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Toddler asthma (again, again)

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Jrazz posted 7/17/2013 12:59 PM

Sooooo DD3 is going through another asthma episode right now. I'll spare the details of how or why because that is 2 degrees of separation from getting this flown to another forum.

Sunday night - barking cough begins again. I start albuterol nebulizer. She's also on Zyrtec.

Monday - Little sleep the night before. We take it easy, keep hope from daycare. Continue nebulizer. No sleep Monday night. Ok that might be an exaggeration... DD got about 3 hours total, I think I got 2. She was coughing more than breathing. Slight fever. Using Advil.

Tuesday - Go straight to doctor first thing in the morning. Get prescribed a 3 day prednisolone treatment and budesonide to add to her nebulizer 1-2 times a day. Start immediately. Zero relief all day - 1 hour nap and maybe 2 hours total sleep if you tie the 15 minutes here an there. Coughing her brains out. Sleeping in my bed with me propped up as much as possible. Still has slight fever. switched to Tylenol because the Advil and pred. don't mix. Doc said there's no sign of fluid or pnemonia so the fever is coming from a cold virus.

Wednesday (Today) - still coughing without relief. She is zombie tired but the prednisolone is amping her up. Called the doc and they said try benadryl instead of Zyrtec to help her sleep and dry her up. Benadryl does absolutely nothing. She is in her room in a propped up pillowfort because she just tries to play when I have her nap with me. Doc says bring her back in tomorrow if there is no improvement.

So I'm supposed to have my DD3 go another night without sleep? She has dark circles under her eyes and is literally breathing between coughs.

Can anyone with asthma or someone with kids who have asthma please tell me this is just normal asthma hell? Are the steroids going to show for something after a few days? I'm pulling my hair out here, and I hate what I hear over the monitor. 2 seconds, bark cough.... 2 more seconds, 3 coughs. This doesn't feel right.

[This message edited by Jrazz at 1:00 PM, July 17th (Wednesday)]

jrc1963 posted 7/17/2013 13:17 PM


I don't know if this is normal... but I know the Albuterol will inhibit her sleep...

I'd call the Dr back and see what else the can Rx or recommend.

Would moist heat help at all? Is it a croupy kinda cough... When DS was young and had a barking, croupy cough we sometimes took him in the bathroom with a hot shower running and just sat in the steam.

If it's any help, DS outgrew his asthma and has no traces of it now.

Pentup posted 7/17/2013 13:22 PM

Was that the pediatric allergist or her regular pediatrician?
Either way, if it does not feel right to you, take her in.

Jrazz posted 7/17/2013 13:26 PM

Regular pediatrician. We've both been on the fence about seeing an allergist because the tests are very hard on little ones.

I know exactly what triggered this, and what's been exacerbating it... (DD3 was taken swimming while I was out of town even though we had pretty solid evidence that she was allergic to chlorine and I said no more pools this summer. Also, when I was offered a nap yesterday afternoon I awoke to her having a coughing attack. Her father had the patio door open and was barbecuing his dinner while smoke wafted in the house.)

That plus what appears to be a cold explains why this is happening. I'm just so sad/tired that I can't seem to do anything to bring sweet DD3 relief.

TattoodChinaDoll posted 7/17/2013 13:32 PM

You have mentioned really bad allergies before, correct? I don't have any experience with asthma so all I can offer is hugs. But, just something to throw out there...certain weather and environments are better for like Arizona or even Southern California. Obviously picking up and moving is not something you'd do all willy nilly. I hope the doctors can figure something out for her.

Pentup posted 7/17/2013 13:33 PM

I would call the Dr again or take her in. Will she drink fluids that help soothe her throat? She is so little that I do not want to recommend all the home remedy cough stuff I have learned to use as an adult. Chicken soup does help a cold virus, would she eat that?

WakingFromADream posted 7/17/2013 13:40 PM

What you describe seems a bit extreme but I remember a few instances where we seemed to have nonstop coughing fits sometimes to the point where DS would throw up. DS has a reactive airway and gets a really bad croupy cough seemingly every time he gets sick with something.

What works for him is Ibuprofen and a humidifier then Albuterol and Flovent (steroid) via inhailer with a spacer. The Flovent seems to be the thing that gets him out of the coughing but, it takes a few days to really kick in. Another thing that seemed to help sometimes is to just do a warm bath and have him sit in the bathroom for 10 to 20 minutes.

Jrazz posted 7/17/2013 13:41 PM

She's eating and drinking.. she's a tough cookie. Just no sleep, temperature, and constant coughing. FWH says that his sister went through this all the time and would just cough for days on end.... but the FOO issues there suggest that neglect might have been at the forefront of their treatment program... (Dipping toe in General yet? )

Jrazz posted 7/17/2013 13:42 PM

Thanks Waking. I guess it's only been a couple days here but it feels like weeks.

Humidifier redeployed.

simplydevastated posted 7/17/2013 13:45 PM

Jrazz. I know what you're going through. I'm asthmatic as well as DD6.

I'm really surprised that she's on ibuprofen because that effects my asthma. Not saying that's the case for all asthmatics but is, at least, for me. It also makes DD6 throw up.

Have they pinned down her triggers?

I'm sorry but I know this has been going on for a long time and it sounds like her doctor isn't really helping.

Prednisolone is a great steroid and usually works fairly quick and last a while. What is the medicine for her nebulizer? How often do you give it to her and for how long?

You may want to try to get her on Singulair. It's a chewable tablet. It works for both asthma and allergies. I'm on it as well as DD6. Have you had her allergy tested to find out her triggers?

At night you should run a humidifier and prop her up as high as she feels comfortable.

If she's still unable to breath you may need to bring her to the ER. I don't want to frighten you but I had to be rushed to the ER once because I couldn't take 5 steps without having another attack and that was after a treatment with my nebulizer. DD6 has also been in the ER twice for her asthma.

Once she's on the proper meds and the asthma is under control, keep her active. Let her run and go out for teams etc... when she's old enough. The more active she is her lungs will become stronger and she may not need her asthma meds when she's older.

I've been asthmatic since I was 6 and we discovered my daughters asthma when she was 4. That was her first trip to the ER. She was in the hospital with a fever and she couldn't breath.

Sending (((HUGS))) to you and your daughter.

WakingFromADream posted 7/17/2013 13:49 PM

Hope it helps. Also, forgot to add that I hope DD feels better soon.

nowiknow23 posted 7/17/2013 13:52 PM

(((((((DD & jrazz))))))))

timeforchange posted 7/17/2013 14:14 PM

Another mom of a severe asthmatic here.

We have had good results with Singular. It needs to be taken every day regarded of her condition. DS has been on it for 8 years now.

Does she have a sore throat? We find staying on top of pain management when DS has a sore throat helps. His throat is less irritated - he coughs less - he wheezes less.

Also when DS was little we would take him to ER when the meds had no effect. You are using a nebuliser.... If that is bit working maybe she needs to be in hospital??

DS would typically end up there... They would administer intense nebulisatilns, give him steroids via an IV and monitor his O2 and heart rate levels.

Did your doctor check her O2 levels??

We avoided chlorine pools for years on the recommendation of one of Europe's top pediatric pneumologists.

I would really recommend allergy testing. With younger children they can do blood tests and leave the skin tests until a later age. Apply "magic cream" patches to both arms 30 mins prior to the blood test and she will feel nothing.

This will give very precise results (DS was first tested at 12 months). The doctors really need to check her IgE levels. This will give you a very good indication of the levels of "allergic activity" in her system.
You will also be able to test for different allergens.

do you think she has pollen allergies?? Ds is very allergic to pollen. He takes Claratine every day from late January to mid August each year. Plus I do nor dry his clothes, bedding or towels outside. Also during the spring / summer he washes his hair every night. Going to bed with hair full
Of pollen... Transfers the pollen to the pillow and in turn they breathe it in.
Plus no dirty laundry in his bedroom. Clothes are put In a laundry basket in the bathroom. In other words if pollen is a problem try to keep it out of her room at all costs.

Hugs to you as I know how exhausting and worrying parenting a young asthmatic child can be.


Jrazz posted 7/17/2013 14:15 PM

Thanks all. (Decided I should stop jacking your threads, NiK. )

SD - I forgot you go through this in spades... I would text you if I knew where my phone was.

She's doing .5 albuerol sulfate every 4 hours and .25 of the pulmicort(budesonide) is supposed to be once a day in with the albuterol on the nebulizer. Some dosage of the prednisolone every 12 hours for 3 days...

It's been really hot here so the humidifier seemed excessive, especially given her temp, but I forget how helpful it is. Yesterday when she was wheezing badly I took her into the bathroom with me and ran the shower while we played Nintendo 3DS. (More like she played it. She's teaching me things on my OWN game that I obsess over... that's normal for 3 years old, right?)

I don't know how to get around giving her a pile of meds that stimulate her and trying to get her to sleep. She's supposed to have an albuterol treatment now but I want to try napping again.... this sux.

Thanks for listening everyone. I know I'm a basketcase when it comes to DD but I feel so grateful to have a group of people here who are compassionate and helpful, and know how to hold a hand once in a while.

Jrazz posted 7/17/2013 14:24 PM

Great stuff, timeforchange.

Did your doctor check her O2 levels??

No, and in retrospect that bugged me. She even mentioned DD was "fighting" to breathe. We are likely going to go back in tomorrow.

lieshurt posted 7/17/2013 14:42 PM

We've both been on the fence about seeing an allergist because the tests are very hard on little ones.

I think that you may have to bite the bullet on this. I know it's difficult to see them endure these things, but given how much trouble she has with her asthma, it may just be worth it. While the testing may be hard on her, it doesn't last forever and the results could provide a long term solution to relieve her of these continual problems.

(((baby razz)))

simplydevastated posted 7/17/2013 15:00 PM

Sweetheart, I'm going to say this and I hope it doesn't scare you. Get her to the ER. Her meds aren't controlling her asthma, and it doesn't sound like her doctor is acting with any type of urgency. At the hospital they will check her O2 levels and probably (is she follows suit like my daughter and I) they can give her a double dose (for her size) of her nebulizer treatments. She needs to be seen.

Jrazz posted 7/17/2013 15:01 PM

Lieshurt, you read my mind. I just read the booklet they sent me home with, "One Minute Asthma", and I'm flabberghasted that we haven't been remanded to an allergist. DD is 100% a candidate for long term treatment.

"If you child has ONE of the following:

- Parent with Asthma
- Eczema
- sensitivity to airborne allergens

Or TWO of the following:

- allergy to foods
- wheezing apart from colds
- (some blood thingie)

They need to be on daily, preventative treatment."

Apart from the blood thing we've never had tested, she's got all of that. The only reason I didn't take her in is because the Ped was like, "Well, you don't HAVE to right now.... it will be hard on her...."

And yet they send me home with this literature.

I'm floored.

We will be making an appointment today.


click4it posted 7/17/2013 15:52 PM

((((((JRAZZ & LITTLE RAZZ)))))

My son was only slightly asthmatic as a child, but would wake up with a croup cough quite a bit with middle of the night trips to the ER. Because I live in a foggy area, it helped because I could wrap him up and take him outside.

Hope there is relief soon and a somewhat preventative approach so that you guys aren't constantly losing sleep. Sounds so exhausting.

cmego posted 7/17/2013 16:23 PM

Also Mom of 1) severe allergy kid and 2) severe asthmatic.

My son has asthma. Wheezing by 6 weeks of age. He has been on steroids/ breathing treatments since then (he is now 7.5). What was explained to me is that he is VERY WELL CONTROLLED.

At about 3, we added Singular and that changed our world. He went to almost normal lung function then, and I switched him to Xopenex instead of albuterol. In my understanding, Xopenex is lung specific. Albuterol just amped him up. He does morning/night breathing treatments of Pulmicort daily.

When he crashes, he crashes fast. Pneumonia twice. Which, considering everything, is pretty darn amazing.

We are just now up to talking about trying to wean off the steroids and see what happens. He is a soccer player and I want his lungs to be as healthy as possible. We have seen a pediatric pulmonogist from day 1.

If your gut is telling you this isn't need to trust it. The doctor is giving you his/her opinion. Your mommy instinct is very powerful!

Now...with the allergist. What was explained to me is that my kids are "on the same tree...just different branches". My dd has the food/environmental allergies with no asthma. My son has asthma with no allergies. My dd was tested and diagnosed at 15 months. She has life threatening food allergies....don't listen for a minute that it is too early or too painful or whatever. It isn't. I had my son allergy tested at 6 months of age. Yes, they itch...but easily distracted with games/movies.

PM me if you want more details! Happy to help

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