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Asthma parents — help! (vent)

Just a little mom vent!

Soccer Shots started today and it is Spring season so its indoors.  For the toddlers, they really practice handling the ball and don't run too much.  It's done in the hallway of daycare and there plain isnt that much room to run.  A few yards. My daughters pulm office encouraged me to let her try things like this and was all for her doing soccer shots, but I am nervous!  To the point I was nearly in tears second guessing myself.   I am totally regretting letting her do it, but both doctors thought she should try to be a kid.  I had all kinds of things resurface from her asthma attack last year (she has only had 1 and it was during a bad spell of bronchitis).  

I feel like this is much more of an inner struggle for me than it is at all for her physically.   I dont want to hold her back in life and be a helicopter parent (I feel like her pediatrician thinks I am loco sometimes with worrying about her).  Asthma parents: how did you help yourself find the line between protecting your kids and being overbearing?

Even though I acknowledge this is all still pretty fresh for us, and she's very young, I dont want holding her back from things to be about ME and my fears.  Then again I am the one that needs to be the voice of safety and protection for her. Really struggling today….

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  • K8sMom2002

    Hugs, Tiffany! I know exactly what you're going through. You don't want to make things worse, but you don't want to hover, either. 

    It sounds like you discussed this with your doctor and your doc seemed okay with it? That's the first thing I do when I'm trying to figure out if something is safe to try with my DD.

    Did your doc give you any pre-treatment options or things to watch out for? 

    Has your kiddo ever had an asthma attack brought on by exercise if she's otherwise okay and at baseline?

    My doc has encouraged me to get plenty of exercise as I can tolerate it, even though I definitely have EIB (exercise induced asthma). Basically what my doc says (and my daughter's allergist, too) is that helping to strengthen the lungs through regular exercise can help save and increase lung function despite asthma.

    One thing that might help you is to read through the AAFA resource, . It helps parents and kids figure out safe ways to get exercise in while managing asthma. 

    Another great resource is AAFA's resource on . That has helped me!

  • Mama

    My daughter has had asthma since she was little, too, and the doctors always told me it was important for her to be active and encouraged me to put her in sports.  Having said that, we couldn't get her to do swimming (what they always suggested) without setting her off within a couple of weeks, and spending months recovering.  So I totally get the indecision and worry.  Is it possible to be close at hand during the new soccer activity?  It makes me feel better when I know I'm not counting on somebody else to pay attention to her breathing and I can check her out myself.  I'm no expert, just my two cents.  Also, I will say I understand the difficulty of decision making in these situations.  I appreciate the emotional turmoil.  Wishing you and your child luck!

  • Shea

    I didnt start sports until I was 8. And then I loved them and played them a lot. But younger kids dont need to do soccer shots to be happy and healthy. And sometimes if they are pushed to do it when they dont want to then they lose interest in the sport for life. Also, my old coach used to be frustrated with the kids who started too early because they learned all these "bad habits" about how to play instead of learning the right way to start… Then he would have to "unteach" them. Your feelings matter. There are many forms of exercise for kiddos. They have so much to learn about motor skills that they dont need a sport yet. They have short attention spans and can learn just by playing at the playground. You coul get an indoor small trampoline for them to bounce on and hold handkes (my son loves his). Setting up mini obstacle courses at home, or creating them at the mall play areas (I used to say go to the Crab and climb him, push the fish's nose, then run back here and he would try to remember what to do and do it and Id time him). Going to the playground and climbing or playing tag. Going on little hikes during low pollen times. You can start by these activitues and if she does these without flaring her asthma THEN you can graduate to soccer shots. Those are just my thoughts on it. I just– think you can take it in steps you are comfortable and that stress and anxiety are often reasonable and thet will lessen as you see her do things without fkating, and are cimfortable handling flares and directing others to, and that happens over time– not by snapping your fingers. 

  • Shea

    Side note: I also looked at soccer shots when my son was 3. They had an indoor arena–but it really set off his dust allergies on day 1– so I got a refund and put it on hold for later. He also was not enthusiastic about going–he didnt want yo wear the shirt they gave him, he didnt like following orders– it jyst wasnt his cup of tea. So we joined a homeschool co-op instead and he shined in that– we had a nature and science class and an art class– and he played at the park with our group. That was great. 

  • K8sMom2002

    Mama and Shea, those are some really great points! I think it's important that our kids learn how to be active in a safe way, and that we are allowed to monitor them as recommended by our docs … and not accused of over-parenting.

    Also, Shea's very right in that this time is a perfect time for exploration and finding your "fit." Some kids love soccer … others, not so much. 

    Tiffany, how did she do? And how are YOU? 

  • Tiffany F.

    Hello all!  Thanks for all your support! She did great…  

    No flare-ups, they watched for coughing and the Executive Director was present also who is very familiar with her situation and had childhood asthma herself.  She did hang back for sprints but she did all the little drills and kicked the ball and had fun… she talked about it a lot whn she got home.  She mentioned that a lot of her little friends did it too. She mentioned them by name and said she kicked and did some other terms (I cant even remember them now!) and she lit up when she talked about it.  So I am happy we tried it.  I wouldn't have her do it on humid days or during a virus flare up by any means, but it all worked out and for as young as she is (3 soon) she really seemed to enjoy doing it with her friends.

    So so thankful!

  • K8sMom2002

    Whew! Glad that she had a good and safe time! I will tell you, the older she gets, the more you will figure out what her limits are and know what is right for her. You got this, mama!

  • Melissa G

    Tiffany so glad to hear that your dd did so well during soccer!  It is really hard to find that balance, of fun and safety. 

  • Shea

    Oh yay I am glad you tried it out and found a good fit, have an understanding exec director, and that she had fun!! It is good to know the possible triggering things too, like you mentioned. 

  • Tiffany F.

    I did send the asthma testing website to the coach and she had all of her staff do the training!  They have been extra cautious with Lexi, not making her run sprints etc.  At least until she's a little older and we can tell if she is exercise-induced.  So far she only seems to have flare-ups during colds/viruses and she does seem to have allergies (so far, well controlled with Zyrtec/Singulair and HEPAS running in our house)

  • Faye

    Hi Tiffany! I'm not a parent but I had asthma as long as I can remember. My mom did what she thought was best for me. There were several activities I didn't get to participate (Girls Scouts, volleyball, scuba diving) in because I was not allowed. Looking back, I knew she was just trying to do her best in the best way she can. In my opinion, you are doing a good job at handling the situation. Glad to hear your daughter is doing well. Living with someone who has asthma is a constant learning process. I am still learning and discovering things especially as I get older. 

  • K8sMom2002

    @Faye, that sounds like a wonderful attitude! What things are you able to do now that you are older? What things have you discovered lately about asthma?

  • Faye

    My asthma improved from working out regularly and eating a plant based diet. I started working out regularly about 7 years ago. I pushed myself to try out more outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and jogging outside but also listened to my body and took short breaks when I need to.The biggest eye opener for me was my diet. Almost three months ago, I decided to go fully plant based after being plant based 70% of the time last year. First, I went to my family doctor to let her know of diet changes. She said it's okay as long as I eat a balanced diet and take a multivitamin (which I am already doing). Then I had my bloodwork done because I want to compare my blood work before and after doing this diet.I felt a difference during the first few weeks. Last month, I had my routine pulmonologist checkup and I told my doctor how my breathing has improved so much. My shortness of breath is gone and I can work out more effectively. After doing the breathing test, he said that i don't have to use my Incruse inhaler and take Montelukast pills each night. He also cut down my dosage for my Sybmicort as well. Right now, I am only using Proventil and Symbicort. The only thing he emphasized was to eat more because I lost a few pounds. I am not used to eating a lot more food. I have to snack more and eat bigger portions to get all my calories in. My three month experiment is almost over but I have decided to continue eating this way because I feel like a new person.Sorry for the long post but I just want to share how this helped me and maybe can help others on this thread. 

  • Brenda Silvia-Torma

    @Faye, all of this sounds wonderful!! And, I think you are very wise to talk with your doctor before you started! When do you go in for follow up blood work?

    Brenda

  • Faye

    @Brenda Before I started, my doctor actually told me that my insurance won't probabaly cover another blood test unless its for diagnostic purposes. I called my insurance and they won't pay for another one. And it's very expensive for me to pay out of pocket because. I found a website called walkinlab and might try that.

    Are you interested in some recipes? I use pinterest a lot and I can share them with you.

  • K8sMom2002

    Faye, glad you're feeling better! Do you think your insurance would cover a registered dietitian consult since your doctor is concerned about your weight loss? 

  • Melissa G

    Wow to go Faye! Those changes had to be difficult but you kept at it and look how wonderful you are doing now! 

  • Tiffany F.

    @Melissa G  so far, so good since March but we live in PA so I am dreading the return of the humidity, especially at night.  I think she is sensitive to it for some reason.

    @Faye  I sure have more empathy for my mom these days, now that I am a mom and realize how darn difficult it is when you have a little one you are always worrying about.  We are trying to do the best we can, and do NOT always make the right choices.   Its crazy because there are a lot of bad choices to make but I dont want it to be one concerning her asthma.  Been a tough year for me as her dad and I learn!  From what I hear, the worrying doesn't get a lot easier even as they get older.  Its what moms do I guess!   Asthma moms a little moreso.

  • Melissa G

    Tiffany, that is great your daughter is doing well! I hear ya on the humidity. We live in MD, I dread the humidity. You go outside and get slapped in the face with it. Nearly makes the summer unbearable. 

  • Tiffany F.

    @Faye have you ever read the book "Green for Life" by Victoria Boutenko?  or "The Gerson Therapy" Most doctors are barely trained in nutrition and nutrition is the key for many, MANY chronic conditions.   I could get into the fact that pushing better nutrition eliminates many problems that doctors and pharmaceutical companies make millions off of.     Its tough to be a consumer in the healthcare industry.  Trust me, doctors want you on meds.  They are pushed like crazy to prescribe meds.  Thats why I am very cautious about the necessity of any meds we are prescribed.  With my daughter, we do what her pulm says but I have got several opinions and we are on a plan to try to eliminate some meds if she has no issues (over the course of the next few years) and pinpoint what her NEEDS are.

    I am a huge believer in nutrition for the treatment of allergies and the role that nutritional deficiency plays in allergies.  Now, getting a toddler to eat plant-based is a WHOLE OTHER thing LOL but since April we are trying to get a green smoothie in her every day.    Oddly, no sickness since March?  It does take at least 30 days (90 days for some body cells) for cells to turnover — old cells to be replaced by new cells that are built on your new nutrition regime so DONT GIVE UP – takes time!  I commend you for doing such a huge, disciplined step toward health.   Read Dr. Gersons book if you can, just the information on plants alone in the diet is amazing.

  • Faye

    @K8sMom2002 Thank you for the suggestion. I will look into that. I also checked the price of the blood work through walk in lab and it's $95. That is another option or I could just wait till next year as I will continue eating plant based.

    @Tiffany F. Thanks for the book recommendations. I love listening to audio books and Audible might have these books in audio format for my drive to work. Definitely agree with you on the relationship of nutrition to asthma and other chronic diseases. I was on Advair a few years ago and was paying $250 a month because it's the best preventive inhaler that worked for me. That was one of the instances when I asked myself, is Advair the only way to control my asthma? Are there other inhalers or other things I can do? Kudos to you for being proactive and willing to learn other ways to improve your daughter's health!