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No Wheezer Here

November 20, 2012

Day 20 of 30 Days of Gratitude–Today I am thankful that Madeleine could run the entire Turkey Trot at her school without wheezing at all. Thankful as well for her doctor who helped us get her exercise induced asthma under control so she can be as active as she wants to be.

Last December, out of the blue, Madeleine started wheezing.  We were in Virginia, outside in the cold, and Madeleine was jumping up and down.  When she got in the car, I noticed she was wheezing.  This can’t be, I thought.  My girl has never wheezed before.  It must be a fluke.

It wasn’t.  She wheezed again in Virginia and attributed it to something there she must have been allergic to.  We came home and she wheezed here.  She wheezed when she biked.  She wheezed when she ran.  Occasionally, she wheezed during indoor swim practice.  She wheezed when she bounced in bouncy houses or at the trampoline place.  She wheezed when she played too hard inside.  Some weeks, she wheezed 5 out of 7 days.  It didn’t matter if it was hot or cold or what allergens were in the air.  My girl wheezed.  After a month, I finally accepted there may be a problem–after having our nurse neighbor listen to her lungs and confirm that she was wheezing.  We went to the dr, received an inhaler and prescription for Singulair.  We noticed no improvement.  We just used the inhaler a lot and learned I couldn’t go any where without her inhaler.  Maybe when it was summer, I thought.

Summer came and the asthma got no better.  We went to the beach and Madeleine played in waves and wheezed.  This was not ok.  Her asthma wasn’t improving and after 6 months of just a rescue inhaler, I decided we needed more.  I scheduled her appointment for a different doctor in the practice, one I knew worked with the school district on asthma.  He did lung x-rays to make sure it was in fact asthma, and put her on an inhaled steroid….twice a day for one month, then once a day for a month.  Finally, we noticed a difference.  The incidence of wheezing dropped down considerably.  I can count on one hand the number of times she’s wheezed this fall—all times when it was pretty cold.

Today was the Turkey Trot at the kids’ school.  I was worried about Madeleine wheezing and not being able to run.  Madeleine loves running.  In kindergarten, one of the top measures of a friend was how fast they could run.  It was warm today though, so I took a deep breath, and watched her run.  Man, did she ever run!  She finished 10th overall and the first girl in the second grade (there are 5 second grade classrooms with at least 20 kids in a class).  I talked to her at the finish and after a fist bump (Turkey!), asked if she was wheezing.  No, she told me.  I heard no rasps, no breath stuck.  I was more overjoyed with the lack of wheezing than being the fastest girl.

However, after I posted on facebook my thankful, Madeleine came home from school.  I told her what I was thankful for today and she got a funny look on her face.  Oops.  I spoke too soon.  She did need a puff of her inhaler when she got back to her classroom because her lungs got tight.  I am still thankful though, that she was able to run with only wheezing just a little bit—10 minutes after she finished and not during her run.

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