relief, I find myself in a new place… I sit and process all that has happened in the past few days. I re-live those moments of panic and sadness as I watched his distress while not being able to fix it. But I also feel joy that there is hope in this asthma diagnosis, and we are finding a solution. In this new place, there are tears; lots of tears. I cannot pinpoint exactly where they come from, but they feel good.

To all the other moms of kids with asthma out there – I know your fears and I have been in the same frantic car as you in the middle of the night. No matter if you have been dealing with asthma for a long time or a little, it sucks. But you can have a good cry. Trust me, it helps.

Love, another Asthma Mom.

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Things Heather loves: blue skies, green grass, trees rustling in the wind. Heather is a country girl through and through. She grew up on 10 acres of rolling countryside in SE Iowa. Over the course of their marriage, Heather and her husband (Ted) have lived in 3 different states. But Heather grew tired of the big, grey city so, in 2012, they moved to Rochester (Ted’s hometown) for some green Minnesota living. Fast forward a few short years and she now has three bustling boys – Everett (2015), Judah (2016) and Monroe (2019). Heather also loves food. Full disclosure - she eats ice cream every night! She is a registered dietitian and is passionate about how she feeds her family. She has recently taken a job at Olmsted County WIC (Women, Infants and Children) after being a licensed family childcare provider for about 4 years. She loved her daycare families and also loves helping her WIC families. Her goal is to offer her readers with practical tools so they may also feed their families well!

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