Sydney, my love, the ABCs start with AIRWAY…

Over the course of 2018, there were multiple times Sydney required the use of a rescue inhaler for some wheezing. It was periodic, but Sydney’s PCP gave us a heads up that if she reached a certain number of occurrences requiring the rescue inhaler, a diagnosis of asthma would be appropriate.

Sometime in early 2018, a few months before Sydney turned 3 years old, I noticed she had started to snore. No biggie, right? The snoring intensified over time and by the time Sydney turned 3, she literally sounded like a grown man snoring when she slept. It was insane and we would laugh and joke about it quite a bit. My husband has severe sleep apnea and her snore decibel rivaled his. LOL. I mentioned it to her PCP at her 3yr well visit, but she was not concerned. She asked me if I had noted any apneic periods (which I had not at that time). She told me to continue to monitor and let her know if it worsened or she developed apnea. Christmas 2018 we were in the Emergency room for some respiratory issues. It was at that time that I first saw signs of apnea. I remember being so frustrated in the ER. My baby could barely breathe, was having apnea, and the Dr is telling me she sounded normal. I literally took video of the noises she was making while she slept and played it back for him and said to him, “I just want to be crystal clear; you are telling me THIS sounds normal to you?” After this, he turns to me and asks, “do you want me to give her a nebulizer treatment?” I’m looking at dude like he’s flipped his shit. Do “I” want you to give her one? No, what I want you to do is tell me wtf your medical expertise believes she needs. I’m annoyed and I am a nurse. Some providers need to do better. I often feel so bad for patients who go in seeking care and have absolutely zero idea what questions to ask, so they end up missing on our scores of information or not getting what they need because certain professionals do the bare minimum. I’m getting off track, so let me step off that soap box real quick (you’ll find I do that quite often, I am a work in progress).

We took Sydney in to see her PCP in January 2019 and reported the most recent ER visit requiring rescue inhaler therapy and the new onset sleep apnea. Sydney was diagnosed with asthma and referred to an ENT. We went to the ENT and SURPRISE (not really), her adenoids were HUGE. The specialist was shocked at how enlarged they were. Her airway was extremely obstructed due to their size. Surgery was scheduled and she had her adenoids removed in February 2019. She handled it like a champion. She did so great and I was extremely proud of her. After the surgery the snoring stopped and she rested a lot more comfortably. For a few months, that is.

Her asthma was another story. Between January and May, I estimate we were probably in urgent care, her PCP’s office, or the ER a total of no less than 10-12 times due to asthma exacerbations. So, in May, she as placed on a twice daily maintenance inhaler (QVAR) for better asthma control. She has responded nicely to the therapy and it has cut down on the number of dr’s visits we have had to make.

In April 2019, we noticed that the sleep apnea had returned. It was not as prevalent as before her surgery, but she was having some periodic moments which concerned me. Back to the ENT we went and he scheduled us for a sleep evaluation. The sleep study is scheduled for next month, so we should have more information then.

So, Sydney, my sweet sweet love, I am going to need you to get that airway together baby. We can’t have sleep apnea and asthma lol. Momma needs to not be worried about you breathing all the time. Sheesh little girl. To her credit, she has handled this all like a champ. She takes her inhaler like a champ and even goes to rinse after her daily steroid inhaler without me having to tell her to do it. She knows how to put together her rescue inhaler and spacer on her own and administer her rescue puffs as well. She knows to shake the rescue inhaler but not shake the steroid inhaler….her absorption of all this information is amazing to me at just 4 years old. I probably do not give 4 year olds enough credit. She is amazing and you would never know she struggles sometime just to breathe, because this child is ALWAYS on 100. ALWAYS and asthma does not stop that. She may be sucking wind, but best believe she’s sucking wind while she’s on the move. LOL. And for resilience and great attitude, I am grateful.

-E

Sydney wanted to demonstrate how she administers her inhaler.

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