Sure enough every fall and winter we'd end up back in the ER 1-3 x/a month. She wasn't dx'd with asthma until we switched to a special needs pediatrician (due to her autism diagnosis) and it was then that we started to get appropriate medication and ultimately a bit of control of her asthma.
In October of 2007, like clockwork, she got sick. After five days her fever spiked at 106.9 and we ended up with a three night hospital stay. The pediatrician decided that it was time for a daily controller medicine so we started Singulair (she was a month shy of her 4th birthday).
Singulair, for us, was a wonder drug. After Ava's hospitalization that October, she didn't go to the ER/urgent care for six months. Never had we gone through an entire winter without going to the ER.
Fast forward to the end of 2008 - she made it to October 30 before she got sick this year - usually she's sick the first week of October. We made it a full month longer.
So in the past month or so, she's been way more emotional than normal. The way her autism symptoms present, she has difficult with emotional regulation so if she gets upsets or cries, she can't soothe herself - it is a grown up job. No biggy, she's my baby girl (well, she's 5), I'll help her calm down when she's 60! But this was different, she started off saying things like "no one is my friend in this house" or "no one loves me."
About a week after that started she began to say "no one will miss me if I'm gone" and "no one will care if I'm gone." Last summer I remember hearing that Singulair *may* be linked to depression/suicide but I thought, "well she's 4, I have some time before I have to deal with that." I did a little research and the link isn't conclusive but to me, she sounded like she was depressed. This is interesting timing as The Attached Family ezine just discussed the topic of childhood depression.
I put a call into the pediatrician last Monday and she said to stop her Singulair and that within 1 to 1.5 weeks, she should be back to normal if it was the Singulair. She said if she is better, she should never take another Singulair in her life. The good news is, she's better. However, we had to stop her Flonase (nasal spray) at the beginning of January because she started to have daily nosebleeds. So in one month's time, in the peak of her asthma season, we've dropped two out of three of her regular asthma control medications.
Friday, she comes home from preschool with sniffles. Saturday she was sneezing. Yesterday she was coughing. Last night she was up with the tell-tale croupy cough. We went in today and sure enough, she has croup.
She has an appointment with the pediatric asthma/allergy specialist on 2/24. It is going to be a long three weeks but it is likely that her asthma is allergy-induced. The pediatrician is thinking that she may be a good candidate for allergy immunology therapy (or something like that) and eventually we could really reduce her asthma.
So anyhow, I know this is just kind of a meandering post but I've had such a long ride with her asthma over the past few years and I felt the need to decompress and this felt like a good place.