Wednesday, June 13, 2012

everything for little miss

Since my last post about little miss a few weeks ago, we’ve been riding a veritable roller coaster.  The downs: the four-day course of oral steroids over Memorial Day weekend, my husband and I on tenterhooks wondering if she would get better, and two trips to the cape--canceled. The ups: her actually getting better and even thriving after the course of meds, and the big weigh-in two weeks later at the pediatrician’s office—up 2 pounds, or 10% of her body weight—imagine gaining that back yourself after being ill. Yeah!

After a wonderful week of simple, ordinary pleasures, little Miss got sick with a cold again over the weekend.  With every small cough, I had flashbacks to her illness just weeks before— the coughing so hard she would vomit, the intractable coughing all night long, the pain of seeing her so uncomfortable.  I called the pediatrician’s office this past Monday to confirm the game plan: put her back on albuterol, but if the cough gets worse, call back tomorrow.  Monday night: a sleepless night as my husband and I listened to little Miss cough again all night. Here we go again.

She and I went back to see our pediatrician yesterday (btw, little miss is no fan of the doctor's office, no surprise), and we came away with a real diagnosis of mild, persistent asthma, more oral steroids, and a nebulizer machine.  How I am going to get an active one-year old to sit for 10 minutes twice a day with a mask of aerosolized medicine is still beyond me.  And this will have to be our daily routine for the time being.  Well, at least our pediatrician was pragmatic enough to suggest using a video or iPad to help us out, AAP TV recommendations be damned.

But weighing on me more is what this means for little Miss, and for our family overall.  We’ve made some changes already—air purifier in her room, new allergen-resistant mattress cover, new vacuum cleaner, better air conditioner filters.  Still, we’ve been cautioned by our pediatrician to wash our hands religiously, to avoid animal dander (read: no dogs or cats), and to avoid daycare (ie, to decrease the risk of colds, which have triggered her asthma exacerbations). We hope she’ll “grow out of it,” but we can’t predict when. Will this mean we won’t be able to visit relatives with pets, or to have a family dog ourselves? Will this mean no preschool for fall 2013?  Inquiring minds want to know.

Instead of being the more relaxed second-time mama, here I am, needing to be more hyper-vigilant than I was with my son.  But hey, if it prevents little miss from getting sick, we will do it. Rigorous hand washing post-outings has been instituted.  Preschool will be postponed. And as for animal dander, the family dog can become the family fish if needed.  And visitors who are their pet’s lint brush will be asked to change their clothes prior to entering our house.  'Nuff said.

I'll have zero-tolerance for anything but. Call me crazy, but as her mama…I tell you it is true: we will do everything for little miss.

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