My 3 yo daughter was dx with allergy induced asthma at 6 months old. She used her inhaler and allergy medicine throughout the winter that year. The following summer and the year following she had no asthma symptoms. Last winter she starting having symptoms again which was a usually a cough that led to respiratory infection. If we caught the cough early enough with her inhaler (xopenex) and allergy med (zyrtec) we could avoid the infections. We made it all summer with no problems or use of meds.
In August she started again with a cough so we started the Zyrtec and Xopenex again. Her Dr said if we had to use the inhaler more than 3 days/week to bring her in for an appointment. Each time we go in the Dr says her lungs sound clear and to come back if we have to use her inhaler more than 3 times the next week. When we went in for the 2nd or third appointment after that Dr put her on Pulmicort twice a day to prevent asmtha problems, she said it could take two weeks to take effect so come back in 3 if it isnt better. The second week on the Pulmicort she got her annual flu shot. The day after the flu shot the coughing stopped and we went one week with no cough. We continued the daily Zyrtec and the BID Pulmicort. Monday she began coughing again so used her inhaler 3 times Monday, once Tuesday, twice Wednesday, and three times Thursday. Thursday night she woke up about 0200 coughing, I gave her the inhaler but she continued coughing for an hour after. About 0315 she finally quit coughing and fell asleep. I took her in to see Dr again today, as usual they say lungs are clear. They added Prelone (steriod) to her cocktail of medications, which seemed like a last ditch effort since they had no idea what else to do. After reading the list of side effects of this drug, I dont think I want to give it to her.
The cough is maining in the evening, at night and early mornings. Occasionally she will have cough after soccer practice and dance class. It is a dry hacky cough with very little wheezing. Could there be other causes for this cough other than asthma? Shouldn't her Dr do more tests or be willing to refer her to a specialist? If it is her asthma, are there other medications that would control the cough better?
My son went through a similar thing when he was about the same age. The best thing I did for him was to take him to a homeopath. Luckily, one was suggested to me and it turned out to be a good move. The worst thing I did for my son was to let him be vaccinated right before kindergarten. My opinion. He already had the asthma, I vaccinated him, two weeks later he became sick. For a period of 5 months, he as constantly sick with some cold or flu with barely 5 days per month of reasonable health. By the fifth month he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 5. During this time the asthma was the worst ever because of the constant onslaught of viruses. Asthma is already an autoimmune disease. So here I had a kid who's immune system was not working well, I vaccinate him kicking his immune system into overdrive, then send him off to school to expose him to every germ on the planet. He started getting sick two weeks after his vaccination. His immune system eventually attacked itself resulting in the diabetes. That is what happened with us. Your immune system can turn on you in any number of ways. We began seeing a homeopath after it was too late, however, it was still the best thing I ever did. My son looked like the walking dead by then. You should have seen his pasty white face and skinny body.
The homeopath couldn't cure the diabetes, of course, but he did strengthen the immune system immensely. It considerably improved the allergies and helped with the asthma a lot. It helped him have as normal a life as possible.
So, the reason I am telling you all this is so that you can learn from my story. Work on the immune system now. Use alternative medicine for that. Doctors only treat symptoms. If you want to keep your child on as few medications as possible then help your child to be as strong as possible. My goal was to not live in the hospital. I accomplished that. Diet is the most important thing. Learn about good diet, food additives, dyes, etc. Learn muscle testing or find someone that does it so that you can learn what your child can and can not eat. You might be surprised. Milk and milk products might be an issue, but this is not true for everyone, so you need to have her tested. Foods can affect the asthma, allergies and the immune system.
I won't tell you not to vaccinate. I will tell to at least be careful and do your own research. Don't do too much at once. Only vaccinate when healthy and never right before school or in the fall. The flu vaccine might be tricky for that. I think I read somewhere that the insert that comes with the vaccination states to not vaccinate those with asthma. Something to look into and think about. Anyway, my son has not had a vaccination since. Not even flu or chicken pox. He never had chicken pox either. I'm to afraid to vaccinate him and risk throwing his system into chaos again. My son is 19 now, by the way.
You have a chance to get your child's immune system stronger. A child's immune system is not fully developed until they are about 12, I think. Diet is huge. Alternative care made a huge difference for my son. All the doctors do is medicate. All the ER's do is medicate. My son had the exact kind of dry cough that your daughter has. It kept him up all night and did not respond to any meds. A homeopathic remedy put a stop to it. One dose and it stopped.
You will know when things are so bad that you have to give prednisone. Trust your gut instincts. You will have to learn to fight for your daughter and to know what seems right and what doesn't. Don't blindly do whatever the doctors tell you or give your daughter every medication they prescribe. They don't live with you. They don't know. No textbook can teach them about what you are going through. Asthma is not the same for everyone. You will learn more about your daughter than any doctor will. I can not even count the number of times that antibiotics were prescribed just to be safe. I didn't give them unless I felt they were really needed. The times I didn't give them, he recovered just fine.
There were many medications that I refused to give him. With the help of the homeopath, the only triggers for the asthma after that were viruses and long haired dogs. Before that it was almost everything. So, why should I put him on daily medications when he only had asthma about three times a year? It didn't make sense to me. Some of the medications they wanted him on back then are banned now. Am I glad I didn't do it.
My father was a doctor, so I was raised to never question doctors and to always do what I was told. Interestingly enough, he also taught me to never take any medication unless absolutely necessary. I had to learn the hard way to educate myself and to trust myself so that I could make a final decision on what I thought was best for my child.
You have a long and difficult road ahead of you Michelle. I hope something I said here makes a difference for you and your daughter. The only regret I have is that last vaccination that put my son over the edge. This journey has taught me so much about believing in and standing up for myself and about health in general. It has affected my own health in profound ways because I have lived what I learned and taught my son. I am disgustingly healthy at 50 years of age. I don't use or need medications of any kind. I don't remember when I last took an aspirin. I don't even catch colds anymore. I don't get sick at all. So learn all you can for your daughter. It will spill over onto yourself and hopefully the rest of your family. I can not stress the use of alternative care in addition to your traditional care enough.
I know that dry cough. I promise you, the doctors won't be able to help you.
This sounds like seasonal allergic rhinitis. It is usually fixed with a nasal spray like nasonex or nasacort. You need to request to be refered to an allergy specialist. That type of doctor will help.-sgt geiling, combat medic, 2/75 rangers
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