Sunday, April 3, 2011

Just Breathe

It’s frustrating, trying to carry a baby around with three lines attached to her. Thankfully, one of the lines came off this morning – her IV fluids. The doctors wanted to see how Violet would do without them, and so far, she’s doing very well.

The doctors aren’t sure what she has - it could be bronchiolitis (we’ve learned that it’s not the same thing as bronchitis), RSV, pertussis (whooping cough), or a bad flu. The tests won’t come back until Monday, but they’re treating what she has as if it were pertussis, the most serious illness of them all. That means antibiotics.

The hardest part of her treatment is how often it spoils her good mood. Her fever finally broke today, and that meant she was feeling more like herself – smiling, interacting, playing; the Violet we’d been missing for nearly a week was finally with us again. But every few hours, we have to help hold her down while the nurses suction out her lungs and her nose, give her eardrops, or shoot a dose of antibiotics down her throat. Violet screams and screams. It scares me that it doesn’t bother me as much as it used to.

The plan is to start weaning her off the oxygen today. If she can breathe on her own through the night, then they might let her go home tomorrow. I’m surprised at my apathy towards the idea of going home. It’s not that I don’t want to, but I feel no rush to do so. If staying here longer means she gets well, then by all means, let’s stay. At home, we can’t suction out her nose and chest, making it possible for her to breastfeed. At home, we don’t have a monitor telling us how much oxygen is in her blood. At home, she only has us to rely on.

134 days old

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