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 Post subject: don't know what to do...
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 11:17 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 8:55 pm
Posts: 412
Location: Vancouver, BC
My son and his best friend who are in different classes in the same grade both spent the day yesterday in the hall as they were both having asthma due to the chalkboards. Has anyone else dealt with this? What do I do now? Do I have to join another forum?

Should I keep him home from school until they get rid of the chalkboards? They didn't phone me to let me know this happened, and it seems that they don't unless it is a serious incident, he will just casually mention that he had asthma, or that he went to the office for his asthma. But I never read or sign his agenda (in BC from the time you are in grade 2, you are provided with daytimers to keep you on track, parents are supposed to read and sign them everyday, so they know what is going on - I just always forget), so maybe they have been putting it in his daytimer, and I am a truly bad mother, I don't care enough about his asthma OR his homework.

I have been trying really hard to deal with his asthma better, originally they said he would be over it by 6 years old. But now he's 10 and he's worse. And his brother and I have developed asthma in the last year, and I have to use a puffer every day now, or I really feel it. I HATE ALLERGIES.

The only advice that my allergist had was that we should move to a different lattitude. Where it is drier and not so mouldy. We live in an old house, both the kids were born here, maybe that is the problem. At what point do you say - these allergies are getting serious enough that we need to uproot ourselves in the hopes that it will improve our health. But we can't afford to move. I pulled up all the carpets (they were original to the house) in the hope that it would help, but it didn't (but it did expose the most beautiful never walked on hardwood underneath). But what if we move out of this great house, away from great schools, and a great neighborhood and it doesn't help? And we rent this house for really cheap, so we would never be able to find comparable housing. But what if it is the house that is making us sick.

We are supposed to be getting allergy shots 2 times a week each, but I just can't do it. I work a job, plus a part time job, the kids are both in sports, my husband works shift work, so most of it is on me to get them around, plus all the anaphylaxis stuff I do, and an on-line course. How do I fit 2 sessions at the doctors every week? We have to go to the clinic cos our real doctor is always 2 hours late, so an appointment means blocking three hours out of your day, so I only see her if I need to. The clinic has line ups but it is still faster, but it still takes 1 1/2 hours. But I don't have 3 hours a week that works for us all. And I tried it before and it didn't seem to make much difference, so even though the allergist says it will help, it will take years to see if it makes a difference, and I don't have that kind of time.

None of our noses work at all. The kids refuse to take anything for it. So they are constantly sniffing. So I am constantly telling them to stop - as if they can.

I am sorry for being whiny. I just feel like it is slowly wearing me down. I don't worry so much about anaphylaxis anymore, because we've been dealing with it so long it just feels like normal, but the day to day living with allergies is so difficult. I never feel well anymore, and and now with the asthma, I know that puts him at greater risk of dying of an anaphylactic reaction, except I don't know how to control it, I can keep him away from peanuts, but how do I keep us away from dust and mould.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 12:54 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
Pam, we use furnace filters with a really high MERV number. I believe they're called "ultra allergen". It is truly amazing how much they prevent from being circulated in our house. Do you use a product like this?

As for the chalk, that sucks! Haiving athsma as much under control as possible is extremely important. Surely the long term solution (from the schools point of view) isn't "put him in the hall". Does the school plan on doing anything else to help him? How about using a dry erase board or an over-head instead? Surely they have access to bringing in that sort of thing right away.

_________________
DD age 9 1/2 -peanuts, nuts,
DD age 7 1/2 - milk, eggs, chicken, peanuts, treenuts, cats, dogs,
DS age 2 1/2
Husband- asthma, eggs, treenuts, fish, shellfish environmental
Self - penicillan, eurithromiacin, mild laytex allergy.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 1:06 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2928
Location: Toronto
Hang in there Pam – we all have these days. Being shunted out in the hallway is clearly not a solution for your son. Poor guy.

For the asthma, I know what every Certified Asthma Educator would say: if he's reacting to chalk as a new trigger (or perhaps more than he used to), the first step would be to eliminate the irritant. If not possible - at least short term until the school catches up to white boads - then the next course of action is to adjust his meds.

Did you talk to the allergist about that? I'm surprised he/she didn't suggest it.

I think if you've got hardwoods, that's a good start. If you suspect mould in the basement, take to your landlord about getting it checked out (wouldn't be good for his or her investment property).

Also, our next issue is all about "The Air Inside" - lots of good tips there that don't entail moving. Any way, it could just be the chalk and this is also a mouldy time of year with leaves coming down. Lots of people I know here are hacking away with their allergies – it's been almost as bad here as ragweed season.

Oh and by the way - this forum also does asthma. And I think with our magazine sampling programs, there will soon be more people on the asthma threads. As we know, a lot of allergic people get the double whammy: food allergies and allergic asthma.

All this to say, vent away Pam. That's what were here for. I do hope that maybe as winter descends, and maybe with a med. adjustment, your guy's airways will clear up. Moving seems kind of extreme - unless absolutely necessary.

_________________
Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 3:28 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2006 12:52 am
Posts: 214
My allergist told me that moving doesn't help because if you have an allergic temperament, you'll just find something new to be allergic to. The key thing is figuring out what is a problem and minimizing it. We all have barriers, we are all in the same boat. I would have time to visit a doctor if it was required, but on the other hand, I have financial challenges and at times have not used the epi-pen even though I might have needed to because they are so expensive and I didn't have the money to replace it. Mine is due to expire in January, I have to pay my professional membership dues in that month, it is just one thing after another. I know if I ask my mom for money for that kind of thing, she would give it to me, but it is really embarrassing to have to ask...

So, we all deal with challenges. You are not alone :)

_________________
Asthma and eczema
Drug allergy (succinylcholine)
Food (corn, raw apples, green beans, tree nuts, flax)
Misc (pollen, grass, mold, dogs, cats)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 8:00 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2006 6:50 pm
Posts: 205
Location: Ontario, Canada
Hang in Pamela. You are having what I call one of my "allergy overload" days/weeks and it can be so frustrating.

I would suggest getting together with your son's friend's parents and meeting with the teachers. There are many things they can do to reduce chalk dust- chart paper, overheads, dry erase boards and requesting they wipe down the chalk troughs at least daily. I would let them know ( nicely) that it is unacceptable that the boys be placed in the hallway. They are missing out on learning when this happens.

saskmommy- do you get the filters at a hardware store?

_________________
daughter: 6 years tree nuts, peanuts


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 11:28 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 8:55 pm
Posts: 412
Location: Vancouver, BC
Thank you very much for all the support - it really helped. I will get one of those filters and I will stop being dramatic - you are right I was overloading! Thank you for all the good advice.

I am just having a challenging week - the pipes in the house do not work either we have not called the plumber (well, actually we did a few months ago, but he said we need all new pipes) and so in order to have a bath I have to haul water from the kitchen sink, and boil pots of water on the stove and yesterday I was okay with that - I was "This is wonderful, my kids, who bath 2x per day, will understand and value natural resources" and "This is a lesson in honoring the toil of my ancestors" and this morning I was "I can't staaaand this anymoooooooore!"

Anyway, thank you for listening. Glad your all out there.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 11:29 pm 
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Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6429
Location: Ottawa
Asthma is a serious condition and as such I find it hard to understand why these two boys are hanging around in the hallway.
If they are having asthma episodes they need their medication and they need to be monitored. If they are being removed from the class to avoid triggering an episode they should be given their assignments and sent to the library to complete their school work.
They are in school to be taught not to walk the corridors. It is not their fault and they should not be punished. If they were in the USA, they school would have to adapt to include them.
If their asthma is not well controlled, I would request a referral to a respirologist. They are current on the new medications and treatments.
I really found it harder to get a handle on the asthma as opposed to the allergies. Allergies = avoidance. Asthma = puffer #1 2x daily (or whatever your Dr recommends) + puffer #2 2x q4 hours prn and increase puffer #1 to double dose starting at hint of a cold and extending until all aspects of the cold are over and then to wean back to the regular Rx.-Huh? It's not easy to grasp.
What is easy to grasp is that people die from asthma. If you can't breathe, your body doesn't function well.
Quote:
What to do in an asthma attack

STOP any activity
Take your blue rescue inhaler
Sit up
If the medicine is not working, call 911
If symptoms are not getting better, keep taking your blue rescue inhaler until the ambulance arrives

http://www.lung.ca/diseases-maladies/as ... cole_e.php
Provincial Lung Associations

British Columbia Lung Association
Toll-free: 1-800-665-LUNG (5864)
E-mail: info@bc.lung.ca

Lung Association of Alberta & NWT
Toll Free: 1-888-566-LUNG (5864)
E-mail: info@ab.lung.ca

Lung Association of Saskatchewan
Toll-free: 1-888-566-LUNG (5864)
E-mail: info@sk.lung.ca

Manitoba Lung Association
Phone: (204) 774-5501
E-mail: info@mb.lung.ca

Ontario Lung Association
Toll free: 1-800-972-2636
E-mail: olalung@on.lung.ca

The Quebec Lung Association/ l'Association pulmonaire du Québec
Toll-free: 1-800-295-8111
E-mail: info@pq.lung.ca

New Brunswick Lung Association
Toll free: 1-800-565-LUNG
E-mail: nblung@nbnet.nb.ca

Lung Association of Nova Scotia
Phone: (902) 443-8141
E-mail: info@ns.lung.ca

Prince Edward Island Lung Association
Toll-free: 1-888-566-LUNG (5864)
E-mail: info@pei.lung.ca

Newfoundland & Labrador Lung Association
Toll free: 1-888-566-LUNG (5864)
E-mail: info@nf.lung.ca

_________________
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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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 12:32 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
Gem, I buy the furnace filters at superstore. Here's what they look like

http://www.iallergy.com/category19_110_111/default.html

_________________
DD age 9 1/2 -peanuts, nuts,
DD age 7 1/2 - milk, eggs, chicken, peanuts, treenuts, cats, dogs,
DS age 2 1/2
Husband- asthma, eggs, treenuts, fish, shellfish environmental
Self - penicillan, eurithromiacin, mild laytex allergy.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 11:05 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:25 pm
Posts: 233
Location: Winnipeg
This has been a terrible fall for us as well, with the mold and dust allergies. Luckily in Winnipeg the snow has now fallen, and my sons are feeling way, way better.

We use the same furnace filters as Saskmommyof2, and I would also highly recommend them.

My parents run an air purifier in their house while we are there (they used to have a dog, and have had some moisture problems in their basement), and it really improves the air quality, and lessens my sons' asthma and reactions. I think this is the one they have:
http://www.kaz.com/kaz/store/product/6e ... 57ed7408f0
I'm not quite sure of the price, but I think it was under $200. Something like that may help with indoor air quality?

_________________
1 son allergic to eggs, peanuts, green peas, chick peas, lentils and tomatoes
(avoiding tree nuts and most other legumes too)
1 son allergic to eggs, and has outgrown peanuts
Both with many environmental allergies, asthma and eczema


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 11:52 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 8:55 pm
Posts: 412
Location: Vancouver, BC
Thank you...this is all information I have been needing to know. I will go and buy the filters after work today and get set up for a referal to respirologist.

In the schools defense, this is the first time this has happened, and they did try to phone, but my cell phone battery was dead. I am going to phone and talk to the principal and try to get the chalkboards replaced with whiteboards. One parent had a list of allergen free school resources, but I don't think she is on the forum. I will try and find it and list it for anyone who needs it here.

Thanks again, you talked me down from the ledge!

PS Decided to quit part time job, and feel SO much better!


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