Thursday, November 15, 2012

Crickets, balloon launchers, and specialists, oh my!

My oldest kid is naming dead bugs, my youngest kid is building a "chotchkie destroyer 1,000", and I'm getting answers from my childhood from my son's allergist.  It's been a strange week, as usual!

My youngest kiddo is talking more each day, and more clearly, too.  He was getting all fired up about something in our dining room, jumping up and down, pointing, and he finally blurts out "Oh no!  A cricket!!!"  Yep, he was right.  There was a HUGE ass cricket hanging out under a dining room chair.  I don't do the bug thing, so when he was all "Get it, Momma!"  I was all "Get Daddy, son.  It's his job... it's in our vows."  So, my 2 year old comes over to me, all brave, grabs my napkin, and heads for the cricket!  He was totally gonna grab that thing himself.  Well I told him to get Daddy to help him, so he did.  He bent down with my husband to catch the intruder, and it springs up into his little, stunned face.  He's all giggles, while I'm all shrieks, and I go flying into our living room, far away from the wild jumper, who will surely eat my face if he catches me.  My husband bravely stomps on the cricket, then throws it in the trash.  (Sorry PETA?) So, my children...

2 year old Good job, Dada, but I'm gonna miss that cricket.  Then, peering into the trash can Bye jump cricket.

5 year old We can name him Jumpy McJumperson!

So, yep, he named a dead cricket.  But, what else do we expect of the boy who gleefully shouts salutations at the "dead people" in the graveyard as we drive by?

Crickets were not our only excitement this week.  Our youngest also figured out if he placed a hard plastic ball on the flat side of a half deflated mylar balloon and stomped on the inflated side, the ball would launch into the air.  He so proudly launched several balls into my bookshelves and photos on the wall, nearly breaking the antique pocket watch in it's glass dome case, before I made it over to him.  I battled with my feelings of pride over his clever invention, and anger at the invention being so potentially destructive.  Most days, this is what being a parent feels like.  It's like when your kid calls someone who butts in line an asshat and you're all horrified that they swore, but super proud cause that guy WAS a total asshat, and they used a new vocabulary word correctly while also recognizing socially inappropriate and rude behavior.  Yep, just like that.

On a more serious note, we finally got our oldest son's asthma properly diagnosed.  We went to the asthma/allergy specialist today , fully expecting skin allergy testing, and instead he immediately recognized what our boy was going through as "cough variant asthma", which is brought on more by viruses and irritants like smoke, cold air, perfume, or exercise than allergies in my sons case.  He could tell as soon as I told him that from mid September until April he catches every germ and is sick almost every day, and it gets serious quickly... with pneumonia and croup often being the end result of so many of the illnesses.  He told me these kiddos do catch every illness, and where it may be just a cold with the sniffles for an average kiddo, it does turn nasty for someone with cough variant asthma, and is often improperly diagnosed and treated.  So, the bad news is, he'll still catch everything.  The good news is, we now have proper tools to help him.  We are just trying to strike a balance between easy breathing and good behavior, as the asthma and cough meds often lead to serious behavioral changes for our little guy.  We now have to wait until he is ill to see what these new meds will do, hopefully we'll have the magic combo.  He should mostly outgrow it. 

My Mom came with us, thinking we'd have the terrible testing to go through, but it was not only a good day to find out what is really wrong with him, but it answered questions for us about MY childhood experience with the same issue.  I was diagnosed with allergies and asthma, but I had the exact same experience of frequent illness through sept until spring.  It was so bad, I missed so much school, that it started to psychologically mess with my head.  I thought maybe I secretly didn't like school, and just couldn't admit it.  Comments from teachers and students about my absences didn't help.  They didn't see me up all night long coughing, or getting ill at the bus stop because the terrible coughing lead to reflux issues.  They just saw me missing class.  It did continue as an adult, too, just not as frequent.  I still caught many illnesses, and they hit me harder than my coworkers.  I'd need inhalers, have terrible chest pain, and be exhausted from being up all night coughing.  I started to think I was a bad employee that didn't like work.  But, magically, I didn't have the issue when the weather was nice and cough and cold season was over. Times when, if you were just gonna skip work or school for the fun of it, would actually make sense to miss.  So, this visit helped me in ways I never even dreamed it could!  It answered so many questions for my son, my mom, and myself.  I also know I'm not hallucinating his serious illness or imaging it.  You start to wonder when everyone else seems okay, or seems able to handle colds, but it seems to be some big ordeal for you.  Croup, pneumonia, asthma, this is reality, but sometimes it is so much you think you MUST be dreaming... a nightmare  of a dream, but certainly it could not be reality.  Having answers feels like freedom.  I can accept reality, and now I have the tools to deal with it, and the support.  (Just looking back over the winter months of my blog from 2011, you can see what I'm talking about...)

I know that's not my usual smart ass entry, but since I do comment about the illness we go through in this house, and it probably seems ridiculous (cause it is), and I seem absent for longer periods of time, now I have a pinpointed reason why!  Let's hope this year, with the meds, we can keep illnesses to a more "normal" level.  Wish us luck!

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