|Asthma – A change of Attitude|
Asthma – A change of Attitude from the perspective of a mother caring for a child with chronic asthma. Written in the early days of Bello Alito.
Above is a drawing by my daughter Sophie, titled “Windy Day”. It’s on my office wall, like a little window out to the blue sky, complete with sunflowers, carrots and tulips.
When Sophie was a toddler, she would cough at night, and that was our introduction to asthma. Over the years her asthma became acute, with many hospital admissions, emergency ward visits, ambulance rides, visits to the doctor, nights of no sleep and days away from childcare and school. The amount of medication she was taking and decline in her quality of life became of serious concern to me. Her asthma was triggered by colds, if she got upset or tried to be active.
In December 2008 on the last day of the school term, I collected Sophie’s medication and spacer from the school office. It occurred to me, that the only time I had talked to the school staff, was when I was collecting Sophie from school due to an asthmatic event, or when I was calling to say she would not be at school. I had not given detailed instructions for her medication other than what was put on the medication by the pharmacy.
I decided 2009 was going to be a year of change for Sophie, I was going to try harder, and do things differently. I had no idea what, because I thought I was doing everything right. I thought I’d start with school.
Sophie was taking more medication than was typically given if she had an asthmatic event, so I needed the asthma plan to be seen, and I wanted to know exactly what happen at school. How much medication did she have at school? The right amount? And when? What events occurred before it was given?
Light bulbs went off and I knew I had an answer. I designed a bag to hold her medication, to keep her asthma spacer clean and most importantly a bag that showed the medical instructions as soon as the bag was opened. For a log book, I used an unused exercise book covered in bright red shiny contact.
|Asthma bag prototype – gave a year of good service.|
Between the time school finished and the school year started in 2009, Sophie had one more admission to hospital, complete with an ambulance ride from the doctors office. During her night in hospital, I noticed the nurse put her spacer on the table by the bed, and it rolled off onto the floor. I thought, if there was a bag for that to go in, it wouldn’t have rolled off. Another place for the bag.
We went home, I put her new asthma plan into her asthma bag that we were using at home (I made a few trying to get the school one right) and began writing everything down, in detail. I was writing Sophie’s health story and I was determined to get a happy result. I had no idea how, but I’d start with being organised.
I later learned three items were the key: log book, asthma plan visibility, medication and spacer availability. But for me, it was a change of attitude, a resolve to face asthma and no longer accept what had become normal.
Asthma – a change of attitude. I hope anyone going through what we did then, reads this post and finds something to inspire action and maybe a change an ‘asthma – change of attitude’ as well.
This blog is part of a series documenting the start of Bello Alito, and the parenting journey with asthma management.