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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 9:33 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2006 10:49 am
Posts: 50
Location: Edmonton
This happened two weeks ago and I'm just really slow at posting. He had a cough for nearly a week then on the 13th woke up and was coughing more. I went for a shower; came out and while I was getting dressed he came up stairs and was wheezing. I carried him downstairs sat him down and watched him. His chest and stomach was being sucked in with every breath. SO I decided yup ER time.

He's never had any problems with asthma type symptoms before. I had an appointment that I had to cancel to see his Ped (we were still at the ER) about his cough.
I was wondering if it was all brought on by the night before; we were at the park and right beside it is a farmers field; they were harvesting their canola crops and it was really dusty.

So now he has a puffer and thankfully haven't needed it since the 15th. I tell you though to someone who has no experience in breathing issues that's really scary.

_________________
ds 6: ana to peanuts and fish, cats, dogs, horses, rabbits, many environmental
dd 12: reacted to pork rinds
dh: brazil nuts
me: shrimp, mangos, environmental


Last edited by mommysamuels on Fri Oct 06, 2006 10:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 10:06 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
Sorry to hear you went through this. Has he actually been diagnosed with asthma? or will he now be seeing a doctor to see if he is?

When my grandson first started having breathing difficulties it terrified me. Didn't help that it was during the SARS scare, and we were afraid to take him to a hospital as well. After a really rough year, you'd never know he has asthma now. He occasionally uses a puffer, but rarely. (I actually thought his mom had told me it turned out not to be asthma, but she said it is, just it's very under control right now.)

_________________
self: allergy to sesame seeds and peanuts
3 sons each with at least one of the following allergies: peniciilin, sulfa-based antibiotic, latex, insect bites/stings


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 10:16 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2006 10:49 am
Posts: 50
Location: Edmonton
I was told he would need to have 2 more incidents for them to diagnose asthma, so who knows what or why it was triggered? The ER Doc chalked it up to a viral infection of some sort. :roll:

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ds 6: ana to peanuts and fish, cats, dogs, horses, rabbits, many environmental
dd 12: reacted to pork rinds
dh: brazil nuts
me: shrimp, mangos, environmental


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 11:18 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:21 am
Posts: 687
Location: Cobourg, ON
I will have to reply quickly as I am short of time today. From what you wrote, your child seems to have been experiencing symptoms of asthma the whole week before the ER visit. My daughter's asthma and environmental allergies started to really flare up at 3. As I read later, this is typical of the "allergic march." September is ragweed season. Your child might have been overwhelmed with pollens that week and on the visit to the farm. Please find out more about asthma. It took us a long time to understand it. As you know, if asthma is not controlled, an allergic reaction might be more severe. We got great information through an asthma educator at one of their centers. Phone the info line from the asthma society or is it the lung association? There are many symptoms of asthma that are not visible that we learned about. Our daughter had many night wakings until we understood that she was probably having chest tightness at night. Because of her age she couldn't tell us. I would recommend seeing your pediatrician. I would question the ER doctors comment about getting a diagnosis. We were in denial for ages about our daughter's asthma but more education has helped. We were also concerned about using the puffer long term but again with more info we realized that it is necessary.
Good luck,
Kate

_________________
13 year old daughter -- lives with life-threatening allergies to milk, tree nuts and peanuts; seasonal allergies (birch, maple, ragweed); pet allergies; asthma; and eczema
10 year old son - no allergies


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 12:11 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 11:37 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Nova Scotia
Mommysamuels,
I agree with everything katec has written.
My son showed signs of asthma from about 18-mos. We had repeated trips to the ER, and overnight stays in the hospital, before he was "diagnosed" with asthma. But beware, just because they haven't officially "diagnosed with asthma", doesn't mean he isn't experiencing asthma. (This is because, to officially "diagnose with asthma" means the person has to have at least 3 asthmatic episodes. Then they can back-date it if you will, and say, oh yes, it was asthma all along. - I am not meaning to disrespect the medical community, just trying to explain.) This was a very hard thing for me to get my head around in the beginning. My son spent overnight in the Acute Asthma Care Unit, yet the doctors wouldn't call it "asthma".
We too had the wrong impression about the medicine, it took us months to understand how and when to use puffers properly.
Now my son's asthma is well-controlled but it took us a while to learn how to get it that way.
Watch for dark circles under his eyes too. Did they teach you about the trachial tug?
Don't mean to overwhelm you but, it is serious, as you know, especially for our kids who are also food-allergic.
We always found it hard to determine if he was coughing because he had a cold, or coughing because he couldn't breathe. It is best for you to recognize the signs and be able to act before having to go to the ER.
Please contact your hospital, or lung assoc as katec recommended, and ask for an "asthma educator".
It is really good to hear he hasn't needed his puffer since the 15th! Hopefully it was a one-time thing. But, from my experience, I would still get in touch with an educator if you can.

_________________
6-yr old son: anaphylactic to peanuts; asthma
1-yr old daughter: No known allergies


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 12:48 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
When my grandson was first showing symptoms (he was a few months old) I was not in a *good place* with his mom. He was often at my home for days at a time, and discussing his meds. etc., was about all we could manage without her getting mad at me about something. :roll: Anyway, I had searched the internet and found a great forum for parents dealing with asthma. I was able to ask them some questions, then verify the answers with dil -- everything is individualized and I would NEVER go against what her doctor told her because someone on the internet disagreed.

Anyway, it was an absolutely fabulous site -- but I can't find it anymore. Does anyone know of an asthma forum?

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self: allergy to sesame seeds and peanuts
3 sons each with at least one of the following allergies: peniciilin, sulfa-based antibiotic, latex, insect bites/stings


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 2:00 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2006 10:49 am
Posts: 50
Location: Edmonton
Thank you all so much; I had initially made the ped appointment because somewhere in the back of my mind the term "asthma" was flashing. Dh wants to come to the appointment. I know how they seem to go hand in hand with eczema (which ds had as a baby) and allergies. It's just all new to me; as it had been dd that I would run to the ER with her seizures. Now it's ds's turn :roll: I'm very interested in learning as much as I can with this. Thank you for all the information, it's definately alot to grasp.

Catherine what is the trachial tug?
They never mentioned anything at all. As for night waking, ds was what we understood suffering from Sleep Apnea as a baby. Hmmm could all be tied together now that I think about it. He had gone to an ENT until shortly before being diagnosed with his allergies. Lots to bring up with his ped.

_________________
ds 6: ana to peanuts and fish, cats, dogs, horses, rabbits, many environmental
dd 12: reacted to pork rinds
dh: brazil nuts
me: shrimp, mangos, environmental


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 3:17 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 11:37 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Nova Scotia
I'm not sure if I spelled it right. (trachial/tracheal?). But, you know that little hollow at the base of your neck, sort of between your collarbone? Normally when we breathe, that hollow doesn't move. But when someone is experiencing an asthma attack, you can sometimes see that hollow "tugging" in and out. It is similar to the sucking-in of your son's chest and stomach that you noticed. By the way, that is incredibly astute of you to notice that sucking-in symptom, I would never have known what to look for before the doctor showed me.

Good to hear your dh will try to come to the appt too. Always good to have 2 heads, isn't it?

Once when we were monitoring my son in hospital, I quite by accident discovered that asking him to sing a nursery rhyme was a good way for me to tell how well he was breathing. I wouldn't do this if he was obviously in distress, or wheezing, but it was a situation where he seemed to have cleared up. We were waiting for the doctor to return and so we were singing the alphabet song. But he couldn't get to the next line without stopping to take a breath. So I knew he wasn't ok yet. I have kept this little test in my back pocket for those moments when I'm not sure, is he doing ok, or am I just imagining he's breathing hard?

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6-yr old son: anaphylactic to peanuts; asthma
1-yr old daughter: No known allergies


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 7:41 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 11:58 pm
Posts: 275
Location: on my pc in cp
wow whenever i read about how other people found out they had asthma i'm even more glad i had my first asthma attack AT my doctor's office and he diagnosed me right away that day...

if your son does have asthma where he coughs, be ready to have to face off against "old timer" doctors who do not want to beleive that his symptoms ARE asthma even after he's been diagonsed, it's what i have and it's rough going into the ER and being told that you have something else wrong with you, when you know very well it IS an asthma attack and that you'll be fine if they treat it as such. i was fifteen when i was diagnosed, and my mom's a PSW and i still have issues at the local small town hospital

one time i was at the hospital coughign up a lung, and the nurse asked me if i was sure i wasn't choking i was seventeen at the time, i think i or my mother would have known if i was choking on something!

another time i got a doctor who liked scare tatctics and told me that "astmatics die" so i better be careful. i am lucky i've got very good control of my asthma with out needed to be on sterroids at all times, i flare up when i'm sick. i REFUSED to go to the local hospital and ended up having to get a friend to drive me one town over the next day to get treated for an attack, and i ended up getting a lecture there about how i should have gone to the local hospital.

now for my "best" story. i woke up in the middle of the night coughing up a lung, and my mother and father bring to the hospital, the nurse adminsters me one neb mask, but has to get the okay from the doctor on duty to adminster a second mask, it's pretty much protocal, and most of the time the nurse comes back in with a second mask after half an hour, and then wait fifteen minutes after the second mask, and i go home and i'm freaking loopy from the meds. well this doctor decides that i do not have asthma, and treats me like i have a very bad cough, with liquid codine (a lung supprant!!) i lef the hospital WORSE then when i went in!
my parents then had to drive me to the next town over to get me to a different hosptial, where the nurse doesn't want to listen that i have asthma, after my parents basically told her to call the doctor on duty, i did end up getting treated right but i ended up having a total of three neb masks (betweent he two hospitals), 4 puffs of my rescue inhaller, the max dose of my advair, AND a tbs of liquid codine, my heart rate was 122 beats a minute, i couldn't sleep because of asthma meds, every muscle in my upper body hurt, and the stupid nurse actually looks at me and says "You know you can't have anymore medication tonight right?" i just glared at her and said "i don't WANT anything else tonight. i want to go home"


just thought i'd share with you. i've had postive experiences while i've been at the same hospital, so it really is hit or miss, but in my experience older doctors don't want to think asthma is anything but a classic wheeze, and it gets hard to deal with sometimes... maybe that's why they don't want to diagonse right away, maybe try to get a second opinion, i mean having an asthma attack is bad enough, but getting the run around after makes it all the more stressful, i know for myself personally if i end up with a doctor who's kind of not sure i'm having an attack i end up having a worse attack because it stresses me out so much

_________________
allergies - penicillin, benadryl, dust mites, enviornmental & chemical
conditions - dermatographism, eczema, well contorolled asthma
dietary - lactose intollerant, vegatarian


Last edited by dustytiger on Tue Sep 26, 2006 11:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:20 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
I too agree with everything that katec said. That seems strange (okay, stupid is the word I really want to use) that you would have to wait for 2 more crises to get a diagnosis. That just does not make sense to me. My son had one asthma attack that landed him in ER at 8 months and he was diagnosed with asthma on the spot.

For the meds: some parents do have a hard time coming to terms with the idea of daily prevention medication, but as a respirologist once told me, taking the medication is much better than never getting enough oxygen into your body, which is what those who have poorly controlled asthma are dealing with. That can seriously affect your health and quality of life.

Quote:
Our daughter had many night wakings until we understood that she was probably having chest tightness at night. Because of her age she couldn't tell us.


We went through the same thing with my youngest - for 2 years, from when he was 3 to 5 yrs - and while we knew my son had asthma we didn't realize the night waking could be caused by the asthma. I think we were so focussed on the risk of anaphylaxis that we didn't focus enough on his asthma. Finally, our allergist clued us in that it might be the asthma, and on the combined advice of her and our certified asthma educator (Lung Association) we upped his asthma meds and lo-and-behold - he started sleeping throurgh the night again. It felt like a miracle.

I still feel so horrible that we didn't clue in sooner. :( The whole family's quality of life was seriously affected by this night waking.

I also strongly agree with what Catherine said about getting educated. Our certified asthma educator has been a life-saver for us. After years of feeling like I really didn't have a handle on asthma, we found her and she has really helped us understand things clearly. She was really the one who got us to the right place with my son's medication.

Lastly - it's critically important for people at risk of anaphylaxis who also have asthma to have their asthma well controlled. They are at greater risk because of the higher likelihood of breathing difficulties during an allergic reaction. See http://www.allergysafecommunities.ca/de ... atsubid=19 for more.

Anyway, best of luck getting a diagnosis.

K.

_________________
Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 12:21 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 11:37 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Nova Scotia
dustytiger, you raise some good points. Especially about cough suppressants. Our first asthma nurse told me never to use a cough suppressant for my son...the last thing you want to do is mask the very thing that's telling you he needs help.

We have used cough "expectorants" though. They help expel the mucus, rather than suppress it. In our situation, whenever he has that wet cough, the expectorant has helped him spit it up and get it out! I believe we used this in conjunction with his puffer. I would NEVER recommend using anything "in place of" the puffer. Cannot emphasize enough, as the others have, that the proper meds make all the difference.

To add to dustytiger's comments,,, the first time my son was having an asthma attack, and it was SEVERE, our doctor told us "it's just croup". Luckily she sent us to the children's hospital to treat the "croup", where we received proper treatment.

Which brings another thought to mind, which is, with asthma on the rise in Canada, perhaps hospitals should give information to new parents before they leave the hospital, about what to look for. I mean, it's hard enough for parents experienced with asthma to always know what's going on in the middle of the night. I received a ton of stuff when I left the hospital after giving birth, but I didn't receive anything from the lung assoc. Maybe I will write to them..

_________________
6-yr old son: anaphylactic to peanuts; asthma
1-yr old daughter: No known allergies


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 1:21 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6490
Location: Ottawa
If you suspect asthma...go to the hospital. They can reverse an episode quickly with little medical intervention if caught in the early stages. If you wait to see how it goes, you will end up spending up to 12 hours in the hospital and ++medication. This has been our experience.

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Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 5:09 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 11:58 pm
Posts: 275
Location: on my pc in cp
Catherine - there's something that makes your lung cough out the stuff that's in there? i need to talk to my doctor about that the next time i get sick, cause that's what really makes my coughing last, and it just gets painful and tiring! also if those meds work for me it might be a way to stick with just puffers and not have to take prenazone cause that stuff terrifies me but i thought it was my only other option! THANK YOU i'm defiantly putting that into my notebook for my next attack to ask the docs!

when they even suggest any kind of cough medcine, or cough suppersant i must like a five year old all huddled in a corner holding my mouth shut, shaking my head, i refuse to let them give me that stuff one time is more then enough, and then when i'm able to speak again i explain that i've had codine with a cough like this and i got worse. when i told my family doctor about the fact that hospital had given me liquid codine in the middle of my asthma attack he just about fell out of his chair! my family doc actally specialises in asthma so i'm really lucky he's great about telling me what my options are, and what will most likely work, and with my white coat phobia i never had to see an asthma specialist which made me happy

_________________
allergies - penicillin, benadryl, dust mites, enviornmental & chemical
conditions - dermatographism, eczema, well contorolled asthma
dietary - lactose intollerant, vegatarian


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 10:36 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2006 10:49 am
Posts: 50
Location: Edmonton
Yesterday started off wonderful; I went down to Ikea with a friend of mine, dh was at work and friends fiance was kind enough to watch ds. He took him to playschool. We had just left walmart and my cell phone rang. It was dh he was called from work because ds wasn't acting right at playschool and the ambulance was called for him.

I get there; the ambulance is waiting for me to give the "ok we'll take him in ourselves" that dh had told them, fire truck and police car have both left (thank goodness), ds runs up to me "I missed you mommy" obviously back to normal.

What had happened was on their class walk to a nearby garden he was fine; then 1/2 way there he started dragging his feet. His teachers didn't think too much of it at first then he just stopped. Nearly collapsed and one of them picked him up and his eyes rolled back in his head. They had to keep calling him and he'd look at them then back to sleep.

So the call to dh and the ambulance. We just got back 1/2 hour ago from the Stollery ER. The ER dr thinks it could have been a non convultion seizure. So he'll be going in for an EEG either tomorrow or Tuesday. Boy oh boy; it just can't be one thing can it?

The paramedics seemed to think it was a febrile seizure but they didn't think so at the ER...but with family history of epilepsy and just undiognosed seizures; they're leaning towards that. The scariest part of it all was the bunch of peanuts he found under the chairs in the play area in the ER waiting room :x :evil: thank goodness he didn't touch them.

_________________
ds 6: ana to peanuts and fish, cats, dogs, horses, rabbits, many environmental
dd 12: reacted to pork rinds
dh: brazil nuts
me: shrimp, mangos, environmental


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 11:47 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 11:58 pm
Posts: 275
Location: on my pc in cp
wow that's very scary, i hope that your son is diagnosed properly, and can be treated effectivly

that's very scary that no one called to have the waiting room cleaned after someone had been eating peanuts in there!!

_________________
allergies - penicillin, benadryl, dust mites, enviornmental & chemical
conditions - dermatographism, eczema, well contorolled asthma
dietary - lactose intollerant, vegatarian


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