Sunday, 10 May 2009

Human's Adaptability and Self-Preservation

My 2.8 years old son, Aza, has been treated with nebulizer for his allergy since he was 6 months old. He is sensitive to some types of milk (luckily he is not a big fan of milk) and a few other things that often cause allergy reactions, such as, berry-type fruits, prawns (consumption of small quantity is usually fine) and the sudden change of weather. The problem was, the biggest cause of the allergy was still unknown.

Whenever he has allergy attack, he will start coughing roughly which sounds like hard wind coming out of an empty pipe. At first (when he was 6 months), we didn't know what caused the allergy. He kept being treated with the nebulizer so often that he became so familiar with the equipment. When he was 1 year old, as long as his older brother stayed with him during the treatment, he would be happy.

Then, when he was 2 years old, based on the frequency of his allergy attacks, the doctor that we saw at that time suggested that it might actually be the milk that he drank that he was allergic to. So, we changed his milk brand, and amazingly, he almost never had a cough anymore. We were very grateful about this.

We really didn't consider the milk was the main trigger for Aza's allergy since he was drinking one of the brands that most people take. Also, compared to other kids at the same age, Aza drinks very little of milk on daily basis. I mainly compared Aza's milk drinking habit to his brother when he was Aza's age and his cousin (my sister's son who is at the same age with Aza). They both have around 5 - 7 bottles @250 ml./day, while Aza only has 4 - 5 bottles @100 ml./day.

Now, it is time for the season to change again. About a month ago, he had a bad cough. It wasn't really because of his allergy, but he had trouble breathing around sundown, so, I decided to give him the nebulizer treatment. I was ready if he would refuse it at first, but to my surprise, he took the mask, put it on his face and started inhaling.

We didn't go to the very last drop of it (it was only NaCL at that time, since I only wanted to give him some comfort in breathing), but he slept well that night, and he didn't need inhalation anymore until he was recovered from the cough.

Yesterday, after raining almost non-stop for a couple of days, Aza started coughing. I was also forced to change his milk last week because he was bored with his normal brand. I knew that he would only lasted a couple of weeks on other milk brands, but it would be enough to get him to like his usual brand again, so I wasn't too worried (I have to change his milk every once in a while, because he does get bored sometimes and tends to leave his milk unfinished).

However, the hot and humid days which always ended in showery evenings and nights, were not in his favour. Today, he started coughing really bad. I finally decided to buy his ventolin and pulmicort. As he was getting sleepy before the maid came back from the chemist, I asked him not to resist if I put the mask on him after he was asleep. He agreed.

Again, I was surprised, he got woken up by his coughing right when the maid arrived with the nebules. At first he refused the mask because he wanted to sleep, but when I reminded him that he wouldn't be able to sleep if he kept coughing that bad, he took the mask from me and put it on his face. After the first 5 minutes, he found a comfortable laying down position that allowed him to slowly falling asleep while still holding the mask.

He threw up after the ventolin (which was to be expected), and he said he just wanted to sleep. I told him that he would sleep even better after the pulmicort. I also told him that he could just lay down and fall asleep, and I would take care of the mask. Amazingly, he took the mask, put it on his mouth and closed his eyes.

After a couple of minutes, I told him to move the mask up so that it also covered his nose. He nicely did! Then, he closed his eyes again and fell asleep. In about 10 minutes, I could hear that the rough sound of his breathing had softened and I knew that he felt more comfortable too because he told me that he really had enough of the nebulizer.

This time, I took the mask off him and let him find his perfect position to sleep for the night.

It is completely mixed feelings that I feel each time I have to do the nebulizer treatment to Aza. I feel relieved that he is very easy to work with, but I also feel amazed and somewhat sad that a child that young has understood the importance of a complex medication (more than just simple grape or cherry-tasted syrup) and doesn't need any persuation to accept the treatment.

The biggest lesson for me is that human being really has a high instinct of adaptability and self-preservation. It is proven that when a child has been suffering allergy from very young age (before 1 year old), he/she will be comfortable with the use of a nebulizer at a very young age too (in Aza's case, he's only a little older than 2 years old).

When Aza was younger, one of the comfortable position for him during the treatments was to lay half-sitting on my lap, and I would get some of his medication inhaled into my nose or mouth. Nowadays, when I accidently hold my face too close to his, during his inhalation (or he moves around a bit), I could smell the medication too. It doesn't feel nice, and that is really what amazes me every time I see Aza smiling, laughing or even joking with his brother while holding his mask on his face. He must've understood that the funny-tasting smoke allows him to breathe better, so that he is always willingly do his treatments himself.

Really amazing!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hi! Would you like to share your opinion about my post? I would like to hear from you..