Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Asthma Attack on the First Day of Spring

Allergies are full blown here and my poor Jonah is suffering in a major way! My husband and I were doing some shopping today and I got the phone call from the school nurse telling me that Jonah could not breathe. Despite the fact that I had given him a nebulizer treatment before school and he had already used his emergency inhaler at school, he still could not breathe very well. We immediately went to school to get him. You could see his little chest heave up and down and hear his wheezing from the back seat all the way up into the front seat. I knew how miserable he felt.
Asthma can make you feel like an elephant is sitting on your chest. A child will have a hard time breathing during an asthma attack and will cough frequently, gasping for air. Three things happen during an asthma attack: the walls of the airways in the lungs start to swell; the airways produce more mucus; and the muscles of the airways suddenly tighten like a rubber band.  All of these things make the airways smaller and more difficult to breathe. 

There are some great books available to help your child understand asthma. They are also useful for school age children to share with their classes so they don't feel so "different."  
The ABC's of Asthma
You're On Your Way, Teddy Roosevelt
The Winner
What's Up With Max?
This year, I learned that every child with asthma should have an Asthma Action Plan filed at the school. The plan is similar to a 504 plan for allergies, as it has to detail early signs of an attack, when to call a doctor, and it is individualized for your child. I gave one copy to the school nurse and another copy to my son's teacher, just to cover all the bases. 

Jonah does not keep a rescue inhaler with him, but again, I have one with the school nurse and one with his teacher. Unfortunately,  at most elementary schools in our district, the nurse does not stay at the school every day. Our nurse is only at our school for 2 days a week. The rest of the week, all the meds are kept in the school office. That is why I chose to give his teacher another copy of his Asthma Action Plan and another inhaler. She also has an extra EpiPen Jr., Benadryl, and ointments for his skin. Better to be safe than sorry, right?? 


  1. I am visiting from May May's blog "One Moment in Time" and stumbled upon your post because I am one of the participants as well.

    As a mom, I understand how hard it is to watch your child be sick. I wish I could take the pain away! I have a daughter who is now 13 and used to have asthma and allergies really bad-to the point where she was hospitalized! Every night we'd worry if she was going to cough organs out of her body!

    I am SOOO thankful to my friend who shared information with me that completely turned my daughter's health around! She told us about how our house was literally making her asthma and allergies worse because of what we were using to clean and do our laundry with. Since we removed all of the toxins out of our home, switched to chemical-free cleaning & laundry products, and started her on a nutrition program (3 years ago), she has had maybe had 1 day of mild coughing, but it only lasts about a day. So much better than having to be out of school for a week! She used to have to take her inhaler several times a day. Now she takes it maybe 1 or 2 times a year!!

    She now plays soccer, gymnastics, sings and plays the flute. She would have NEVER been able to do these things if we didn't change our cleaners and put her on a nutrition program.

    My wish for your son is that he does not have to go through this much suffering any more. Feel free to email me at resully3470@yahoo.com if you'd like.

  2. One of the things I hate about being a mom is seeing my daughter sick. It crushes me to bits.

    Yup, asthma is all about management and catching the attacks early.

    Your son seems like a strong boy. I'm sure he'll know how to handle attacks if and when they happen. But I do hope they never happen to him again.