Monday, November 12, 2007

Steroids Save the Day

I really appreciate all your comments. You guys are great. :-)

On Friday, I took the kiddo to the doctor. At first, the receptionist wanted to stick us with the doctor I hate, but I held out for a new doctor we'd never seen before. Hey, I figured even the unknown was better than the doctor I hate.

Anyway, the new doctor listened to the kiddo's lungs and said she heard "creaking," and told us (the kiddo's dad went with us) the kiddo had asthma. Oh no, I thought. Here we go again with an asthma misdiagnosis that will lead to walking pneumonia. I told her about what had happened in March -- that the doctor I hate had said the kiddo had asthma and sent us home with an inhaler and instructions to give the kiddo mini-doses of Nyquil, and a couple of days afterward, the kiddo was feverish and limp and coughing nonstop and vomiting blood into the bathtub while I made frantic phone calls. Dr. New looked at me like I was a problem for her, but said she would send in another doctor. How about Dr. You Hate? No! Oh, how about Dr. Owns-the-Practice? Yes!

Second doctor came in, listened to the kiddo's lungs, and told us the same thing -- asthma -- but offered a much more plausible explanation. He said the kiddo likely didn't have asthma, per se, as in the kiddo doesn't have asthma year-round, but that he had constricted airways as a result of his cold and needed steroids and an inhaler for a few days. Dr. Owns-the-Practice said he himself uses an inhaler about once a year, especially if he's hiking (Mt. Whitney -- hello!) in chilly weather or has a bad cold, and likened the kiddo's situation to his. That made a lot more sense to me, and I appreciated his attention. Dr. New, although nice enough, has a lot to learn from Dr. Owns-the-Practice about bedside manner. Both the kiddo's dad and I are educated people and need/want detailed explanations about things. Of course, the kiddo's dad leaves it to me to be the assertive one in these situations, so I come off as being overprotective, but SO BE IT.

The doctors had a nurse come in and administer a nebulizer treatment to the kiddo, which increased his lung capacity a little bit according to the flow meter. Still, we headed off to get the three-day steroid prescription. On our way out, I touched Dr. New's arm and told her I wasn't trying to be difficult -- I just didn't want the kiddo to go through what he went through last time. She said she understood and gave us a free inhaler and flow meter. Then I burst into tears and had to leave.

The cheap pharmacy (Wal-Mart!) was closed for lunch, so the kiddo, his dad and I had lunch nearby and returned afterward to fill the prescription. We started the kiddo on his steroids right there at the pharmacy, and the kiddo went home with his dad. When I spoke with them the next day, the kiddo was doing SO MUCH BETTER, to the point that I heard him in the background asking his dad, "Why don't you just admit that you caught my cold?" Heh.

When the kiddo returned to me on Saturday evening, the steroids were having a bit of an effect on his mood and energy, that is, he was kind of PMS-y and having trouble sleeping. We spent from 2:30 a.m. to about 4:30 a.m. chatting and watching TV because he couldn't sleep. I finally got him to fall asleep on the couch and carried all 56 pounds of him up to bed. As his head hit the pillow, he awoke and said cheerily, "Hey, there's that mommy I love so much!" and promptly fell back to sleep.

Last night (Sunday) I just let him sleep in a sleeping bag on the floor in the living room while I watched TV and coughed/slept/coughed all night. He was feeling wonderful in the morning (coughing only a little bit after not having coughed all night), whereupon I discovered there was no school today due to Veterans Day. Tomorrow he'll go back to school for sure.

I believe the difference this time was the steroids because the inhaler (Xopenex) really didn't seem to have any effect on his coughing. My brother made jokes about 'roid rage and bacne, but really, the steroids had him scoring over 150 on the flow meter after having scored only 60 at the doctor's office.

And now I'm exhausted, although not coughing much, if at all. Here are some cute puppies to watch (courtesy of while I go sit on the couch until my son's bedtime. *yawn*