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Monday, March 15, 2010

Hats Off To Mom's of Chronically Ill Children

The last 6 days have been some of the roughest days of my stay at home career.  As I look back at them now, I hope they remain the roughest because we survived and are all okay, though my nerves might be a little worse for wear.  My son was diagnosed with bronchiolitis, not to be confused with just plain old annoying bronchitis, this is caused by RSV and is an asthma reaction to the virus. According to the documentation from my family doc, children with bronchiolitis have a 30% chance of having asthma later in life.  We will deal with that when we get there if needed.  It also makes children prone to ear infections which he has as well.  He is on antibiotics and was prescribed a nebulizer for 9 days, three days with treatments every 4 hours, three days every six hours, and three days every 8 hours.  We just started to move to every 8 hours.  For those of you who have never had the experience of a nebulizer let me elaborate.

A nebulizer is a small machine that takes liquid medicine mixed with saline and makes it into a mist that can be easily inhaled.  The machine is very loud and requires the user to wear a mask or use a mouth piece.  My little one is to small to keep something in his mouth, unless it doesn't belong there, so we had to go with the mask.
As you can see, it is a very fashion forward purple dinosaur mask, but not enough to make him enjoy the 5-7 minutes it has to be on his face.  The first treatment he cried the whole time and wouldn't wear the mask at all.  I held it as close as I could.  After about the third treatment he is okay with the mask being on, but only if I hold his hands and let him rock back and forth like a mad man.  I will have triceps like you have never seen, good bye flabby arm fat.  This has been our life for the last six days.

I have been a nervous wreck, sat up for hours listening to him breath, and prayed for him to get better.  I have never seen my happy baby boy be so lethargic and just sick. He was pale, slept all the time (except at night).  He looked miserable and no amount of mommy love could make him feel better.  I have never felt so helpless in all my life.  He clung to me every minute of everyday.  Thank God I am a stay at home mom, or I would have been fired.  He needed me more than anything this week. 

Today he is showing signs of life again.  He was into the middle of everything today.  I had to move him away from the WII three times in 5 minutes which is almost up to normal speed.  He is laughing a little and talking a little, but gets tired very quickly.  I am glad we are almost through this and things seem to be returning to normal.

All of this brings me to the name of this post.  I wanted to take a second to just give a great big hug and supportive arm to moms of children who are really sick.  I struggled with a breathing machine for 9 days, but there are moms that have to use that machine every day for years.  There are moms holding their babies' hands as they have surgeries and chemotherapy, and to them go my heartfelt respect.  My heart goes out to any mom who has had to see their little ones be sick, because it sucks for all of us, but it truly goes out to the moms who see it day in and day out and never give up and always smile and still teach their children to be good people.  My sister-in-law has Cystic Fibrosis, CF for short.  My mother in law was one of those mom's who gave treatments and pounded on her daughter everyday for years.  They spent weeks in the hospital three hours away and when things really turned bad watched her fight to breath for about a year before she received a double lung transplant.  The whole time knowing her daughter had a better chance of dying than living, she kept at it.  My hats off to those kinds of moms!

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