Counting Down a Decade of Asthma – No. 9, Learning to Love Steroids

Part of the series A Decade of Asthma.

Okay, “love” is a strong word. “Like” is stretching things, even.

But raising a child with this lung condition does mean – except, sometimes, in instances of extremely mild asthma – understanding that “steroid” is not a bad word.

As part of my inability to acknowledge the seriousness of asthma in the beginning, my first reaction to doctor suggestions to put my then-toddler on inhaled corticosteroid treatments?

Oh, hell no.

And in a development familiar to many of you, I’m sure, when I traded actual knowledge about asthma medications for my preconceived ideas and prejudices associated with the word, “steroid,” my daughter started daily Pulmicort and later, a Flovent inhaler, and her health improved dramatically. Some lucky asthmatics don’t need maintenance steroids at all, but the difference they make in quality of life for persistent cases like my daughter’s is unparalleled.

Hence number nine on my list of top 10 concepts of raising a breathing challenged child:

Learn the difference between anabolic steroids and inhaled corticosteroids as soon as possible if your child has uncontrolled asthma. Steroids can be your friend.

Previously:

No. 10: Releasing Old Expectations of Childhood and Health