We noticed about 6 months ago that dd (3yo) was having some trouble catching her breath after playing/running around and had a cough that never seemed to go away. She had only just "grown out" of some of her allergies and eczema so I knew this could be asthma.
I had been taking her to a few dr's about this, all dismissing asthma and telling me she was fine, that they wouldn't diagnose it in children under 5, we had just moved from the city to a rural area so I didn't have her usual doctor who had told me over the years to look out for signs of asthma due to her sever allergies and eczema (she had 4 allergies and 1 sever allergy to egg that still requires us to have an epipen on hand, the mild allergies aren't an issue now)
About a month ago she got a bad chest infection, about a week in she woke up one night coughing, struggling to get her breath, wheezing and went blue, then limp, we called an ambulance, taken into hospital where we were told she was having an asthma attack, she stayed there and was treated, it was pretty upsetting to see her that way and kind of knocked me about.
We started seeing a new dr straight away that the hospital recommended and she has been fantastic.
it had been 3 weeks since the chest infection cleared up, but things didn't seem to improve all to well even with the puffer (we use a spacer with it and face mask attached)
We went back to her dr and she told us to not be shy in using the puffer and if she needed it, then give it.
She also spoke to us about preventative medication, I was hesitant so she gave me some information about it all, did up an action plan and really went into full detail about when to call 000.
She told us to come back a week later after we had read through all the information.
We are going back on Friday.
Last night the temperature really dropped quite quickly, dd woke up coughing so I went into her room and got her puffer ready, the puffer just wasn't helping, DH took over whilst I called 000 as she just couldn't breathe, DH was asking her questions and she couldn't talk, she was so worked up and petrified she would not let us put the mask (that's attached to the spacer) on her face, she thrashed and pushed it away until the lack of air just exhausted her and she gave up, I held her head down so DH was able to keep giving her puffs until the ambulance arrived, once they did she was able to breath a bit easier and form small sentences. They continued to treat her on our way to the hospital and by the time we got there, she was fine, just extremely exhausted and drowsy.
Today she has just told me non stop that her back and chest is very sore, she has slept most the day. I also noticed her mouth and lips were very dry and red, which I'm guessing was from all the puffers and oxygen at the hospital?
I'm quite shaken by all this, I'm to afraid to fall asleep at night, I feel helpless I suppose, it's effecting dd so it's quite obvious she needs a preventative.
I've read the information on the preventative medication given to me, I've also gone onto the asthma Australia web page and read a lot there.
But I'm just left with more questions.
So I thought I'd ask some questions on here and hopefully get an idea of what other parents with asthma suffers do.
My questions are...
-does your child use a preventative? Does it help? Have you found any bad side effects from it? The dr mentioned we might only need to use them at winter time, but reading some things online it says that once you start, you have to stay on it.
I'm just a bit worried about giving a 3yo daily medicine, but at the same time just the puffer isn't helping and these attacks don't seem to be going away or getting any better, I would rather a daily medication than her breathing restricted, but I'm just worried and cautious about the types of preventives purely because I don't know of any other 3 year olds on it.
- have the puffers and preventatives harmed your child's teeth at all?
Do you brush their teeth after every dose or just stick to the 2 times a day?
- what do you do when your child is so worked up and won't allow you to administer the puffer (used with a spacer and mask)?
She is fine using it and thinks it's great, but when she is having a big attack she freaks about it being near her face, we just can't seem to calm her down enough. And it's hard keeping the mask flush with her face for long enough when she is fighting us off.
Would a nebulizer be something that would help in a situation like this? Or is there another way?
- it's the cold that I've noticed sets an attack off, we live rural and it gets cold. We are heading for 5 degree nights this week, it will only get colder once winter arrives, what do I do? We don't have heating in the house, I have coil heaters in each room, but they seem to just overheat dd and the air in the room still stays crisp and cool.
We rent and are more than willing to move if something like ducted heating will benefit her.
- when calling 000, I always have a moment of "should I?"
Dd's dr has just told us to call when ever we are in doubt, I have the action plan which tells us at what point we should call, but I feel so panicked and constantly second guess myself, I just don't feel confident at all.
- DH is fully trained in first aid, so when dd had that attack he just took over and I was just standing there crying, freaking out and being useless, whilst DH told me what to do, which did not help dd at all. I didn't calm down until the ambulance arrived. I just had zero confidence in the whole situation.
Dh's goes away for work quite often and I'm absolutely freaking out on how I will cope if she has another attack whilst he is away.
Should a first aid course be something I should look into? If you did do one, did it give you any confidence?
Sorry for the billions of questions.
I just feel so lost, it's all so new and quite frightening, it's weird, I was always calm during her big allergies reactions and could think rationally, this though.. I just freeze in shock the moment she starts loosing breaths, I feel so withdrawn from her during it, I'm her mum, I know how to calm her down, but nothing works when she has an attack and I just feel so useless.
I feel like an idiot or some helicopter parent when I bombard the hospital staff or our dr with these questions, I know their trained professionals and all but I'm just looking for that comfort in knowing what other parents do, and how they tackle it all.
If you have made it this far thanks for reading, I'm sorry it's such a long post.