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Sunday, February 20, 2011

when you have an asthmatic child....

When Katie turned about 3 or 4, she began coughing a lot.  Especially at night.  She would cough SO hard, she would vomit.  We had to place a sand bucket by her bed just in case she vomited from coughing so hard before I could get there. It was a miserable time in our life.  We elevated her bed, her pillows, brought in a humidifier, applied Vicks to her chest, back, under her ears, under her throat.... anything to get the coughing to stop.  We gave her cough strips, cough medicine.... everything that we could think of to get her to stop coughing.

The doctor couldn't explain why she would cough so much.  Finally, they said "she has asthma."  (fyi, the doctors told me they tend to hold off diagnosing children with asthma until they get older, which is why they couldn't give me a diagnosis until she was over the age of 5).  I told the doctors that she didn't wheeze or struggle to breathe like I thought asthmatic people did, which causes them to puff on their inhaler.  Turns out, there was a different type of asthma.  That's what Katie had.  The coughing kind of asthma.  Her asthma is triggered by several things:  allergies, a cold, smoke (4th of July is a nightmare for us when people are shooting off fireworks around us), among other things. 

So, she was put on allergy medicines, nose drops, asthma medication, allergy testing several times (She's really allergic to pigweed.  What in the heck is pigweed?!  But other than that, she wasn't allergic to much!), allergy shots, nebulizers, airchambers.... you name it.  It was horrible.    She developed some kind of irritation around her nose two years ago from her nebulizer when she used it w/ her albuterol.  Turns out that steroids can do this to skin when it touches it.  Took forever to get rid of it, but we did get rid of it!

Finally, last year when Mike took Katie to the doctor for an asthma attack (prednisone turns my child into a monster, literally.... but also is a life saver for us and those who need to sleep in our family!  It's a pain that they can only prescribe this twice a year for a child, which can stunt their growth apparently), the doctor told Mike "Y'know..... did you know that caffeine also stops an asthma attack?"  Mike responded that we had not known that.  The doctor went on to say that if we give her some coffee when she's having an asthma attack, it will stop her coughing.  Well... problem #1 is that we don't drink coffee.  The doctor said "well, I'm not advocating for her to start drinking coffee, but if you can't give her that, give her the next best thing... Coke or Mountain Dew!" 

Thankfully, her asthma didn't act up much over the year.  I've been stressing the fact that Katie's old enough to watch for warning signs that her body is gearing up for an asthma attack, or problems w/ her asthma.  She's 13 now, and she can do this!!  So, we've been able to stop it a few times before it got out of hand.  However, this last weekend it came on really fast.  I told her if in the middle of the night she couldn't get her coughing to stop, and if albuterol didn't help her, to open a can of Coke and drink a few swallows of it.

The next morning, when we all woke up, I asked her how she slept.  She was ecstatic because she woke up at 4:00 coughing her head off and couldn't stop.  She said the Coke stopped it in its tracks, and she was able to go back to sleep.

For that, I am grateful for Coke, or rather, caffeine.  Finally, after 10 years, we have an answer!!


  1. Wow, that's crazy, but also really good to know. Glad that you finally have something to help.

  2. Wow, crazy! Ryan has coughing fits alot and has thrown up so many times from coughing so hard. Might have to give this a try!

  3. Good thing our family LOVES soda:) I like your rodeo pics too! It makes me miss Texas. Glad to see you guys are out having a good time.


  4. Both Ian and Jakob have asthma.. I never knew that caffeine, could help stop asthma attacks. I knew caffeine helps Miss Em's migraines to go away...

  5. Isn't it so funny when these random "medicadions" fix medical problems? Here you have eleventy different treatments, and all it takes is Coke! Go figure. I'm so happy for you guys!


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