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Are you ready for September?

Checking in with everyone as August is halfway over, and September will be upon us. 

I was thinking about AAFA's 2016 blog post  as I looked at the calendar … I went back to re-read it, and it reminds me to be prepared.

A snippet of the post says:

There is a September asthma hospitalization “epidemic.” Many more people are hospitalized for asthma shortly after school starts than at any other time of the year. The number of asthma hospitalizations peak first for school-age children, then preschool children, then adults.

Do any of you guys see an uptick in asthma flares in September?

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  • Pljohns

     Three of the four times I was hospitalized it was the end of August-first part of Sept.  Last year was tough in Aug/Sept also-did time on prednisone then too so I’m hoping to hold it off this year!

  • LK

    Last September I caught an upper respiratory infection which grew into a very long flare.  

    This year, our DGS is starting preschool and as much as I love to babysit him, I have told DS and DIL that I cannot do it if DGS has a respiratory infection.

  • K8sMom2002

    Ugh on the fact that this has impacted you, but so glad the two of you are aware of it. Good call on limiting babysitting your DGS if he has a respiratory infection. Can you teach him about handwashing and coughing into his elbow?

    You know, I wonder if in certain parts of the country, where schools start earlier and the ragweed season starts earlier as well, this doesn't happen earlier.

    Last night I had to attend a school meeting for parents of seniors. The ENTIRE group of staff members who were presenting were all coughing, sneezing, hacking … and I'm thinking, "EEK! Get me outta here, folks!"

    Time for lots of handwashing and a good bowl of homemade hot and sour soup!

  • Melissa G

    There is a nasty virus going around our area right now, fever, body aches, lots of congestion….

    Bekah always struggles with big changes in the weather. We had to pull her off of atarax in the spring so I am keeping a closer eye on her to see how she handles the season change. 

  • LK

    Wow, Cynthia, and I always thought it was the students who brought all the colds to school!  Hope everyone stays healthy!  I have a question – I really don't understand why you should cough into your elbow.  I get it that then you don't have anything on your hands but you do on your elbow or the sleeve of your shirt or blouse or sweater.  At least with your hands you can go wash them off but you cannot go wash off your clothing during the day.  I would much rather teach people to wash their hands afterwards than have gunk all over peoples sleeves.  Especially kids who put their books, folders, etc. in the crook of their arms right where they have sneezed or coughed.  Can you explain it to me?

  • LK

    Melissa,  Hope you all stay healthy!  That sounds like a nasty bug!

  • Kathy P
    LK posted:

    Last September I caught an upper respiratory infection which grew into a very long flare.  

    This year, our DGS is starting preschool and as much as I love to babysit him, I have told DS and DIL that I cannot do it if DGS has a respiratory infection.

    Good for you for advocating for your health! When I was at my doc's on Wed, he was talking about this very thing! I had asked about protecting myself since I can't get the flu vaccine (prior adverse reaction) and am also not protected from . He said the biggest issue he sees is grandparents who babysit sick grandkids! I don't have that issue (yet) and my kids will be on the other side of the country to start school. But I brought it up because we will be traveling to take said kids back to school and traveling is always a risk because you are exposed to germs that might not be prevalent in your area. I have my mask and hand sanitizer ready!

    And I've wondered the same thing about the sneezing into your elbow! I get that's better than not covering your cough at all. But that recommendation is everywhere and promoted by the CDC. I did find :

    To be clear, the maneuver doesn’t eliminate all risk, even if it’s the best tactic available. Studies have shown that even masks can’t prevent all droplets from becoming airborne, Dr. Jackson said.

    But anything to reduce the amount of flying particles helps. And health officials keep coming back to a drum that can never be beat enough: Make sure you consistently .

  • LK

    Thanks, Kathy!  Thanks for the link to the article, too!  Maybe I am just old-fashioned!  

  • Melissa G

    Thanks Lisa! My best friends daughter had it this past week and another friend had it. Both were absolutely miserable. 

  • LK

    Melissa,  Oh, that's rough especially with all the normal stress of the beginning of the school year.  How long does it seem to last?

  • Melissa G

    About 3-4 days. My best friend thought her daughter had strep, but when she took her to the ped, strep culture was negative and dr said it was a virus. 

  • LK

    Sending    good health vibes your way!!    Hope you all are able to avoid that nasty virus!

  • Kathy P

    I've heard several people talk about HFM gougo around! One was a friend in San Diego. Just in time for back to school!

  • dory2005

    Yep…September is always bad. Two years ago, I was hospitalized for my asthma, and last September I broke my shoulder in three places, but because I was having such a severe exacerbation at the same time, my pulmo didn't want me to have the surgery because I was at too high of a risk for complications. The ortho agreed with my pulmo because I was wheezing so badly he could hear me across the room. But, fortunately, my shoulder healed fairly well without the surgery. In fact, the ortho said that I healed surprisingly well without surgery…coming from a surgeon, I'd say that's pretty good! 

    This year, my pulmo updated my action plan to prepare for ragweed season, start of school, etc. If I start having more frequent flares or if my PF drops, I go up by 20 mg of prednisone and increase the frequency of nebs. If that doesn't help within 24 hours, I call the office and then most likely go in and get a shot. I'm hoping that along with the Nucala, this will help me get through September. This will be my first September on Nucala. 

  • dory2005

    There is a stomach bug going around. My older DS (23) has had it for three days now. It's pretty horrible. He's lost 8 pounds and still can only tolerate crackers and bananas. It's wreaking havoc with his blood sugar (diabetic), and he's had serious lows (45-50), too. He was at his grandmother's house when he started getting sick, so my sweet husband drove six hours after work last night to go pick him up and then drove straight back. I just hope DH doesn't get it. 

  • Pljohns

    Melissa-hope you and Bekah stay healthy-we have a stomach bug going around up here too and the sinuses have already turned into the first colds of the year-you know, I worked in primary care for almost 20 years and you could always tell when school had been back in for about 2 weeks.  Just long enough for everyone to share their germs and we would get slammed,  it would die down and then hit again just before Christmas and then die down while everyone was on break and then the flu would hit.

    It’s definitely a good time to review our plans with doc’s and make sure we know what to do. Unfortunately, I don’t even see my pulmo until the end of Sept and he’s not much help even when I see him. Guess I’m flying by the seat of my pants another year!

  • Pljohns

    Oh dory!  I”m so sorry DS is sick-stomach bugs are THE WORST.  Hope he is better soon and hope DH doesn’t get it

  • Melissa G

    Dory, I hope your son starts feeling better soon! Stomach bugs are nasty and I agree with Lynn, the worst! And I hope your dh doesn't get it. 

  • LK

    Dory,  Hope your DS starts feeling better soon and the rest of you and your family stay well!!  

  • Tiffany F.

    I am praying my daughter has built a good strong immune system and we have an easier go this year!  

  • Pljohns

    Tiffany-here's to a better year this year for you.  it's so hard when little ones struggle.

    I'm just holding my breath that I get through the end of this month and Sept without any issues.  As long as I've had asthma, i've ALWAYS had issues in late Aug/early Sept.

  • Melissa G

    Tiffany, I hope you have a better year too! I remember when Bekah was younger, it was awful she caught every cold and it was so much worse for her. I dreaded the fall through the winter. 

    Lynn, I pray you do better than you usually do! 

  • Pljohns

    thanks Melissa-I am tired of Aug/Sept and would really just like to pass them by!

  • K8sMom2002
    LK posted:

    Wow, Cynthia, and I always thought it was the students who brought all the colds to school!  Hope everyone stays healthy!  I have a question – I really don't understand why you should cough into your elbow.  I get it that then you don't have anything on your hands but you do on your elbow or the sleeve of your shirt or blouse or sweater.  At least with your hands you can go wash them off but you cannot go wash off your clothing during the day.  I would much rather teach people to wash their hands afterwards than have gunk all over peoples sleeves.  Especially kids who put their books, folders, etc. in the crook of their arms right where they have sneezed or coughed.  Can you explain it to me?

    I totally agree with the hand washing! That's a good point about kids putting books and folders in the crook of their arms. 

    What our doctors have told us is that the studies they've read say that most viruses are spread via hands. So if you don't cough into your hands (or better yet, you wash your hands afterwards), you spread it less. 

    There was an interesting Mythbusters episode some years ago that really surprised me. They "faked" a runny nose with something that would glow in the dark, and then checked to see how much it spread. It was astonishing! The place lit up like a Christmas tree!

    I guess the thinking is we may not always have access to soap and water or hand sanitizer, and we are kind of unthinking in what we touch.

    I'm always disturbed when I hear about primary schools that run out of soap and don't replace it in the children's bathrooms. The excuses I hear are that the kids will play in the soap and might slip and fall. Maybe the hand washing stations need to be out in the hall so that teachers can easily monitor them. AND maybe they need to be motion sensored — put your hands under the faucet, get a squirt of soap, and the water stays on for the full time you need to be scrubbing your hands. 

  • Melissa G

    there are already several bugs/viruses going around. Kinda makes me worried what this fall/winter will be like.