Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Communication breakdown

Last night while trying to put Elliot to bed she became hysterical. Crying and asking for her cup of water. After giving her a drink she told me she needed to go potty and then said “tummy hurt”. Ok her crying fit now made sense. So a dose of anti-gas and soothing and she was fine.

Instances like that are a slap in the face, but yet I’m happy she is able to tell me that she is hurt and where.

It’s a slap in the face because of this story.

About a year ago when we moved here Alvin started playing soccer. He would get to running  and then start coughing. We just thought it was due to the climate change. For about the past year we have seen him have what we called a constant cold. For some reason he started coughing every time he went from hot to cold environments and even when he was playing outside. Because we knew nothing else we just thought he was ok and never thought twice.

Then last week at gymnastics we had an incident that made us think otherwise. They were doing his favorite group activity which is a big inflatable mat called an air track where the kids get to practice skills and just have fun jumping. He was having a good time but couldn’t stop coughing. He tried to relax but it didn’t work and he kept pushing himself and ended up finishing the activity but collapsed on the air track once it was over. His teacher brought him out to the lobby and said “he can’t breathe”.  I took him home and he still had the cough, but it slowed down so I didn’t rush him into urgent care since he seemed to be breathing ok. I sent our friend and the kids favorite sitter a message about what had happened and she had noticed the last time she was over she noticed he was having the same issue when they went outside to play but the cough subsided when the came in. Then she asked me if he had ever been checked for asthma. Umm, no which got W and I to talking. Maybe that was why he was always coughing.

The next day I called his pediatrician and got us an appointment for that afternoon. Turns out he has asthma and for how long we can’t be sure. W and I seem to think it has been going on for about a year as far as we know. Until his gymnastics teacher said something about him not being able to breathe we just thought it was a chronic cold. Now he has an inhaler that he gets before any physical activity. After a weekend of being outside at playgrounds and hikes he coughed very little and seemed so much better.

I want to beat myself up for this, but in all honesty I can’t. At the time we did what we thought was best. He never until last week gave us any cause for concern. Sure the cough was annoying, but it never bothered him too much so we didn’t see it as an issue.

Getting back to the original point of this post, sometimes I guess I take Elliot’s growing ability to tell me what is wrong or hurt for granted. She can point to what hurts, or when something is bugging her. Alvin though just isn’t there yet. He is doing better but until his communication skills improve whenever he’s sick or hurt it can be a nightmare to try and figure out what is going on and how to help him.

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