Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Developing Immunity

Andrea and I went to see her pulmonologist Monday, as a follow up to last week's illness. The good news is that Andrea seems to be fighting off this infection pretty well on her own. She's on Prednisolone and Abuterol to help her breathing, but hasn't needed any other medication. She has not had a fever yet (knock wood) and is getting better slowly. We know it's important for her to get sick, since that's the only way she will become immune to all the germs floating around. It's just so hard to see her not herself. She has been back on the oxygen 24/7 to give her some extra support, so she can devote all her energy to getting well. It's terrible how quickly we got used to not having the cannula on during the day. We feel like, for the first time, we took a step backwards.

While we were in the doctor's office, we got the preliminary results of Andrea's sleep study. She did OK, but her respiratory rate and oxygen saturation levels did drop overnight. Especially since she's sick right now, the doctor feels that this is not the right time to make any changes in her routine. We'll give her a few weeks to be well and truly over this illness and then reevaluate. We have a follow up appointment with the pulmonologist in early November, so we'll make plans then. Ken and I feel like we've put in a tremendous amount of time getting Andrea to this point. As much as we want to be done with the oxygen and monitors, we are in no hurry to remove her prematurely. (ha - pardon the pun!)

Just to make life interesting on top of all this, it appears that Andrea is teething right now. Her favorite thing to do for fun is drag the cannula from beneath her nose and shove it into her mouth, where she sucks on the prongs and gnaws on the tubing. I suppose she still gets the oxygen this way, but it's sort of gross, plus she's getting very slobbery. We've been hesitant to give her Tylenol for the discomfort, not wanting to mask a fever. So we depend heavily on Orajel and patience!

We know we are lucky to have come so far with so few bumps in the road. We are just tired to our very bones. The most frustrating part of all of this is that we don't know when we will be on the other side of the tunnel. We know that some day, Andrea will be just another kid, but we can barely imagine the time when that will arrive.

Love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope; it can outlast anything. Love still stands when all else has fallen.

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