We woke up in the middle of the night to hear Warren choking out cries. He couldn’t breathe. He was so scared. So were we.
“Mama, it’s not working very well!” he said in a panic.
He was talking about his breathing.
He had croup. Normally, this sort of illness comes and goes without many complications. Actually, many children encounter this sickness at some point. And you feel bad for them because they sound so horrible when they cough but you know that if they can just calm down the episode will pass. But it’s never that easy for our poor little Warren. He has viral induced asthma.
Every time he gets a virus or respiratory illness, his lungs over-react and close up. About 6 months after we moved here he caught RSV, which is a scary virus that attacks the respiratory system in small children. It landed him in the hospital with his first of four cases of pneumonia. Unfortunately for Renny, the doctors think that this acted as an “on switch” for a possible predisposition to asthma. But, thankfully, he really only has asthma problems when he is sick. Nothing else seems to trigger it. His asthma specialist thinks that he will likely out grow it.
So, we have a mask (the fancy “Bubbles the Fish” one pictured above) and nebulizer which we use to administer breathing treatments. He takes two different inhalants plus an oral steroid when his symptoms get really bad. At the first sign of a cough, he uses Albuterol Sulfate. That’s four times a day every day until his cough goes away. He was using the nebulizer every day to take a corticosteroid (Pulmicort), a preventative measure to reduce inflammation and keep his airways open. But, he seems to be doing well overall and we’ve reduced using this medication to only when he’s sick.
He is truly a good sport about the whole process. He never complains. Maybe he feels it’s helping his lungs. Or perhaps he enjoys the mandatory one-on-one time we get reading books together. I’m just glad that he’s willing to sit there long enough to receive the medications. That’s a long time for a 3-year-old!
Last night we were very grateful to have this modern medicine at our disposal. We were able to calm him down, give him the breathing treatments, and have Colin give him a Priesthood blessing of comfort. We were so thankful to hear his breathing return to normal so quickly. But we know that won’t be the last time we’ll face such a scare. Our prayers often include a plea to strengthen Renny’s lungs. I know, in time, that prayer will be answered for good.