Tag Archives: infants

RSV – Really Sucky Virus

9 Feb

Look, I realize I still haven’t finished the birth story of Elise. I totally understand that you have been hanging on the edge of your seat for an entire MONTH (!) waiting to hear part deux. The truth is this: that part of the story is extremely hard on my heart and is going to take much more effort to write than I had originally imagined. 

In other news, we have achieved a milestone only 40 days into 2017: another year – another high deductible met. We are getting really good at this… a little too good if you ask me. For the third year straight you can likely blame my family for the increase in your premium if you are insured by Cigna. Please accept our apologies. 

It started out innocently enough, a “common cold” showed up in the house. We employed the usual defense: keep all surfaces wiped down with Clorox, insert humidifiers into kids’ rooms, get as much rest as possible, wait it out. As every parent can attest: having a sick kid is brutal. As some parents can retort: having three sick kids at the same time is asinine. Both of our boys worked through it in normal course, leaving behind a simple cough and really no worse for the wear. We actually were cocky enough to think it had missed the Babes completely. Boy were we wrong.

So here I sit, in the PICU of Children’s Hospital next to a baby that did nothing of her own accord to catch the most contagious virus of the season. When she first showed signs of the cold we didn’t ever expect it to get to this point. But as it developed her appetite waned and her breathing deepened to the point where a visit to the doctor was warranted. They passed us to a satellite hospital, who treated her for a day before reaching the ceiling of their care and transferring us to Children’s. And here is where we confirmed that she indeed was dealing with RSV that had complicated to Bronchiolitis. RSV. Respiratory Syncytial Virus. Really Sucky Virus. Most parents know the basis of this virus, a respiratory bug that usually bears out as a a simple cold but can be serious for kids under 2 yr old. For some reason the 2017 version is amped up a little bit. Statistics would tell you that 48% of ALL COLORADOANS have recently had or currently have RSV whether you have been formally diagnosed or not. I believe you call that epidemic. 

What is my point? I don’t know. I’m tired, but not as wiped out as my daughter who has had her lungs sucked out 9 times in the last 36 hours, been poked, prodded, jostled, and constantly monitored. I’m hungry, but not as hungry as she is after only eating minimal volumes for 4 days. I’m frustrated, but not as pissed as she gets when they put a suction tube down her inflamed and swollen nose. 

Most of all I am aware. I have never been one to expect to keep my kids healthy 100% of the time – or at least not after I got out of the crazy first-time parent mentality. We can’t live in a perfect little eco-bubble. But at 4:00 AM as I listen to my Babes choke on mucus too thick for her to cough up, my mind definitely wanders toward “what could I have done to prevent this?”. Maybe there wasn’t a thing… or maybe there was the thing and I missed it. Maybe I’ll never know. 

One thing I do know: I’d rather not deal with this again and I will definitely step up my home defense against bugs of the future. I’m reinvigorated to be more diligent in defending against other sickness. I’d rather not watch my kid suffer to take a breath, choking on saliva and snot. I’d rather not sit in an ICU room listening to the hum of machines and monitors working on my precious child. 

Elise is progressing well and she will heal up just fine. She’s already made leaps and bounds in the last 16 hours. She’s a fighter and she won’t even remember this episode. But her parents will never forget it.

Really Sucky Virus – you win this time. But you better watch your back. You pissed off the wrong high-deductible paying-stretched-too-thin-at-the-end-of-our-rope crazy parents. I might just do something drastic. Something like carry a holster full of Lysol spray with me at all times. Or wear a fanny pack full of Clorox wipes. Sorry Josie, but let’s be real here – the fanny pack would only add to my sex appeal. It’s why you married me. 

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