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Thursday, March 1, 2012

A New Normal

I seem to get a bit blindsided when it comes to my kiddos sometimes.  When Lucas was diagnosed with ADHD, I was convinced he was a normal little boy with a rambunctious personality.  I had completely dismissed, from my mind, the possibility that he could be anything but a normal little boy.  So I was completely blindsided when the child psychologist came back to us and said "in my 13 years of testing kids for ADHD I have never seen a kid test as far off the charts, in every area, as Lucas has."

The other night when I picked up Claire from swim practice, her coach requested that I come inside to talk for a minute.  I asked Claire why I needed to go in and she said it was because she had a "full blown asthma attack."  My first thought was "that's crazy!"  I went on to think that she just got herself all worked up because it was Tuesday, her tough practice day filled with both dance and swim and she hates Tuesdays.  But I did what the coach asked and went in to the pool area.

To me, Coach Drew embodies a fantastic kids' coach.  As we approached, he put his hand on Claire's shoulder and said "I just wanted to touch base with you, face to face, and let you know about Claire's very scary incident at practice."  He told me how they were doing a fairly light practice, just a kicking drill ~ nothing overly, strenuous when Claire came to him with trouble breathing.  She couldn't catch her breath, she was wheezing, and she was scared.  Drew told me how he took her outside, into the fresh air, and worked with her to get her breathing back under control.  Once he had her calm and her breathing was normal he asked if she wanted to finish practice with a water polo game, which she did.  It was his way of  letting me know there was no further cause for alarm during practice.  I left Coach Drew with my thanks and reassurance that I would have Claire checked out at the doctor.

Yesterday, I took Claire the doctor fully expecting a clean bill of health, with the shortness of breath being caused a fluke panic attack, type of thing.  I was not expecting the doctor to say "Based on how she blew in the peak flow rate, we have to assume she has asthma.  She should be blowing at least 460 and she can only blow to 325...that's not good."  I was not expecting to have Claire learn how to use an inhaler much less expecting to leave the doctors office with prescriptions for multiple inhalers. I was blindsided.

We left the doctors office with a new normal.  Why it's taken us 11 years to get here is anybody's guess.  The doctor thinks Claire just never knew any differently when it came to how she could breath or not.  It was her own normal.  Now we know and we move forward working to understand all aspects of asthma so we can help her figure out her new normal.

When Lucas was diagnosed with ADHD I did exactly what I did yesterday.  I researched.  I hate feeling that I was blindsided so I go the opposite direction and try to learn everything I can.  Yesterday I picked up the phone to pick the brain of one of my friends whose daughter also swims and has asthma so I can know exactly where we need to go from here.  We will make appointments and follow-ups and ask the questions that need to be answered so we can have a healthy, happy Claire who doesn't have to fear another attack where she couldn't catch her breath and was scared.  I don't like to think about how scared she was at practice...mama guilt sets in.  I don't like to think that she's still scared of having another attack.  I want to know everything so I can help empower Claire with her new normal.

Oh, for the love of my Claire Bear.

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