First there was the original asthma diagnosis, followed by a Flooded Mother’s Day. And then the asthma meds weren’t working, so Ryan had to go for a chest x-ray, which led to a second asthma diagnosis and stronger meds.
Each day, my kid gets four breathing treatments with two different medications, four sets of eye drops, one antibiotic and one oral steroid medication. Not to mention loads of moisturizer for his eczema.
Funny thing: I’m the sort of person who views medicine as something of a last resort. If there’s a natural way to treat or prevent something, I’m all over it.
But then the pediatrician used the words “asthma” and “severe” and “concerned,” and I took off running for the pharmacy.
I feel guilty. Guilty that he gets his high risk for allergies and asthma from me. Guilty that I didn’t figure it out sooner. Guilty that I bought a cat eight years ago and she could be making the situation worse. Guilty that all of this means Ryan frequently has to sit in a high chair, breathing in medication through a mask that prevents him from gnawing on his toys, which is the only thing in the world that he really really wants to do.
He shouldn’t be working on his motor skills by yanking off his nebulizer mask (although, if I’m being honest, I am totally impressed by the swiftness with which he removes it).
But this guy?
This guy doesn’t seem to care.
Ok, he hated the chest x-ray with the fury of 1,000 suns. But would you want to be stuck in a scary contraption that pins your arms straight up in the air for several long minutes? No, you would not.
But otherwise, he seems completely oblivious that all is not well. He is accepting of the fact that play time has been taken over by “spa time.” (Yes, I tell him his nebulizer is a spa treatment. What?)
The kid, if you can believe it, seems to get happier every day.
I used to have to make a funny face, a funny noise or say just the right thing in just the right tone to get one of those smiles. Now I just have to smile at him and he smiles back.
He laughs through his mask if you bounce him up and down and sing a song about him. He has figured out how to bounce up and down on his own when you stand him up, and he makes himself laugh while doing it (I can see why… it IS pretty funny).
At night, after all the treatments had been doled out, we let him play in his froggy activity center for a bit before bedtime. For about 20 minutes, he sits and smiles and babbles at his hanging toys. The kid eminates joy.
So, I’m attempting to follow his lead. If he’s going to keep that smile on his face, then so am I.
Unless someone traps me in an x-ray machine for four long minutes. Then I’m going to scream my head off.