God has a funny sense of humor...
Earlier this month I wrote about germs and how my kids seemed bent on ingesting as many as humanly possible. I wondered at that fact that they were well...
Yeah, not so much now.
Jack has RSV. That's why I'm writing this post at 1:47 a.m. For those of you who aren't familiar with this lovely little virus, RSV stands for respiratory syncytial
(sin-SISH-uhl) virus. It's like a baby cold. On steroids. Before I continue, I would like to thank my Heavenly Father that we didn't end up in the hospital like so many other babies with this virus this year.
That said, it sucks. Quite literally. It sucks the energy right out of me (well, the sleepless nights do, anyway). I suck the snot right out of his little nose. Over. And Over. And Over.
It goes a little something like this...
Jack can't breathe. We suction his nose and give him a breathing treatment. (Please don't think for a second that just because I ended that sweet little sentence with a tidy little period that those two tasks are simple as they sound.)
Have you ever tried to suction a baby's nose? I'm not talking about a docile little newborn. I'm talking about an 18 pound, arm-flailing, fingernail fighting (yee-ouch! when was the last time I trimmed those suckers?), little person who can thrash his head from side to side with the best of them. I have to lie across his chest, pinning his arms with one arm and shoulder and attempt to stabilize his little head and place the suction bulb up inside impossibly tiny nostrils with my other arm and hand. What?! I don't mean to brag or anything, but I kind of feel like Supermom when I'm able to successfully remove some gunk. Then I feel evil because I am gloating about subduing a 6 month old (whose face is purple from rage after the ordeal).
Now on to the breathing treatment. Seriously. To the person who invented the tiny little plastic mask that is supposed to stay over a baby's mouth and nose by simply placing the elastic band around the back of his head and pulling on the band (think airplane low cabin pressure emergency masks), I say: What were you thinking?!! The only way that contraption would work is if my child were unconcious. As it is, after I place the mask over his nose and mouth, turn on the machine (which sounds like a Mack truck), and the smoke [albuterol] begins to flow, he hell-bent on getting out of town. Do you really think that quarter-inch piece of elastic is going to serve any purpose whatsoever? I suppose if you were trying to strangle your baby, this would be a good place to start. Soooo, simply hold the mask in place [read: use every available body part to keep the child an a human straitjacket while holding the mask on his face] and wait 5 minutes for the treatment [torture] to end. Repeat 4-6 times per day. Did I mention RSV lasts about 3 weeks?
After the breathing treatment it's time to suction his nose again because he's been crying and of course, can't breathe. He can't nurse well because he can't breathe, so feedings are frequent (like newborn, up all night frequent).
Now it's not as bad as it seems. After one week we can venture out into society again, as he won't be as contagious. After a few days of breathing treatments, we can reduce the frequency.
There is always a silver lining, and I don't want to miss the blessings that have accompanied this trial.
1. When you wake in the middle of the night from a dead sleep, it is amazing what you can accomplish (especially since everyone else is asleep and not underfoot). My kitchen is clean, I have time to blog and answer emails, I remember to check my calendar and Parker's backpack, etc.
2. When you are forced to stay home, you can relax and just stay home. No running to the gym, baking banana bread for the mothers' meeting, play dates...Instead I had play dates with Parker and Maddie. It was so nice that I think I need to re-prioritize our calendar again. (Who knew being a stay-at-home mom meant I'd never be home?)
3. I am reminded to be thankful that my kids don't suffer from any major long term illnesses. I cringe when I think about how much I whine [see above] about my child's 3 week illness. I know parents whose children suffer on a daily basis and likely will for the rest of their lives. They frequent the childrens' hospitals, have to watch their babies undergo painful treatments, have to administer treatments at home, and they don't bemoan their situation to the world.
I hope most of you reading this will recognize that while I'm not thrilled with our current circumstances, I am just trying to offer some humorous commentary. I know how good we've got it. And I'm oh so grateful!
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.