Parents and carers, you both need to know what's going on - talk about your child's condition!

I was lucky enough this weekend to present at the Primary Care Respiratory Conference about my son Alex's asthma (and a bit about his food allergies - they kind of go hand in hand!), and it was after the event that I reflected on some of the questioning, especially about asthma in school, and whether or not it is me who represents the majority of Alex's health interventions, or my wife?

I have accompanied pretty much all of Alex's emergency admissions, as his mum has generally stayed behind to look after our other children, but his mum who is the one who takes him to his regular clinics, and talks to the teachers and the school nurse. As I'm at work I miss all of that engagement, and I have realised that a lot of what we discuss at either end of the treatment and management spectrum, we forget to discuss and 'check in' between ourselves. This came to a bit of a head recently when we both attended A&E with Alex, and it was a bit of a battle about who is the main "representer" of Alex and his complicated range of conditions. I now know it's a space we both need to share, and we must make more time to keep each other up to date on each interaction - after all when you are attending any form of clinical intervention, be it a scheduled visit or an emergency, it doesn't help them diagnose the problem or review the treatment if your answer to their questions is "I don't know!"

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  • Thank you for sharing, David. Your story brings up an interesting dilemma in raising a child with asthma. If you are always with Alex in case of emergencies, but your wife is speaking to those closest to him while you are at work, I can see how it can be exhausting to keep with everything happening while the other isn't around!

    Are there any other parents in the forum who have had any similar experiences? If so, were there any habits or strategies helping to get around the problem?