On New Year's Eve of 2012 Harper was admitted to hospital and diagnosed with asthma.
It started with a cold that had been going on for a few days. I was having a post Christmas catch up and spent most of the day in the kitchen cooking, I noticed Harper was coughing a lot and that his breathing seemed fast but just put it down to his cold. After lunch he was actively playing, and I had time to sit down to watch him, I noticed he seemed to be working hard to breath, I wasn't sure what was wrong but started to feel worried. I made him calm down and checked his breathing again, when I lifted his top up I could see his tummy sucking under his ribs hard with each breath, as well as a strong tug in his neck. I decided then he needed to see a doctor, straight away. I drove him to the ER and he was taken straight through to be treated, each part of his lung was struggling to get air. He was admitted to hospital and we were able to go home the next day.
The Royal Children Hospital was running a community based asthma program and I was asked to join, a nurse came to our house and taught me about asthma, why it happens, and how to treat it.
Over the next few months every time Harper got a cold he had an asthma attack, as time went on I became better and recognising his symptoms, triggers, and beginning treatment early, we've had several trips to the ER where he's had treatment stretched, and then been able to go home, the key factor being that early treatment and management of asthma will prevent the attack progressing to a more serious attack.
A couple of months ago Harper was admitted again with asthma, he had phenomena which made the attack much worse. He needed to be oxygen overnight to keep him at a safe level. By June Harper had been on premix 7 times in 6 months. He was put onto an asthma preventer and things begun to look up, although he still got asthma with each cold it didn't come on as strong, and was easier to manage at home.
Harper hasn't had asthma since the beginning of September, nor has he had a cold. This is our longest stretch all year without treatment, with the weather heating up I'm hopeful that the next few months will be a lot easier. In the early days I found looking at videos of children working hard to breath helped me to learn how to recognise asthma symptoms. I decided to take some footage of a couple of Harper's asthma attacks in hope that it would help others to learn what to look for. Don't assume at any point I was taking videos of my sick child instead of caring for him, they were taken in-between treatment.
Before you watch this video know, I am not a doctor. All triggers and symptoms can appear differently in each child. These are my experiences, asthma is life threatening, it can sometimes worsen very quickly, if you're worried your child is having an asthma seek medical help.