Monday, March 22, 2010

Breathing a sigh of...

We have had more than our fair share of illness over the last 6 months. It was a rough autumn and winter. Now that spring is here, I hope we can finally all get well.

One of the recurring themes in our house has been Sam's coughing. He has had cold after cold since the end of October. And he never seems to completely get over one before he has another. One of the really rough parts of this is that he constantly seems to have a cough, which gets worse at night, whether he has a cold or not. And he sometimes coughs hard enough to throw up - usually in bed. 

So, we haven't been sleeping well in the last several months. And this coughing just didn't seem normal. 

Today, we saw the doctor. We came prepared with a recording of some of last night's coughing, which was helpful. The doctor agreed that coughing like that is not normal and something is going on. 

Here are the basics: At Sam's age, they don't diagnose asthma for a couple of reasons, although he has asthma-like symptoms. For one, it is really hard to definitively diagnose before kids are old enough to really participate in tests. For another, a lot of kids with asthma symptoms when they are very young outgrow them and really don't have asthma later in life, although the diagnosis will never go away - which can cause problems with insurance and pre-existing conditions, etc. 

So, for now, we are treating symptoms with inhalers: we already have albuterol for when he gets wheezy with colds; now we get an inhaled steroid to hopefully clear up the inflammation which seems to be keeping him from completely getting well.

We're crossing our fingers that this does the trick. We really want to get sleep as much as we want Sam to feel good. And we're hoping he eventually outgrows the symptoms.

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