Friday, December 17, 2010

The More things Change, The More they stay the same

I have a 12 year old daughter. As many of you know, 12 year old girls can be wonderful, and sometimes, not so wonderful. The other night I was reminded about how no matter what her age, how she is still my same little girl.

My little girl has asthma. She can cough a LOT when she is having a bad spell. It is often the worst at night. She is old enough now to take her own medicine. She is also old enough now to fight with me about taking her medicine. She is just the right age to "forget" to take her medicine, and still complain about how her cough is soooo bad. It is a constant battle. I did make one decision though. If Jack is traveling and she is having a asthma cough at night she can come into bed with me. I know, I know, this is not good, but she sleeps better when you are there. It has been that way since she was a baby.

It is selfish of me but I remember when she was a baby. She would get a cold and when the cold turned into a cough, she could not sleep. I used to think if I could prop her up she would not cough so much. (not possible - pillows in the crib?, she might not cough but she could also suffocate herself) I also got her to sleep in her car carrier (that did not stop the coughing and just frustrated he when she got old enough to want to roll over). So I gave up and would hold her in the recliner. It was the ONLY way we would get sleep. She would snuggle up on my chest and we would sleep. Any attempt to place her in the crib would create coughing.

As she got older I would snuggle up in bed with her to help her stop coughing. Before we knew it was asthma I spent many a sleepless night with her. We would lay quietly and I would tell her stories I made up, I would try to distract her, I would count quietly in between the coughs and tell myself if I got to 30 between them we would getting better. My presence often soothed her and she would fall asleep. As soon as I crawled back into my bed, the coughing would start again. I would say to my husband she had some sort of physical sense, if we were not touching her her mind and body would kick into cough mode.

Once we figured out it was asthma, we had an asthma plan. If we followed the plan things would often be fine. To that end, if you do not follow the plan you end up in trouble. When Jack is away I do not have time to deal with it. She can come to bed with me. She falls asleep and stays asleep.(Thankfully she does not need to be on my chest) Just like when she was younger though she gets RIGHT next to me. If I move, she moves with me. If I shove her over (she can be a solid sleeper) she moves back. The other night I thought, what will happen when she is in college? should I get her a body pillow? I know she will figure it out for herself. One thing is for sure. Whoever she ends up with as a partner better be ready to stay close!

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