Archive for November, 2010

Sorry for my absence

Things have been just sort of going along.  No big improvements, but nothing tremendously terrible, aside from the normal ups and downs of living with asthmatic children.

Abby had a cold that won’t go away.  I called her allergist/asthma specialist, and they wanted to see her, so she went in with Rob, and she started on her sick plan-prednisone and advair until the cough goes away…but that was a week ago, and the cough hasn’t abated like I think it should on the meds, so I called back.  They were double booked on Wednesday, so they suggested calling the pediatrician.  Since I was  pretty sure we were looking at a sinus infection, rather than anything pulmonary/asthma related, I decided that the pediatrician could get us in, we were going there. (the cough never really sounded “asthma-y”-it sounds like a drippy cough)  Though, on the phone with the triage nurse at the allergist, I felt like a considerable idiot…constantly answering “I don’t know” to her questions.  Why is it that I can have conversations about Mariella, about subjects that I rival the doctor’s on knowledge and ability to brainstorm symptoms and treatment plans, etc…but my kid with “normal” typical, run of the mill asthma….I sound like an absolute idiot?

So, the diagnosis IS sinusitis, but the pedi doesn’t want to take her off of the asthma sick plan, just in case (plus, she was on a long taper of pred, and he didn’t want to stop her cold on that) He added amoxocillian, and hopefully, we’ll be able to knock out the infection, and get the cough to go away too.

Mariella is doing pretty well.  She’s starting to try new foods.  We did a quick weight check at the pediatrician’s office, but I don’t really go by their scale.  We’ll get an official weight in a couple weeks when we go to Clinic.  On their scale, she showed a gain, which is AWESOME, however, we’ve showed gains on that scale, and then not on the “official” scale, so I’m not going to share the amount, or get too excited until we see a gain on the official scale. (the gastro also says not to count gains until we see it on TWO weigh ins, because what looks like a gain might not actually BE a gain, it might be due to a huge breakfast that morning, or not pooping for a couple days, etc.)


Other than that, I’ve been keeping pretty busy…subbing quite consistently.  In fact, I’ve got a gig that is going to last an undetermined amount of time.  The paycheck is nice, but I miss being home too.  Thankfully, I’m home before the girls, and they don’t have to go to daycare or anything like that.  The sub coordinator is also very accommodating, in that I can call for a sub for ME, if I need to.

We’ve got a busy month coming up.  We’ve got a trip on the Polar Express planned, and “pre-Christmas dinner” at my parents house, and then the insanity that is Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  Somewhere among the working, I have to find time (and money) to get Christmas presents.


Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends (and Happy  4th Friday of November to all my NON-American friends)


Book Review-Alfie’s Attack

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed a book review on a friend’s blog.  I mentioned in the comments that I would have to look for the book, as Mariella is starting to ask the “why me” questions.  One of the people in charge of the book responded to my comment, offering me a copy of the book.  I offered to review it, as a parent of a child with asthma.

*Disclaimer: This book was provided by Vitality Books for review. I was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.*

“Alfie’s Attack” by Dr. David Bohline  (

My first impression of the book was how colorful it was.  It is very appealing to the eye.  The quality of the binding and paper is very good.  As someone who has worked in the Children’s Department of a large national book store, I’ve noticed that children’s books are often not of the best quality.

Mariella was very excited to read the book, so we settled right down to start.  Right away, she was drawn into the story, we both enjoyed the poetry of the story.  It was not awkward, as some story poetry can be.  The illustrations were beautiful as well.

Mariella DID point out that she doesn’t wheeze…and she said that it must be a “fish thing.”   I did explain after we finished the story that some people with asthma cough, some wheeze and others just feel tight.  Then I agreed that wheezing must be a fish thing…since I’d bet it was pretty hard to cough….if you’re a fish.

The content of the book was also very good.  I appreciated the fact that Alfie is active in sports, as it helps to let children know that asthma isn’t something that should limit them.  I also liked how Alfie knew how to handle his disease.   It does a good job of illustrating that as an asthmatic, you are not alone.  That you can’t look at someone to know if they have asthma or not.  Also, that you never know where you’re going to meet someone who has asthma.  (there was also a good side message of helping others, even if they are not always nice to you.)

Mariella was a big fan of the stickers included, intended to decorate an inhaler.  She can’t wait to sit down and decorate her puffer.

I enjoyed this book very much, as did Mariella.  After she finished looking at it with me, she brought it right into the playroom and looked through it again.  She couldn’t wait to share it with her sister, as well.  All in all, I think it’s a good book to help children with asthma know they aren’t alone, and that they can rise above their disease.  There were a few items in the “For Parent’s” section that were not entirely INaccurate, but were also not entirely accurate, so I would caution parents to always ask their child’s doctor or specialist any questions they might have regarding their child’s asthma.

I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to both Dr. Bohline and Justin Piehowski for sharing this book with me.  I plan to bring it with us to show Mariella’s pulmonologist, in hopes that they might be able to utilize it in their practice.