Wednesday, February 25, 2009


This'll be a short one--much to report, but not much time.

Iyyar's been coughing for a while. Not a lot, but when he does it sounds pretty bad, and it's really not going away. I mentioned it to the ENT when we were there, and he didn't seem bothered; I mentioned it again to the nurse practitioner last week, and she said that if the whole family was coughing (well, I am, and Abba is a little) and nobody had a fever, I didn't need to bring him in. Yesterday, though, he really sounded bad, and I was feeling worse myself--I'm always tired, but it's usually because I don't sleep enough. Lately, I've been tired in an I-can't-move, all-my-muscles-ache kind of a way.

Last night, though, I woke up and couldn't breathe. My chest hurt too much to inhale, and it was going up my neck, down my arm, into my back. It was pretty scary, and I couldn't even get enough air to tell my husband that I was having a problem. I managed after a little bit to get up and get into a hot shower--the theory being that maybe I'd pulled a bunch of muscles coughing. (All of them at once, though? Really?) That was when I realized that it wasn't just really cold in here, I was having chills, and then I found a thermometer and realized I had a fever. Great. I found another blanket, got back into bed, and by that point was breathing okay--well enough that I'd discarded the idea of going to the ER but thought a trip to the doctor in the morning was in order.

I called in sick, spent the babysitter portion of the morning napping, and kept Iyyar home from playgroup because there was no way I was going to be out pushing a double stroller in the cold. This afternoon, we both went (by cab) to the doctor. "Does anyone in your family have asthma?" he asked me. I said no, not that I knew of. He pulled out a little tube with beads in it. "Look, I'm going to blow into here." He stood up and blew and the bead went up to 700. "Okay, now you do it. Take the deepest breath you can," (it wasn't very deep) "and blow." I did, thinking, hey, that wasn't too bad. Then I looked at it. 300. Oh. "Try again." I did; 300 again. "Let's get you an inhaler." What? I took two puffs and ten minutes later blew into the thing again. 400 this time. Huh.

Anyway, he thinks I had an asthma attack brought on by a respiratory infection; he gave me an inhaler. My chest still hurts and I still can't get a good breath, and I'm still dragging around, but I feel a whole lot better than I did last night. Better than walking pneumonia, anyway, which was my guess as of yesterday.

And Iyyar is fine; lungs clear, and the doctor mentioned getting him an inhaler as well but when I said he didn't seem bothered by the coughing said, then let's just let it go. Oh, and he looked into Iyyar's ears and said they looked fine. I guess we'll see what the ENT says next time--followup in two weeks, after Iyyar's sleep study, which is tonight. Iyyar and Abba are leaving in half an hour, so I'd better go make sure everything's ready.


kata said...

I'm so sorry. But at least you're all okay!

miriamp said...

okay, but if he wakes up because of the coughing, and is having coughing gasping fits in the middle of the night... share the inhaler! And then get him his own.

(Ask me how I know... I was married with kids when I found out I'd actually had "cough-variant asthma" all those years! Got my kid diagnosed first, and then said, "wait, I do that too!")

How to use inhaler for small children who don't hold their breath: Make a mask out of a paper cup -- cut an X in the bottom, poke inhaler through into cup, place cup over his mouth, press down on the medicine thingy. Wait several breaths before taking cup off.

You're shorter and more female than the doctor -- I'm 5'4" and I get 450-470 on a good breathing day, and head for an inhaler at 410. My 5'0.5" son is in the same basic range I am now. My husband can get up to 650, I think. (Also diagnosed asthmatic as an adult)

Did the doc give you a peak flow meter to keep at home too?

Deborah said...

If I am OK I can get 500+ with no problem on a peak flow meter.

Did he put you on antibiotics also? Or does he think it is viral?

Praying for you all.