Smoking and Asthma

A while ago Henry got a really bad cold that moved into his lungs. He coughed and coughed and coughed, was congested and drippy, and pretty much just miserable. The doctor saw him once and said that it was just a cold, and since he had no fever, this was something that his body just needed to fight. So, we gave him decongestants to make him more comfortable and cough medicine to help him sleep through the night. Over time, he got better, but his cough never completely went away.
We started noticing that his cough would come in bursts and attacks, and he would cough so hard that he would nearly throw up (that hasn’t happened yet).
I took him to the doctor again, and this time they told us that it looks like he has an asthma variant. That the cold affected his lungs so much that temperature changes, exertion or irritants can cause him to start coughing and bring on an attack. So, the doctor prescribed a steroid inhaler. It’s not a rescue inhaler, he’s to use it twice in the morning and twice at night for a month. We’re hoping that this will get rid of his cough, but if it doesn’t, we go back to the doctor in a month for a re-eval.  

Here’s where things get sticky. My mother-in-law is a smoker. As a person who has asthma, I know first hand how smoke can cause attacks. As a child, it sent me to the hospital. So, to reduce any chance of that happening to Henry, I want to keep him away from my MIL, her home, and her car until he’s done with the inhaler, or his cough clears up (assuming it does).

So, J told his parents about the cough and the inhaler and the asthma variant, and that we want to keep Henry away from cigarette smoke for the time being (ideally, I wish it could be all the time). My MIL didn’t take this so well. She feels personally attacked, won’t take any phone calls from J, and doesn’t understand why we’re imposing this rule, thinking that we’re being ridiculous and over protective and lashing out at her.

I feel like at this point she’s picking cigarettes over her grandchild. That’s her choice, and I’ll accept it, but that doesn’t make it any easier to swallow. I’ve read article after article about second hand and third hand smoke, and I don’t want my child who at the moment has a lung condition to be around it. Not to mention all of the warnings about second and third hand smoke on infants!  

I’m not sure what to do about this situation. I’m not sure what to do if Henry’s asthma variant, turns into actual asthma. I’m really not sure what to do about my MIL’s smoking when the baby comes in June….I don’t want my kids around smoke, but I don’t want to bar them from their grandmother either.

Anyone have any advice?      

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One thought on “Smoking and Asthma

  1. I think you’re spot on. It sucks that she is putting you in that position, and even suck-ier if she’s making you feel bad about it, but if she wants to be around her grandchildren, she’ll eventually get over it.

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