Just wanted to let you all know that Maddie is doing a lot better the past few days concerning her asthma. I'm so thankful... there were a few times over last weekend when I wondered if she needed to go to the E.R. I am one of those moms who never knows when exactly a situation warrants a visit to the E.R., or a call to the doctor, especially after hours. I suppose its because of the time we took Maddie to E.R. resulted in 4 hrs. of waiting and receiving no care for our crying wheezing 2 yr. old. Its not an experience I ever wish to repeat! That was her first attack so I think if she ever needed to go again, we (and hopefully the doctors) would more quickly know what course to take.
Anyway, I decided to try some different remedies because clearly what we had been doing was not cutting it. Firstly, Seth and I both agreed that albuterol was not helping. Even though albuterol is supposed to be the rescue medicine and pulmicort is intended for daily use (which she does get), we were actually seeing more success with just extra pulmicort doses throughout the day, especially before bedtime. Our doctor had given us the go ahead to mix and match the two medicines according to what we saw the most improvement with, and since albuterol is prone to some side effects, albeit minor, we just won't use it anymore.
Secondly, I have been wanting to explore natural remedies for asthma, and all our families health concerns. So I purchased some vitamin D in liquid form to add to Maddie and Eden's juice. About 4 drops is a serving size so the girls do not even know its there. I have no doubt that they lack Vitamin D since most people do, and since it is still not warm enough to play outside very much. (Although today is a wonderful 70 degrees for the first times is weeks!) I also read that omega 3's are very helpful with astham sufferers so I am making an effort to incorporate foods rich in omega 3's into our diets. Even if I can not definitively say it is helping with the asthma, it can't hurt!
I also purchased a small bottle of eucalyptus oil. I've become interested in essential oils for healing and cleaning purposes. Soon, I plan to order a starter set from Beeyoutiful, where they have better prices even including shipping, but for now I started with one bottle from our local natural foods store. I personally love the smell of eucalyptus. I remember my mom hanging branches of dried eucalyptus in our shower. It was the most invigorating scent to wake up to! The steam from the shower seemed to make the dried branch come alive. When my mom finally stopped arranging flowers as her hobby, I missed those branches hanging in the shower more than I missed all the dried flower arrangements she used to always be making!
I was unsure about actually using the oil. I tried rubbing it on Maddie's chest, but she complained that it irritated her eyes. It is rather strong when it directly out of the bottle. I then followed another idea I read online, and put a few drops on a paper towel and placed in right inside her pillow case while she was sleeping so she could breathe it in overnight, while her eyes were closed. This was also not successful because I noticed that she scooted her little sleeping self all the way to the other side of the bed. I guess it was still too strong. The best method has been to put a few drops in the humidifier which is on every night, and when she naps. This created a really enjoyable refreshing scent without being too overpowering. Seth is particularly sensitive to strong smells so I know I will need to be careful with my essential oils as I experiment with them. I, even while pregnant, do not have a strong sense of smell. I am always drawn to strong perfumes because I just don't even catch the fragrance of the more gentle scents. I probably walk around offensive to the world without even knowing it! ;) Actually, Seth would tell me, no doubt about that!
The eucalyptus oil is intended to clear nasal and chest congestion and open inflamed bronchial tubes. I read somewhere that it decreases production of mucus in the chest as well, which Maddie has a real problem with when her asthma is at its worst. Aside from those benefits, it is a natural germ and mite killer. So I like that aspect since humidifiers can be breeding grounds for nasty little boogers. I plan on never washing the humidifier again... just dumping a bunch of oil in it. Just kidding. ☺ Some people add eucalyptus oil to their bedding when putting it through the wash to kill bed bugs.
Personally, I have become a big fan of adding white vinegar to most of my laundry to kill stubborn urine smells from the girls' bedding and PJ's. I've noticed that when I add vinegar to the wash while washing Seth's dress shirts, his black shirts attract less lint. No more walking around all Sunday morning rolling the lint contraption on himself! ;) And I (nor Seth) detect a vinegar smell to it when it is finished.
Thank you for those who have been praying for Maddie. I am hoping that if we continue to be diligent about vitamins, and the oil enhanced humidifier, along with her daily pulmicort, I won't need to add steroids to her regiment. We'll see how she does in the next few weeks and months.