Calling Peg541

Publish date:
Updated on

My little guy is sick downstairs as I write this, and you've been on my mind. I can't find the thread, but I think I remember you writing that your now just-about-grown son was always sick as a little one, and that when he got something it took a long time and a lot of coughing until he got better.

So here's my question - how is he doing now? Is he more resilient, and has he left the always-sick days behind?

I ask because my ds is on the always sick, coughing alot track, and I'd like to think there is light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks!

------------------ Sally

On Mar 1, 2004

Hi Sally,

My son was sick at his first well baby checkup at 4 weeks. We thought he had whooping cough! He was sick every check up from then on. We lived at the doctor's office.

I could go on and on, our pediatrician was a good guy but very very conservative. He did not want to diagnose asthma or allergies and refused to consider a tonsillectomy.

If I could go back I'd do that all over again differently but we really did not know any better. You would think a doctor and a nurse would know better but neither of us ever worked with kids!

We finally had his tonsils out and ear tubes in at age 4. It was like a miracle. We should have done this at age 2!

But yes his asthma hung on, not seriously though. We stayed on top of it, the minute he got a respiratory infection we went every 4 hours with his ventolin and started the nebulizer treatments right away. I came into school to do his nebulizer.

He started allergy shots at age 5 too and that made a world of difference.

Yes, at 19 he is almost totally normal as far as routine illness is concerned. He's used his puffer more now but he's living in a different place at school and I think there is some allergen on campus he's not seen before. His dorm room is also very old (1907!) and probably full of allergens. But he uses the puffer (Albuterol, Proventil) only three times a week, one puff.

So he is very different. I would say he "grew out" of the constant illnesses. Having his tonsils out and tubes in was a miracle. His tubes stayed in for years too!

At one point in 5th grade his coughing was so scary we went to a pulmonologist and followed his advice for a long time. Better control of his asthma, inhaled steroids (Advair now) and that really helped.

I never thought he would be well all the time. He does pick up the occasional Upper respiratory infection with everyone else at school but it just acts like a normal cold and is gone in a few days.

So it happens. He's thriving, a big tall decent guy and he certainly remembers his sick days. PA is his biggest concern medically now and he handles that on his own now. Nothing came easy to him. Toilet training happened at age 4 so he did not graduate high school in diapers! We just sat back and waited till he was ready. He has problems with auditory processing from all the ear infections but he knows when to ask questions. His hearing is perfect after falling to 40% of normal before tonsils and tubes. And he's the nicest guy I know besides his dad.

I got lots of crap from friends who thought I was over-reacting and still do especially with his PA but I look at my DS and I know we did the right thing.


On Mar 1, 2004

Oh, I should add, he used to throw up in every single restaurant we ate in and that is all gone now too.

He had horrible abdominal cramps and vomiting for years. I think that was his milk allergy and once we eliminated milk he's better.

He does vomit occasionally still but that is so routine to him now. Recently it was from "flavored" french fries. He just cut them out of his diet and he's fine.

He still has horrible horrible food preferences, he has never eaten so many foods we eat every day but he's thriving and healthy. I forgive him is food phobias because he has plenty of reason to be worried about a food he's never had before.


On Mar 1, 2004

Thank you Peg! DS is in kindergarten, and I watch the other kids get sick, then better, as my little guy struggles and coughs and looks ill for what seems to be weeks. He does have the occasional ear infection, but not frequently. I guess it's the asthma that kicks in with the viruses. I watch him like a hawk when the temps rise.

I don't think parents of 'robust' kids can fathom what it's like for us. Between the food allergies and the lingering respiratory illnesses, you do have to hover. I didn't envision this kind of parenting experience when the kids came along. I came from a family where we just didn't see, or need to see, the doctor (much). I've learned not to hesitate with ds and dd.

I look forward to sending my kids off to college, as you've done. It's so heartening to hear that yours is big and strong (and a sweetheart). In the meantime, I'll cherish the rosy cheeks, sparkling eyes days.

Thanks again!

------------------ Sally

On Mar 1, 2004

katjam, My 2 boys went through the same thing. They are 6 and almost 8 and this is the best year they've had in a long time. But my oldest started out having constant ear infections, to constant sinus inf. until he had his adenoids out, and freq. strep. His asthma flared up every time. A little while back our allergist did some bloodwork and found out he is IgE deficient. He has no defense against sinus, ear, throat inf.

My 6 year old had constant coughing, croup and in one winter had pneumonia 5 times. His bloodwork showed a low pneumoccocus immunity so he got 2 shots of the Prevnar which helped some, but we were still going to ER quite often. What finally helped the most is the new allergist started treating him for reflux with Prevacid. We havent been to the ER since. It is amazing.

But I know exactly how it feels to always have at least one sick kid. To not be able to sleep because you are running in to check on them everytime they cough. It was so bad with my little one that I almost homeschooled him for that alone.

But it did get better so hang in there!

On Mar 2, 2004


You have mail!!! Love this site Synthia

On Mar 2, 2004

momma2boys - Thank you for relating your experience. I am hopeful that each year will be better. DS was pretty insulated from the outside world until last year (preschool) and this year in kindergarten. Maybe it's part of the immune system learning curve.

Your children's histories are so interesting. DS is an IgE factory, but it hasn't seemed to help much with the infections.

A friend of mine has a daughter with PA and reflux. Her daughter was always ill until the prevacid too. She says it's been a godsend. My own mother lived with bronchiectasis and numerous lung infections for years before we discovered her sphincter was wide open, and that reflux had scarred her lungs like a chemical burn. It was too late for her by then, but I pass the message along for those who think heartburn won't kill them.

DS seems to be improving today and he has color in his cheeks. Things are looking up!

------------------ Sally

On Mar 2, 2004

Sally, you are right, reflux can do a lot of damage. My ds had a very hoarse voice that everyone thought was adorable...until they found out that it was because acid was burning his esophogus and vocal cords.

Im glad he's feeling better today!

On Mar 5, 2004


Did you get my E-mail? Love this site Synthia

On Mar 5, 2004


Originally posted by synthia: [b]Peg541,

Did you get my E-mail? Love this site Synthia[/b]

Synthia, I answered you immediately. The letter was not returned to me so you must have it there somewhere. I'll try again. peg

On Mar 5, 2004


Got it!! Thank you very much! Brought tears to my eyes(((hugs)))! Love this site Synthia