Viral Induced Asthma

Photo by Land's End Photography
Photo by Land's End Photography

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.

7 thoughts on “Viral Induced Asthma”

  1. Wow, that’s scary. I’m glad he enjoys the one on one time it offers. It’s a great thing to be able to look at the bright side of situations. If he already has that at three, wow that’s awesome.

  2. Poor little Renny. What a brave boy. We just got that cd from Jamie. The pictures of you and Warren are so sweet. The ones of Colin are a little . . . scary.

  3. I understand how scary that is for you and Warren–Henry used to have something similar, although not as severe (we never had to go to the hospital and were able to use a few different inhalers for it). It got better as he got older and he hasn’t had any problems since he turned 4. I hope Warren grows out of it too–good luck!

  4. Sienna has that too! We took a scary trip to the ER last November and have had a few episodes since. Now we have a nebulizer at home also. I didn’t realize it was something she could grow out of. That would be awesome!

  5. OK – this is too wierd. I know it’s been forever since I’ve visited your site, but as you may notice from my comments tonight, Bailey & Warren are oddly similar in some ways! Bailey also was hospitalized 4 times last year with pnemonia. She too has an asthma specialist working with her, but they can’t tell for sure what is setting it off. They also believe she’ll outgrow it in time. For now, the nebulizer helps keep things manageable and us out of the local Children’s Hospital.

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