Cold. Congestion. Cough. Flu. H1N1. RSV. All words that make me nauseous. And unfortunately those are words I hear more frequently now that fall is approaching.
Today we had an appointment with Morgan Kate's pulmonologist, Dr. B. We were actually discharged back in March because she was no longer on oxygen and no longer needed any medications for her breathing. However, since that time she has started a daily breathing treatment (inhaled steroid) and she has also needed an oral steroid and lasix at one point. Our appointment today was for two reasons. One, we wanted to get Dr. B's take on Morgan Kate's breathing and two, we wanted to see if she would qualify for the Synagis shot (RSV) again this October.
We don't see any huge problems with Morgan Kate's breathing. But we were concerned because she is still using an inhaled steroid and because at times, especially during therapy or while crawling, she begins to pant and seems very out of breath. The inhaled steroid that she receives daily does seem to help. Prior to the steroid she had very little stamina or endurance because she worked so hard to just breathe. Dr. B agrees that at this time we do need to keep MK on an inhaled steroid. She has been receiving this through her nebulizer, this noisy machine that looks like a penguin. Using the nebulizer is hard work. It has this mask that is supposed to go over her face. She pulls at it and squirms and in the end I'm not really sure how much of the steroid she is actually getting. Dr. B suggested that we try an inhaler. It's the same type of medication just administered differently. I used it tonight and it was terrific. The nebulizer takes about ten minutes and the inhaler took all of ten seconds. Beautiful! At this time Dr. B feels like her breathing issues can be controlled with the inhaler. However, he said that if things change any or begin to worsen then we will have to be more aggressive (whatever that means).
MK also qualified for the Synagis shot. She will receive a monthly shot from October until February. When we were discharged in March we were told that she probably wouldn't qualify. Yes, she was extremely early. Yes, she has chronic lung disease. But, if the same child that was early and has chronic lung disease doesn't need oxygen or steroids 6 months prior to the new RSV season then they don't qualify. Personally, I think that's junk. I think any child born early, especially those with CLD, should automatically qualify until at least age 2. Just my personal opinion. Anyway, since MK was so early, has CLD and still needs the nebulizer/inhaler and because she has also taken an oral steroid and lasix in the past six months then she qualifies. I was super excited. Not so much excited about the fact that she will have to get a shot, but super excited that we get another season of coverage. She will also get a flu shot next week and the H1N1 when it's available.
I asked Dr. B about any precautions for the fall and winter months. He said that we do not need to hibernate like we did last year. We do still need to practice good hand washing and keep MK away from people that are sick. We also need to avoid daycares, church nurseries and the state fair, but we don't have to quarantine ourselves. MUSIC TO MY EARS. I was not looking forward to another fall/winter cooped up between these four walls. However, I know myself and I know how I freak about MK's lungs and breathing. With that said, I know that we will stay away from large crowds and avoid certain places. And I will also have my sanitizer with me 24/7. Recently I have been more lax about it, but that's all about to change.
I guess with all these shots and vaccines and precautions my nausea might subside some. MIGHT. Not making any promises.
MK in her new dress from Ma-Ma and Aunt Jan