Here is an update on Alfie and his terrible cough, as posted here. This is what happened that very afternoon! I should mention that he hasn’t coughed a speck since. Not once at all. Quite mystifying but a great relief!
At the Ulster Independent Clinic Dr Sharon Christie takes charge and immediately a battery of tests are ordered; I can hardly keep up. She takes a full history from birth until now and Alfie is shepherded around for a chest x-ray and a skin prick test (for allergies).
A blood test is arranged at my GP surgery for the following day (because I would have to pay otherwise) and a full lung function test (no, not just the ordinary oxygen blah thingy the asthma nurse does) will be arranged, possibly at Dr Christie’s hospital clinic. We can’t get bumped up the list because we’re private patients but we’re likely to get an appointment after Easter.
So, the results are in….
- Glue ear. In both ears. We had noticed some deafness (I say two months, Pete says six) but put it down to a growth spurt or just ordinary 6 year old lack of listening. This will be checked again in 3 months and if no improvement then likely grommets will be put in. Poor love. It does rather explain his excessive volume levels; I wonder if he’s had it since birth?
- NO ALLERGIES! Hurrah! Some good news. He was tested in Bangkok age 3 and came up allergic to dust, cats, feathers, grass and cockroaches (niche category for Asia, that one). But this time there is no reaction and this is further backed up by the blood test results a week later. I am more than a little excited and relieved by this, especially as I no longer have to feel guilty about specks of dust and my lack of cleaning zeal in his bedroom causing his cough. It also means we can consider actually having things in his bedroom, like curtains, books, posters, toys (all massive dust catchers in case you didn’t know).
- Patches on his left lung. This is worrying, for me anyway. It indicates an infection and Alfie is put on Azithromycin for 3 days, 4 days off and then another 3 days. Then we will see. Of course his cough all but disappeared the day after our appointment with Dr Christie, so he seems loads better. Mainly though, I am a terrible mother for taking my son skiing with pneumonia.
I can hardly describe the enormous relief of finding someone to take us seriously enough to book tests AND get results. It’s a shame the GP’s don’t seem able to do this. I don’t know how many times we’ve been to see the asthma nurse (monthly? Fortnightly?) to be given the same piece of paper and same advice over and over again; up the inhalers, up the inhalers, up the fucking inhalers. I felt like ramming the fucking inhaler down her throat. The last time I was told, in not so many words of course, that really the only solution was to bring him in to be nebulised, preferably to A&E at the hospital, and once he as some kind of crisis, or preferably quite a few, he may be referred on to a specialist. Maybe. Gee, thanks for the free blood test though *gritted teeth*
Which is why I am fangirling over Dr Christie. She rocks.