Kai had his six month checkup today. I cannot believe we are halfway through his first year.
He is growing right as he should be. He is about average in his weight and he is on the tall side. His head size proves how big his brain is and what a smart little guy he is. He was happy and interactive with his pediatrician, who all four of my kids absolutely adore.
He asked me if I had any concerns and I remembered to bring up his chronic coughing that we have talked about at each of his checkups and has never seemed to cause much concern.
This time the doctor raised his eyebrows a little bit more as I explained that Kai has just always had congestion in his throat and coughed regularly. The doctor said it is somewhat common in infants and he probably just produces excess phlegm, but it should get better over time.
Then he asked me if I had any other concerns.
I remembered that we had been noticing that Kai has been wheezing quite regularly for the past few weeks. Not enough that we have been concerned about him getting enough air or that we thought we needed to rush him to Urgent Care, but enough to notice. In the past two or three weeks it seems to have increased enough that I would have taken him in if he hadn’t already had a checkup scheduled for today.
The doctor asked me, “well, what do you mean by wheezing? A lot of parents think their baby is wheezing, but it is actually just phlegm in their throats.”
I was quite sure it was wheezing, but of course Kai wasn’t doing it at the time so there was no demonstration. I tried to explain it in more detail, but the doctor still seemed a bit skeptical of it and didn’t seem concerned at all.
He went on with the exam and checked his heart and lungs with the stethoscope. He took his time and and turned to me and said, “you’re right…he does wheeze.”
I wasn’t sure how to take this, but I waited for the doctor to finish checking him. He asked a little bit more about it and I told him that I didn’t even realize Kai was wheezing at that time. The times I noticed his wheezing it was loud enough that it could be heard from across the room.
The doctor said that it is not normal and it could still be that Kai produces a lot of extra phlegm, but he wanted to order some tests to rule out a few things. He said he wanted Kai to get some chest x-rays to see if there could be an infection in his lungs and rule out other possibilities. He said he also wanted to get Kai tested for cystic fibrosis. When he said that my heart began racing a bit faster and I could feel myself break out in a cold sweat.
He told me not to stress out about it. He just wanted to rule it out. He also told me not to race home and do a search on google for cystic fibrosis because it would just scare me.
Of course, that is exactly what I did and he was right…at first. After reading through a lot of sites about it I don’t think that Kai has enough symptoms and I feel pretty comfortable that he will not have it. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out he had asthma though and I hope that is something they will be able to tell from the x-ray.
It is amazing what it can do your perspective though just to be told that there is a chance (no matter how small) that your child could have a serious illness. When I got home, even though I know it is most likely that he is fine, I took him out of his car seat and held him close and rocked him and cried a little bit. I am the type of person that can create a scenario in my head all on my own without any help from the doctor, so to have him say the words for me was quite unsettling.
I am feeling good tonight and I am actually not very worried about getting a diagnosis of cystic fibrosis…but…feel free to mention our cute little guy in your prayers if you have the chance. It certainly won’t hurt!
I think that experiences like this help us to appreciate what we have even more. It made me think of the parents who are told that their child has cystic fibrosis, or cancer, or any other serious health problem. My heart goes out to them. We all want our children to thrive and be healthy and live long and happy lives.
I will update with any news we get after his x-rays.