Friday, May 8, 2015

The Roller Coaster Ride

The Ups

Is he ok?
Yeah, he coughs like that when he runs or exercises. I told his pediatrician. She says it's normal.
That is not normal. Tell her again.

A conversation I had with a friend of mine, a nurse, last August. James was coughing, bringing up mucous, like he always did after he ran or played with his friends for any period of time outside. He often would cough so hard he would throw up, He often would not participate or take frequent breaks so he wouldn't end up doubled up, coughing helplessly.

Then, in April, he met his friend at the park, and as we were leaving he said, "You know what was weird, mom? I could run as much as I wanted and I never had to cough."

His friends wanted him to take a soccer class with them and, with reservations, I signed him up. He went on Monday, and never coughed. An hour of running, kicking, playing - freedom - and not a cough. He did say he had a slight burning in his lungs after, but no coughing.

For him to be able to play and breathe without worry is a priceless gift.

The Downs

The very next day, James had a patch of hives on his arm after being hive free for nearly a month. I was hoping for bug bites, but as we watched, the changed shape, came and went and came again - not bug bites. It was a small patch and didn't spread. The next day, he had no more hives and so far, has been hive free again.

My Thoughts

James has severe problems with environmental allergies. His cough never occurred when he played hockey, inside. So, the lack of a cough is a sigh that his environmental allergies are improving and I'm so thankful.

His hives are also likely caused by environmental allergies. Although he hasn't had an episode as long lasting as he did this Spring, he has had hives every Spring for the past three years. And the hives on his arm the day after soccer could have been cause by his exposure to pollen while at soccer (and actually, we spent the entire day outside for a field trip).

And here is my dilemma. By not limiting his exposure to pollen, I am causing his body to constantly react, to reinforce his allergic response. But, I do not want to rob him of his present in order to prefect his future. And being active and being outside is extremely important to him.

So, those of you with children with extreme environmental allergies who are in treatment, how do you balance this?

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