Little D has Reactive Airway Disease. You might know it better as Asthma. I don't know why they have two names, but I have read a few theories on medical advice websites and forums in the last 24 hours. One theory is that they didn't want to diagnose young kids with Asthma since many children under age 7 completely recover and no longer need treatments. They call this "growing out of asthma." Another theory is that doctors came up with the term RAD to stop insurance companies from denying coverage of treatment since Asthma is considered a pre-existing condition.
For the record, Little D and I were given the first reason when he got his diagnosis back in July. It was not fun. We went to the ER twice in a 48 hour period. Let's just say, it's scary as you-know-what when your two-year-old is laying around, lethargic, not excited about anything and can't even say "I love you" without taking a breath between each word.
I guess I thought it was an isolated incident. I thought it was just some infection and it would go away. I didn't think it would get that bad again. We have taken precautions and used his inhaler only when needed: runny nose, cough = caution zone. Once his cough turns bronchial or makes him turn red in the face, it's inhaler time. It's only happened 2 or 3 times since July, so I thought for sure we were in the clear... forever.
Clearly, we are not in the clear. In fact, it's pretty muddy over here. Yesterday morning, about 4:30am to be precise, Little D crawled into bed with me, wheezing. Great. "Let's go get some medicine, alright buddy?" "O... KAhhhy" Not good news.
He got his inhaler, his antihistamine and some ibuprofen and we tried to go back to bed. No dice. He just lie there talking to me and telling me stories about the monsters eating mac'n'cheese and chocolate "my favorite!"
The next day we kept him home from preschool and gave him his inhaler any time his symptoms got worse, it was about every 3 hours. By late afternoon he was having to have "rescue doses" in between his regular doses. Right about dinner time he took a turn for the worse. Purple fingers, toes and nose. I don't know why his nose gets purple and not his lips, but it's a sign that's consistent in this, so we'll go with it.
We ate, packed up and trucked over to the ER. It was an experience. It's a small hospital in a small town. I half expected them to be closed. Thank goodness they weren't. Little D got his nebulizer treatment and a liquid steroid (again). If I could show you all the craziness that is Little D on so many steroids, I would. He was spinning in circles, literally. He was singing at the top of his lungs and he was shaking (a side-effect of the steroids). It was both pitiful and hilarious.
Since D's symptoms really only show up when he has a cold or other virus, the chances are good that he'll just grow out of it. I certainly hope he does. Until then, we'll just enjoy him and take care of his issues when they arise. Maybe we can get him a nebulizer for at home.