Just over 10 years ago, I lost a dear friend, Dexter, to asthma. He was a married father of two small children who were present when he died from the disease during one of the hottest days in Toledo. He couldn’t find one of his many inhalers in time to thwart off the attack. This is the reason I ask my husband to carry an inhaler wherever he goes even though his asthma is under control. For years, Dexter’s and my families would travel to Cleveland for a week long church convocation during one of the hottest months of the year to a venue that had no air conditioning. Both of our father’s were pretty important preachers at this convocation. Almost each year, Dexter would end up in the hospital during that week or around the same time due to complications of asthma. Knowing what he went through and hearing the stories of my husband’s childhood bouts with pneumonia and trips to the hospital during asthmatic episodes, I am terrified of asthma. Terrified. I breastfed both of our children so that the probability of them developing the disease would decrease. I suffered cracked and sore nipples and midnight feedings for a total of 17 months (between the two children) so we didn't have to deal with this!
Tomorrow I’m taking my daughter to an allergist/immunologist to get tested. Of course I’m hoping she has allergies. For the past few years, she has had a lingering dry cough that resembles a brief clearing of the throat. One of the symptoms of a mild case of asthma is a frequent cough. It got to the point where it became so frequent that it was disruptive to those around her, especially the family. Our first pediatrician said it was just allergies but never had her tested. Our current pediatrician put her on a drug for allergies which didn’t help whatsoever. We then traveled to Aruba for a five day family vacation hoping the change of environment will prove that it is indeed allergies and not asthma. Unfortunately, she caught a cold so the symptoms of the cold included a cough and runny nose. We were hoping the caribbean air would let us know the cough was a symptom of allergies by disappearaing while in Aruba. The cough returned the day before we were to return to NY. As soon as we returned home, I made an appointment with the specialist only to be told we couldn’t come in until mid March. I guess he didn’t know who he was dealing with. Yes, I politely threw a fit and was able to book an appointment for tomorrow. Her cough has all but disappeared for now, but at least with this visit we’ll be able to put an end to the worry about her health.