The Ever-Shifting Fine Line

Another weekend, another parenting dilemma.

My kid, who I guess I’ll give the pseudonym Asthma Girl in keeping with the theme of this blog, spent last weekend recovering from a cold, and illness is her biggest trigger. She spent most of the week needing her inhaler every 4 hours to control the leftover cough (this is standard procedure when she gets stick) and woke up 5 nights out of 7 needing the inhaler around 1 or 2 AM also. Good times.

Weekends usually mean she can relax, read books, and rest up from the week if she needs to. This past Saturday, though, was a day-camp at a state park with her Brownie troop. Understood, too, that we live in north Florida and our reward for the purgatory that is late summer here is the gorgeous, breathtaking fall and winter weather. When the rest of the country starts to head indoors more, we open up our windows and live at the park on the weekends. So she really, really didn’t want to miss the event. And I didn’t want her to. I also didn’t want to spend yet another week of interrupted sleep for both of us because of inhaler treatments.

These are the decisions asthma forces you to make.

On the one hand, I can’t stick my kid in a bubble her whole life. On the other, sometimes I have have to limit her extracurricular stuff if the flare is bad enough or will get much worse. There’s a line between irresponsibility and encouraging a child with health issues to have a full life, and that line shifts constantly.

In the end, I let her go because she felt okay and I could send her inhaler along. She’s paying for it, a little. This morning brought a relapse of the coughing, and while she went to school she will probably take it easy this afternoon and evening.

These little decisions are never easy, but I hope I’m giving her a childhood she’ll remember as active and full of fun, not marked by her early years in and out of the hospital, constantly hooked up to the nebulizer.

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