Thursday, November 13, 2008

Confessions of an over-protective mother

Well, I don't really talk about it too much, but my son has asthma, not bad, and the doctors just started actually calling it asthma, they were always calling it Reactive Airway Disease (RAD), but he had his first attack at 9 months old and pretty regularly since, usually in the fall. Why, you may ask, am I not discussing it, well, he's been having coughing fits all day and is breathing heavy, not an attack, but I have to keep an eye on him now. Every time he has a cold, I have to watch him for the next couple of weeks because that's usually when he has the attack, about 2 weeks after his cold he starts coughing and we are at the doctor's office getting treatments and more medication. We are now at the point that, 4 years after the first attack, I pretty much call the doctor, tell them he's having an attack, give him a nebulizer treatment and keep the doctor's informed if there's a problem. I'm getting pretty good at early detection, but I am so afraid the time will come where we'll have to go to the hospital.

I had a friend growing up who had asthma, well, she still does, and we still talk, so I guess I should say I have a friend that has had asthma since we met the day I got put up to first grade from kindergarten. I have many childhood memories of visiting her in the hospital, I never realized how life-threatening her disease is and I never realized what her parents must have gone through.

Now, for the confession part, whenever my son gets sick, I hover. I got a stethoscope because of the recommendation of a friend who's daughter has the same type of asthma my son has, it helps to tell if his wheezing is in his throat from mucus or if it's in his chest. When I worry, I will listen to his chest, sometimes every couple of hours. I also have a really difficult time with him now participating in sports, soccer and floor hockey. I watch for anything when he's running around, any coughing and I panic because he has flare ups during exercise too. I know I'm paranoid and he's only twice ever been close to possibly having to go to the hospital, but whenever he's sick, I feel helpless. I feel like I'm just waiting and watching to see if his asthma acts up or if it's just a cold or allergies or a cough. Whenever he has a bad cough, well I'm sure you can figure that one out. I called the doctors so frequently at one point, I felt like a nudge. Finally I just asked what I should look for, but of course, my son doesn't usually wheeze, he coughs, his lips don't usually turn blue, but he does get pale, so basically I have to listen and wait. When he coughs each time he breaths, well then I know there's a problem, of course by that time he's usually really bad, hence my paranoia.

I'm fortunate to have a wonderful husband who grew up with athletic asthma and therefore doesn't allow me to get too overprotective, and calms me down when I do over-react to any issues.

Thanks for "listening"

1 comment:

Meghan said...

Not overreacting...I like to call it momreacting.