Woods and Trees

Carolyn Voisey's avatar

by Carolyn Voisey

So, I may well have waxed lyrical about how it doesn’t actually matter to me that Sam hasn’t got a diagnosis, blah blah blah.

But some days it really does. It grates.

I am so sick and tired of hearing ‘wait and see’, or that doctors don’t know if a particular symptom is part of his condition and not to worry or whether it’s a sign of deterioration, secondary issues or something more sinister.

It is both frustrating and frightening.

I give you exhibit A: one child, worrying and constant cough, snotty, sneezing. Horrendous secretions.

We have fielded questions about our lifestyles (smokers in the family?), our pets (how many/what sort/ how often do you clean…. really wasn’t impressed by that one), right down to what washing powder we use.

He is a child, medically complex, and not feeling too well… but is it a cold, aspiration, pneumonia or a sign that something else is going on that needs to be monitored?

Ahem. Back to exhibit A, currently wiping snot down my left arm (with a remarkable amount of control for a boy with low muscle tone).

He has had a lot of the above symptoms for much of the past 2 years, his medical team have questioned whether he is aspirating during seizures, leading to a chronic cough; infection has been checked for on chest x-rays, a little irritation shows in the right lung, and antibiotics are usually given (despite protest) as he’s at such high risk of pneumonia.

And yet the symptoms persisted.

The day to day snot-dribbliness/cough were different, he’d go weeks without symptoms then they’d return, no worse than before but no better either.

It disturbed his sleep, making him irritable and fed up.

Ever heard the phrase ‘can’t see the wood for the trees’?

In this case the answer was indeed staring us in the face… or more specifically, blowing in the wind…. Sam has hay fever, to be specific he is affected mostly by tree pollen.

The connection was only made a couple of weeks ago, on a particularly lovely morning in early spring when I woke up looking like I’d been punched my eyes were so puffy.

A furious bout of sneezing ensued, and as I miserably reached for the tissues and made a mental note to buy anti-histamine tablets I noticed my little chap wiping his nose and sneezing for England, and it was suddenly so *obvious*.

Woods and trees.

A quick visit to the pharmacy, some anti-histamine and within 4hrs the little man was the happiest he’s been for ages.

His persistent, worry-some cough completely gone.

I still can’t believe it took us so long to work it out but for now that mystery at least is solved!

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