Thursday, June 22, 2006

Sickness in children

Baby L has RAD -- Reactive Airways
Disease.  Sounds awful with that Disease word in there.  It
basically means she is having an asthmatic type reaction to
something.  She had a bad nasty cold last month ... and was barely
over it last week when we headed to our little farm.  While there,
she began coughing quite badly.  It puzzled me since she didn't
have a runny nose with it and her cough had been almost gone from the
cold, but I didn't think about it too much.

But once we were home and trying to settle back in, she became
increasingly fussy and would have crying screaming coughing fits that
were just awful.  Yesterday she was having one around lunchtime
(which is the time of day it is worst) and I could just hear and feel
her chest rattling.  I laid my ear on her chest and heard her
wheezing.

I felt a little silly taking her to the Dr. when she had no fever or
other symptoms, but Steve and I agreed she should be seen.  The
Dr. said it sounds and looks an awful lot like asthma, but at this age,
they don't diagnose asthma.  Hopefully, she will outgrow it. 
Hopefully, she will not struggle with it too much. 

So the day after she turned 3 months old, I had to buy her a
nebulizer.  That was not the birthday gift I wanted to give
her.  As I was setting it up at home, I just started to cry. 
I hate to see her crying and hear her coughing and rattling and
wheezing.  I hate the thought that she could go through this again
... many times between now and the time she turns 5.  That seems
to be the age where they either grow out of it or become labelled
asthmatic.

Mom tells me my sister Ronda had this, although they didn't use the RAD
label at that time.  She did grow out of it around age 5,
though.   My Mother-in-law tells me Steve's older brother had
asthma at every wheat harvest while they lived out in the
country.  It was wheat harvest last week while we were out at our
farm ... and we had all the windows in the house open. 

We have never had to deal with chronic conditions in our family. 
7 yo C had pneumonia when she was 17 months old.  We worried she'd
have weak lungs after that, but she hasn't.  2 yo M had RSV when
he was 10 days old, and he had to use a nebulizer for a couple weeks;
but he didn't have any troubles afterward, either.  All of our
children have been relatively healthy, although several have developed
seasonal allergies once they reached the age of 3.  This is a new
territory for us.  I wish we didn't have to explore this territory.

Earlier today she seemed to be doing better and I began to second guess
myself and the Doctor.  But then lunchtime came, and she was
wheezing and rattling and coughing and crying again.  And then she
finally fell asleep and we tried to go to the library, where she
started wheezing and coughing and rattling and crying again.  And
then I remembered why I called the Dr., in the first place.  I
remembered why I did not hesitate to buy that nebulizer:  because
it's scary when she sounds like that.  I wonder if her crying is
because she's scared, too.


Every now and then I feel scared and wonder how much this is going to
affect her life.  Other times, I remind myself that this could be her
one and only episode of RAD.  It could, couldn't it?

My husband is out of town, and I wish he were here with us.  I
wish he could hold her when she's screaming and coughing.  I wish
he could hear her rattle and wheeze. I wish he could just hug me while
we talk about this.  Somehow it isn't the same to discuss it over
the phone.  I miss him.  All the children miss their Daddy,
too. 

Please pray for Baby L.  The Dr. prescribed prednisone, and he
said it should turn this RAD episode around fairly quickly.  She's
had 3 doses today, but was still rattling at bedtime.  Please pray
that tomorrow shows some improvement. 

Thank you! 
April

5 comments:

  1. I just wanted to offer you encouragement. I am so sorry you are going through this. Especially with such a young one. My 3 yod has to use the nebulizer periodically so I understand. I have done extensive research on alternative ways to deal with her issues so she's not using as much of the medicine. It's made a world of difference in our family. (Small history: I have terrible reactions to most medications I am given so I strive to find alternative ways to help treat my family if I can. I homebirth now because my afterbirth experience are horrible with all the meds they pump through me. But I don't mess with severe "asthma".) My oldest did have reactive airways and has outgrown it. But my 3 yod tends to have more problems than her sister does. I can't imagine having to do this with a 3 mod. I am available through email if you just need to vent frustration. I am an asthma patient myself and have been since I was a toddler. God Bless, Karen

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  2. This has definitely got to be tougher with Daddy away. I hope he's home soon.


    I know it would make me cry too, April...but that's what makes a mommy's heart so special to her babies.


    Hang in there, and I will pray every time you guys come to mind...which tends to be frequently. :)

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  3. when my kids get sick, it is just so hard. praying for you and the kids. have a great weekend!

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  4. Thank you, Ladies! I appreciate your kind words and prayers.


    Karen, I do plan to research. I've already been informed by other Moms whose DC have RAD that they do not need antibiotics when on the steroids, as the Dr we saw said. So next time I'll know to question that. I need to do some research and reading.

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  5. This might not sound too encouraging, but my 4yr old daughter was diagnosed with RAD when she was an infant too. Winter months were always very draining on her and me. She is almost 5 and last winter they did diagnose her with asthma. While she does not have severe asthma they suspect she will always struggle during the cold/flu season. It's not just a simple cold for her, she usually takes a month to get over it. I've gotten used to the remedies, I know what works for her now. Ist sign of any cold, I'm on top of it. The good news is that she has less "attacks" now, and she is also used to the remedies. I'm always reminded how fragile a child is during this time. I know it might be difficult to give God praise during all of this, it was for me, but I just praise him for His strength. I'll pray for you and your baby! With God all things are possible and it doesn't have to develop into asthma, God can heal! ~ Mindy

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