Wednesday, March 20, 2013

RSV Prevention - What Do We Do?

Due to recent family events (my poor 5 week old nephew has one right now), I thought I'd write about RSV prevention on this post instead of the physio video that I promised, sorry.

RSV is still going around, sadly. Isabella had her 5th shot earlier this week & is due for her 6th in 6 weeks. I did a short introduction about RSV on this post. This link may also be useful information. Fortunately, she hasn't gotten RSV, thank God. We are really working hard not to get it and I hope that she nor any baby would ever get sick wit.  h this mean virus.

Here are some prevention method we practice in our family.

  • We do not let her go near anyone who is sick whether it's in the house or in the car unless it is our immediately family (me, my husband, and the 2 boys). If any of us are sick, we minimize contact with her. If I am sick & since I can't minimize my contact with her, I can avoid kissing in the mouth or putting my mouth or nose anywhere near her face but I give her lots of hugs instead.
  • If we are having visitors over, we tell them to inform us ahead of time if they are unwell or we re-schedule any appointments or visits we have with them. 
  • Per nurses advise, we try to avoid car rides with others to minimize any risk since RSV can also be spread through droplets. 
  • I wash all her toys, sheets, blankets, jackets, sweaters, gym mat at least once a week. If it drops on the floor in a mall or supermarket, there is no way I will wipe that toy & give it to her. It'll have to go in the washer or has to be properly sanitized first. 
  • If we get sick including the boys, I change bed sheets once they start to feel better (regardless if I just changed it). Along with it, I sanitize very important germ-magnet places/things that we unconsciously touch all the time such as door knobs, side of the door, bathroom counters, faucets, sinks, stairs railing, TV remote, computer keyboards, mouse & more. 
  • I always carry a hand sanitizer with me, 100% of the time. When I'm at a mall or supermarket (where people touch almost everything, esp in the produce section!), I sanitize after every time I touch anything, esp before I touch Isabella or any object/food I will give to her (if she's with me at the store). My hand may be as hard and dry as concrete right now but hey, if it'll keep my baby safe & healthy, it'll do for now! :) 
  • We try not to bring her too often to public, crowded places. I still go to the mall with her. Sometimes, I think she needs to be out there too and so do I (mine is not about sanitize issue but sanity issue! LOL!) so I just make sure that I always wash or sanitize my hands. 
  • When I bring her to the hospital for appointments, therapies, I always make sure that her car seat & stroller canopy are covering her (to avoid people from peeking & breathing on her or touching her) and to avoid any virus/bacteria that are transferable by droplets (like RSV). 
  • I make sure that I cover her bottle brush in the kitchen to avoid contamination with any meat or any type of bacteria that can be found in kitchen. I also dry her bottles in a separate tray and not in the kitchen counter. 
  • We ask anyone who holds her to either wash their hands or sanitize it. Most of the time, family & friends have been really good about this that I don't even have to ask them! 
  • Most importantly - Hand washing - we all do this religiously! 
So you may ask - which one is worse, RSV or Pneumonia? 
Based on personal research, RSV can lead to Pneumonia. Although you can get RSV Prevention by having Palivizumab shots, you cannot treat it with antibiotics (unless there is a complication, ex. ear infection) like you can do with pneumonia. 

I hope this little bit of information helps. 

Here's to hoping you & your family get RSV free and prayers to my nephew for his speedy recovery. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Box Full of Chocolates

One fast month have gone by. Isn't it scary that time seems to go by quicker these days?

I am not always the type to bring my children to baby class or a baby group when they were little. I just didn't feel the need or find valuable reason to bring them to one. Even after Isabella was born, sometimes, the staff at the Child Development Centre would ask if I would like to stay for the baby group. I've always politely turn down that offer. Maybe I'm afraid that she may get sick or catch someone's cold by mingling in baby groups.

3 weeks ago, it changed me.
We were at the Children's Hospital.There was a nice warm salt pool where many children benefit from having water therapy and it was Isabella's first time. We were worried about her SVT (Supra Ventricular Tachycardia). I'm not quite sure how her heart rate would be in water because of the pressure. However, after a go signal we got from Cardiology, away we went. Isabella always loved the water but she was quite hesitant and worried when we were in the pool. I waited for her cue. She didn't cry (almost did) so we stayed in the water. She held on to my hair mostly for the whole 45 minutes (which was fine it that made her feel better). She started feeling a bit more comfortable towards the end and I was happy.

There were at least a dozen other mom/babies that was in that group - all babies (I assume) if not, most have Down Syndrome. I didn't get a chance to say hi or talk to everyone. Few more came by for the later class & they were the toddlers. Suddenly, I felt like we belong and it was a wonderful feeling. They all have beautiful babies.

Unfortunately, Isabella has already missed 2 sessions due to a nasty cold. I had to rush her to the hospital too last week due to it and some weird eye reaction to antibiotics (Garamycin) which the ER Doctor asked us to stop using.

So far, I have been diligently sucking her snot (excuse me for my lingo!) using this NoseFrida SnotSucker. I really recommend this product. I've tried different nasal aspirator for both boys and I wish I discovered this when my boys were little.

I'm really looking forward to for her to attend the water therapy again this Monday.

NoseFrida the Snotsucker!

Last week, this little girl turned 9 months. Wow!

9 months and 5 days - love her to bits

Although, it still wouldn't have changed our decision to keep her - I admit, when she was going through some really rough time - asking myself if we made the right decision to keep her & have her experience this suffering came to mind. I remember my husband telling me at that time that if she passes on because of so much health complications, it will be painful but he'd accept it rather than opting for an easy way out because we could have had a child without Down Syndrome and may be faced with the same situation.

I hope every parent with disability or any medical/mental condition can come to term that there is no guarantee. Like Forrest Gump says "Life is like a box full of chocolates, you'll never know what you're gonna get". We could all give birth to a perfect healthy baby and I do not wish it for any parent but we could still have problems later on. We had a rough start and more challenges is yet to come, maybe some will be lighter, some may be hard but no one is spared of it. We all have different cross to carry. We are never alone.

On my next post, I'll add some photos/videos as to how I do physio therapy with her at home. We also recently started a massage therapy. I'll have to ask permission from the child development specialist if I could post her writings/guidelines in my blog to help other parents who can make use of this therapy.

In the meantime, have a beautiful weekend!

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