Tuesday, December 4, 2007

See you in spring

As if the weather isn't reason enough never to leave the house, our pediatrician gave us another yesterday: We need to do everything possible to ensure Hope doesn't catch a cold.

If she does, it could be bad.

Hope's floppy windpipe, tracheomalacia, causes her to breathe heavily. Its severity comes and goes. Sometimes, she sounds like a gentle pigeon cooing. Other times, it's like a heavy smoker or asthmatic. When she's in a good sleep, it's practically non-existent. The video above is on the loud end of typical.

Tracheomalacia complicates feeding, but mostly, it just sounds bad. It doesn't hurt her and it's supposed to improve in about six months and disappear in 1-2 years when the cartilage hardens. But if Hope gets a cold, her airway may not be able to withstand heavier breathing that comes with an infection and hospitalization could be likely.

So avoiding colds is ideal. But how? Practically everyone we know has some sort of sniffle, snort or sneeze nowadays. Many tots get 8-10 colds a year.

We have a double-barrelled strategy whose crux is becoming hermits. Luckily, I've been training for this moment for years. It could be harder for Maureen. She has friends.

On doctor's orders, we're avoiding all holiday get-togethers, the mall, restaurants, present exchanges and fondu parties. Hope only leaves the house for doctors' appointments until April. We'll minimize visitors, wash our hands to their bones and wile away the hours by loving our daughter to pieces, playing games, watching bad television and eating lousy Midwestern comfort food like this monstrosity I whipped up with a few cans of soup and fake biscuits.

Hope didn't eat a bite (smart kid) but still put on 5 ounces in two weeks. She's now up to 4 lbs., 4 oz. and grew a half-inch to 17 inches.

The other half of the strategy is a Synagis shot. It's a super-duper drug to avoid respiratory infections that is recommended for premature babies or those with breathing difficults. It's hardcore: About $1,000 per monthly shot through the three months of winter. Insurance is often reluctant to pay, but Hope should qualify. If not, we'll eat the cost, begrudgingly but fully aware there's no alternative.


Anonymous said...

Boy, you don't do anything halfway, do you?! The rest of us have to pretend there isn't any outdoors to go to during the winter or announce that we just HAVE to get a certain book read; you have a ready-made excuse to be total hermits!

Just kidding -- you'll go stir-crazy . . . or eat even more biscuits. But she's worth it. Wish we could share the caretaking! Thanks for keeping the photos coming!!!

Grandma K.

Anonymous said...

I just got in worked late and just read your blog.You two are doing such an amazing job with your daughter and she is a sweetie. this is just something I'm throwing out there but even if you insist people wash there hands and I'm sure you'll make sure,but they could wash but then touch something with any kind of germs,not just from door nobs or phones but maybe something they bought in ......car keys or something that's in thier pocket or purse that someone else touched or maybe not wash throughly THIS MIGHT Be A BIT OVER THE TOP but a possibly and you could get a box of dispoable gloves and ask that people use them, also face masks.Pat might have told you we had some problems with my grandson ,he had to stay in hospial a mt. after birth and this is what I suggested to my son and Michael's Dr. thought a good idea. When my grandaughter was very little I always made her wear little gloves even in summer as I watched people going up escalators hanging on to railing and after sneezing......ugh but you have time before you have to think about that. even face masks I kept on hand just in case. I know you might think this a bit much and maybe inconvenient and people mean well but germs can be passed and this a full-proof situation and she is worth all the precautions.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you could use your indoor time to work on your recipes ... that biscuit thing looks icky. Hee. Sorry you have to go through this. You gots to do what you gots to do, sometimes. Love you.

P.S. You can tell by the video she's gained a little; her cheeks are a little fuller. SOOO CUTE!

Aunt Molly said...

I'll make sure I have my flu shot by next week so I can partake in the bad television, Midwestern eats and holding Hopesy. Can't wait.

Pam said...

Wish I was there to make you a huge crack mac, and not think to cook it before I brought it....funny what us mid westerners think of as comfort food! Miss you guys...keep up the good work!