I’m actually writing this post at 1:00 AM, and many people who know me will no doubt assume it’s because I’m just up and writing. I am a very early riser, but 1:00 AM is early even by my standards. The reason I’m up will be the topic of today’s post.
My son suffers from this disease and it’s one of those things that I think a lot of people don’t really understand. Prior to my experience with my son I was pretty ignorant of just how serious it was. No one in my family had it when I was growing up, and so my experience was limited to what I saw in elementary and high school. Kids who were short of breath just seemed to bust out their puffers, take a hit or two, and be good a few seconds later.
As far as diseases went, I’d have assumed it was fairly mild.
But now… now it thoroughly freaks me out. It’s so scary to watch your 3-year-old struggle to get a breath, and know that you’re mostly helpless to fix it. Sure, I can grab the chamber and his puffer and try to get it on his face, but sometimes (most times) that doesn’t work, or he’s coughing so hard you can’t get the mask on him, or you do, but they vomit from the coughing—the whole time crying because of how scared they are.
It breaks my heart when the symptoms die down and he asks me why he can’t breathe well, or why his lungs don’t work very well. Or when we’re eating dinner and he tries to eat his green-beans because he says, “If I eat these, my lungs will get better and I won’t cough so much” because we tell him veggies make him grow big and strong.
I do know that kids can grow out of it, and that’s my hope for my son. But until then it’s this battery of medication from different colored puffers, to steroids, and pills that are given with near-religious dedication because when they’re neglected the consequences are severe. It’s hospital visits, and specialists. It’s wondering if it’s too cold for that walk he’s begging for, or for him to ride his bike when we go to the store. It’s him coughing so hard after two minutes on his scooter that he vomits and cries because he’s so scared, or upset that his new shirt is dirty now.
Really, it’s watching his fear about something that’s impossible for a 3 year old to understand.
And now, it’s sitting on the couch in the wee hours, holding the video monitor set up for his room, listening to him cough, and hoping that this episode doesn’t get worse.
I’m not writing this today because I am looking for sympathy. I’m writing because I think asthma is one of those diseases whose seriousness isn’t really understood—or at least the seriousness of it is not understood as globally as many diseases.
I decided this 30 day challenge was going to be me writing with as little over-thinking as possible. I don’t usually share such things but it’s something on the forefront of my mind most days. So there you have it :)
I Promise tomorrow’s post will be more up-beat!