Friday, March 28, 2008

Every Breath You Take...

So, The Boy has developed a nice, painful, hacking cough over the past two days. We went to the doctor today, and he said that it wasn't serious. He proscribed an inhaler for The Boy to use a few times per day, with a nice attachment that cost us $72 because it's not covered by insurance. I'd love to hear an explanation of that one!! Anyway, The Boy is still coughing, but he doesn't seem to mind taking this medication.

I admit that it has me concerned. I've been an asthmatic for my entire life, as far as I know. I've always been under the care of a specialist - Dr. Safirstein in Montclair for fifteen years, then a pulmonary group in Ann Arbor, then Dr. Shah in Millburn, now Dr. Weber in Glen Ridge. I've been on more forms of prescription medication than one can shake a stick at - and, believe me, we shake a lot of sticks here in New Jersey. It's frustrating as all hell: I exercise more and better than 95% of people my age, I eat better than 95% of people my age, I keep a clean house, and I still can't catch a break. I have nights like tonight - where I'm just coughing and not sleeping. It's not even a good cough - nothing is moving around in the lungs, it's just a meaningless, moderately painful cough.

I don't want my son to go through this. I don't want him to have bouts of time where he walks like a 70 year old and sleeps two or three hours per day. I don't want him to have to take eight or nine prescription medications every single day to try to maintain some kind of physical balance. My growth was stunted because of the steroids that I was on for YEARS, and my liver is far more damaged than it should be for a guy my age because of that. (Okay, stunted is relative - I'm still 6'2.5", but I have really short legs for my torso length.)

The biggest things that terrify me, like all parents, are the things that I absolutely cannot control. Sickness. Chronic illnesses. Terminal episodes. Bullies. Bad teachers. Hostile schoolmates. Psychotic girlfriends. Drugs. Alcohol abuse in unsafe environments. Asthma is pretty high on the list - I was hoping that the genetic code would be improved in the following generation, that he would take the best parts of my wife's immune system (her ability to handle pain, her extremely hardy constitution) and avoid the worst parts of mine (my inclination to scream like an 8-year-old girl when given an injection, my fragile constitution and my inability to function, mentally or physically, when I'm sick).

Babies, I understand, have breathing issues all the time. They get all kinds of weird illnesses and such. I'm fairly confident that he'll be through the coughing thing within a few more days. Because he's still taking breastmilk, he's got my wife's immune system, and she's healthy as a horse.

I hope.

I don't think I'll have too many nightmares, when and if I sleep. I took one of my sleeping pills, and I'm feeling a little drowsy right now. I won't be sleeping with my wife and baby tonight, because it's a bad idea to cosleep with sleeping pills. My two choices are the spare room or the fold-down couch; I'll probably choose the spare room.

No comments: