Our Scare with Asthma & Signs to Look Out For

With RSV season in full force, I thought I would share an incident that happened earlier this year, September 13, 2019 to be exact. Such a crazy coincidence that it was a Friday the 13th.  And It was very scary, but at the time I didn't understand how big of a deal it was. I want to share my experience in hopes that others can know and do better.

It was a Friday and my son had told me he didn't feel well that morning. He felt hot, but wasn't running a fever. He tells me all the time that he doesn't feel good because he doesn't want to go to school, so I sent him on in because I thought it was just another of those times. I get a phone call about eleven o'clock from the school nurse. He is running a very low fever and he told her he felt like throwing up. So I go to pick him up. There is a fever policy at their school. 99 or above and you aren't allowed to attend school for 24 hours. His was like 99.2. I honestly didn't mind because I didn't want him to be miserable at school.

I picked him up and besides feeling a little warm, he seemed fine. I get him home and he tries to fall asleep on the couch. He is very restless and can't seem to get comfortable. He looked like he was breathing so forcefully and it just wasn't settling right with me. I'm not one to rush my kids to the doctor. I'm scared of becoming "that mom" who thinks there is always something wrong with her child. But I knew something wasn't right. My husband is the opposite so we both felt it was the best decision to take him in.

I decided to take him to our pediatrician. We were early for their afternoon hours so I was waiting in the parking lot. Thankfully one of their office employees saw me and let me know they were closed for the afternoon - it was Friday after all. So off to Urgent Care (CHOA) we went. I walk in and they are calling numbers 143 (I had already looked online and there were no more mobile spots for the day) and our number was 603. I almost left, but something kept nagging me saying, "no he needs to be seen". The nurse took him back for his evaluation. I told them about his little fever, but the breathing was why I was there. And the nurse then said he will be getting a room right away. When I asked why she said because he shouldn't be using his side chest muscle and neck muscles to breath like he was and the next time I should take him straight to the emergency room.

I felt like crying. I had no idea! He ended up having a breathing treatment and an x-ray. He also was given a prescription for an inhaler and after I told the doctor about other instances, she said she doesn't like to label a child with asthma when it is their first recorded issue, but she said it is a definite possibility that he has asthma and he will always have to be cautious of it going forward. So now we bring his inhaler everywhere with us no matter what we are doing.

So because I don't want you to be caught off guard like I was, I want to share what the signs of asthma to look out for are, according to WebMD :
- Frequent coughing spells, which can happen during play, at night, or while laughing or crying
- A chronic cough (which may be the only symptom)
- Less energy during play
- Rapid breathing (from time to time)
- Complaint of chest tightness or chest hurting
- Wheezing -- a whistling sound when breathing in or out
- Retractions -- seesaw motions in the chest from labored breathing
- Shortness of breath, loss of breath
- Tightened neck and chest muscles
- Feeling weak or tired

Have you ever had something scary happen like this to you? Does your child have asthma? Please let me know your story with an unexpected doctor visit or experience with asthma in the comments below.

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