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The Sounds of Allergy
October 16, 2013
Since the end of August, the soundtrack playing in my house has been coughing, sniffing, sneezing, nose blowing and the hum of the nebulizer as members of my family contracted bronchitis, sinus infections and walking pneumonia. Every time my food-allergic son comes down with a respiratory illness, whether it’s a cold with congestion or a deep cough, I go on high alert to make sure his asthma doesn’t flare up.
For the past several weeks, that asthma has prompted me to listen to what is music to my ears—his steady breathing. During the 10 years of his life, I've spent more nights than I can count staying awake to check on his breathing. Many times, he's needed a breathing treatment and there have been several trips to the emergency room or urgent care when the home nebulizer treatment just wasn’t enough.
Thankfully, during this latest bout of sinus infection, then a cough, then another cold, his asthma has been manageable. I kept my vigil and he needed some breathing treatments via the nebulizer--but so far his lungs have been cooperating. This doesn't alter my hyper-vigilance but it certainly helps me breathe easier.
Unfortunately for my son, all of this sickness started just when he was getting back into the swing of things on the tennis court after being sidelined for more than a month with three broken fingers. Two months ago, he was diving for a ball during a friendly tennis match and he landed on his hand with his fingers still wrapped around the racquet. His injured hand and then sickness took him away from his favorite place. The tennis court is where he feels happy and confident, unencumbered by any of the things that worry him.
Fortunately, asthma doesn’t hamper his ability to play his favorite sport. Sure, he might miss a practice when the air quality is especially bad or if his asthma is already flaring. But exercising does not trigger his asthma and for that I am grateful.
With at least one person sick in my house for the past month and a half, I was happy for a change in tune when we participated in FARE’s (Food Allergy Research & Education) Walk for Food Allergy. This fun event (a walk around a beautiful lake in our area) gave my son a chance to see lots of other kids like him who navigate food allergies each day. The walk raises money for research that could someday find a cure. (My son has multiple food allergies and asthma, a combination that studies show increase his risk for a severe allergic reaction.)
I’m happy to hear the sound of many feet walking to cure food allergies, rather than the germy soundtrack playing in my house these last several weeks.
I say, “FAREwell to illness and FAREwell to food allergies!”