I took my 17 year old for a methocholine challenge today. The kid’s had a cough for… I don’t know — 3 years? We’ve been to doctor after doctor. She was tested for allergies; and, even though everything (ev-er-y-thing) came back negative, our primary care physician said, “Do you have horse-hair plaster in your apartment? Maybe it’s that.”
No, Dr… No horse-hair plaster…
I switched primary care physicians and am now seeing a very smart man who looks uncannily like Dexter. This is oddly reasurring, as I always thought Dexter was pretty freakin’ smart. Dr. Dexter is the one who suggested the methocholine challenge. It’s a test where they give you enough poison to send your lungs into paralysis and then measure how long it takes you to recover.
In case you were thinking this is an easy thing to watch — your daughter unable to breathe — let me set you straight.
I kept asking her if she was okay. Finally she looked at me and asked, “Are YOU okay?”
The procedure was a success. By “success,” I mean she was unable to recover normally. She was getting less than 40% of the air that usually fills her lungs. That means she’s definitely asthmatic, which is a serious bummer, but at least we can finally treat her.
The pulmonology nurse gave her some Albuterol, and before long she recovered.
Meanwhile, her mom is sitting at her desk trying to fight back tears and wondering why there is so little air in this office…