Today I did something I never dreamed I would be doing just 12 months ago. I took both of my children to the asthma clinic. I just can’t believe they have asthma. I know it is far more manageable than it used to be and if treated properly and early enough, children can grow out of it, but I still feel sad whenever I place the mini face mask on their cheeky little chops. But not half as sad as I feel when I can hear them coughing all night and wheezing and rattling when they have been running around or laughing too much!
The nurse was great and said she wanted us to try another medication with Sophia, as her night coughs had got worse and she had a couple of attacks since we last went to clinic. It is a chewable tablet that she has to take at teatime. Apparently, we just try it for a month and if it helps we stay on it and if it makes no difference we stop taking it. She said it treats the asthma in a different way as it caused by different triggers for different people and reacts differently to different medicines. As the nurse said, we don’t really know what Sophia’s triggers are yet. That made me think, I really need to get her allergy tested too. It seems everyone is just looking at treating symptoms and not the cause.
Next it was Zac’s turn. The nurse agreed with the advice I said I had been given by his paediatrician. As Zac has such a propensity to develop allergies, it makes sense to start giving him the preventer inhaler, in an attempt to stop his asthma developing in the way poor Sophia’s has. We have more of an idea as to what Zac’s triggers are. He is usually quite poorly on the high pollen count days. Cats also cause him a great deal of grief. He has had croup several times and always has a runny nose, so I always knew it was likely he would have problems in this area too.
So I have resigned myself to carrying inhalers and spacers wherever we go. I am happy to do what it takes to get them through this. If the preventers do their job, then they should start to get better as their lungs mature. However, if I am still blogging about their allergies and intolerances in five years’ time, I will be very disappointed.
The nurse was interested in Zac’s case and asked me about his allergies and intolerances. She agreed that it was very unfortunate that he has these conditions and that no-one is doing any further work on getting to the bottom of why his body reacts this way. She was sympathetic about the food intolerances as her daughter was dairy intolerant, her father was gluten and she was aware how hard it was to cater for them. She did say Zac could have some food on prescription if he was Coeliac, but as that screen came back negative there was nothing she could do.
So do I push harder and get him tested again? Just so we can get some free food. I have to admit it is tempting because his food is shockingly expensive. But it made him so ill last time, I just don’t know if I can put him through it. As far as I know, the only other reliable screen for Coeliac is the endoscopy, but I also feel anxious about that.
If only there was another way to get a diagnosis. In fact I wish you could get a prescription for the food if you are just intolerant, but I suppose loads of people could and would claim that, but what about the milk allergy suffers? We always seem to get overlooked. Zac is at allergy level with his dairy, not just intolerance. So why can’t I get all his dairy free stuff on prescription? As the dietician said, the most critical of his conditions is the impact zero dairy has on his calcium levels, so surely the ‘calcium containing’ dairy replacement foods are crucial and we should get some help! I feel a campaign coming on!!!