The Sick Chronicles.

November 25, 2009 at 1:27 pm | Posted in allergies, doctor | 15 Comments

Over the past, oh, 20 months or so, J and I have gotten downright LENIENT about the sick.

Because, it seems, that O is ALWAYS ill. Always has a runny nose. Always has a bit of a cough.

We’ve chalked it up to him being a daycare kid. And though we often get depressed at our inability to keep him healthy, it is what it is. The sick, when it’s not a BAD sick, doesn’t slow O down. It doesn’t keep him – or us – up at night.


Since he was diagnosed with such a bad case of pneumonia a month ago we’ve kept an eye on his symptoms. He had what we thought might be a relapse before we left for the wedding, so I took him to the pediatrician. Though she couldn’t find anything WRONG per se, just a low grade fever and still with the cough, she gave us more antibiotics, which she had warned me we might need.

And O was GREAT in DC. No snot. No cough.

As soon as we got home, he immediately got a runny nose and a phlegmy cough. It hasn’t gone away since.

J suggested that maybe he’s allergic to the cat. Or mold, since we had water in our basement a few times this summer when the gutters were down before they were replaced.

(Not that this will incent him to, you know, actually DO something about the basement. I think I’ve asked him a THOUSAND times to clean it up so we can bleach the floors. Because if there IS an allergy to mold, why not, you know, CLEAN IT so that things get better?)

But I digress.

I took O to the allergist for his flu shot – the H1N1 today. And there was some question as to whether or not he could even GET it at first, since he had his usual cough. And the allergist came in, and I told him that it’s been a cough now for a while, but it’s productive, and we’re getting a follow up x-ray TODAY for the pneumonia after the shots, so whatever he wanted to do was fine.

He decided to go ahead with the shots. And O did fine.

I was expecting him to just have us leave when we were done.

But instead, he came in and gave us a prescription for a nebulizer. And told me that since O has had two bouts of pneumonia in the past year, if he has another he wants to do some blood tests for immunodiseases.
(He used some other word that immunodiseases, but I can’t remember it now. All I know is that it has something to do with his immune system.)

And he told me that he wouldn’t worry about it too much, but that his sick sounds chronic now.

And when I told him I was wondering if there was maybe an allergen to something in our house, he just looked at me. So I asked him point blank if chronic sick could be allergies instead, and he said yes. And then he tossed me the bone – if we wanted to have him tested for more allergens (like cat hair and mold), we could.

But he didn’t sound all that worried about it. He didn’t RECOMMEND that we do more testing.

I came out of there more confused than I went in.

And I’m sitting here now, listening to O cough over the monitor. And I want him to NOT be sick anymore. But I don’t know if doing more tests is overreacting, or if we should, because allergies are serious.

I don’t know if he’s just a sickly kid, or these colds are boosting his immune system so that he’ll be healthy later on.

I don’t know if the “sick” as we call it really is extra saliva and congestion because he DOES have a tooth coming in right now.

I don’t know.

All I know is that I want my kid to be healthy. And I have no idea how to get there from here.



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  1. Our son has been on and off the nebulizer since he was 10 months old, and sick about every 3 weeks since last September. Day care is great, but the downside is all the bugs. We found out in testing that his copious secretions were the result of a dairy allergy, and we’ve been nebulizer free except for flare-ups with viruses.

    I hate the nebulizer. It was adding 60 minutes to our day in September. Thank goodness for Elmo, or he’d never sit still for them.

  2. Aww poor guy, and poor you guys. I mean, it’s gotta be hard on you to not know where to go next. It’s one thing to test ourselves to the hilt, but I understand the concern in putting him through it.

  3. You know, I would do the testing. There might be an obvious allergy that is causing the little guy problems. I dealt with allergies, both food and environmental, as a kid. It did help to know what would trigger me off so I could try and avoid it as best I could.

  4. I second the testing. I had an immune problem as a child (IgA) that I grew out of. Now my son has had signs of having it too and we’ll likely test him. There isn’t much they can do but knowledge seems to be power.

  5. I also think testing would be good. It might prevent him from getting some unnecessary antibiotics?

    Also, he can get the flu shots with an egg allergy?

  6. I agree with My Reality.

    Growing up, I struggled with allergies and asthma. I was finally tested for allergies around the age of 10…it helped to avoid the situations that would set me off, and often lead to an asthma attack.

    The good news, as I’ve grown up, the asthma left and my allergies aren’t as severe.

    Poor O. Poor you.

    Big, HUGE ((HUGS))

  7. Get all the testing they’ll give you. More information is always preferable to less.

  8. Lyla has been sick more times than I can count. I know how you feel. HUGS
    I hope that h is feeling better and that you are having a fantastic birthday and thanksgiving

  9. Isn’t it your birthday today? For some reason I think it is. Anyway in case I’m early or late…Happy Birthday!!!

  10. sounds like the cat, been there done that.

  11. Hi – I am usually a lurker but have been a reader for years – I have commented maybe 3 times (I’m Sorry)!

    But I have to comment here, because we are living parallel lives, only we a bit a head in the timeline. I have said so many times I just want the sick to leave Jake alone. Since he was 4 months old he’s been sick.

    My boy is 18 months old. He has had the SAME thing. Tubes in ears, hospitalized 2x for lung infections (RSV). Chronic cough we just couldn’t shake. We’ve recently put him on Bactrim all the time, because he responds to it and does well. He also gets a Neb’d Pulmicort and Albueterol treatment 2x a day (even when healthy). We have a pulmonologist, GI dr and ORL (ent) dr on our team, and we just have figured out what might be doing it. J had a bronchoscopy, endoscopy, his adenoids out and a ciliary biopsy last week. So far, we know his larynx has a cleft in it, causing the pneumonia. (laryngeal cleft). We are still waiting for biopsy results.

    I just want to wish you luck! If you want to commiserate or want dr references @ Children’s (Boston), let me know.

    It’s nice to have some answers and a treatment plan we can follow.

    Good Luck!

  12. I’m all for avoiding unnecessary tests, but this one sounds worth pursuing. I remember how much better things got for you guys after you figured out the egg stuff. Imagine if there’s something else you can do to make things even better still.

    It sounds like there is enough question in your mind to justify the testing.

  13. I would be making an appointment to gather more info. Sounds like you don’t have a clear idea of the pros and cons because it was a kind of add-on to a consult but it really needs a whole consult of its own. You need to know the potential risks/benefits in much more detail before you can make a decision.

    I kind of have this vague idea that the tests probably do little harm, although it’s only lukewarm odds of getting a good result – in which case I would be likely to do them because what the hey – but you know more about how much it’s bugging O to be sick like that and a doctor will know more about what’s involved in all the procedures etc.


  14. Test, test, test. Granted, I’m one of those types that is driven by facts, but at this point, it really sounds like something allergy related. Since he already has been identified as having at least one food allergy, it stands to reason that there may be more out there. They can run blood tests for some things (Son just had ti done for various nut allergies-get this, allergic to cashews and pistachios, but not peanuts!), and if you have to do a scratch test, it would be better to have a couple of days of itchy over months of coughing and runny noses. While daycare is often the origin of most things viral, it shouldn’t be a near constant thing.

  15. I agree with Jennifer, Allergy testing and full body checkp is the best way to get rid of sickness for “O”


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