There are seasons where life seems to jump from one appointment and event to another without a break and seasons that are calm and one can stay home and do important things like fold the laundry. This month doesn't seem like it is shaping up to be the laundry folding one.
Not only does H. have surgery this afternoon (it was rescheduled yesterday, after I had arranged my calendar for Friday, of course), but I already had an appointment on the books with an ENT this morning for A. For the past couple of years, we have been trying to manage what we thought was asthma in A. Whenever she would run, she would feel incredible shortness of breath and be forced to stop until she could breath again. First step was the pediatrician who put her on inhalers, one to use before exercise and one to use every day. She tried these for a while, but they didn't seem to be making much difference, so we were sent to an allergist. The allergist did a whole allergy screening and also gave her a nasal washing protocol to see if that made a difference. A.'s nasal passages were much cleaner, but it didn't really help with the breathing part. Back to the allergist we went. This time she prescribed an oral steroid for five days and A. was instructed to really try running. We were at the point where everyone was thinking this was not asthma, but something else. If it was asthma, then the high-powered steroid should have made all the difference. It didn't. All that week I would send A out to run around the block, but would send a brother along with her to help bring her home if she collapsed.
It wasn't asthma. So, now we had to start ruling out other possibilities. The other big options left were some sort of pulmonary problem or vocal cord dysfunction. I didn't really like the sound of heart problems and had never heard of vocal cord dysfunction. Frankly, the vocal cord-thing sounded a little made-up. Next test? A pulmonary function test at the hospital. Pretty much A. had to run on a treadmill while they monitored heart rate and ability to breath. Or not breath as in A.'s case. Thankfully, her heart is just fine and what she was experiencing was probably vocal cord dysfunction.
What is it? Well, it turns out that sometimes people's vocal cords can start malfunctioning which means that when exercising, instead of the vocal cords staying open, they close shut. When the vocal cords close, they stop the flow of air through the trachea. With the pulmonary function test completed, we were then sent to an ENT. That was this morning's adventure.
We saw the ENT and he numbed her nasal passages and then sent a small scope down to see how her vocal cords were functioning. It was actually pretty interesting to watch. (A. was a little bummed that she couldn't watch the screen to seen down her own throat, but the doctor showed her the video afterwards.) What he saw confirmed the diagnosis of vocal cord dysfunction. It also fits with her personality profile in that Type-A, highly competitive types are more likely to develop this condition.
The treatment? Well, this is the best part. He gave her some breathing exercises to practice while she is running that will force her vocal cords open. She will also need to see a speech therapist a couple of times who will work with her on other exercises. And the therapist is at a building that she can get to on her own. No surgery! No extensive and complicated medical procedures! No need to stick needles into her head! I love it. And, she now has really clean ears as well.
Thus ends the happy medical journey. Now we move onto the not-so-happy one. H. and I need to be up at the hospital by 2:30 and she is scheduled for surgery at 4:00. We're at the very end of the surgery schedule, so I am not planning on it starting at 4:00. I'm sure it will be later.
You know, I was hoping to get some more time to sit and continue to make the Christmas things I need to make. I have to say that this isn't really how I envisioned this happening.
Life doesn't stop even when you think it should. I have a new article up: Adoption and Children's Picture Books: Part 1 of 2. Feel free to click and share away.