About 2 years ago, we noticed that whenever the Princess caught a cold, it takes a turn for the worse. She holds a cold for about 3 weeks minimum and becomes a restless sleeper with a nagging cough. At the absolute height of the cold, she wakes up coughing and it continues for over an hour before she finally throws up all over herself, bed, sheets, pillow – everything!
In consulting with her pediatrician, we started with a few tests. She had blood work done to see if she had allergies and the results came back negative. Then she had x-rays to determine if she has a sinus infection – her sinuses were slightly inflamed, but nothing to cause the chronic cough and vomiting. Eventually the pediatrician thought it could be asthma, so we received a prescription for an Albuterol Inhaler.
As the next cold came, the symptoms continued to worsen, again we were back at the doctors office for more answers. My poor baby wasn’t getting enough sleep and there was no relief from our arsenal: Claritin for allergies, cough and cold to help the nagging cough, inhaler, sinus rinse, and I’d even use Vicks to help open her passages. Oh, and don’t forget the humidifier to help her breathing too. At that time, were prescribed a stronger inhaler and it seemed to work for a while.
A few more colds later the inhaler ran out and I was back on the phone with the pediatrician. She decided it was time for further testing since our routine wasn’t giving her relief. We were then referred to a specialist to test for allergies and asthma.
Warned it was going to be a two and a half hour test, I made arrangements for Handsome Boy to hang with Dad for the day. Luckily I brought the iPad for Princess to keep her occupied.
At the office, we discussed the symptoms and events that had happened along with previous blood work and x-rays. The doctor decided to run a basic allergy panel to see if anything would show up.
The nurse came back in and had Princess lay on her belly as she drew a grid with numbers. Then she brought in a tray with a bunch of little white picks (looked like toothpicks) and began pricking her back in the grids. Princess, of course, began to cry because the pricks hurt. I felt so bad, but at that point, she really needed to complete the test and did so like a trooper. As the results below indicate: She is allergic to dust mites.
Now, we have to focus on reducing her exposure to dust mites:
Plan of attack:
- Mattress needs an allergen cover
- Pillows need allergen covers
- Bedding needs to be washed regularly (approx every 2 weeks) in HOT water
- Decorative pillows need to be removed from room or thrown in dryer on hottest setting
- Stuffed animals need to be minimized and/or thrown in dryer on hottest setting
- Curtains and Valance need to be washed in hot water (approx monthly)
- Canopy – WORST thing for a child with allergies, must be washed every 2 weeks if not more
- Dust room weekly
- Vacuum often with Dyson – or any vacuum with HEPA filter
- Clean air conditioner/heater filter monthly
- Remove humidifier – dust mites require 50% humidity to survive.
The specialist also prescribed nasonex to help when her symptoms worsened. So far, she is doing well with the preventative measures we’ve already taken. Just waiting for the next cold and flu season to hit!