Two Trips to the ER in less than a month.

So many of you know that one of my kids has arthritis but did you know we are also dealing with asthma as well. She has had asthma for about 6 years now, and when we first was diagnosed with it, it was horrible but we got it under control. However we stayed in the ER just about every weekend. We didn’t know she had it but while we lived in KS, and was on the PCS here we noticed that she had a nightly cough, and we were like what in the world is going on. Within a year her asthma was out of control and full blown. From asthma, she would almost always get pneumonia, or the flu or something, which would aggrevate her asthma even more.

Then now it is now not under control. I want you to check out the video here about how does an asthma attack feel like. If you can’t watch it, just imagine someone putting a plastic bag over your head and mouth and you are suffocating and if you don’t get the bag off your head in time you can die from it. Same way with Asthma. It is a scary thing to wake up in the middle of the night when one of your kids can’t breath and we have to rush to the ER. 

A month ago, we were in the ER because C’s asthma was terrible, this was the first time in 6 years that her asthma almost required a hospitalization. They put her on a round of serious medicines, gave her a z-pac, and gave her two medicines for her nebulizer.  Before we even left we stayed in the ER I knoe 6 hours to try to get her sounding better, the doctor did say that after all the treatments he gave her (3) and when came back the next day she was getting hospitalized. Well it took time but it got better. Here we are a little less than a month, and we were back in the ER. Now I have to say I did call the military treatment clinic, and he gave us a follow up for July (so it was almost a month away). When I called the clinic two days ago to request a same day appointment, both the scheduler and triage nurse were on their heads to have me rush her in to the ER. Hello I think I know when she is serious enough to go into the ER, but they would not give us an appointment to see the provider so he could adjust her medication (that’s all we could have prevented an ER visit). Unfortunately you can’t win against the military in their silly ways and protocols. The ER doctor was like, “Mom you know what you are talking about”. We were there for a short visit, they gave her steroids and more nebulizer medicines.

Seriously I have dealt with this illness for the last 6 years, I know what triggers her, etc..anyway I digress…

I am pretty thankful there is a small hospital 5 blocks from us.  This is the first hospital that I have been to that the nurse who helped you will actually call you the next day to see how the person is feeling. Totally awesome! Sentara Hospital gets a A PLUS in my book! WOO HOO… I love the VA hospitals.

People with asthma who have an inflamed airways, have to work twice as hard to get air through lungs.

Check out the Foundation for Asthma’s information below:

Statistical information demonstrates that asthma is an epidemic that is both serious and widespread, and that it has been growing rapidly. The disease affects all age groups: infants, school children, young adults, baby boomers, and seniors. Nearly one in every 13 people in the United States has the disease, and the growth of asthma among children is particularly alarming. Other little known facts include:

  • The cost to society of asthma is approximately $20 billion in direct and indirect healthcare costs annually.
  • Asthma is the most serious, chronic, disabling disease of childhood.
  • Childhood asthma has sky-rocketed in the inner city. Asthma disproportionately strikes the poor, who are at least 50 percent more likely to have the disease than those not living in poverty. While the reasons are not completely clear, research by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention demonstrates that a combination of poverty-related issues trigger attacks.
  • Because of asthma, children miss approximately 13 million school days a year. Poor children, already at risk for failure, are therefore more likely to fall even farther behind in their schoolwork. They may be obese, because they find it difficult to engage in physical activities and sports.
  • Approximately 11 percent of all asthma sufferers are over age 65. Respiratory tract infections, especially common among the elderly, often trigger attacks. Asthma can contribute significantly to early physical deterioration and even death among the elderly.
  • Asthma causes approximately 10 million missed workdays a year.
  • Asthma is only partially controlled by the best treatments available.

Despite the overwhelming prevalence of the disease and the suffering it causes, relatively little progress has been made to date in improving treatment, understanding the causes, preventing, and finding a cure.

Living with Asthma is Frightening

An assortment of triggers pose risks everyday
  • Respiratory infections
  • Physical exertion and stress
  • Animal dander and bird feathers
  • Pollens and various other allergens
  • Cockroach and rodent droppings
  • Mold, mildew and dust mites
  • Second hand smoke
  • Certain medications such as aspirin
  • Strong perfumes
  • Various chemical agents
A chronic respiratory disease with sudden, scary symptoms
  • Severity varies among sufferers
  • Asthmatic attacks begin without warning
  • Airways become constricted and swell
  • Muscles in the lungs automatically tighten
  • Wheezing, coughing or panting begins
  • Mucus is produced
  • Suddenly the asthmatic is gasping for breath

An educational way of Learning for military children made fun!

Being a military wife, and constantly on the go all the time I just want to say how much I appreciate educational apps they are number one on my list. It is very important in this day and technology age to keep our kids up to date and learning as much as they can. Reading is very important to me, and I am thrilled that we aren’t loosing that ability in the tech enhanced world we live in. On Friday was the last day before Spring Break and right after school I picked them up to START OUR SPRING BREAK! We also used these apps on our way to the 2011 White House Easter Egg roll. I was given the chance to review PicPocket Book Apps, and my favorite one was Breezy Bunnies. This app gets a thumbs up from me, it is affordable!!

Now kids can enjoy their favorite books from your iPhone! Forget the playstations, game consoles and DVDs, our mobile picture books will entertain and educate your child in the car, plane, train and more.
With PicPocketBooks, children can: 
look ~at the same pretty pictures featured in the printed book! They reproduce both the words and the images on your phone.  

listen~to one of our narrators! And coming soon, friends and family can read and record the story in their own voices!  

Learn~to read! Words will highlight as the text is read and replay when touched for on-the-go education. Download at the Apple App Store Only $0.99 – $3.99 per Book 

The idea for PicPocket Books came from Founder and CEO Lynette Mattke in early 2009, when there were not many kids book apps on iTunes. The business was started on a shoestring budget by a group of partners with software programming experience. In the summer of 2010 PicPocket Books was awarded a grant from Kimberly-Clark’s Huggies ® MomInspired Program for our innovative ideas that help make life easier for moms.

This is straight from the founder Lynette: 

“Our apps have been downloaded tens of thousands of times, and we anticipate introducing approximately 80 new apps this year. We are consciously NOT creating video games, but hope that PicPocket Books can offer a gentle alternative to games for parents who want to offer their children mobile digital books.”

Please visit PicPocket Books blog (, their Facebook Fan Page (!/pages/PicPocket-Books/105763006868) and Twitter (@picpocketbooks) keep our community of users updated. We also offer periodic promotions for free downloads on these sites.”

    Support Our Arthritic Kids Inc.,

    I am the founder of the nonprofit Support Our Arthritic Kids, Inc. and I would like your support ~This all happened suddenly when my husband was deployed in 2009-2010. It was very hard on him, and I didn’t tell him the full story until he returned home.Information about  an associates degree in nursing online is available via this resource for those of you who want a career helping kids to live healthy lives.
    My daughter, Catherine has always been an energetic child, very active and constantly in motion. In 2008 she was on a Competition Mini Cheerleading Squad, competing at different competitions across the US.  In May 2009, Catherine’s dad deployed to Iraq and Catherine started getting very high fevers and a couple of sore throats.  Her fevers would be high around 103 degrees one night and gone the next.  She had difficulty getting out of bed in the morning, could not navigate a single flight of stairs, and would often wake up complaining from the pain in her legs.  She constantly complained of her knee hurting. I thought it was growing pains and dismissed it. A couple of months later after cheer leading camp her knee became swollen and we thought she injured it there but she hadn’t performed any stunts. Fast forward to a year later Catherine has since been diagnosed with Pauci-articular Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis it affects her right knee, right ankle and right jaw. She has had 3 joint injection procedures, is on a chemo-therapy drug called methothrexate and is in the process of starting Enbrel to help control her arthritis. Catherine developed a sensitivity to light in November, and we were referred to the ophthalmologist. She was treated with a steroid drop to both eyes and now we are seen every 3 months to make sure the disease does not affect her eyes. Later this month, she will have a joint injection procedure preformed on her right jaw. So far Catherine gets nauseated and usually has an upset stomach immediately following her injections and for the next few days. Dr. Stein is hoping for a “clinical remission”, meaning that the disease appears dormant with regular medication.  Our hope is that Catherine can achieve a full remission once the medications have been tapered off. Throughout this past year Catherine has remained resilient and her spirit has never been broken.

    Through our journey of this horrible disease, Catherine and I have learned that not many children are affected by this, or at least they don’t know they might have this disease. We have learned that it can affect more than your joints, it can affect your organs and eyes.
    We have started a support group on Fort Bragg, to reach out to other parents who might be going through this or in a similar situation. In August 2010, after talking to family, I felt a need to create a non-profit group to support our children, Support Our Arthritic Kids, Inc. Not only has deployment affected my daughter but this horrible disease has too, and it has been extremely difficult to watch her have stop cheerleading which took her mind off her dad’s deployment. Now we are on a different journey that Catherine has been excited to participate in, she is very informed about her illness and what she can and can’t do. On Oct 12, World Arthritis Day Catherine helped pass out fliers and pamphlets about Juvenile Arthritis.

    For more information on Our Arthritic Kids, Inc., visit the website at or email