Tuesdays are Your Turn – The Holiday Flare Season

The most sacred day of western childhood, December 25, is coming up fast, isn’t it? Every year, my daughter somehow manages to stay healthy on Christmas, and I can really only remember one year of her flaring while opening presents.

With the other major fall/winter holidays, though, not so much.

AG spent one Halloween in the hospital fighting pneumonia, hooked up to an oxygen tank.

One Thanksgiving, she slept all day long after gastritis symptoms kept her up the previous night. That holiday marked the beginning of her GI problem that recurs, occasionally, to this day and that may or may not have been complicated/generated by the heavy medications for severe asthma problems she had to take when younger, on top of inheriting a weak-ish stomach from my side of the family.

And more than one birthday party in February has found my kid coughing away and needing round-the-clock albuterol treatments.

But the worst holiday for her asthma by far is New Year’s Eve. Every December 31, I can pretty much count on her flaring. My girls like to stay up until midnight, shoot off fireworks, and watch their favorite bands on the Dick Clark special, but AG’s usually coughing while doing all three. In fact, her very first flare ever occurred on the Millennium New Year’s Eve when she was 10 months-old, setting the precedent for her future.

At any rate, as bronchial-challenged holidays go, AG could do worse than New Year’s. It’s not really one of the childhood biggies, you know?

Stress, fatigue, and asthma are the Big Three of the holiday respiratory health ambush, hence today’s reader response:

What is your/your child’s worst holiday for flaring?

13 responses to “Tuesdays are Your Turn – The Holiday Flare Season”

  1. Danielle says:

    Oooh good one!

    Yep, the Christmas holidays can be pretty scary. I’ve noticed this especially since going away for university. I get worn down during exams, and then with the hoopla of travelling home, I usually end up getting sick. Also, I refuse to miss out on my favourite Christmas activities of skating, tobogganing and skiing, even though they can and do get me flaring.

    But, funnily enough my worst holiday is Easter. Not because of the holiday itself, just that it happens to be during spring. I spent two Easters in a row in the hospital (ages 16 and 17) and the past two years I had a flare-y Easter as well.

  2. Elisheva says:

    My asthma always gets worse the week before Passover, when the entire country and their mom is going crazy cleaning in preparation for the holiday. Too much dust and cleaning fumes. Everywhere.

    I also tend to have asthma issues on Israeli Independence day (about two and a half weeks after Passover) from the fireworks and barbeques that pollute the air and then again on Lag B’Omer (about two weeks after that), which for all intents and purposes is national bonfire day.

    Interesting question, Amy! It’s also interesting that all my “asthma holidays” all happen to be more or less one after another in the spring, because other than that, I have no problems with anything spring related (pollen, etc.).

  3. Amy says:

    As I wrote this, I was basically assuming everyone has their worst holiday during the winter, just b/c my kid does. She’s not an allergy sufferer, though, so it’s weird that I’d assume the rest of you aren’t, either.

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