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momwith3
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 1/6/2007 11:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, I am new to this (or any) asthma forum and am happy to have an outlet.
 
I have 3 boys, all born prematurely, all with asthma.  My 7 year old seems to have the most problems, although my younger son isn't far behind him.
 
My 7 year old was diagnosed with asthma at the age of 1 and has been on a variation of medications, and combinations of, ever since.  He's had Pneumonia 6 times and has been hospitalized twice.  He is now on the Pulmicort Turbohaler (since Dec. 26) and we're desperately hoping it works for him.
 
My biggest concern right now, other than keeping his symptoms under control, is that his max peak flow is 75% of the normal for his age and height.  In other words, his lung capacity is only 75% of the norm, and that's when he's 100% healthy with no asthma indications.
 
We live in the Southeast and have considered moving to a different state with a better air quality and less pollution (Colorado?).  I just don't know if it would help.  My son has been allergy tested and has no known major triggers.  All I know is that his asthma is a problem from September through February. 
 
I would love some input on this.  My biggest fear is that if his lungs continue to deteriorate that he will have no quality of life as an adult.  Also, my younger son was born even more prematurely and has already had Pneumonia 3 times.  I don't see him faring much better than his older brother.
 
Sorry to be so long winded on this, but I would truly love some advice and input.  Thanks.

ceebee
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 401
   Posted 1/7/2007 4:56 AM (GMT -6)   
I have several friends with children who were born with asthma. The children seem to outgrow the asthma as they get older. By the time they are 12 they seem to be just about asthma free. Adult onset asthma seems to stay around though. A friend had severe asthma as a child and hasn't had any problems as an adult. Hopefully this will be the case with your children. Good luck.

Red_34
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23353
   Posted 1/7/2007 8:06 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi and welcome to Healingwell :) Wow, 3 boys and all with asthma? I only have one child with asthma so I couldn't imagine having 3 with it. I do know that premature babies have a higher chance of lung infections and/or asthma as you know and the majority of them do outgrow them however. My hubby was a premmie and had breathing problems until he reached the age of 15-18 years. He doesn't have asthma but he did have chronic bronchitis. After I met him, he would still have bouts of this but eventually it became less and less. It's not the same as asthma, I know, but I just wanted to agree with ceebee that maybe your sons will outgrow this or maybe will become less severe as they get older. At least I hope this is the case.

We have several members here that have asthma. Maybe they can offer suggestions to help make your son's asthma attacks less severe. Good luck :)
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Secondary Raynauds Syndrome since 2004 -Meds - Norvasc...Fibromyalgia since 2006
Co-mod for Ulcerative Colitis.....Moderator for Allergies/Asthma
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momwith3
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 1/7/2007 11:13 AM (GMT -6)   

Thanks so much for your replies and kindness.  Fortunately, my teenage son has almost no problems now, although his asthma was rather mild as a child. 

Does anyone have information or experience on whether living in a region with great air quality could be beneficial?  I've heard mixed reviews on this, and know that it probably depends on the patient.  I just don't want his lung capacity to continue to decrease.

Thanks again!


Mr. Helpful
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/7/2007 2:28 PM (GMT -6)   

Dear Mom,

I have done research for 11 years in indoor air quality and healthy living technologies. You will find that most doctors and health professionals will treat the symptoms and not pay attention to the cause.

Are you aware that according to the E.P.A., about 1/3rd of the allergies are caused by the residue of laundry detergent in our clothes! go to your search engine and type in fabric softeners and do some research. You will come to a page from the E.P.A. that will list the chemicals in Laundry Detergent, fabric softeners and laundry sheets. It also gives the side effects. This will scare you.

There is only one company that has addressed this problem and solved it. No Laundry detergent, softeners, drier sheets and no hot water. The technology is certified through the space administration. Kills 99.9999% of bacteria, whites come out whiter, colors more vibrant, towels more fluffy, less lint in the drier and does not contaminate the ground water when it drains.

There is another problem that causes allergies and even asthma. Indoor air pollution. Dust, pollen, dander, dust mites droppings, etc... Up to now the "EXPERTS" say dust more. WRONG! Use filters. WRONG! Increase air flow. WRONG! Remove the source. WRONG! We have been told to follow these instructions and watched asthma increase by over 1200%

Don't believe the commercials you see on T.V. These units are very ineffective. You would need many of their units in your home and they would still be doing a poor job.

There is a product on the market that will do what they say and is so effective that the Space administration user their technology that was developed in cooperation with N.A.S.A. It's not cheap but it does what they claim.

Through University studies it has been proven to kill over 99% of staph, strep, e-coli, bacteria, and mold on surfaces. Lastest studies by a University showed 99.99% reduction in the Avian Influenza in just 12 hours on surfaces.

One system will purify the air in a home up to 3,000 square feet. It will also drop the dust, pollen and dander from the air. Over 5 million people have seen the effect of this system. It even purifies the air at the Twin Towers Musium and some units were placed in the Pentagon after 911.

Do more research and tell your doctor you are tired of just treating the symptoms as you watch you childrens health get worse.

 

 


2busymom
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 118
   Posted 1/7/2007 3:54 PM (GMT -6)   
I Momwith3,

I have 4 sons, 2 with asthma, my 2nd and my 4th. They are now ages 13 and 21. We moved to Raleigh NC when they were 3 months and 8 years old. My youngest definitely had a worse case. He was hospitalized once, at the age of 2, for 4 days. When he entered kindergarten things got pretty bad so we had him tested for allergies. Dust mites, molds and cats showed up as triggers for him, although extra cold air would also affect him, and being around someone who had cigarette smoke in their clothing.

We put him on flovent from Nov. until Feb. of that year, as a preventative, and it worked wonders. He is growing out of it - rarely has any need for an inhaler, other than when he's around short haired cats. But even then, I immediately put him on Flovent and Albuterol and he's visibly better within 30 minutes. We also used the spacer/chamber thing with the inhaler until about a year ago, because he just seemed to get more in to him with that device.

I have heard that our area is horrible for allergies. I know I never had a sinus infection in my life until 3 years ago.
Even if your son didn't initially show allergies, my allergist said he wouldn't be surprised if later on our son would show a reaction to the pollens in our area. When my older son was young we had cats and he never had a problem. By the time he was 13 he showed a reaction to them in allergy tests.

My husband's brothers had horrible asthma as little boys and grew out of it. I don't know if this is always the case, but it seems to be with us.

The peak flow meters can be a little tricky - it took my boys a while to get the hang of HOW they were supposed to blow in it. Technique can make a difference in your score.

good luck - it does get better -

bec
husband Jeff 45 years old, diagnosed 8/25/06
PSA 2.1, 2 of 12 samples at 3% & 4%, involving 1 side of prostate
Gleason 3+3=6 in both samples
laparoscopic radical prost. 10/17/06
cancer in both sides of prostate, positive in one area of margin
first PSA in 1/2007


momwith3
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 1/7/2007 5:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks 2busymom...I appreciate your words of encouragement.

pegleg
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 257
   Posted 1/8/2007 12:02 PM (GMT -6)   

Hello Everyone!  I would like to take this time to correct a misconception re:outgrowing asthma.

Unless a person is able to perform a pulmonary function test, their symptoms are txed as if they are asthmatic.  When doing a PFT, a pt is given tests to see how their airways respond without a bronchodilator.  Then they are given a bronchodilator and another set of tests are performed.  The difference between pre&post bronchodilators lets the MD know how the airways respond and they are able to make a definite diagnosis.

Many children have allergies which mimic asthma symptoms, so the symptoms are txed.  That is why you hear that "Jimmy" outgrew his asthma.  He didn't outgrow his asthma.  His airways are larger & he is building up an immunity.  Also, when boys reach puberty, they grow at a faster pace than girls (including their airways).  That is why parents notice that boys seem to "outgrow" theirs earlier.  There are hundreds of Americans who die each year because they thought or were told they "outgrew" their asthma.  I had a pt whose wife died on Christmas day a few years ago.  She was only in her 30s & much too young to die for no reason.  He said she was coming down the hall (no problems before that moment) and all of a sudden she started experiencing her throat closing up.  She was able to tell him that it felt like an asthma attack (she had no attacks since age 12) and he called an ambulance.  Unfortunately, she died before they had a chance to reach her.  If she only had kept an Albuterol MDI, she would have lived.  She knew she was asthmatic because she had taken a PFT, but since it had been yrs since an attack, she thought she was free of them. 

Another example is a young man, age 27.  Free of asthma symptoms since age 13 & no longer carried relief med.  Pulled up in front of mother's house.  She thought he was talking on his cell phone.  After 30 min she went to tell him either come in & visit her or go visit the person he was talking to.  Unfortunately, he wasn't on the phone ... he was dead from a severe asthma attack.

My son is now 19 & was diagnosed w/asthma at age 3 when we moved to the Coast.  His attacks seemed to stop at around age 14, but I insisted he carry his rescue med.  He is a typical teenager who went through speedskates & baseball w/no problems.  Last year, he took a part-time job in a coffee shop which allowed smoking (none of his friends or ours smoke, so he wasn't exposed to it .. one of his friends is still considered severe asthmatic).  During the first hour of his job, he had a SEVERE attack (peak flow less than 50% ... usually does over 700, during attack at hospital his was only 250).  He was diagnosed as severe & would shut down in less than 3 minutes w/o rescue med.  I believe if he didn't have it that day, he would not be alive now.  He no longer fights me about carrying it.

What I'm trying to reinforce is that if a oerson is a TRUE asthmatic (after PFT), he/she will NEVER outgrow asthma & should ALWAYS be prepared.  Hopefully they will never have to use the MDI, but but much better safe than sorry.

I'm a respiratory therapist & this info is meant for educational purposes only & not as med advice.


momwith3
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 1/8/2007 1:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Great information, pegleg, and thank you.  As a respiratory therapist, do you think that any lung/airway damage incurred from asthma or pneumonia is permanent?  The docs say that this damage may repair itself over time with the right daily asthma meds, but some of these meds have not been on the market long enough to know for sure.  What do you know about this? 
 
I know that any information you give is not medical advice.

pegleg
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 257
   Posted 1/8/2007 2:19 PM (GMT -6)   

Damage to the lungs after pneumonia usually is not permanent.  Damage to the lungs w/regards to asthma:  Not usually a lot of damage; however, if asthma is left untreated, there could be significant damage.  If your children were born premature, the lungs are more delicate and inreturn, more susceptible.  There has been a lot of advancement w/asthma tx with new meds now available.  Even though they have not been on the market for long, the FDA would not have approved them for useage unless they were safe.  That is why I stay away from herbal remedies as most are not approved by the FDA. 

Hope this has helped a little.  Good luck.

 


momwith3
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 1/8/2007 2:24 PM (GMT -6)   

You're wonderful for replying so quickly - thank you.  Can I ask one more question?

Do you believe that an asthmatic will be an asthmatic no matter where they live?  Or do you think that a place with great air quality and few ozone issues could make a difference?  My 3 year old was 2 1/2 months early and I'm afraid he's going to have worse issues than his brother.  I just want to give them the best chance and quality of life that I can.

I promise I'll leave you alone after this one!  Thanks!


pegleg
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 257
   Posted 1/8/2007 4:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Dear momwith3: Happy to answer any questions you have ... I believe asthma education makes a HUGE difference in the results of medical tx. Just because you move to a location known for better air quality, etc, doesn't mean that your child will have a decrease in the severity of asthma. There may be various triggers that aren't in your area that he will all of a sudden come into contact with. The best thing to do is take charge of the known triggers. For instance: If you live in an area known for pollution, limit outdoor activities to days w/low ozone ratings (these are given out during daily weather reports on the news channel you watch. Another thing to do is to purchase a HEPA filter for your heating/air system. This filter can be taken out and hosed off (different types vary) and placed back in the system (just like any other filter). These are better than just the room purifiers as it controls the entire house, not just the room. Is any of your children allergic to cockroach dust? If so, cockroach dust is found in chocolate candy. My son's trigger was cockroach dust and once he quit eating chocolate candy, his attacks decreased remarkedly. What are your children's triggers? If you want to list them, I can give you info on how to control them. I won't be back on until sometimes tomorrow, but I will definitely answer any of your questions.

Just remember, knowledge is power! Will talk to you again tomorrow.

momwith3
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 1/9/2007 12:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Dear pegleg,
 
Once again, thanks for your time on this.  My son was allergy tested and showed no major triggers.  He was mildly allergic to grass pollen.  He showed no reaction to dust mites, cockroach droppings, or anything else.  I guess this is why it's been so challenging.  My teenage son, when young, was tested and had big reactions to certain things, so it was easy to control.
 
I've always prided myself on being educated on asthma - my kids' pediatrician even joked and said I may as well be a respiratory therapist since I already knew so much!  However, my 7 year old's case is stumping me.  I know that part of the problem is the weather change.  Where we live, winter days can be 70 and nights 25.  We can always bet that when we have these kinds of variations in temps, that he'll be sick within 24 hours.  This is also challenging because school days start so early; therefore, he's out the door at 7am when it's the coldest.  Last winter, I began homeschooling him in December to keep him out of the coldest weather and that did help alot.  This year, I'm trying to keep him in a school environment as long as possible.
 
My hopes that are this new inhaler, Plumicort Turbohaler, will make an impact.  He's also using a scarf and trying to breath through his nose when it's really cold outside. 
 
Thanks again!

pegleg
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 257
   Posted 1/9/2007 12:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Dear Momwith3: Barometric changes are a BIG influence on an asthmatic. This also had an affect on my son. I always joke that he can predict a storm or hurricane entering the Gulf before the weathermen know it. I think this is one of the hardest things to control in a person w/asthma as you just can't control the weather. The best thing to do is check the ozone level every morning & go according to that. If the ozone level is above normal, keep him inside (not out of school, just don't let him walk to school or play outside). A note to the teacher should do the trick. The barometric changes also had an affect on my son's sinuses (triggering sinus headaches) which also triggered an asthma attack. If this is the case w/your son, talk to your MD about getting on a routine program to control his sinus situation.

The most important lesson I learned though is not to limit my son's sports but to adjust his txs around his life. If a child is left feeling like they are different, they will not tell you when they're having problems or not take the tx when needed. I was behind my son's school bus one day and all of a sudden, I saw this blue object flying out a window. I guess it was a mother's instinct, because I just knew it was a child's aerochamber. Sure enough, I pulled over & found the aerochamber in the ditch. When I got home, I asked my son how his new aerochamber was working ... he was really surprised when I held it up (dirty& bent). We sat down & discussed what happened & he explained that the kids were teasing him about it going in & out. I took him to the base clinic where we were stationed, spoke w/his MD, & found one he was comfortable with. No problem after that. Hope this info helps.

momwith3
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 1/9/2007 1:19 PM (GMT -6)   

What a cute story about your son!  I do know what you mean, my teenager is very self concious about it. 

Thanks for all the input from your personal experiences - it does help alot.  We will continue working towards 100% management of this and, hopefully, he will be able to become more symptom-free as he gets older. 


toddlermom
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 1/14/2007 11:35 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi. My son, William, age 2, was just diagnosed with asthma on the 9th, although we've suspected it since he was 5 1/2 months old and had pnumonia and the cough never went away. I'm glad to find other people who I can learn from their experiences. My mom has SEVERE allergy-induced asthma, so I was not surprised at the dx, but I'm glad so far his only flares with cold, damp weather or after he has a cold.
My only concern right now is when to use his nebulizer(only for cough attacks when needed). His allergist/asthma dr put him on 4mg of Singulair 1x a day and told us to use the nebulizer if he gets a bad cough attack. We also have a prescription for albuterol from before his diagnosis, and the dr said to use that if we're out and about and he starts coughing? Should I use it if he coughs a little at home or go right to the nebulizer? Since starting the Singulair, he has only coughed once or twice(never a bunch of coughs at once and never woken him up at night), so I just let them go. He did have a blood test for allergies, and we go to get the results on the 23rd.
Any suggestions please email me or post a reply here.
Thanks
Melissa and Willie(12/28/04-diagnosed 1/9/07)

younglady94
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 178
   Posted 1/16/2007 2:30 PM (GMT -6)   
My 4 yr son also has Asthma. And takes Pulmocort in Nebulizer. Asthma can strike in any country and state. Some children grow out of Asthma for awhile,. and some have less Asthma problems when growing up. At least that is what my son's Allergist had told me. Good Luck. Best Wishes!!Brandi.

pegleg
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 257
   Posted 1/16/2007 6:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Dear Toddlermom: The Albuterol that your MD gave you to use when you are out & about, is it for use w/nebulizer or is it what is called an MDI (some call it a "puffer"). If it is an MDI, please make sure you use an aerochamber or else you will not get the complete treatment needed. There are special aerochambers made for little ones that make administering the med very easy ... they even come in the forms of various animals making the children want to actually take the tx w/o fussing.

Also, be sure to run a vaporizer to keep the child's secretions thin so they can cough them up.

Hope this info helps. You can google the internet for an aerochamber your child will love ... just google "aerochambers for asthmatic children."


Info meant for medical info only & not med advice ... Knowledge is power!

momwith3
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 2/20/2007 10:13 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi pegleg,

You have been so supportive and informative and I'm greatly appreciative of you.  I have another question.

My 7 year old son had a new spirometry last week.  In a relative comparison, he blew 94% of the expected number (187) in 11/05, and blew 79% of the expected number (254) last week.  He's had Pneumonia 6 times and many, many asthma flares over the course of his lifetime.  The doc also gave us a new personal best for him to use now, which is 200.

It seems to me that he definitely has a reduction in lung capacity since his 11/05 test.  The doc also said that the published peak flow numbers are highly inflated and not accurate.  He said that my son has absolutely no lung or airway damage and that 200 should be the expected number for a child his height (51"). 

What are your thoughts on this?


pegleg
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 257
   Posted 2/20/2007 6:03 PM (GMT -6)   
I agree w/MD on the published peak flow numbers. A person's best varies w/each individual. If your 7 yr old is healthy at this time & not showing ANY asthma symptoms, have him perform a peak flow (3 times). The best of the 3 is your peak flow base line. You can have 2 7-yr olds w/no asthma. If one is athletic and one prefers books, they will each have a different baseline. The more athletic one exercises his lungs more due to the exercise of sports and will have a higher baseline. He is young to have pneumonia that many times, but that doesn't mean that it can have a lasting affect on him. Good asthma management along w/lung exercises will keep his lungs healthy.

Hope this info helps. We are still putting our house back together due to Katrina, so if I don't answer for awhile, it's just that I haven't had time to log-on, but will always get back to you.

momwith3
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 2/21/2007 7:40 AM (GMT -6)   

Thanks so much for your reply; however, my concern is that last year he blew 94% of the chart number - 15% higher than he can blow now.  Shouldn't that be a concern?

Best of wishes with your Katrina recovery!

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