Monday, November 30, 2009

Shanghai Cough

A couple of days ago, I was in town with a girlfriend, running errands. My girlfriend is relatively new to Shanghai. As we drove along a bridge, we looked out one of the windows in the car and saw a toxic yellow-brown "front" moving our way. She joked, "Is that a sand storm?" I sighed, replying, "Uh, no, that's a rain front coming in, pushing the pollution along in front of it." It was disgusting.

Sure enough, the rain hit our area and 2 days later, Ryan has been admitted into the hospital for a SEVERE allergy attack. For a boy who had never had any allergies before we moved here and doesn't exhibit any when we visit "home", it's incredibly frustrating and sad to see Ryan have to go through this because of the choice we made to live here.

He couldn't breathe. If you've never seen your child in a situation where he/she can't breathe and they are looking at you with panic in their eyes...well, it's not something I hope anyone else I know ever has to go through. He was crying, trying to breathe and looking at me with sheer panic. It was horrible.

We got him to the international section of one of the hospitals in the middle of the night. Payed a small fortune to do so. He was put on a nebulizer. The hospital wanted him to stay for TWO days, so he could be monitored. His "usual" doctor is at another hospital on the opposite side of town. We opted to remove him from the one and go see his "regular" doctor...the one who has seen him since his very first attack when we first arrived here in Shanghai.

Once we arrived at the second hospital, he was once again put on a nebulizer two more times, given some tablets to [hopefully] help prevent this from happening again this winter season...and a candy bar.

This entire session of medical treatment put us back a bit, monetarily speaking. However, going to a "local" and definitely CHEAPER hospital is always out of the question. As I have mentioned before, a local doctor at a local hospital will ALWAYS want to opt for the "injection." This is an injection, given over several days that they give chinese people to help "cure" them of pretty much any ailment you can that they can get back to work/school faster. Ryan has many classmates that are inflicted with the same "Shanghai cough" as he is and while the chinese ones get back to school faster and can stay that way for longer periods of time in between allergy attacks, I have YET to see that these injections CURE them altogether. They always eventually come back and the child is once again at home sick...or in a chinese child's case, at the hospital, getting more injections.

These injections are STEROIDS. That is why a chinese doctor or person will always try and convince us it's the ONLY way to go. And, of course, steroids DO cure just about anything. So, at least they are correct about that. However, we often wonder what kind of long term effects might regular steroid injections do to a person...? I, personally, don't think it can be good.

So, we have thankfully found a doctor for Ryan that not only can explain why the chinese do this...but also thinks it's crazy, like we do. So, we trust that he is making better decisions for our son. And, yes, we KNOW nebulizers have steroids in them. However, in isolated incidences, and especially in [almost] emergencies, we feel ok about the treatment plan. And this doctor is definitely "sensitive" to our feelings about the steroids and gives him only what he needs...not TWO days worth of them, just to "monitor" him. Know what I'm sayin'?

On days like these, we can't wait to get back to clean air. It tears us up to see Ryan suffer. Going home will be good for all of us.

1 comment:

  1. Ohhh, poor baby! :( I feel so bad for him and for all of you to have to see him go through that. I hope he doesn't have any more problems.

    Love and Hugs,