I'm posting, having read some of the discussions in this forum.
You're all having to cope with such young children who've been diagnosed! I think I'm very fortunate.
My son is 10 years old.
Has frequent colds that often settle on his chest. BUT he normally gets better within a week, so (up til recently) neither my ex-husband nor I have taken him to the doctor with them.
I took him about a year ago because he had a chest infection that wouldn't go. Antibiotics given along with an inhaler ""just in case"". In case of what? I wondered, and put the inhaler in a cupboard and it was soon forgotten about.
Anyway, recently he had another cold that turned into a chest infection but it seemed to be taking it out of Son, so I took him to GP. (NB: In the 6 years of living in this town, I've never seen the same GP twice - it's a large, teaching practice and docs come and go).
GP seemed tetchy with me. Said Son had a ""viral wheeze"" (and what is that, exactly? He never did really explain it), an URTI (upper respiratory tract infection, apparently) and gave us steroids and an inhaler. Said antibiotics weren't necessary.
I was worried about giving a kid steroids, but was told in no uncertain terms they were essential - was also told that often children who have frequent chest infections have asthma. So I asked if Son might have asthma and was told ""no. He has a viral wheeze"".
Anyway, the steroids worked and he used his inhaler once or twice after activity. Within a week he was fine.
For 3 weeks. Then he got a cold that went STRAIGHT to his chest. On hearing the wheeze/crackle, I got him to the docs the next morning.
Saw a different GP who measured his blood oxygen with the finger-thing, listened to his chest and then told me straight out ""He has asthma"".
I was STUNNED! I mean, he's 10. I thought people with asthm can't breathe. That their lips turn blue and that they can die. I thought about Marmalade Atkins (betraying my age) aka Charlotte Coleman.
And I thought - but that's not my kid. The only time he gets a wheeze is when he's already got a chest infection.
In fairness to the GP, he had a brief chat about possible triggers (no more smoking in the house, even when Son is not in, pets might have to be rehomed, we should get anti-allergy bedding and remove all carpets), told me I should get up in the night to check on Son's breathing and that he was very worried.
Then he shooed us out the door.
Leaving me in shock and also very worried! My son was very upset at first, especially about the possiblity of us losing all our family pets. He was worried he'd die (thanks GP, for mentioning the possibility of death in front of a 10 year old!)... After a LOT of reassurance he was ok. Ish.
We go back in 2 days, once the antibiotics have got rid of the chest infection. From what I could gather, he'll test Son somehow to confirm the diagnosis. Then ""if we want"" we can have hospital tests done to determine the triggers. (""If"" we want - of course we want! Good grief).
And I'm left with a TON of questions and worries. The main one being; if Son only gets symptoms (cough, wheeze and breathlessness) when he's already got a chest infection how the heck are we supposed to know what is infection and what is asthma??
Just - does anyone have any advice??