Starting in December, Jon and I noticed (too often for our comfort) that Layla would start to wheeze after playing. Then for awhile the wheezing seemed to die down. At the end of December (Christmas time) we had a few nights where Layla would be lying in bed, wake up wheezing, cough once or twice and vomit all over the place. Mommy thought it was a bug or all the junk kids eat at the holidays. We modified her diet. But the wheezing stayed for awhile. Then it sort of faded away. In mid January it came back, only by mid January Jon and I started to notice the wheezing was directly related to days we did things with other people. Once in January before bedtime Layla had such a hard time breathing (while sitting) that she was literally gasping. It freaked us out enough that we went from "it's an allergy thing" to "maybe she needs to see the Dr". It took me a little while to react because people kept telling me it was no big deal when I reacted to allergies in the past and I really wasn't ready to pick another family battle over it. But after the gasping night, I decided I loved my kid too much to be willing for even occassional wheezies.
Today had an asthma evaluation. Our Dr ran a set of tests, then he did them again after exercise (mild wheezing) then he exposed her to cat dander (via a scratch test) and had her do it a third time (BINGO!). He turned looked at me and said it's asthma, it's from her cat allergy and she's going to have this for the rest of her life.
I may or may not have cried. I also may have said something along the lines of "I told them so". A progressive allergy, that's what we've got. Jon has a cousin who's daughter has the same problem. While we were there we did a few more scratch tests. It's still just cats. He says it probably always will be but we'll test her again before kindergarden just to be safe.
It's a life of inhalers in purses, liquid albuterol for rescue and medication we take every single day. The daily med will not prevent a cat allergy and I was specifically told we should be avoiding cats and sources of cat dander AT ALL COSTS. It makes her sick. It is not ok. The medication will however help with situations (like church, the library or the park) where there might be people you're not necessarily interacting with who still have dander on them and it's affecting your breathing. It will not cure itchy, uncomfortable cat rashes or hives. It will not help with snot. It's just to regulate her ability to breath when allergens are present.
While it breaks my heart that my baby girl is being medicated. It breaks my heart more that the main reason she has to be medicated is because people don't take allergies seriously and no one listens when mom's say they know their kids. It is your choice to pick an option where you have a cat, it just won't be one with a lot of interaction with us. We'll miss seeing you often. But, a mother knows.
I know my kid.
I also know that because of my kid I am going to become "that mom" and it's not going to be pretty because oxygen is important.