A brown belt for Big Guy – not that it’s important
Mon, 12/03/12 – 12:49 | Comments Off

It was testing week in karate and, as usual, Big Guy was under the gun. Not as much as he used to be, when he didn’t have a clue and had to frantically cram, but …

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Picky eaters and allergy-safe cooking — the two aren’t necessarily unrelated.

Girl Gone Wonk

From policy to politics, this rant’s for you.


The day’s events in a family way — unless something else amuses me.

School days

From preschool to kindergarten — so far

Simple Gifts

Inexpensive homemade gifts, creative parties and low-cost projects, for Christmas and beyond. Many are easy enough for children to help.

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Articles tagged with: asthma

If you’re laying off nurses, you better have a backup plan
Friday, 24 Jun, 2011 – 13:12 | 2 Comments
If you’re laying off nurses, you better have a backup plan

The lack of health-care workers in schools is nothing new.
We saw the impact when Big Guy was in kindergarten and cooled his heels in the office for half a day after a snooty secretary diagnosed …

Note to insurance companies: Not all meds are created equal
Wednesday, 12 Jan, 2011 – 18:00 | Comments Off

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before – and if you have a chronic medical condition, you probably have.
One drug works so-so, or not at all to control your symptoms. This is the one …

Adding to our asthma vocabulary
Thursday, 18 Nov, 2010 – 12:03 | One Comment
Adding to our asthma vocabulary

It’s been a while – nearly three years, in fact – since Big Guy has had a major asthma episode. He’s done well, thrived even, despite a change in primary doctor and specialist that had …

Can I have asthma, too?
Tuesday, 26 Jan, 2010 – 10:00 | Comments Off
Can I have asthma, too?

Mommy, when do I get to have asthma, Boots asked recently.
Maybe never if you’re lucky, I said. I can’t promise that, though. Mawmaw didn’t have asthma until she was in her 50s, so you never …

The $60.42 answer to the question of helping children with asthma
Wednesday, 2 Dec, 2009 – 22:28 | Comments Off
The $60.42 answer to the question of helping children with asthma

With a callous eye toward the bottom line, insurance companies unhesitantly ax coverage for medications asthmatic children need. Don’t deny it. It’s happened to us.
If executives won’t shell out $300 to prevent an emergency room …

Time to take the Singulair question to a doctor
Sunday, 14 Jun, 2009 – 10:00 | 4 Comments
Time to take the Singulair question to a doctor

I partially bought the drug-company spin on Singulair in January largely because I wanted to:
The Food and Drug Administration found no link between the popular asthma drug and increased suicide risk, which led manufacturer Merck …

Asthma alerts via social media just make sense
Monday, 4 May, 2009 – 23:27 | Comments Off
Asthma alerts via social media just make sense

Here’s a move that makes so much sense it’s stunning that more agencies aren’t considering it.
According to the Arizona Republic, health care professionals in that state are expanding their system of asthma alerts to include …

Epiblogue: The curious case of the generic drug that’s not
Wednesday, 1 Apr, 2009 – 12:38 | One Comment
Epiblogue: The curious case of the generic drug that’s not

When we last left Pulmicort, the asthma medicine popular for children was about to become a generic after Israeli company Teva Pharmaceuticals got permission from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to produce it. British …

Add an inhaler to that TIVO package
Wednesday, 11 Mar, 2009 – 23:04 | Comments Off
Add an inhaler to that TIVO package

Funny how a study that tells us what we largely already know – sitting around can hurt your health – can trigger such skepticism.
That’s how some have reacted to a British Medical Association journal article …

When faced with competition, suddenly drug makers can produce generics
Wednesday, 19 Nov, 2008 – 14:02 | 2 Comments
When faced with competition, suddenly drug makers can produce generics

Once in a while, I’ll run across something so confusing I’m not sure who the good guys are.
Like this morning when I saw that the Food and Drug Administration has approved a generic version of …

Parents can have big impact on little people with asthma
Tuesday, 14 Oct, 2008 – 11:13 | Comments Off
Parents can have big impact on little people with asthma

Once, and only once, did I consider backing off Big Guy’s asthma treatment.
He’d just turned 2 and was having a comfortable, wheeze-free summer. He’d been undergoing twice-daily treatments of Albuterol and Pulmicort through the nebulizer …

Omega-3, probiotics wonder drugs for Big Guy
Friday, 22 Aug, 2008 – 17:21 | Comments Off

We’ve finally found the substance so vile, so disgusting that Little Guy won’t go near it. And he’ll eat anything.
It’s L’il Critters Omega 3 Gummy Fish, which claims on amazon.com to have won a “best …

Kids and Allergies: Peak air flow meter the fun game the whole family can play!
Thursday, 12 Jun, 2008 – 5:07 | Comments Off

During one of Big Guy’s twice-yearly checkups with his allergist back in April, I mentioned that he seemed to struggle more to catch his breath after exertion.

Do you have a peak airflow meter? the doctor asked.

No, I replied hesitantly, knowing Big Guy would balk at yet another addition to his daily program of pills and inhalers.

He’s old enough now, the doctor said. Let’s try it for a month and see how he’s doing.

Visions of “refusal to cover” notices from my insurance company flashed through my head as I foresaw a pricey digital gear such as I’d used at an allergist’s office years ago when I was last tested for asthma.

Instead, the nurse handed me a plastic gadget, courtesy of one of the visiting drug companies. Big Guy’s allergist is great about passing these along to patients

Living with asthma
Sunday, 1 Jun, 2008 – 19:32 | Comments Off

My household budget is tight – whose isn’t with two kids in residence? – but the decision to spend an extra $41 a month was a no-brainer.

That’s the difference in cost between over-the-counter Claritin, at about $9, and prescription Zyrtec – the new antihistamine Big Guy’s doctor prescribed Monday. For almost three years, Claritin had worked to control his allergies, but not anymore. You could see it in the increased drippiness, the constant gunky cough.

My insurance company covers a whopping 19 cents of the cost of Zyrtec. Its Web site is nice enough to list a number of over-the-counter alternatives. All of which we’ve tried, none of which work for him.

If the issue were just a few sniffles, I would have let it go at the $9. For Big Guy, though, the situation is far more serious. He also has asthma, and allergy problems can trigger attacks.

So I swallowed hard and shelled out the $50. I’m lucky I can afford it. Many families can’t.

That’s why I wasn’t surprised at all to read an Associated Press story that very day that said only one in five asthmatic children has the disease under control.