Asthma UK community forum
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tired and worried

My son is 13 months old and was diagnosed as a happy wheezer on his first hospital admission 3 months ago. He has been on ventolin inhaler via spacer since then which seems to have only a small effect. he coughs and wheezes everyday and the consultant has said that he is pooling secretions at the back of his throat which is a separate problem. But I get so worried when he has one of his wheezing bad spells, usually every few weeks.

What worries me the most is at night time as I have to sleep at some point and I worry that he will have a huge attack without me knowing. Becasue of this I set my alarm intermittently through the night to check if he's ok and if he needs more inhaler. He inevevitably needs 6 puffs as he's much worse in the early hours of the morning. My questions if anyone can help are:

1. If he were to suddenly become very breathless whilst i am asleep would I know about it?

2.All the professionals have said that if he is pale and breathless so much so his ribs suck in you must take him to hospital. I find this one so hard to judge - he always looks pale when he's asleep and when he's wheezing his resp.rate is up and his ribs do look like they are sucking in a bit but I find it so hard to judge in the middle of the night and end up not knowing what to do whether to hope for the best or go ahead and do the whole A&E thing? Giving him 6 puffs of inhaler in the early hours of the morning when he's at his worst doesn't seem to help that much. Please can someone advise me i'm dreading tonight.

3 Replies

I have three kids who all have asthma and all have been wheezy at night and sick in sleep and alsorts. I leave the bedroom doors open don't have a baby alarm but always hear them if they get wheezy in their sleep or they wake up. I've spoken to all my friends and even those without any sort of medical condition always wake up if somethings wrong with their kids at night, whether they're crying or just having a bad dream. I do check on them before i go to bed but don't set an alarm to get up to them in the night. I really believe it's some kind of mum instinct that everyone has whether they know it or not ( can be numbed by wine etc though!)

If i'm really worried i'll sleep in their room on a camp bed!

In terms of going to A+E my rule is if your not sure if they're ""sick enough"" ring the out of hours dr or go anyway. No health professional with ever tell you off or lecture you for asking for help early and you know your child better than anyone but i would go back to your Gp and see if you can get a clearer explanation of how much ventolin to give and when and how long to wait if it doesn't appear to work, get them to write it down then at 2am when your exhausted you don't have to think or even ring your health visitor and explain how worried you are they do help!

Try and get a break and some sleep if he still naps nap with him, being sleep deprived (have twins am expert on this) makes everything a million times worse leaves you incapable of thinking and making decisions and will make you feel even more stressed than you already are.

It gets better eventually as they get older!!!

Good Luck


thanks for the advice. I do have a monitor on in our room overnight and hear hime coughing/wheezing etc. but do worry that if it is possible for him to become breathless and get in trouble without me knowing. I do believe in intuition but you can never be too sure. Sammi had a better night until about 4am but i'm struggling to give him his inhaler at the moment as he's shaking his head to pull off the mask! thanks again for advice its much appreciated.


Hi there, just to say, if you are ever not sure if he needs to be seen, then get the GP or take him to a+e - as a doctor I would much rather see a wee one when mum is worried and be able to reassure her than not see him/her until the child is very sick, and that is true of colleagues too.

Also, if he is having so many problems and waking wheezy so often, it may be that he needs some preventer medication, or a review of what he is on, because he shouldn't be having symptoms every night. Now doctors sometimes give you a steroid inhaler to use when he has a cold and for a few weeks after, or they may feel he should have one all the time, but you are clearly worrying about what might happen, so I think you should chat to your GP or hosp consultant if you have one about all of this.

Hope he is a wee bit better,



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