Sunday, April 11, 2010

Just Breathe

This is the worst spring allergy season ever. Ok, so maybe that was overstating it a tad, but really, it is bad this year. Just Google it and you'll see.

Poor Joshy has allergies. Here's my little sneezy, itchy pumpkin (isn't he too adorable?!):

He gets the aforementioned (nay cursed) allergies from my side of the family. When he touches the cat and then touches his eyes, you can bet his eye will be red and itchy in a flash. It happens to me too. So we have to remember to wash our hands whenever we touch animals. That's pretty manageable. But since we live with not one but two pets, there are some indoor allergens to contend with. And of course, when Spring and Fall roll around, a fresh set of allergy pollens, molds, dusts, and whatever else crops up. So the pediatrician suggested trying Claritin with Josh. And since we've started it, Josh has done better. He takes it once a day, year round.

But this year? Once the weather finally turned warm, nature exploded into a yellow-tinged, hazy, polleny mess. And Josh has been suffering. He had the worst of it last week. We were giving him his daily Claritin, but we had to add in Benadryl because he couldn't deal with the itchy throat and eyes, and he had drainage and a slight cough from that.

He woke up crying two nights in a row, nose stuffed up to the point where he could not breathe. And he had a slight wheeze. I think he was scared because he felt like he couldn't get a breath. Then he would start crying, which only made things worse. We brought him to our bed both nights just to spare George and to help comfort/treat Josh. We did saline in the nose, and gave him Benadryl whenever it had been long enough, but he still had a hard time.

On top of all of that fun stuff, he ended up getting a monster case of poison ivy (which is thriving wonderfully all over our property). Thankfully, we started our second annual regimen of the wonder product Oral Ivy a few weeks ago, or else I think he'd have been suffering a fate I shudder to ponder. But even though it wasn't as bad as it could have been, it was still not pleasant and he would sometimes scratch it in his sleep.

So after those two bad nights, we decided to take him to the doctor. And the doctor said that Joshua has asthma (no doubt allergy-induced). His oxygen levels were low, and he took a breathing treatment while at the doctor's office. And after 3 hours at the doctor and a whole booklet's worth of prescriptions to bring home, we have a new situation on our hands.

Joshua (for now) has to take breathing treatments 4 times a day with a nebulizer. He uses one inhaler twice a day, plus is taking a steroid twice a day (for the poison ivy), plus is on Singulair daily, and will continue his Claritin daily. Oh, and there's a rescue inhaler in the mix too, just in case. And, being how I am, I had to create a spreadsheet medicine chart for the fridge so we could keep track of it all.

I am not thrilled with the idea that we are infusing our son with medications aplenty. But I am very thankful that these medications exist and can help treat him. I will seek out alternative and natural methods of healing him from (or at least reducing the symptoms of) this asthma and the allergies from whence it came. I would like to get him down to minimal (or no) medications if possible. But for now - I am so grateful for drugs. My son has slept soundly the last two nights, and he back to his chipper self. Now we can all relax and take a breath. Literally.

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