Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Luck of the Draw

"Fortune brings in some boats that are not steered." ~William Shakespeare

Sometimes I wonder why my husband agreed to have kids with me. Its obvious I have defective genes. Although my wonderfully recessive traits allow for beautiful strawberry blond children, they also allow for all kinds of havoc in the immunity department. Monkey and Little Bear resemble each other the most in looks and coloring. Both have that pale roses complexion with the ruddiness lying just below the surface of their cheeks, and that beautiful reddish blond hair like their Daddy. Scootch resembles my coloring more, with the obvious cool complexion palette and invisible platinum blond locks I sported as a baby. But all three have inherited my allergy problems. Lucky them.

Monkey scared the crap out of us at 3 months old. New parents, new baby, and we were taking all those cold winter precautions about not taking your baby out in public since the mall and grocery store is such a blatant place for epidemics to spread. But she still got the sniffles. So when what we thought was just our little Monkey battling a cold landed us in the ER at the hospital with breathing problems, I immediately fell down a hole of guilt and self blame. Her Daddy didn't have any problems with his lungs, but Mommy and half of her family sure did. I was diagnosed with asthma at 8 years old when I passed out cold on the marble floor of a church from lack of oxygen. And as they hooked up my little Monkey to a face mask and started the nebulizer treatment, I sat through the flashbacks reeling in the back of my mind of breathing exercises, steriod pills, oxygen tents, and that bitter, bitter, taste of the asthma medication that bites the tip of your tongue with every use.

With Scootch, we never went down that road. He's had coughs from time to time, and a leaky nose since forever, but nothing the good old Vicks Humidifier couldn't cure. Of course, we got slammed with food allergies instead. Which, if you think about it in a morbid way is still a breathing issue, since anaphalaxsis causes your throat to swell shut. But his infancy was a whole 'nother ball of wax between his skin condition that would never heal, his swallowing issues that made him constantly gag on food and sent me through the trials of Early Intervention, Swallowing Specialists, and an ENT. Oh, and that whole Immobilizing Anxiety Disorder I was battling because I thought that if I left the house alone with my kids we were all going to die in some terrible accident. Goodtimes.

So now we're onto poor Little Bear. I have been watching him like a hawk for any indications of food allergies, like the eczema Scootch endured, or the discomfort after I binge on certain types of food. He did have a bit of a rash on his elbows I was freaking out about, and a problem with spitting up that I was afraid was turning into a reflux issue, but thankfully the skin was cured by a simple change in lotion, and the spitting up lessened with time. Then last Friday he started off with a little cough and some sniffles. And over the weekend, it was increasing to him having small coughing fits and lots of sneezing. Monday he was just irritable and altogether miserable, and his cough was sounding worse. The common cold. At least that's what I kept hoping. And praying. But then when he woke up at 4:30 in the afternoon screaming and inconsolable and his breathing sounded like there was something fluttering in his airways, I was slapping myself for not taking him into the doctor's in the morning. Thankfully the doctor's office has evening hours on Mondays. I scored a 6:30 appointment after waffling back and forth and finally calling the hubby at work to see what he thought of me taking Little Bear in. Of course, it meant picking up Monkey from school with her brothers in tow and shuffling all three of them with me to the doctor's office until Daddy could meet me there after work and take them home for dinner and bedtime. And then waiting the usual hour after my scheduled appointment time to be seen. But score two points for Mommy when the doctor took one listen to his chest and clucked her tongue in pity. Bronchiolitis. The kind that would definitly have landed us in the ER at 3am if I hadn't brought him in for an appointment. So we had our first nebulizer treatment right there in the office. Little Bear was true to form and did not like the breathing mask, but I got to show off my non-squirm headlock skills to the nurse (who was very impressed.) The bad news is him having lung issues this early clearly points to him developing asthma later in life, just like his sister.

And am I a bad Mother for thinking he'd be lucky to have this and not allergy issues with food?

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