Tuesdays are Your Turn – Baby and Toddler Suspicions

I write a lot about parents’ instincts and those gut feelings we all have when it comes to just plain old raising children and also the more complicated subtleties of kids’ medical treatment.

Now be honest:

Did you know or suspect your child had a health problem before the asthma diagnosis?

I didn’t.

One of the features of my daughter’s early years that still surprises me most, to this very day, is not her poor health back then but my total ignorance of it. When little kids get sick, life gets difficult. (Or so my reasoning went.) Multiple trips to the emergency room and weeks of sleepless nights for mere colds didn’t seem out of the ordinary to me or Mr. Asthma Mom.

Related, remember the whole inexperienced parent thing? And the unexpected first pregnancy when I was 22 thing?

Those aren’t excuses but evidence that I actually am not a total idiot in real life, despite the evidence of AG’s early childhood to the contrary.

So which of you had more awareness than me, and what made you guess your toddler had a chronic condition?

20 responses to “Tuesdays are Your Turn – Baby and Toddler Suspicions”

  1. Samantha says:

    I suspected we might have SOME kind of problem… tho my brain had not gone to asthma, when she had bronchitis 4 times in one year just before her diagnosis. I didn’t for the life of me have a clue what the problem might be, but sometime told me that bronchitis that often just wasnt quite right. Our conversation went something like this:
    Doc: she has bronchitis, I am going to put her on..
    Me(interrupting) Bronchitis? Again? Why is this happening so often?
    Doc: Well I think she may have asthma, lets try her on some singulair and we will go from there
    Me: Wait, what? Asthma?

  2. Amy says:

    Heh, sometimes I think “Wait….what?” should be the tagline of this blog. I’ve looked back at old video of AG when she was 1 and 2, and in most of the footage she has flushed cheeks and is breathing audibly–it’s shocking we didn’t realize anything was wrong.

  3. Allison says:

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. A friend of a friend just lost her three-week old daughter after a brief illness. I guess there was wheezing and severe respiratory distress and a trip to the ER too late. It wasn’t asthma related, but it got me thinking about how now I have such a different level if consciousness about any cough, wheeze, throat clearing sound, nose grunt. I know what each of these sounds mean NOW, but I didn’t know this at all a few years ago. I get so scared thinking back to the times when my son was really sick and I had no idea how serious it was. I get chills thinking about the time I went to sleep with his and my bedroom doors shut and for some reason woke up just in time to find him gasping for air and unable to open the door. That was my huge wake up call that this was not normal and wasn’t just a bad cold. But now, I can throw around words like bronchospasm and LABA and forget that not everyone knows what they mean…

    The good news is we learn from our mistakes. I caught son #2’s signs of bronchospasm right away and got him to the doc asap. Maybe they should send asthma moms into schools or daycares with our asthma-radar to identify flaring children. It may work better than peak flows…

  4. Sara C. says:

    For me, it was because daughter #1 had RSV so severe it required 12 days in PICU. Her airways were hyper-reactive for a long time after that, so when number 2 came along, and started coughing…I called the pedi and said “she sounds like Abby does when she needs a treatment” When number 2, who HADN’T had a life threatening respiratory virus needed breathing treatments more often than the one who DID…I realized that it was out of the scope of the pediatrician.

    I’m not sure I would have picked up on it so quickly, if Abby hadn’t been so sick as an infant.

  5. Amy says:

    Allison–I know just what you mean. While I write about my kid’s early years a lot, I almost never speak of them w/any detail in person–it’s too easy to tear up.

    Sara–With my second, I did the same thing–only she didn’t actually have asthma. One spring the Sidekick had a pretty rough time with oak pollen & nasal symptoms that had her coughing for weeks and weeks. I was so determined not to miss the asthma signs AGAIN, that I was convinced she had it, too. Until the pediatrician said, “Um, you realize this stuff can stick around in 2 year-olds for a long time b/c their ENT passages are so small, right? And you know you can give her something for the cough, right?”

    I was like, “Oh. Yeah. Okay.” :)

  6. Jen says:

    I had no idea when my dau got asthma for the first time. I had never seen asthma and thought it was not normal for my daughter to barely be able to talk. But her whole life she had coughed alot, til she vomited, and frequently had a cough that would last for a long time.

  7. Callista says:

    My daughter (now 3 1/2) was diagnosed a month before she turned 3. Before that she was coughing pretty much every day for 5 months. I just kept putting off taking her to doctor because it was fall/winter time and I figured it was a cold that never really went away. She coughed more when eating and when sleeping. After 4 months I figured it was something more but didn’t know what.

  8. Amy PT says:

    I’m so glad I found this blog!
    My daughter was just officially given an asthma dx today. We’ve been kind of looing at our watches just waiting for this. My husband and I are both inhaler carrying members of the club, as are cousins and aunts and uncles. I was pretty aware of the symptoms and triggers because of our family history. I can’t imagine coming to this with no previous experience.
    I’ll be checking in here often, I think. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Amy says:

    Thanks! Please do stick around. With that family history, I bet you won’t make all the many (MANY) mistakes early on that I did.

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