Wednesday, December 9, 2009

My Croupy Wheezy Baby- Or Why I Should Follow My Own Advice

OK- both boys have a barky cough, Son #2 has been having some mild stridor (that whistling noise you hear after a croupy child is crying and takes a deep breath), and just yesterday, the daycare informed me that my musical little one need albuterol during the day, and felt "so much better" afterwards.

I think the respiratory goblins have arrived at my home. Serves me right.

Although I always tell my patients to resume their child's respiratory controller medicine around one month before their "bad season" is due to begin, I deliberately ignored my own advice and tried to hold out for as long as I could before resuming Baby's inhaled steroid this fall/winter. This I did despite knowing better than anyone that my child is probably destined to become asthmatic.

Why did I make such a ridiculous decision?

Am I concerned about medication side effects?
At the low doses of controller medication that my 16-month old requires, hardly.

Is the medication too expensive?
Umm, I'm an asthma expert with a closetfull of samples and (thanks to my husband's job) excellent insurance coverage. Access to medication, luckily for me, is not an issue.

Am I lazy?
DING DING DING! I hate struggling with a squirmy child (with very strong leg muscles, mind you) who would rather do anything than have a silicone mask pressed up against his face. I hate arguing with my mother who thinks that just because I'm a physician, I think drugs are the answer to everything and am therefore over-medicating my children. In other words, there is really no excusable explanation.

And, because inhaled steroids take around 2 weeks to start working and 6 weeks to reach maximal effect, my poor little guy will have to suffer with inflamed airways for approximately one more month. Bad allergistmommy!

I am what Son #1 would refer to as a "dumb-dumb".

Don't be like me and wait it out. Start controller meds early enough to avoid a bad winter. Your children will thank you for biting the bullet and taking your physician's advice.

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