Sunday, July 12, 2009

She just needs to breathe.....

The weeone can't always breathe. She, like 8.9 million other children in the United States and 30.2 million children and adults, has asthma. She was diagnosed about 3 years ago when her pediatrician thought that her allergies bothered her often enough that I should take her to an allergist and have her screened for asthma. "Oh, heavens," I protested at the time, "she doesn't wheeze and rarely coughs and well, I talk about asthma ALL day long for work. I'd KNOW if she has asthma, and I'm certain that she doesn't!"

It's a good thing that I'm not the one responsible for diagnosing asthma in this country!

A trip to the allergist and a few lung flows later, I learned that I was wrong. My sweet, adorable, perfect little girl couldn't breathe the same way her friends could. I was stunned. I was amazed. But luckily, I was already educated about the disease. For example, I knew already that it wasn't a "harmless thing" that you grow out of. I knew that 3,000 people in the US die from asthma each year and a 1/3 of those have "mild asthma". I knew all of this because of my job, but I never expected work and home to collide in this manner.

You'll notice that not even asthma can keep her off a softball field!

The good news was and still is, that there are amazing treatment options these days for kids and adults alike with asthma. The weeone is followed carefully, takes maintenance medication every day to keep her lungs and airways open and going strong, and there's always a rescue canister of medication close by in case she every gets into a breathing emergency. She's in good shape.

I worry a little when she's not with me. If she's on a field trip or at camp or with someone who isn't me....what if? So, I've decided that I'm going to order her a medical alert bracelet. The good news about that? I found some CUTE ones!!! My next door neighbor's sister has a company that makes really great medical alert bracelets. Ones that you won't want to hide. Ones that are cool...even if you're 7. =) So, if you need a medical alert bracelet, check out Fiddledee-IDs. This is the one that the weeone wants -

I wanted to talk about this today really because there are a lot of misconceptions about this illness. If you have asthma, listen to your doctor, do what he/she tells you and take your medicine!!! If you have asthma you can do anything anyone else does - swim, play softball, and run faster than your mom....just ask the weeone.

For information on asthma or other pulmonary illnesses visit one of these websites-

Okay, now I PROMISE no more serious posts for a while...we'll be all back to cute kids stuff, frustrated mommy stuff and great food!


Cate O'Malley said...

Well said! I have had asthma since I was 12 and totally feel for her. On the one hand, once the medication is right, there's very little that will slow us down. On the other hand, it's never anything to take lightly. Love the bracelet!

AGirlintheSouth said...

Cate - Yes it's a lifelong diagnosis, but once it's managed well you're off an running! Glad you are doing well!

McMommy said...

What an important post, Terri! Thank you for sharing this with us. And the bracelet is the pink one that your daughter picked out!!

AGirlintheSouth said...

So glad to hear that others are benefiting from my experience and the weeone's as well!!!!