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.