Need suggestions to help Duckie...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by tiredmommy, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    live life to the fullest; this is mostly in regard to her allergies/asthma. She seems to not want to try things because... (insert excuse).

    I've talked to her about her asthma and told her we were probably in for a weird few months until it was well controlled but that the goal was to have her be able to do everything any other girl her age could do. I also tell her that the doctor has cleared her for all normal activities with adequate precaution on cold days and when she's sick.

    Duckie. I believe, is going to be living with asthma and allergies her entire life and so needs to not let them control her. I see this as a parallel issue to many of the kids here because they are living with lifelong conditions.

    So, how I do get her not to make herself a victim of her own body?
  2. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    TM, have you looked to see if there is a support or information site that directly relates to pediatric allergies/asthma? Since you believe that her difficult child issues are directly related to the asthma and allergy issues, I wonder if there is a place that offers suggestions that specifically relate to her health issues?

    The difficult child status, in my opinion, goes hand in hand with the inability to look outside yourself! I believe that is what makes parenting a difficult child so difficult. Surely we can teach our difficult children lessons about helping in the community and such. But when it comes to specifically addressing the "victim" mentality of our difficult children, it's like pulling teeth or talking to a brick wall.

    Certainly addressing the blessings and fortune of her place in life is a start. Exposing her to the issues that other less fortunate children (in regards to health) deal with is another good thing. If you were to find a support site or such that deals with allergies/asthma issues at her level would be of great benefit. There very well could be stories from young teens and their ability to overcome allergies/asthma that she might relate to.

    I know this was really important for one of difficult children best friends when she was diagnosis'd with diabetes in third grade. She was able to go and do games and read stories from other kids who shared her health issues.

  3. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    There are camps for asthma kids -- many pediatric allergy/immunology offices have info on local camps for kids (I know ours actually helps run one of our local camps). It's a great way for them to meet other kids who deal with the same issues so they don't feel so different.

    Talking about famous people who didn't let their asthma stop them from achieving their dreams is also another great way to address concerns about the disease limiting her activity.

    easy child had a girl on her soccer team this year who had pretty bad asthma. But she didn't slow down one bit, despite often having attacks out on the soccer field. She went on to play on an Allstar team and is also the nation's 6th fastest 9yo female cross country runner (Nationals were held in Alabama in December)!!!
  4. Rabbit

    Rabbit Member

    My difficult child 3 has asthma/allergy issues.
    sometimes asthma support groups/hospitals
    give classes with other kids about asthma.
    also, u might try to read books. amazon has a bunch like abcs of asthma or the lion with asthma. I do not remember which one I read to my daughter. anyway hope this will help Hugs rabbit
  5. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    I think she will take her lead from you, although my 2 were babies when diagnosed so they really don't know anything else. When I first knew they had asthma I was very careful to control everything I could, when I needed to take them out in the cold I covered their heads and ran to a warmed car, I immediatly started treatments at the slightest suggestion of a cold or wheeze, you get the picture. I don't know if they really needed that level of care, I think they did, but it isn't such a big deal now. I don't really have any issues with M, with A the allergies play into alot of it but I no longer run to treat the second I hear a wheeze, in fact I usually will just ask her if she needs a treatment, she is almost 4, she usually says no because she doesn't want to stop what she is doing, and sometimes she is right, it goes away or wasn't really a wheeze. If she is really bad, she will say yes. I just watch her and if it doesn't go away I'll take over and tell her she needs a treatment. I want her to learn to manage it herself and to treat it like it is no big deal so I'm starting young.

    I don't know how severe Duckies asthma is, A was hospitalized once at 15 months old, when the treatments didn't improve things and it was an awful time driving to the hospital with a child in a carseat wondering how much air she was getting, when I got there the attending was annoyed I brought her, told me I should have just treated her more aggressively...then admitted her because their nebulizer treatments weren't working either! That was scary but since that time I have seen her through many colds and episodes on my own and I believe I can handle it. I hope there is something in this that helps you.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2009
  6. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Duckie needs to be placed in opportunities that allow for success. As each small success is made, she will try for more. Start small. What sort of activities does she enjoy? Have you tried dance/gymnastics. Those would allow an instructional arena with the safety of adults. The more she is sure of what her body can do, the more she will try.
  7. ML

    ML Guest

    I agree with everyone's suggestions. As you know, manster too has allergies and asthma. We have it controlled at the moment, but just this past spring he had a bad bout with it again. I have always believed that the allergies and the gfgness are part of the same "processing/autoimmune disorder". As such my approach is to teach him ways to learn compensating strengths. Manster is a great communicator now, it's one of the things I've done right. He can explain exactly what's going on with him when he melts down or gets upset.

    So many successful people have had to overcome obstacles such as asthma, learning disorders, mental illness, physical limitations. Just keep affirming to Duckie that she can do anything she wants and that you believe in her. So we don't leave home without our inhaler, there are worse things.

    Also, to the best that we can, we have to work on preventative strategies. Modifications to diet, steady exercise, routine (for us qvar and singular) and regular sleep also help.

    Duckie has you going for her and that's a lot!


  8. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Thanks for the replies.

    Sharon- I have been doing much of what you suggested, but I will look into specific support sites for her (and me).

    GM- Thanks for the head start on the kid friendly sites!

    Rabbit- I'll look to see what local resources there are.

    HoC- Thank you... I hope to gain the same level of confidence in treating Duckie's asthma appropriately.

    EW- She is actually starting gymnastics this month. She cheered until November and took December off. She plans to start up in dance instead of gymnastics next September. She isn't co-ordinated very well, but she works real hard. Part of her problem now is that she isn't very interested in physical endeavors because she's starting to see that she isn't on the same level as the other kids.

    ML- We've been working on her communication of what she is feeling for awhile, but it's just starting to improve. I'd really like for her to learn that you can't take being sick out on anyone else. She needs to deal with it better because her boss will not tolerate her melt downs when she doesn't feel well like she does now.
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    One thing I found that has helped thank you IMMENSELY is to give HIM as much control over his allergies/asthma and the treatment as possible. At first I would sit with him on my lap to do his treatments. this had to stop because I become delusional if I breathe in the albuterol, which is really a BAD thing for a mom to do. So he would pick his mask, a book to read or video to watch, I would set up the machine and he would sit across the room from me and do the treatment.

    thank you has food allergies also. I was always afraid that if I didn't give HIM control, and knowledge, he would end up eating something because some adult gave it to him and he didn't think he could say no. So he learned ALL the things he was allergic to (and so did Jess and Brandon, simply because they were there) and when we shopped I had HIM pick out drinks and snacks that fit what he could have.

    I think it really gave him confidence. He always had a supply of "safe" food at school in earlier years so if he forgot his lunch and couldn't have what they were serving he could still eat (in case I couldn't bring something up to him). He even started taking a lunch, but if school lunch sounded better that day, then he would just leave his lunch in his backpack and get school lunch. But he is more than capable of asking a waiter if there is pineapple or orange in something, or if they can substitute one item for another (he could do this by age 5 mostly because we encouraged him a LOT).

    When he is having problems I often let him choose whether to do a steam treatment or just use the inhaler (steam works better but takes longer and involves sitting in a hot bathroom and he HATES being hot). Often he will propose a plan to do the inhaler, then if he still has problems, the steam, then the inhaler again. He also will come and ask if he should have mucinex or other prn type medications to help.

    By giving HIM information, helping him plan, and letting him exercise as MUCH control over the issues as possible he is FAR more willing to try things than he used to be.

    He also knows that we have a battery operated nebulizer so if we go somewhere and he is afraid the inhaler won't work (they are not as effective in HIS mind), then I take the battery unit and we can use that as an "in case". This really made him willing to go to the zoo more often. He is really triggered by animals, so the zoo was quite a challenge (and a main reason Grandpa bought the battery nebulizer - thank you was 4 and hadn't EVER been able to go to the zoo - the one time we tried we ended up in the ER). So that sort of gives him "wings" a lot of the time with the asthma.

    thank you's school has a pulse ox machine, and he can go to the office to be checked anytime. Knowing he can go, and that they can show him if it really is a problem or not has made him more confident at school. they even let HIM set up the machine and turn it on to check the level, though he is supervised the whole way.

    I think the more you can do to show Duckie that it will be OK if she has a problem during an activity, and that SHE can plan how to treat a problem that might come up will help her spread her wings.

    As for not wanting to do physical things because she is not at the level of other kids, I find that sometimes a few private lessons are a great investment. We got a college kid from the Y to work 1 on 1 with thank you in basketball for an hour a week for a month and he got a better grasp of the game. It helped a LOT.

    Wiz didn't want to swim because he couldn't have lessons when younger due to a serious sunburn and doctor advice to keep him out of the sun for 2 YEARS. I finally got a male lifeguard to give him some private lessons and he got up to speed with the other kids and was much more willing to go to the pool.

    As much as the individual attention helped, having that "cool" older guy to teach who wasn't a family member really motivated.

    Maybe for dance, have one of the older students work with Duckie privately for a month BEFORE the classes start and she will feel more confident with the group lessons?

    We also SERIOUSLY stressed that trying, and having fun while doing it, were MUCH more important than being the best or winning and this helped. Our kids can be so hard on themselves, expecting to be perfect at everything even with-o lessons or learning. So working on having it be OK to not be perfect was important with all of my kids.

    Anyway, this is some of what we have done. If I think of anything else I will let you know!