Boy Meets World…
Mom Meets Asthma

I was introduced to asthma three years ago, when my son was coughing and sneezing from allergies before going to bed. I gave him some Benadryl and a box of tissues, and checked on him every half hour or so. Around 11 p.m. I peeked into his room and saw his ribs showing as he breathed, and his entire body shaking and flopping around like a fish out of water. “What the…?” I thought. I called to my husband to see if he knew what was happening and we just stood there for a few seconds staring at him.

State of New Jersey
Executive Department Proclamation

Special Thanks to Governor
Chris Christie for proclaiming
May 2010 as
Asthma Awareness Month in New Jersey

Using a Peak Flow Meter

A peak flow meter can show you how well you are breathing. It is a good tool to raise your awareness about your asthma. If your health care provider has prescribed a peak flow meter, here are some simple steps to follow.

I put my ear to his chest and heard him breathing, and then took his pulse, which was normal. I was just getting ready to call the doctor when the whole episode stopped and he was sleeping normally again. “That was weird!” I said. “Well, just in case, I’m going to check on him repeatedly throughout the night, and if it happens again I’ll call the doctor.” He seemed to have a normal night’s sleep after that.

The next morning, while he was getting ready for school, I noticed he seemed very tired, and his allergies were worse. I canceled my work for the morning, called in sick to his school, and took him to the pediatrician. She listened to his lungs and declared, “He’s in respiratory distress!” She put him on a nebulizer for 30 minutes, and he magically came back to life. When I described the nighttime incident, she informed me that he could have died! This introduction to asthma is one I will never forget, and one that changed my life forever.

Unable to forgive myself for not calling 911, I was determined to learn all I could about asthma prevention and treatment. I took my son to an allergy and asthma specialist, who has given him allergy shots for 3 years. He taught us how to use a peak flow meter, prescribed preventive medicines, and he uses PACNJs Asthma Treatment Plan to inform my son’s school and Boy Scout Troop about how to prevent and treat asthma.

I am now Ever Vigilant about preventing asthma, and I am happy to report that my son has never had another serious asthma episode. He’s even able to participate in sports and go on Boy Scout camping trips! I now regularly educate adults about asthma prevention and treatment. I find that most people do not understand or believe that asthma is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition, and that they need to be informed, and sometimes shocked into believing it. I thank PACNJ for teaching me how to introduce others to asthma – before it’s too late.