At 2:30 AM yesterday morning, Catalina’s labored, fast breathing, and wheezing troubled me. Concerned, I nudged Edric to verify my observations. He noticed that she was struggling but wasn’t as panicky as I was.

I’ve never had a child with asthma so I didn’t know that this was characteristic of children who have it. Since she was able to fall back to sleep, I waited until 6 am to suggest that we take her to the village clinic. (We have a 24 hour clinic in the village since there aren’t too many hospitals close by.) The nurse who attended to her suggested we consult with the general practitioner who was scheduled to arrive at 9 AM. Catalina seemed to be managing so I waited until early afternoon to see our ever reliable pediatrician, Dr. Joy Ty-Sy.

She noticed that Catalina’s diaphragm heaved in and out strenuously, and her shoulders rose and fell like she was compensating for the lack of air. So she called her doctors in the ER and had them take her vitals to get a baseline reading. Catalina was doing nearly 60 breaths per minute which is too many for a one year old. (Normal is 30 to 40 per minute.)


After three rounds of nebulization her breathing stabilized, and her oxygen levels rose closer to 100%. She was treated as an asthma case which surprised me because neither Edric or I are asthmatic. Edric used to have eczema which can be connected to asthma but he never experienced difficulty breathing.

Her breaths normalized to a count of forty or so, and the wheezing stopped. The stethoscope revealed bibasal crackles in her lungs (probably due to phlegm from a cough she has), but since she lacked the appearance of malaise and had no fever, she was permitted to go home. We were prescribed a schedule for nebulizing with two medicines. One every four hours and the other every eight hours.

We were out of the ER after two hours with Catalina waving goodbye and insisting on leaving. “Go! Go!” She said, pointing towards the door that led to the reception area. She was back to herself. Praise God!

Whenever my kids get sick, I get my own form of spiritual asthma! My tendency is to worry and fret about their well-being. It’s only when I look to Him, thanking and praising Him in faith that I am calmed by the rest and peace he affords. The spiritual gasping stops.

God doesn’t lose a foothold of control, nor is he caught off guard by the problems that beset us. He remains sovereign and present, willing all things for his good purpose. Unless we embrace this truth it’s not easy to breathe easy as a mother.

Let God be our oxygen when we are tempted to panic. And the best way to receive his life-giving, panic-eliminating air is to maintain a disposition of dependence on Him, on our knees, praying faithfully for our children and entrusting them into his hands.

Exocus 33:14 And He said, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.”



2 thoughts on “Asthma?!

  1. Hi Joy! It really is worrisome for a mom or any parent if the kids get sick or even have symptoms of an illness. My daughter who was 8 months old then, had cough that only happens in the morning and night. We thought it was just viral but it never really went away which had me worried. It turns out, her cough was an allergy. Doctors say that allergies are supposed to manifest at the age of 2 but in her case, she got it at 8 months old. But praise God it was diagnosed early so we can treat it early. I used to be so paranoid and worried when my children get sick. But now I am learning that God is always in control so I am learning not to worry 🙂 Thanks for this message! God bless you always 🙂

  2. Hi Joy,

    Both my children (6 and 3) are asthmatic. my 3 year old also has a similar kind of asthma (triggered by colds, among other things) and also needs nebulization with 2 kinds of meds every 3 hours when he gets a bad attack. its really something that tends to bring fear and worry, but God is always able to give me His peace when i pray and submit the situation to Him. And like you write, we trust God yet remain proactive. it would be good if you can carefully observe for what (situations, food, environment) triggers the asthma attack. And have an asthma attach action plan somewhere visible, in case it happens again. Lately, i have been giving my 3 year old son a teaspoon of ‘sweet and sour’ honey (from queen bee) a day, and so far, he seems stronger and more resistant to getting sick.

    Thank you for always being a blessing to many. Your blog is God glorifying and inspirational. I am wife, a hands-on mom of 2, and businesswoman running a company/business that i feel is my family too. I often feel overwhelmed with all the responsibilities, yet when i read your blog I realize that you have much on your plate, and remain to commit to consistent ministry service. I am sure you hear encouragement often, and please accept my encouragement too. Please continue to serve God in the ways that you do (including this blog), you are blessed to serve, many times, God has spoken to me while reading your entries. May the Lord continue to bless your family and your ministry in abundance.

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