Catie was diagnosed with asthma when she was 14 months old. That first trip to the hospital remains to this day as one of the scariest parenting moments of my life. It’s also the only time I’ve cried in a room full of medical professionals. (I usually hold it together until after the crisis over, THEN fall apart.)
We had several other asthma incidents over the next couple of years, but with medication and a nebulizer, we were mostly able to keep things under control. She was in the hospital only one other time, right before she turned 2.
When she was 2 1/2 or 3 (I forget when), our pediatrician put her on a daily regiment of a Flovent inhaler (2 puffs every morning) and a Zyrtec. She hasn’t had an asthma attack since then. Even when she was sick, she never wheezed.
I know some kids outgrow asthma, but given that Dave has asthma and still has to manage it daily, I wasn’t terribly optimistic that Catie would be one of those kids. When I had mentioned it to doctors that she hadn’t had an asthma attack in such a long time, and did they think it was possible that she had outgrown it, they’d kind of shrug and say maybe, but that it wasn’t worth the risk of taking away her meds to find out.
Earlier this week, we went to the pediatrician for something completely unrelated – Catie had a rash on her face, which turned out to be Fifths Disease (common viral rash, passes after a few days). While we were there, as part of the standard patient work-up, he asked for her current medications. I told him, then he asked when her last asthma attack happened. I said that it had been when she was 2 1/2 or so, I wasn’t sure of the exact date.
He said, “And she’s 7 now? She’s obviously outgrown the asthma, stop giving her the Flovent. Keep up the Zyrtec and maybe think about getting her tested for allergies.”
Catie was ecstatic. Not that her inhaler bothered her so much, but I think she didn’t like having that “asthmatic” label on her. Also, the best part (in her mind), is that come flu shot time, she can do the nasal spray mist rather than the shot. (Asthmatic kids can’t do the flu mist. And like most kids, she’s terrified of needles, so the idea of a nasal spray is about a thousand times preferable.)
I have an ear nose and throat doctor who does allergy testing, so we’ll look into that at some point. She’s obviously allergic to some things, because she’s been coughing non-stop since pollen season started. But allergies don’t feel as terrifyingly life-threatening as asthma.
In the car after the doctor, she threw her arms in the air and yelled, “I’M FREEEEEE!!!!”
She was just being silly, but man, I totally understand that feeling, sweet girl.
My son has outgrown his asthma (he is 13 now) but we went through stages of asthma. He did have a small attack 2 weeks ago on the ball field but I think it was due to his severe allergies and the Dr agreed so they upped his allergy meds and all is well. I do not miss the nebulizer so I totally know how you guys feel.