The Boys: August 2006 Archives

Dear asthma: you suck

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I want to wrap my hands around your figurative throat, asthma, just as you do my son's, and wring the life from your neck like water from a dishrag.

Last Thursday night Liam had an asthma attack. Unlike the ones in the past, this attack came on slowly because it knew that if I caught it I would drag it out by the hair into my driveway where I would beat it to death.
I took the boys to lunch and to the park that afternoon; Liam woke up with a cough and sat listlessly in the van on the way to Panera. He didn't eat much of his peanut butter and jelly sandwich, nor his yogurt. He ran around the playground at the park only to return and nestle into my arm a few minutes later before saying "I need to take a little break."
I cut our trip short, loaded the boys into the van and headed for home.

That night Liam's voice grew raspy and he coughed about eighteen times a minute.
I broke out the nebulizer, which we haven't had to use in a year, hooked up Liam's fish mask and sat him down for a twenty minute round of inhaled Xoponex. It's a bit more potent than regular albuterol but with less side effects, such as only the moderate need to tether the child to something substantive (and bolted to concrete). Afterwards I gave Liam two quick puffs of Flovent, a canister inhaled steroid like Pulmicort, but instead of Liam sitting for another fifteen minutes to inhale nebulized Pulmicort, he now takes twelve breaths of Flovent. Then he rinsed his mouth (Flovent can cause mouth sores, YEAY), took a Zyrtec and went to bed. We have all the drugs. All!

(A sidenote: I spent $130 on two boxes, or thirty days' supply of, meds. Because owning your own small business and working as a blogger from home means that you don't qualify as a group therefore don't get the cliquey little discount that the group plans receive. GARGH!)

When the allergy count shows high pollen, mold, or ragweed, Liam mostly has to stay inside behind the fortified walls of our sterile, allergen-free house. Still, he's better than he was a year ago, when even a trip to the mailbox during a high-allergen day would provoke an asthma attack that reduced him to listlessness and oral steroids for a week after. As a result he has developed genius-level game skillz. He beat Stars Wars for PSP2 in one week. AND HE'S FIVE.

He's doing better now, but still coughing, still with the meds, and his appetite still isn't the greatest, an effect of an attack. Hopefully the allergy shots he's been getting every week for the past year-and-a-half will help him kick this by the time he's seven. If I could give him my airwaves, I would.

Last night we kicked off our week-long VBS. My job as the song leader is to exhibit an enthusiasm not unlike that of a cheerleader, which is completely unnatural for me, typically. I was the girl who was briefly scolded by my cheerleading coach for not being "perky" enough and for looking forlorn on the floor. I became a basketball cheerleader simply to get a tri-sport patch on my letter jacket. I was punished for this action by way of long bus rides to games in other towns with a group of giddy girls who loved to karaoke to country songs - including one about some little boy and girl and how the girl dies or something and the guy is all "don't take the girl" or something my gawd I WANTED TO DIE TOO. I always wore headphones and cranked up the Guns-n-Roses. It was a dark time in my personal history.

It's a lot more fun to cheer on a group of kids than it is a bunch of sweaty basketball pimpletons. I'm able to get into it more and the kids had a blast last night. Instead of like regular vacation Bible schools where parents drop the kids off, the program we're using involves the entire family. \

The downside to VBS is that my schedule is sort of tight this week. I've got deadlines, new math curricula to decide on for Liam, and I've got to figure out a way to stop Ewan from plugging himself up with plastic outlet covers, which is what he does now that we're trying to take the binky away:


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