Archive for November, 2010

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Allergies & Asthma

November 29, 2010

I had enough. T2’s barking cough–again–was the last straw. At 8 year’s old, you’d think T2 would have outgrown Croup. As an infant and toddler, the liquid albuterol worked. We could expect to deal with Croup every fall. Then it started happening in the spring when T2 reach 4, a time when Croup is usually outgrown. By 5, T2 was taking Claritan March-May and August-October. By 6, we had switched to half a Zyrtec and added Nasonex. By 7, T2 was supposed to take the Zyrtec and the Nasonex year-round. And still the flair-ups and the bark.

I am congested all the time and have been told it’s allergic rhinitis or sinus infections. Spring, summer, fall, or winter. It happens any time. I take Zyrtec and Flonase (though I’m really not following doctor’s orders on the Flonase).

Three weeks ago we had a terrible storm roll through and within 12 hours, T2 was barking. Knowing that a friend was allergic to whatever blooms with a storm I considered that, Ah-Ha!, this could be the trigger. We’ve got to find out–I’m already on my third bottle of mucinex cough!

I wasn’t about to let T2 go through it alone. I have a family history–and I really don’t feel like being like my father and having my sinuses carved out in my early 40s. We had our appointment together today.

As far as common and airborne allergies goes, T2 is only allergic to cockroaches. UGH! But with a pulse-ox of 96% and difficulty on the breathing test which improved 16% after 1.5 puffs of albuterol, they considered it asthma or airway restriction disorder. I asked the doctor “So the seasonal flair-ups are just coincidence?” His reply was that because children on average get 7-8 colds per year, the flair-ups start as virile colds. If we control the symptoms (the bark) T2 will have better management when colds strike. This is not activity induced asthma as T2 plays soccer and takes Soo Bahk Do just fine. We will continue the Zyrtec, the Nasonex, and add Advair twice a day. Finally.

Me? Well, I’m allergic to dust mites. Hmm, that’s going to be a problem because I’m allergic to dusting! JK! But the dust and the hairballs do build up big time. Time to scrub everything and get all new bedding and allergen blockers. Yeah. Funny thing is DH had childhood allergies for smoke, cockroaches, and dust mites–but I wouldn’t get the allergen covers for him! Nope! But I will for me! LOL No, we have had them on our pillows. I’m just going to have to get the mattress covered and change all the bedding. Oh, and I got a new nasal spray too.

We’ll reevaluate both of us in three months. I will get food allergies tested at that time and we will determine which I reacted to when I got my tetanus/pertussis shot last December. I just didn’t want to do it all with T2 there.

I was able to call DH and give him the news. He should be home for the reevaluation. That will be a big help. So mothers out there, listen to your instincts. I’d been saying asthma all along.

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Greyhound Intuition

November 27, 2010

Okay, so if you’re a dog lover, you’ll agree with me. Dogs KNOW things. Like when I was pregnant with my first, our Lab mix knew and immediately went into protect the Alpha dog (me) mode.

And it’s never taken long for our dogs to realize what a suitcase or my DH’s seabag means. But none have tickled me like our greyhound Cassie and her recent behavior. So DH is getting ready to ship out–yes, he will miss Christmas (and New Years, and our anniversary, and Valentine’s Day) but we’re used to it–and he gets out his seabag to wash any clothes he brought home, take inventory so he knows what to buy, and to repack it. Well, Cassie quietly (and believe me, she is very quiet even by greyhound standards) sneaks over and takes one of his shirts. This is not anything unusual–I usually will find discarded clothes (my youngest’s socks in particular) tucked away in her open crate. Greyhounds are notorious nesters and hoarders. So I reach in and take back the shirt.

About an hour later my DH calls upstairs and says that Cassie took a stuffed Christmas Mouse into the crate with her. This too is not unusual because stuffed animals left on the ground are fair game (and these usually aren’t just hoarded, they are chewed if she’s bored enough). But this mouse in question was sitting on a stereo speaker–yes, eye level with her and right outside her crate, but she’d left it alone for more than a week. So I say to DH–she’s mad at me! She’s mad I took your shirt!

So as the day goes on, she starts sneaking his clothes into her crate with her–underwear (really gross), socks, shirts… you name it. She’s laying on top of it and nesting. So then DH offers to put in his old pair of sneakers–he’s just bought some for his upcoming trip–because she doesn’t chew them, she’ll just lay with them. He tucks them in under her bed. Well, like the princess and the pea, she digs one out, puts it on top of the bed and curls up around it!

Cassie has been loving on DH for the past few days. She comes out to get pet and loved on and won’t leave him alone. This is cute and all but here’s the problem. I am not a touchy-feely pet owner. In the days that follow DH shipping out, Cassie gets a little lonely and expects me to pick up the slack. My oldest daughter was the same way! DH would ship out and suddenly my child wanted to be held or played with 24/7. Okay, before you think I’m some callous person, keep this in mind: when DH is home, he’s home; he doesn’t work(except for me) so my children and my dog are used to interaction with an adult at all times. So when T1 was younger I would literally have to stop everything (laundry, housework, freelancing, etc.) for a week to interact and hold until weaned off of the constant interaction. In Cassie’s case we thought maybe she needed a playmate.

Hence the attempt to adopt a second greyhound. That’s for another blog. Let’s just say, Cassie didn’t want another greyhound. Or at least the other greyhound didn’t want to come in and play second fiddle to Cassie’s Alpha status. So after “fostering” Andie for a few months and paying her dental bills, we returned her for adoption and I’m happy to say she is doing fabulous as the Alpha for a single older man.

Anyway, it should be interesting to see how Cassie behaves when DH really does leave this time. We’ve had her for 2 years and this is the first time she’s really reacted to DH getting ready. Thankfully T1 does better now that T2 is here to interact with. The key to helping Cassie is to play her outside until she’s exhausted. Hard to do in the winter though.

(Originally blogged in 2007. Reposting to get this blog started. DH is currently out to sea this Christmas as well.)

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Just a Lark!

November 27, 2010

Okay, everyone has blogs, right? Why would anyone want to read mine? Who knows. I just wanted a quick and easy way to jot down my thoughts for later. Blogging is, after all, the modern-day diary.

It’s a bit intimidating though to think you could lose your identity or that someone could be out there looking for personal information. Or for that matter, it’s scary knowing that whatever I type here could come back to haunt me later. Guess I’ll never run for president!

So I’ll probably censor myself more than most people. But hey, it’s my blog. It will be interesting to see what I share and don’t share–even for myself.

It’s all about the journey. Hey, I’m all about the journey.

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