Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Oral Steroids to the Rescue Again

I heard her sniffle.

"Mom, my eyes are watering, and my throat hurts."

Another sniffle, and a little cough, not a concerning cough, but then, when your child has asthma, isn't every cough concerning? They have become so, at least with this child. When she coughs, I listen, with my ear on her chest and back, and often with a stethoscope.

Sometimes it's nothing, and sometimes it's asthma. Sometimes there's a whistly wheeze, sometimes there's a crackle, often there is noise other than the simple rush of air I wish to hear.

The runny nose and watery eyes called for some Benedryl. At the first sign of the tickly cough, the Albuterol came out. Every 4 hrs is the standard protocol.

9 am on Sunday morning, she 'had a neb' before we left for church. Her next one was at 1pm, and all seemed relatively ok, except for the cough, it sounded more productive. By 3 (only 2 hrs) she needed another breathing treatment, as her coughing increased and her O2 level began dropping through the 90's. Below 95 is not-so-hot, below 92 for any length of time is not good, that has been the benchmark stat that her docs have told us is when she needs to get in on O2.

By 5 she was at 90%, another neb. She dipped to 89%, and got a second one, back-to-back. She lingered around 91-92%, borderline, but it was early, we've seen her drop her stats at night so many times.

More meds at 7 and again at 9, then she fell asleep on the couch, and dipped to 87%.

It was time to go in.

And it was snowing.

It ended up ok, one of those runs where the very act of getting up and walking out in that cold air actually helped her O2 stat come up a bit by the time we got there. She dipped some after relaxing, but only to 91%, so the doc ordered yet another breathing treatment. She had also developed a fever over the course of Sunday evening, which could have meant virus (as opposed to just a typical asthma/allergy type of event) or that she was already developing pneumonia, which she has done rapidly so many times.

Thankfully, her x-ray was clear! Beautiful lungs, and no antibiotics. She is, however, on yet another oral steroid 'burst', never my favorite, but, as I've grown rather fond of saying "a girl's gotta breathe"...

She was not admitted that night (thank you, Lord!), instead I drove home on a snowy night, oh so tired and barely able to see the road in front of me. The snow stuck to the road and I could see no lane markings. My only landmark on that pavement was the little bumpy grooves in the center that make your car rattle when you drift across the lanes... I was thankful it was after 1am and there were few cars on that rural highway that night.

Monday was an ok day, with breathing treatment interruptions every 4 hrs, long nebs with 2 meds, and the steroid behaviors kicking in along with the desired respiratory effects. Tuesday was even better, though she had a few coughing fits that gave me pause...

Tuesday was busy, though we had to get those breathing treatments in between the work and play. Our oldest started a speech class with other homeschoolers, which looks like it will be an excellent addition to our lifestyle of learning. We also made a Target run to pick out a birthday gift or two or three for our 4 yr old who is about to turn 5. There was an abbreviated afternoon of school work before the cake baking, and then the cake eating began. Games were played (the classic Operation- love that game!) and new puppy toy was played with. Pictures were taken and a couple short videos captured. Bedtimes were pushed back for a night while busy children laughed extra long, extra hard, and extra loud- we can never leave out the loud part around here.

It never ceases to hit me, when the asthma rears its head, how blessed we are. We have meds, we have good hospitals, we have good doctors. It wasn't that long ago that a child with chronic breathing issues wouldn't have made it long. We are so lucky to have her, except that I don't really believe in luck. She is a gift from God, and every day with her is a gift from Him. One more reason to keep on keepin' on, to do my best by my children, and not take them for granted.

Today is day 4 of the oral steroid (that started Sunday night) and I do think we have this round under control. She will stay on her inhaled steroid for some time after the oral dose taper, probably until we have our next visit with her pulmonologist. Which reminds me, I need to schedule that for sometime in March, which seemed much further away back in the first week of December...

Mr. Extraordinary scored some tickets to a local event tonight and will be out on a free date night, enjoying a night on the town, while my youngest sister is in the throes of labor (unless it goes fast! pray for fast!) as she is scheduled to be induced to deliver their 2nd son later this morning. If any of you praying Mommas out there would take a moment to offer up a prayer on behalf of my baby sister and her baby, please know you're appreciated! If we time things right, or if she times things right, or if baby times things right, we won't be all that far from the hospital in the evening... maybe we can sneak in for a peak and some pics!



Blogger Sarah said...

I hope she'll be feeling wonderful soon! :)

February 10, 2010 at 1:15 PM  
Blogger Jenni said...

Praying that your little girl will keep getting better, and for a safe labour for your sister and her bub.

February 10, 2010 at 3:08 PM  
Blogger KazVik said...

Praying for you and your little girl.

February 10, 2010 at 3:09 PM  
Blogger KazVik said...

Ali, thank you for your sweet comment on my blog. I am from Kazakhstan (one of the former Soviet Union republics). We live in Mississippi now. I do my blog mainly in Russian, so my Mom can follow us. She lives in Kazakhstan and doesn't have chance to see her grandsons very often.

I hope your baby is doing well. I'll keep praying for her and for you. Thanks for visiting my blog.

February 10, 2010 at 3:45 PM  
Anonymous Doll Clothes Gal Pal said...

I hope she feels better soon! Stay strong, Mommy! We are all praying for her speedy recovery!

February 10, 2010 at 4:52 PM  
Blogger Redeemed1 said...

Praying for your sister and her baby...and your little girl as well.

February 10, 2010 at 4:54 PM  
Blogger Cascia said...

I just can't imagine what you are going through with your little one. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

February 10, 2010 at 6:04 PM  
Blogger myletterstoemily said...

poor little thing. it must be very scary for her. one of my best friend's
daugher had terrible asthma and other complications when a little gir.

can't remember how many close spells she had, and that we prayed her

she is now a healthy mother of three.

will be praying for your little one....and your sister's new baby and deliver.

February 10, 2010 at 10:13 PM  
Blogger happygal said...

Oh I am so sorry for all she (and all of you) are going through. I had very serious bouts with asthma growing up and know how scary it is. Again, I am sorry, and thinking of you.

February 11, 2010 at 4:13 PM  

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