Escape to Magic Mountain

View from the deck of the house on Magic Mountain

We’re in the mountains of North Carolina visiting my in-laws. They have a wonderful house on top of a mountain, far from the hustle and bustle of civilization. The nearest town is thirty minutes away by car, the nearest hospital forty-five (we found that out last October after Son stuck a pebble up his nose and we had to take him to the emergency room).

There’s something about being here that is good for the soul, and seems to make problems disappear. Husband and I both feel his way, and were looking forward to this trip with a fervor just short of desperation.

We’ve only been here since yesterday morning, and already the mountain’s magic is taking hold. Looking out at the hills and mountains, smelling the fresh clean air. Drinking cold, clean water straight from the tap. Without a water filter, even!

It’s heavenly. Our troubles and challenges don’t disappear, but they sure don’t seem daunting. When we think of them at all. The magic of the mountain…

And something else. Son had sniffles and a slight cough the day before we left. Normally that means three-a-day nebulizer treatments with the probability of a steroid to ease his little lungs. He did three nebulizer treatments at home the day we left, and since we got here there’s been not one cough.

Not one.

That means either the Magic Mountain air made the cough go away. Or it means the nebulizer is doing it’s job (I’m still giving him the treatments, though only two per day since the cough disappeared – and no steroid!!!). Or it could mean he’s outgrowing the asthma.

I don’t care if it’s one or all three. But I sure hope it’s number three, at least in part. And I hope the magic follows us home.

But even if it doesn’t, thanks Magic Mountain.


A Nebulizer Commits Suicide

My son is three, and he has Reactive Airway Disease, which is a nice way of saying “We’re Not Sure But We Think It’s Asthma”. They don’t officially call it asthma until they’re about four, as babies are too hard to diagnose and they hope that the child outgrows it by that age, anyway.

I was completely shocked the first time the doctor told me my son was wheezing. I didn’t hear anything. I didn’t see anything. He was two months old, and I almost killed him by not noticing – at least that’s how I felt. Truth was, the doctor didn’t realize it either – it was as we were walking out the door that he listened for the third time – and that’s when he heard the wheeze.

The doctor told us that he likely inherited it from one of us. Well, neither of us have asthma, but I did have some bad “allergies” when I was a kid. According to the doctor asthma was way under-diagnosed at that time, and I likely have mild asthma (Aha! Now I know why I always have horrible coughs when I get sick…).

That was the beginning of daily nebulizer treatments – four times a day when he’s sick, once a day when he’s not. It wasn’t always a pleasant experience; at first he cried bloody murder. Eventually he would sit quietly in our lap and we’d read a book or watch a movie, and as he got older was able to do the treatments by himself. He’s grown so fast!

As time goes by and he nears that magic age of four, I’ve resigned myself to the probability that he won’t outgrow this. He continues to get sick, though less often, but we’ve not been able to stop the daily maintenance treatments. A hard pill to swallow, but since there’s nothing I can do to change it, I accept it.

Just before Christmas his doctor recommended a change in medication to Advair, which is administered via an inhaler. Because he’s too young to work an inhaler on his own, we got him this nifty Aerochamber, which is so very cool my sister wants one (she’s afraid to use an inhaler).

So, now we only have to use the nebulizer when he’s sick. What freedom! It’s been part of our routine for so long. It’s made us change plans, cut visits short and filled our house with an incessant buzzing. Now we have quiet. Ahhhhhh.

The nebulizer was apparently unhappy over it’s drastically cut schedule. Distraught that it was about to be banished to the closet, it jumped off the table and started making really odd, loud noises. Instead of the closet it was buried in the bottom of the garbage pail.

Thanks for the memories, Neb. We’re getting a new model, which will hopefully stay in the box.

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