We took Emily to the pulmonologist yesterday. It was a pediatric office, and I really liked the doctor and staff. Emily was pretty scared, though. She'd been through so many IVs, blood draws, etc she was worried. The only tests she had to do were breathing ones, though. She had a hard time blowing hard/soft enough, but they said she did well for her first time.
He pretty much said what I expected. She was likely on her way to having asthma. He said he saw lots of kids like her, who follow the same sort of path in the development of full-blown asthma. He said it usually started with eczema, then allergies (food and environmental), then multiple pneumonias. The good news is that her breathing tests came back really good. They showed that she had good lung function.
We discussed some options, and decided to start her on a preventative plan for the rest of the cold/flu season. The past few years, she developed pneumonia or bad bronchitis Feb/March. He said that was common for these types of kids, because that's when the tree pollens start to come out. So, she is on inhaled steroids twice a day to hopefully ward off pneumonia again. We will also have liquid steroids and a rescue inhaler on hand to give her as soon as she develops any sort of cold/flu. If the inhaler isn't strong enough, we may graduate to a nebulizer.
All in all, it's not great news. HOWEVER, among the other stuff we discussed, to could be so, so, so much worse. He said that we could test her for cystic fibrosis, and a few other auto-immune type diseases. Emily started to freak at hearing that, so DH and I decided to hold off on those for now. We will see how the current plan works. We see him again in 3 months for a follow up, and we will re-visit that then.
I think Emily needs some time to process. I tend to forget she is old enough to understand what is going on. When we got her food allergy diagnosis, she was only 3, so she had no clue what any of the things meant. Now at nearly 9, though, she understands that this is serious, and is going to affect her for probably the rest of her life.
Nope It is interesting that she is old enough now to comprehend some of the news you are getting. I'm sorry she is following such a progression but is sounds like you guys have everything under control going forward. At least, as under control as you can right now. It must be comforting to know she has good lung function considering what she has been through.
Deb (40) DD (4) Funny, spirited, curious, has a severe milk allergy, DS (1) fearless and bottomless, peanut allergy
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