Saturday, October 13, 2012

What Is CVA? Grace can tell you!

CVA is cough variant asthma.  Grace suffers from CVA.  I get two kind of reactions when her asthma is flared up, 1) what is CVA and 2) why are you dragging that kid around while she is coughing her head off.

CVA is different than other types of asthma because typically there is no wheezing or shortness of breath.  CVA is a persistent dry non-productive cough.  For Grace it's a pretty constant cough.  When she's in her red zone about the maximum amount of time she goes in between coughs is 30 seconds, she will cough until she throws up, and has a hard time speaking.  When in her yellow zone she will go a couple of minutes in between coughs, but the cough is still pretty constant.

She doesn't suffer from CVA all the time, her attacks are brought on by allergies especially when the weather changes.  Changing from summer to fall is hardest on her.  Rain is another trigger event for her.  The rain always makes Grace cough no matter what time of year.  Typically, as soon as the showers pass so does her cough.

Since the seasons are transitioning to fall Grace is in her red zone.  Her cough is pretty constant and she receives treatment and medicine all day long.  During the day she will receive oral and inhaled steroids twice a day, a breathing treatment every four hours, allergy medicine, and Benadryl at night to try and calm the side effects of the steroids so she can try and rest.  The steroids turn her into a caged animal.  Today I noticed her visibly shaking and she couldn't drink her medicine from the cup on her own, I had to help her.  She can't focus or concentrate and we can't really send her outside to play because that will trigger the asthma to get worse.

Her cough is so constant that you get a lot of stares in public.  People don't know her so they don't understand that she's not suffering from a viral or bacterial infection, she's just not moving air through her lungs and having a hard time breathing.  There again, she spends a lot of time at home when in her red and yellow zones.

Grace doesn't complain about the medicine she has to take or the breathing treatments.  Often times she will ask why she can't quit coughing, or how can we make the coughing stop.  Her throat and chest get sore from the constant cough but she keeps on going.  She's a trooper!! 

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