Monday, April 10, 2006

Creaky and Squeaky Breathing

Where did he go? Where is that little boy who took his medicine without complaint and crawled on my lap to snuggle for breathing treatments?

Apparently, that child doesn’t live here anymore. For the past week and a half, Zane has run away from me screaming “No Breathy” every time we have to do his breathing treatments. We have to do these maintenance breathing treatments twice a day – in fact, we’ve had to do them two times a day since he was a year old.

But I guess I should add, for purposes of full disclosure, that when his asthma is flaring, we have to do them a lot more than two times a day. So although typically he only does them twice a day, many days he’s doing them up to 6 times a day and when the rescue medicines are added, the treatments can last up to 25 minutes at a time. That means for almost 3 hours a day, he can be hooked up to his “breathy”. While he can sleep through the ones we do at night, that still leaves about 2 hours of conscious time when he’s fairly tied to one place with a mask over his face.

Anyway, he’s used to getting them and generally takes them without complaint, but it seems he’s starting to get a little tired of them. For most days of the past several weeks, we’ve had to do at least 2 of the longer breathing treatments daily. Then, we got a small break. For about 3 days, we didn’t need to do the longer treatments which means we were only hooked up to the machine for about 10-15 minutes total per day.

Unfortunately, yesterday he started getting a little creaky in the chest. These noises aren’t full-on wheezing, but he just starts to get noisy breathing and little creaks and squeaks happen as he exhales. Although we have been through this a million times, I always get a little anxious when this happens. My thought process is something like the following during these times. Okay, he’s started to creak a little. Look at his ribs – is he retracting? (skin sinking in around his neck and ribs as he breathes). Indeed, he’s retracting a bit. Okay, so let’s get a breathing treatment- and see what happens. If he’s going to escalate, I’ll probably know by (insert time here), and then I can figure out what to do about childcare and work. Do I have anything that has to get done this week at work? Can I do it at home? When do I think we’ll need a doctor’s appointment? How likely is this to progress to an ER visit?

These are not comfortable thoughts. They are thoughts I have a lot – Big Z has way too many asthma flares – but I haven’t really found a way to get reconciled to the fact that my child is on four different maintenance medicines on a good day and 6-8 medicines on a bad day. Zane is totally over it. And here’s the thing: I’m tired of it, too.


Not that days like today are terrible. We went to the park in the morning and spent time at a friend’s house this afternoon. These mini-flares are manageable, and (if things don’t progress) don’t disrupt our lives too much. Well, at least not until mama gets out the breathing machine. Then, things go to wrack and ruin.

Then Zane runs through the house yelling “NO BREATHY”, and I am forced to beg, cajole, bribe – or wrestle - my child to the couch to administer medication. Interestingly enough, it’s impossible to use logic to convince him to cooperate. “Zaney, we need to give you your rescue medicines so that we don’t have to go to the ER tonight. Mama and Papa have to work tomorrow – plus they always give us food you’re allergic to at the hospital. Let’s just avoid this whole thing, okay? Let’s just do this 15-hour-long breathing treatment, and then we can play some more, okay?” Amazingly, this is an ineffective technique to get his cooperation. You’d swear that 2 year olds just aren’t motivated by logic. Go figure.

3 comments:

Mimma said...

I'd feel really bad for you if you hadn't told me to "can it, Grandma!"

SRH said...

didn't you read what she said? Can it Grandma :)

Zany Mama said...

I stand by SRH's words of wisdom. Which I guess was his support of my words of wisdom, so...I guess I am brilliantly wise and I stand by my previous statements.