The other day my son asked if he had been breast fed. He is of the age where gross things titillate and there is much talk of poop and other bodily functions. Of course the breast feeding affirmation was almost too much for him to bear. It seems like so long ago, the breast feeding. It has been on my mind recently since my son has tentatively been diagnosed with asthma. OK, well maybe he was actually diagnosed but since I can’t really seem to accept it, I consider it tentative. I suppose that is more like denial. This diagnosis comes as a surprise to no one. His dad had asthma when he was a child. And his two first cousins have it now. His dad also has bad skin and lots of allergies. I knew this going in. I knew what the gene pool held in store. I knew it but in my heart I felt like if he was breast fed, he would be able to defeat all of those bad things. If he was breast fed and stuffed full of breasty goodness on top of my no allergies/no asthma/no bad skin genes, then he would not have asthma or allergies or bad skin. So when we got the diagnosis of asthma, I felt like I let him down. Like my breast milk let him down. For a time I actually felt like my breast milk had not been good enough. That it was not as good as other breast milk. I was feeling angry at my breast milk. Seriously. These were my thoughts.
The reason we finally ended up at the doctor was a combination of the dreadful cold that has been going around and my son’s complaint of not being able to breathe. Not being able to breathe is enough to drive any parent to the pediatrician. His two questions prior to the visit were, “Am I going to get a shot and is she going to touch my penis?” I assured him that the answer to both was likely no. It seemed kind of decadent to be reunited with my son at 3:00 on a weekday afternoon. When I had called the school to let them know that I was going to pick him up, it just so happened that his dad was there picking him up. My son was one of the legions of coughing with no fever kids that had shown up in the health room. I ended up fetching him from his dad’s office to take him to the doctor. We hung out in the waiting room for a while and took goofy photos of ourselves in the mirror.
When we were finally called in the doctor listened to his chest and detected wheezing. She then told us that they would hook him up to a nebulizer right there and right then. This was all kind of alarming to me since I am mostly anti-drug. I never take anything.Interestingly enough, my son’s dad is completely the opposite. He never met a medication he wouldn’t pop into his mouth or rub onto his body. So there is my son sucking up this weird vaporized medication through a child themed mask (which of course prompted him to say, “are you my mummy”) while I waited and wondered if we were supposed to turn the machine off at some point. We were then prescribed two different inhalers and a giant plastic tube known as a spacer. It all just freaks me out.
Despite all of this, my gut still tells me that he doesn’t have asthma. Based on his feedback about how he felt after the treatment and some of the symptoms cited that he just doesn’t have. Maybe I am just naïve. Hopeful. In denial. Or just stubborn. Or maybe I am just not ready to sell my breast milk short. Not ready to give up faith that all the goodness I’ve instilled in him will still triumph in the end. Fingers crossed. Denial in place.