Thursday, April 5, 2012

At Wits End, Not Yet

Christopher needing time to collect himself, ALONE
At the end of August Christopher's asthma went from slightly bothersome to becoming bad horrible Absolutely Terrible! I tell him all the time that I wish I could take his asthma away but unfortunately I can't, the only thing I can do is try to make it easier on him. He got so mad at me Sunday because I refused to let him go outside and play all because of the fact that it was too windy. It did not matter that I kept him inside he still had to have breathing treatments and puffs of his emergency inhaler, then inevitably had to got to the ER for steroid shots. I get asked a lot by doctors "Who smokes in the house" or  "Is he around small kids 3 and under". My responses "No one in the house smokes" and "Are small children infectious?".

Here is a sample of what some of his ride has been like in the last 8 months:
Hospital Stay - August 29- Sept 1, 2011 (RSV)
Treatments at home - (Asthma Attacks)
Hospital Stay - November 20-23 2011 (RSV, Bronchitis...)
Treatments at home - (Asthma Attacks and Head Colds)
Hospital Stay - January , 2012 (RSV )
Treatments at home - (Asthma)
*ER for 8 hours* - February 26, 2012 (Strep Throat and RSV)
Treatments at home - (Asthma, RSV)
Quarantined Hospital Stay - March 11-12, 2012 (Flu A, Flu B, RSV)
ER - April 3, 2012 (Unresponsive Asthma Attack)
* Did not get admitted because mommy just had surgery and O2's were controllable.

This is what we do for prevention and what we do to stop attacks when they happen.
- Singulair - Daily
- Peak Flow Meter - Twice Daily to test lung capacity (We chart this)
- Albuterol  Sulfate Nebulizer Treatments - As a preventative on dry windy days every 4-6 hours
- No going outside on dry windy days, this does not stop the asthma attack that he "WILL" get but makes it not as sever.
- Shut down windows and stay in when the air smells of POO! Having so many dairy's, feedlots, and hog farms around has taken its toll on our air quality. The strong ammonia poo smell burns his little lungs.
- Keep away from people that smoke, even those that have been around others that smoke. He can tell if you have been smoking and he will embarrass you by saying so. This is a hard one because our neighbor smokes by our back yard and it waifs over while he plays.
- No carpets, only washable rugs on hardwood floors.
- No curtains/drapes, only washable blinds that can be cleaned often.
- Pets are not allowed in bedroom on his bed or to sleep with him.
- Throw away pillows, yes I throw them away. They need to be washed 3x a month and don't keep there shape well so after 2 or 3 washes chunk them. He has a endless supply from hospital that have been exposed to freezing temperatures. I also use dust mite proof zipper pillow cases, if I'm using these pillows don't get thrown out as often.
- Limit time with the 2 year old and under crowd - I know that's not fair, but that is the group that carries and spreads the RSV virus the most. Around the age of 3 they develop immunities to it and there for can not spread it if they them selves can not get it. Yes, he is almost 6 and he still gets it and can spread it if he has a fever. That's why he misses so much school.
- A nighttime ROUTINE! This is a important step. If he is tired during the day he is more likely to suffer. He goes to bed a set time (8:00) and gets a good nights rest, for him it is no less than 9-10 hours of sleep. If a attack happens at night it is handled calmly with minimal light and sounds, this helps with returning to bed.
- Albuterol Sulfate Inhaler - This is a emergency back up or when he is at school.
- Spacer - It is used on inhaler to concentrate the medicine going into his lungs.
- Peak Flow Meter - Twice Daily to test lung capacity (We chart this)
- Albuterol  Sulfate Nebulizer Treatments - Every 4 hours or more if needed
- Pulse Ox (Oxy Stat Sensor) -  Used daily about  every 1-4 hours depending on what kind of day he is having. It is used to measure oxygen in blood and heart rate. This is what I watch closely before we head to the ER, if his O2s don't come up with treatments and this happens, we head to ER for Steroid shots.

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