How does asthma affect trumpet? (and a new video of my 5 year old)

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by samsplace, Feb 2, 2010.

  1. samsplace

    samsplace New Friend

    Jul 9, 2009
    My poor little guy has not been officially diagnosed as asthmatic, but has suffered with reactive airway disease following his premature birth. Since the first time he picked up his trumpet on his fifth birthday, it has amazed me that my child with lungs that frequently cause him great suffering also allow him to blow like he can on his trumpet!

    He recently had a really tough spell and ended up being hospitalized. Fortunately, he did not need oxygen, was able to go home the next day and seems to be fully recovered. However, when he picked up his trumpet again, he could tell that it much harder for him to play. After playing a little each day for a few days now, he seems to be getting back to where he was.

    But, it leaves me wondering how the breathing issues affect him and his ability to play? Also, I wonder if there is anything special I could/should do for him in relation to the trumpet beyond enforcing a strict nebulizer/allergy med. schedule until winter has passed. If anyone has some asthma/trumpet playing experience, any insight would be appreciated...esp. that of a child perspective.

    Here is a little video of some of his new songs, taken just before he got sick earlier this month:
    YouTube - Minuet - Morning - Scarborough Fair
  2. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
    Sorry to hear it.

    He was probably well enough to get discharged, but maybe not back at his baseline. Do you monitor his peak flows, and if so was he back at his baseline when discharged?

    Make sure he is avoiding asthma triggers (cold, dust, smoke, etc., or whatever triggers his flares).

    And do your best to keep is asthma well-controlled. In the past, the approach was to increase medications until the desired level of control was obtained. Nowadays for asthma, we tend to treat with extra meds, and back off as the patient is able while still maintaining good control.

    EDIT: Great video!
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2010
  3. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

    May 11, 2009
    Yorba Linda, CA
    Hi, Mom.
    Thanks for the update on "our" little trumpet player (we have "adopted" him so we consider him part of the group here, now). Sorry to hear about the asthma attack. But, as you said, he seems to be making progress. I am very impressed with his playing. I think he has a real future.

    As far as the effects of asthma, I can't offer much advice. I would assume that it depends a lot on the frequency and severity of attacks but in between, he can develop breathing patterns that will allow him to play effectively. There are lots of ways to work around things and with his determination, I'm sure he can find one that works.

    Good luck and keep the videos coming. You're really a great mom.
    Vulgano Brother likes this.
  4. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    I have had asthmas for over 40 years, and serious at times.

    Many hospitalizations and near death on more than one occasion.

    My doctors have all told me that playing the trumpet has been very therapeutic for the asthma.
  5. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    Without personal experience I can only offer some things I think "I know" about asthma.

    Many great Aussie swimmers (and we do have our fair share of world class swimmers per head of population) are asthma sufferers. It is "well known" here in Oz that asthma sufferers seem to take up sports, involving the development of fine breath control, to improve their asthma - some of our world class cricketers are asthmatics too.

    Australia seems to have a propensity for asthma - who knows, maybe it's the red dust, or maybe the funnel-web spiders, or perhaps Aussie Rules football, or Drop Bear pee. Anyhow, playing trumpet seems to me to be a positive activity that might improve his health. Get some medical opinion though - we trumpeters will always encourage a player - but we're not medicos. Clever we all are, just ask us, - but most of us have no idea about small, sometimes sick, little blokes with a passion (which we all share) for the trumpet. Onya Mum (Mom). :thumbsup:
    Vulgano Brother likes this.
  6. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
    I agree with Solar Bell and tedh1951. Trumpet playing, swimming, and other aerobic exercises will increase the vital capacity of your lungs.

    One qualification. If you asthma is poorly controlled, this exercising might actually induce an asthma flare. But in someone who's asthma is reasonably well-controlled, aerobic activity is a plus.
  7. Jerry Freedman

    Jerry Freedman Piano User

    Mar 4, 2005
    Asthma itself doesn't affect me that much but prednisone, which I take after a big enough problem sure does. I have a cupid's bow and steroids make it swell so that playing becomes a little difficult
  8. vntgbrslvr

    vntgbrslvr Piano User

    Oct 10, 2008
    Waukesha, Wisconsin
    Our youngest daughter has had asthma since she was 3. We had many nights spent at the hospital early on until we saw a specialist that got us into a good regimen.

    Asthma isn't necessarily permanent for small children, so don't fret....this could be something that eventually is grown out of. My suggestion is to be pro-active instead of re-active. It will give you the education you need to deal with the problems, and help to calm your nerves when your child is experiencing breathing problems. Knowledge is power. Fill yourself up with it.

    Our daughter is almost 11 now. She is on a daily Advair regimen and for the most part only really has asthma "issues" when she gets a bad cold. When that happens we use a nebulizer treatment....and step it up to prednizone if things really seem to be getting bad (we avoid this last step if possible and haven't had to "go there" in quite some time now). It's a staged response to what's happening.

    The best place to start would be to take your son to see an allergy specialist. Preferably someone that is recommended by another "satisfied" parent.

    Hope this helps,

  9. seilogramp

    seilogramp Piano User

    Nov 23, 2009
    Georgia, USA
    It should be illegal to be that cute! :-)
  10. samsplace

    samsplace New Friend

    Jul 9, 2009
    Thanks for the responses. It was actually the allergy/asthma doc that hospitalized him. He had such an amazing turn around once we got to the hospital that I spent much of the night pondering what he might be allergic to at our house. All three kids have pretty much been sick with on and off colds since we brought a new little kitten home in November. Well the kitten got booted to a garage/outside kitty and the verdict is still out on whether or not we will keep it long term. He didn't have a major set back when we returned home, so it may have been the duo-neb that the allergist gave him that was instrumental in his finally turning the corner.

    He had a battery of allergy testing last week and his blood test showed only minor (not considered allergy) elevation for cat. Skin test was clear, however, he did seem to have a very minor delayed response (not in the allergists office) for both dog and cat. His blood test showed him highly allergic (Cat. V) to mold but the skin test did not pick up the molds. The skin tests showed him highly allergic to pretty much everything outside, trees, grass, pollen, etc. I still think there may be a link to the cats and that we may need to find a new home for them since ds had not had any major episodes for nearly two years. Since we added garage/outdoor cats a year ago, he has now had three episodes that required oral steroids. However, from the reading I have done this past week, it seems that age five seems to be the age for developing outdoor allergies.

    I really was just wondering what playing his trumpet must feel like when his little lungs are recovering and if there were any specific issues with playing trumpet and having asthma that I could understand better for his sake. Our hope and prayer is that he will outgrow it. Until last spring it seemed he had done exactly that. Now that we can manage his allergies better (hopefully) maybe the severe illnesses can be prevented. Looks like the little stinker might have just won a reprieve from having to mow the yard when he is older~not what I was hoping for when we have over an acre to mow LOL!

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