Friday, March 7, 2008

The Cough

After her healthiest winter yet, Adinah is once again besieged by The Cough. She hacks and gasps, her eyes turn red, and a tear or two rolls down her face. She draws my attention to this last detail in particular: "Papa, look!"

The only thing we can do is give her puffs of the asthma medicines Flixotide and Sultanol. Usually, she's still miserable for two nights. This week she's been miserable for four. Though not miserable for the whole time--Deanie is always hopping, skipping and/or singing around the place, even when the Cough is sitting on top of her like a high-school wrestler. She puts on a brave face.

We've never seen a doctor who's been able to give us much comfort about it, let alone a cure. They say that kids this age may be asthmatic, but then grow out of it, and never actually develop asthma proper. Great, fine, okay, but isn't there something we can do now for gawd's sake? Apparently not.

So I've been sleeping on the floor next to her bed for most of the week. Waking up at midnight or 4 a.m. to give her more inhalants. Fetching her a glass of water or a roll of toilet paper, so she can wipe her nose. I sort of enjoy this guard dog duty. But I'm pretty wasted after a week of it.

Today she turned a corner, and tonight I told Adinah we could sleep with Anette and V. again. "YAY!" You'd think I'd given her a refill of her Spongebob Squarepants Pez.

I might make a joke or two about it, but it's nice to be able to comfort a kid. Actually, it's awesome.


more cowbell said...

Ouch, poor baby. Teen Demon suffered from asthma and annual attacks of bronchitis. Once they called me from school because she had to sit down and rest half-way up a flight of stairs. She was on Flixotide as well, and had her emergency inhaler. We took her to an actual respiratory hospital, rather than a regular clinic, so it was pretty big deal.

I took her to a naturopath as well, while we were still in Hungary, and I did small steam pots of essential oils (lemon, pine, lavender, eucalyptus, clove) when she was having tough times. Here in the States they don't put much stock in that, but I maintain that it helped.

The good news is, she did, in fact, grow out of it. She hasn't been on any sort of medication for 4 or 5 years ... maybe a bit longer. She is still more susceptible to coughs than the average person, but she's pretty much fine now.

I know that doesn't help now, but I never thought she'd grow out of it, and she proved me wrong.

Good luck ... that can be very scary.

pat said...

Thank you so much, Ms. Cowbell! Those are comforting words. We tried some of the naturopath steam tricks: in Addis Ababa, just after we adopted Adinah, we picked eucalyptus leaves off of the trees around our bungalow, and just put those in a pot of boiling water. But it's nice to know she may leave it behind when she gets older.....