Saturday, January 10, 2009

Update on Layton's asthma

Most of you know that we have battled Layton's asthma pretty heavily over the last year. He was hospitalized twice, had numerous chest x-rays, was in the doctor's office so much that we know them all by name, and had to use his rescue inhaler more times than I could possibly even begin to count. We saw a pediatric asthma doctor over my Christmas break, and he was so wonderful.

He came in sat down and just listened to us. He asked lots of questions, and we really felt like he was listening. He spent quite a while in the room with us and then excused himself to go "make a game plan." He also said that he was going to go read the small phone book that we brought him which was Layton's medical record. (Funny story there about when Trey went to get it...There was a dad ahead of him that got his son's record; they printed it off, stapled it, and handed it to the dad. Then Trey asked for Layton's and waited at the window like the other dad did, and the receptionist told him that he might want to sit down because "it would be a while." Trey said it printed and printed and printed, and finally it stopped so he got up to get it, and the girl just loaded more paper and it just kept on printing. Then it finally stopped, she got it out, and put it in a manilla envelope and gave it to him.) So anyway the doctor took the time to actually read the medical record and came back in with our game plan.

He suspects that acid reflux might be triggering Layton's asthma, which is something that was never suggested before and that we never considered. He really beefed up his night time routine and had us raise the head of Layton's bed about 6 inches. (Not prop him up of pillows, roll up towels, or use a wedge. He said actually put blocks under the posts of the bed.) Layton takes symbicort, pulmicort, and singulair at night and symbicort in the morning. So that means that every day he takes three breathing treatments for maintenance. That's a lot, but I really think it's all working because we haven't used his rescue inhaler once since that visit.

We go back in February to see how it's all working, and he wants to do a scratch test for peanuts, tree nuts, and shell fish. Of course you know that he's allergic to peanuts as determined by a blood test, but this time it will be the traditional scratch test.

I can't even begin to explain what a relief it's been to feel like we're starting to get on top of this. It's such a helpless feeling when your child is gasping for air and using major muscles just to get air in. It's even more helpless when it's only been 30 or 45 minutes since his last breathing treatment and he still can't breathe. For the last few months since his last hospital stay, we really felt like all we were doing was delaying the next hospital stay. It was like at any time it could turn and we'd be heading to the emergency room. We felt so defeated by it. I'm so thankful to have some hope now that that's not how his entire childhood will be. Like Layton put it the other night, he's going to breathe in all this good medicine so he can run and play all the time and Mama won't have to tell him to settle down.

1 comment:

j3k said...

I was reading about your little ones asthma. My son Kegan had reflux when a baby and he would inhale his into his lungs. We propped his bed to sleep at night and he was the best belly sleeper ever and it cut back considerably on his bronchitis infections. He is now 10 and he takes a medication for the acid in his stomache 2 times a day only when he feels he's having increased heartburn or extra bronchitis type symptoms and it shuts it right down. I was amazed to learn that the reflux was being inhaled and was what caused all my sons bronchits. We no longer have to use the breathing machine but maybe once a year and thats only in winter when we all get sick! He is even at the point where he tells me when he needs the tummy pill so he doesn't get the lung infection. It's amazing. Good luck