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I don't think it is asthma

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Old 09-06-2008, 01:14 PM   #1
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I don't think it is asthma

My son (age 13, type I diabetic) went into the pediatrician's office, who directed us to the ER for the following symptoms:

Slight sore throat
some PND
sometimes productive cough

They gave him 3 breathing treatments and did an xray, which was clear. His breathing meter was originally 185 nd got up to about 230. He was then transported via helicopter to a bigger hospital to deal with the side effects of the diabetes and to evaluate the the cough/wheeze. Not too long after he arrived nurses and doctors wre treating the cough/wheeze as asthma. No one, at the time, paid attention to the fact he had a fever. They put him on Flovent, albuterol and Zyrtec and kept impressing to us how much better he was sounding, regardless of the fact it would make him sound better if he had a simple cold.

The asthma specialist came in and explained the basics to us. There had only been one time that our son has wheezed in the past and it was due to an allergic reaction to medication. She said THAT was a sign of asthma. She further went on to explain that no child at the age of 13 wheezes with a virus unless they do have asthma. He said, when she was listening to his chest that he felt no tightnes but she kept insisting that he was and that he must have had asthma for so long that he has gotten used to decreased lung capacity. I find that to be a bunch of bunk. Does this jive with anyone else? I personally think he has a case of bronchitis.

He goes back to get allergy testing and such but I am going to seek a second opinion before I put him on more daily medication, the diabetes is enough.

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Old 09-06-2008, 04:15 PM   #2
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Re: I don't think it is asthma

Did they not do a breathing test on him? If not, I would demand one before any more meds are added.

Old 09-06-2008, 06:26 PM   #3
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Re: I don't think it is asthma

I have a thread a little ways down called "Asthma Early Warning Signs". Based on this information, I can see why the doctors gave the asthma diagnosis. I've had asthma for years, and until I had an asthma attack without the usual symptoms, I never knew that things such as PND, sore throat and fever were also signs of an asthma attack. Please look for that thread. You can also do an internet search using the words "asthma early warning signs."

I world recommend taking your son to a Pulmonologist or asthma specialist to confirm the asthma diagnosis.

Old 09-07-2008, 07:55 AM   #4
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Re: I don't think it is asthma

They did test his breathing via peak flow and with some other device the specialist brought in. On the meter he initially measured at 185 with 225 after the treatments. Before he left the hospital he was 320 and got up to 360 last night. The goal for his age is 413. However, decreased lung capacity goes along with other diseases/illnesses.

I will also check for the thread about early asthma signs. I have seen that early asthma symptoms mimic cold viruses, but I think it isn't so much an asthma sign but the fact they have a cold that can trigger the attacks, not the other way around. Because if you follow those signs, every person who has an upper respiratory virus potentially has asthma, and that just does not make sense. In searching, a website had a good check list for what you described, broken down into watch, act now, and danger signs. I am trying to educate myself incase he does have asthma, but I am still not feeling it yet.

He has been on Flovent, albuterol, and Zyrtec since Thursday evening. Still coughing fairly often, although not as much and not as congested sounding. No other symptoms, although the tropical storm brough some humidity that bothered him yesterday, but I had trouble breathing and I don't have was THICK!

My main concern is still that even if he is asthmatic that they put him on daily preventative. His father, my husband, is an asthmatic (Yes, I know that increases our son's chances) who has not had an attack in about 8 years that is controlled through Zyrtec. His father's asthma is brought on by pollen and cats, to which we have 4. I will bring up the fact to the doctors that I am not keen on him taking inhaled medications if it can be controlled without. Since he is diabetic (that was an easy, obvious diagnosis), I followed the inhaled insulin trials and that didn't fair too well in regards to the health of the lungs. In all fairness, they do not even know how severe he has asthma, if he has it at all. Yes, it can start late in life, but he hasn't had an attack in 13 years, it may be another 13 before he has another one. I don't feel that it is prudent to take Flovent twice a day if he is only going to have an asthma issue once a year that can be controlled by albuterol. If he were to start again with having frequent attacks then I will be the first in line to put him on a preventative.

He has an appointment on the 18th to have allergy testing and a follow up. Tomorrow I am calling my doctor, who has ALWAYS given me good referrals, for a pulmonologist for a second opinion. The attending asthma specialist stated that boys especially will feel fine and sound tight on exam...that they have always had decreased lung function and gotten used to it. As many doctors as my son has been to, he has had the same pediatrician since he was 3 hours old, endocrinologists, emergency medicine, gastronterologists, ENTs, orthopaedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, not one of them who listened to him thought that anything might be wrong. I know this isn't their specialty, but if you heard this asthma specialist, it was like a used car salesman...trying to appeal to his father how much better he will be at sports once his asthma is controlled. Had to giggle because our son couldn't give two hoots about sports, he is more the scholarly type.

Anyways, long winded...thanks for your advice

Old 09-07-2008, 08:27 AM   #5
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Re: I don't think it is asthma

Just wanted to say I think that it's great you are getting second opinions and not just taking what they say as absolute truth. They may be right, they may be wrong. It makes sense that you wouldn't want to burden a 13 year old with more daily medication if it isn't actually necessary. I take 6 different daily medications (2 for asthma, 2 for allergies, 1 birth control pill, and 1 for GERD) along with my rescue inhaler I keep on me at all times and a prenatal vitamin each morning. (I'm not pregnant, prenatals are just good vitamins, for anyone) It's a lot for me to handle even, and I'm 24 years old. I have allergic asthma and I've had everything from high pollen levels, cat hair, mold, dust, cold air, even humidity set it off. I have had difficulties all my life but was never diagnosed with asthma until this year, and frankly I am not all that surprised about the diagnosis.

Anyway, just wanted to say I hope you get some answers, please let us know what happens. For his sake I do hope your motherly instinct is correct. (I have 2 kids and believe me, I know when my instinct is telling me something)

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