Sunday, June 19, 2011

Advice for Parents

Last week I was reading Rick's Blog post about being an Asthma Dad, which linked to Kerri's Post about being an asthma parent. With Father's Day this all got me thinking about what advice I would give to parents. Raising a kid with allergies and other issues isn't exactly easy especially if you didn't grow up with it.

My asthma hasn't really been my parents concern hardly at all. I was diagnosed as a young adult... 19 to be exact. I was old enough to sign all my own paperwork, get myself to the doctors, and deal with my own pharmacy stuff. The only way it really relates to them is that I am on their insurance still since I'm a full time student. Occasionally my mom has bailed me out by going to pick up my allergy shot vial(for me to take back to the student health clinic) or running to the pharmacy for me when I have to work late. The majority of the burden falls to me to be an adult and deal with the stuff that needs to happen to keep me going.

Allergies were much my parent's problem growing up. My mom spent upteen nights having me take steamy shower to loosen up the mucus so I'd stop coughing. She also was the one who had to nudge me awake when the benadryl would knock me out during the day.  She also got it cause she's got much the same allergies as I do. She put up with going through pretty much every allergy med on the market with me and bouncing ideas around with the pediatrician(some how an allergist never came up).  Raising a kid with allergies takes quite a bit of patience, and empathy to understand just how hard it is to stay inside when everyone else gets to run around outside.

The dyspraxia is perhaps the hardest for my parents to 'get'. It sounds simple enough on paper but it really does extend so much beyond what people who don't live with it would realise. I strongly rely on habits and routines to make it though the day. Messing with these can really make for some frustrating times on my part which when I was younger would cause a complete meltdown now I am a bit better although I do still lash out occasionally.

To Parents:
  • Especially in the teen years, let the kid take the lead but do be a safety net. Learning from mistakes before you are out on your own with no one to bail you out is important. However, don't play the shame game. There is enough on your child's plate to keep them responsible and force them into a bit more of adulthood they don't need a reason to resent their illness(more).
  • Routines are a great tool for kids with motor skill issues. Colors help too, as left/right are sometimes hard to differentiate(I'm 22 and I still have to use the thumb makes an L trick to tell my Left). Don't criticize slightly unorthodox approaches to accomplishing the same end result as long as they aren't harmful/dangerous. 
  • Build trust so that kids are willing to let you know what's going on and don't try to hide being sick(er than normal) from you. 
  • When possible let the kid set the pace whether it's with allergies or asthma about whether or not they are up to running around outside or with motor skill stuff about when it's time to loose the training wheels. 
  • Patience is key no matter how old they are. You haven't walked a mile in thier shoes(most likely) and so it's hard to know what they are dealing with.
These are what I would say from growing up with a father who didn't get it most of the time. And a mom who did or at least tried. I have a strange relationship with my father it's not that he didn't do good things for me in life but emotionally it's not a tight one.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Quick Allergist Update

So I had a visit with Dr. B over the time that I was in my hometown between the spring semester and the summer research project. Dr. B is happy with the level of ventolin that is keeping the lungs at bay and the fact that I'm not inhaling so much of it. As well as that the allergy shots seem to be helping. I've been released on time off for good behavior until I finish out this vial of extract which should be sometime in the mid to late fall since I'm up to having shots every 3 weeks. Overall he's happy with where I'm at and my compliance level. I walked out with a script for 6 more symbi's to hold me til I come back.
I also got bloodwork for Dr. Z while I was home. My numbers came back just fine. Cholesterol is still a bit high but that's nothing new. I was hoping for a little better on the cholesterol but I may have just hit the best it's gonna get numbers-wise. I'm free from Dr. Z until my annual check up.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


I don't mean to keep making excuses for why I'm not writing on here. I really do have intentions of getting back to writing on here. The transition to living away from home at State University has been slightly less than smooth. I've also had a bit of a hard time acclimating to the warmer weather. Between the stress of the new surroundings, recovering from the latex encounter over Memorial Day weekend, and all the day to day stuff that happens in the life of a busy college student I've not had the energy to write. The lungs have been atypically cranky spent a lot of time in the lime green which just zaps the energy. The fact of the matter is also that it is almost 5k of daily walking to get from my ResHall to the research lab and lunch and back. I have been doing a lot of napping in my free time outside my 40 hour work week. Not knowing people here who get that I don't look sick but some days dragging myself out of bed and staying upright really is an accomplishment. I mean I still have those friends who talk to online but they aren't around in person for a hug. Things are looking up, I'm getting settled and I intend to have some proper posts soon.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


So I'm involved with the Residence Hall Association on my university's campus and we are affiliated with the National Association of College and University Residence Halls. Our school went to the national conference this past weekend in Macomb, IL at Western Illinois University. It was a fun weekend full of presenations about different events and issues related to ResHall living as well as legislation for the governing of the national association and regional affliates.

However, as part of the decoration there were many balloons, thankfully not in the ResHalls where we were staying. This did not do happy things to my body or lungs. I took lots of benadryl and the reactions waxed and waned. I was better when I was away from it but still pretty darn miserable. I did have a few good moments where I was up to taking the stairs to our floor(11th, with a super slow elevator). However, overall it was pretty well bendryl and ventolin every 4-6 hours.  I'm ready to be back to normal. My body is still pretty wore out but my lungs have started to bounce back today. Still have some congestion going on in my ears and sinuses. I'm glad to be feeling human again. I know I owe you a 12 of 12 from may as well as a race report from the 80's run in May and a doctor visit update.  Life has been hectic and now that I'm settled in at the state university for summer research I should have some time to do some more writing.