November 17th, 2009
I just wanted to fill you in on our eventful afternoon yesterday. My pediatrician told us last year that at six years old, there is finally a test that is performed at the Children’s Hospital that can confirm asthma. Because our six-year-old had what we suspected was “viral induced asthma,” and he never huffed nor wheezed while running or during physical activity, we weren’t so convinced he actually had asthma, per se. So, off we went yesterday afternoon for a test which we were told was a breeze. He just had to blow a few times into a “thing.”
We arrived and everyone was friendly of course. Everyone at these kid’s hospitals are so nice. My son was just so thrilled not to be in school, that sitting in a hospital didn’t phase him in the least. Our name was called and we went into this room with a little chamber that resembled an airplane cockpit. So, my son tried breathing in and out of this machine, but he couldn’t get it. He couldn’t keep his lips closed, and he was laughing, and the nose-plugs they gave him were bothering him, etc…
Because they couldn’t get a reading from the “cockpit,” he had to move to another machine and start the real test. That’s when my blood pressure started to rise.
The concept: bombard one’s airway passages with heavy irritants, and see if lung airway passages close up and if patient stops breathing. Sounds great huh? I was thinking the same thing. They explain that our son will be getting a series of six masks while tightly clamping his nose. As he passes each level, the next mask will contain higher levels of irritants. But the catch: he is not allowed to cough or they have to repeat the previous mask. If you were given progressively more and more shit in your lungs to breath in, how well would you refrain from coughing, I ask? Finally, if you start gasping for breath, they stop the test immediately, give you Ventolin to aid breathing, you fail the test, and they conclude you have obstructed airway passages or asthma.
Ok. So the test begins. It starts out okay. No problems here. But with each mask, more stress. He wants to cough. Every time he says he has to cough, the nurse is ordering him, “Don’t cough or we’ll have to repeat the last mask!” So, after mask 3, he starts crying, he is dizzy, he wants to throw up and he wants to quit. I kept looking at my husband, “Talk to him. He can’t quit, we have to keep going.” Thank goodness my hubby was there. I can always count on him in situations like this. For himself, he’s weak at the knees. For me and my kids, he’s a rock. So, we started with the distraction. I read him stories. My husband told him of the time his pinky tip fell off, and grandma and grandpa had to pack in on ice in a baggy and rush it to the hospital and have the doctor sew it back on! You name it, we blabbed to him to keep his eye on the ball.
But, in the end, my little guy was like the EverReady battery. After 90 minutes, 6 masks and high tension, he passed. HE IS NOT ASTHMATIC!
When we got home, I needed a vodka. And I don’t drink vodka.
So, the point of my story is, if he was diagnosed with asthma, I had this afternoon all booked off for double vaccinations for the boys. Now that he’s not, I’m back on the fence. Ah, the fence. Crap!
Until next time, my friends,