This last 48 hours has really given me a new perspective on what is important in life. One of my sons, my 12 year old, came down with Croup… an uncontrolled coughing thing. This triggered multiple Asthma attacks.
No sleep for the last 2 nights. No rest at all. Multiple trips to the ER where the morons there treated the asthma attacks but did jack shit about the croup which is what was triggering the asthma attacks. We finally got some stuff to control the coughing and since then we’ve had no more asthma incidences.

For my wife and I, this is the scariest thing in our lives. A threat to the life of one of our children that we can’t do anything about… we can’t fight this enemy. Give me a round in the Octagon with any MMA Fighter. Drop me into Iran with a rolled up newspaper. Give me an enemy I can fight! Anything but this Asthma shit. All you can do is watch your child struggle to just breath, and all you can do is pray.

Everything seems to be on the mend now. No more fits of uncontrollable coughing, no more asthma trying to strangle my boy. He’s breathing… he’s sleeping… I think we have things back in control.

16 thoughts on “Perspective”

  1. OGRE: Sorry about that man….my kid has the same thing. Get a nice cool air humidifier (assuming you live in a dry climate) and run it at night when he sleeps. Also, it helps our child when he sleeps in a semi-“propped” up position. Tuck an extra pillow or two under his upper back, neck. Maybe that will help.

  2. Ditto on the humidifier: I got a store brand ultra-sonic from a drug store. I’m an adult and it has helped reduce my colds, coughs, and asthma attacks a lot.
    I hesitate to mention it because it is debunked by “noted” medical authorities, but in my neck of the woods, Texas, it is quite common to get a child with asthma a chihuahua. I haven’t done it since I’m an adult, it would cost me a extra $100 a month apartment rent, and it is a major pain to train one those little pea brain yappers not to bark at everyone and everything.

  3. A person does not know what worry is till they have a sick child.

    Dont guess we want to swap war stories but I could still strangle the doctor who said it “could not be” what I thought the problem was.

    I think trusting one doctor, one diagnosis is about as smart as chambering a round, muzzle to head, and then trust the safety when you pull the trigger.

    Lost my dad to a bad diagnosis, almost lost my kid.

    Second, third, fourth and fifth opinions!

  4. Yeah, our eldest had croup, back when he was just over a year old. It’s tough to deal with, especially when the child is in pain, and there’s no way you can explain it to him. He acts like it’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to him… because it /is/ the worst thing that’s ever happened to him.

    The house we live in, now, was the scene of a double murder. The owner had moved out and let his kids live here, and they took in a friend who was having a hard time. One day, that friend decided to start drinking, which didn’t sit well with the psych meds he was on, and he shot the owner’s son and the son’s girlfriend. We haven’t put down any carpet on the second floor because we use it for storage, so if I ever get to thinking I have it rough, I can always just walk up there and look at the new section of plywood, where the existing stuff was so blood-soaked that it had to be cut out and replaced. Yeah, I don’t have it so bad.

  5. My niece was diagnosed with a brain tumor this past Sept. She is 9. It makes EVERYTHING seem trivial with the daily facebook updates. :-(……

  6. Glad to hear the little one is better. Helpless is a seriously bad feeling and nothing will make you feel more that way than your situation. Learn all you can – be prepared for the next round – and definitely spend some time with God, who will help you all through this.

  7. TX for Croup AND Asthma have many identical points! IV and/or oral steroids, SVN ( aerosol breathing treatments with Racemic Epi, Albuterol, etc, etc., )supplimental oxygen if indicated. IV fluids if dehydration, antipyretics if febrile.Cool mist is still sometimes ordered, but has by and large been shown to be mostly useless. Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Coughing actually serves to clear secretions from the air passages in the lungs, so most Doctors do NOT want to get rid of a cough as a front line intervention- it is entirely possible ( and ill advised) to suppress a cough without addressing the cause of the cough, which is no help to the patient. Address the cause of the cough, and the cough goes away. Make the cough go away without addressing the cause= more trouble for the patient . Before you go dismissing the folks in the ER as morons for not being able to pull a Harry Potter to restore your child’s health, maybe you should invest in some college and become a Respiratory Therapist, or an RN, and then walk in THEIR shoes for a few years.

    1. Given that croup is viral, there’s little that can be done to “address the cause,” other than support to allow the immune system to do its job.

      While coughing will remove some small percentage of infectious material, the primary viral loading is within the cells, and isn’t going anywhere due to simple coughing.

      If coughing is triggering asthmatic reactions, that concern far outweighs any small benefit that would be derived from coughing out a small fraction of the viral load.

      Croup is very rarely life threatening. Asthma is the far greater concern. If someone gets shot in the chest and breaks his ankle when he falls down, you don’t delay the operation on the GSW so that they can cast his ankle; the ankle can wait.

      1. Flint- No one here suggested that coughing would clear the virus from lung cells- it DOES open the small passages in the lungs. NO kidding, viruses live in cells. Wow. Re read listed treatments. This is what we do. You are grossly oversimplifying. “Cough” doesn’t trigger asthma symptoms, cough is ONE of many asthma symptoms,and is a primary presentation of the inflammation of airway structures in croup , being the one we can see and hear. In treatment, we have to address WHY the cough ( among other symptoms) exists. SO bronchodilators to open the airways in the lungs, steroids to reduce the inflammatory response and all that accompanies it- which ADDRESSES the CAUSE of the cough, coarse breath sounds, cough, etc. Your “apple and oranges” comparison is illogical at best. Croup (or exertion, or a camp fire, or cigarette smoke, or any respiratory virus , or someone’s perfume, or pet dander,or cold weather, or damp weather,or a dirty home, or etc, etc, etc. …any of a number of things parents have a hard time complying with because some doctors is “telling them have to live”; but I wander here ) can trigger an asthmatic reaction. WE treat them the same. A cough suppressant doesn’t do what the steroid will. Or the brochodilators. The cause of the cough is the inflammation, the body’s response. IF we merely temporarily quiet the cough- WE feel better about it, but have not addressed the INFLAMMATION of thelungs/airway which is the cause. YES croup can kill.The key is to start steroids SOON enough, and not stay at home and give over the counter cough syrup because it makes us sound better for a few hours.

        1. I think I’ll just reiterate what he posted…

          “Multiple trips to the ER where the morons there treated the asthma attacks but did jack shit about the croup which is what was triggering the asthma attacks. We finally got some stuff to control the coughing and since then we’ve had no more asthma incidences.”

          Apparently, given that what they were doing was not working, they were not applying the correct treatment, by definition. Your assertion that they are treated the same is, therefore, false. Maybe they /should/ be treated the same, but since at least two different treatments were used, and there were “multiple trips” which resulted in no improvement, it’s rather clear that, whatever was used, it was not treating the problem. Hence, if you are correct, and they should be treated the same, then your evidence supports the Ogre’s conclusion regarding the skill of the techs at the ER.

          And yes, of course croup can kill. I never said otherwise. I said that it is rare. A hangnail can kill; it’s just extremely unlikely. When’s the last time anyone died of croup, where there was not some other, more severe pathology of which croup was merely an indicator?

          1. Flint- thanks for your concern. Just months ago one of the ICU docs where I work gave a presentation on two croup cases, one being notable for the patient’s untimely demise. No underlying conditions. I’m sure the family would appreciate you making light of croup.
            As for your evaluation of interventions- maybe you should have been there to set those Doctors straight. “more severe pathology of which croup was merely an indicator”? Croup is croup. Look it up. Yes, Croup is likely to trigger asthma symptoms in an asthmatic. Just as RSV will. Just as para influenza will.Just as cigarette smoke will. Just as allergens will. Just as inhaling fumes from solvents or paints will. Just as cold weather will. Etc. Etc. Etc. Without going into everything said earlier, and without tossing insults around, Google up treatments for croup on a site that a med student would use. NOT to be anything but objective- ER personal have no control over anything EXCEPT what takes place in the ER. IF a patient came in and showed no improvement with treatment, that pt would not be released- unless someone insisted. Documentation of treatments and outcomes supports either a need to be admitted , or able to discharge with a plan of follow up. Where I work ,numerous parents will DECLINE to have their child admitted, leaving “A.M.A.” ( Against Medical Advise )because they don’t THINK the child is that ill, usually because the kid did look better than when they brought him or her in. Again, not being anything but objective. NOT saying that happened here. Fact is, neither you nor I know for fact the totality of the circumstances; but I’d bet my life on ANY ER staff if I were choosing over their expertise or yours.

          2. That would be a damnfool bet, given that you know nothing of my background.

            And if you’re “Googling up” treatments from a site for /students/, then I will question /yours/. The first thing you learn when you get out of school, is that the only real benefit school provides, is to teach you how to learn, because the real learning begins in the real world. Between myself, my wife, and my youngest brother, I think we have enough schooling for half a dozen doctors. (only my brother is currently licensed, before you ask – the rest of us have moved on as we’ve gotten older and other opportunities have presented themselves)

  8. I was there as a young father when my youngest daughter had heart surgery. I prayed to take away my child’s ailment and let me bear the burden. All the so-called important stuff melts away and life comes down to it’s truly essential parts. It woke me up, changed my life and made me a better dad and husband.

  9. You might check into using fish oil for asthma.
    Supposed to cut inflammation which can start, or enhance asthma attacks.
    Someone in my daughter’s college graduating class did as study on this for her
    senior thesis. I think there are others too.

    I have been using fish oil capsules for five years and it has helped me a lot.

  10. Ogre: I had croup every year around Christmas time when I was a kid, until about age 11. No asthma, though. One thing that helped a lot was that my parents bundled me up in bed and opened the windows and let the cold winter air into the bedroom all night. It made a huge difference, and of course thay made sure I was warm enough in bed. Sounds too easy to be a valid strategy, but in my experience it worked wonders.

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