Saturday, March 13, 2010

March madness

The first two weeks of March have been mostly crazy good, though we spent the morning running around like chickens sans heads due to Bryce's worst illness since he left the NICU.

I'll start with some good news. This:

has been driving Christie to tears for close to a thousand hours over the past nine months, and I'm happy to say that we've finally bid it adieu. For those who haven't had the pleasure of being milked by a mechanical pump for 30 minutes between 2 and 12 times a day, it might be hard to understand how frustrating it is to sit on the couch with two plastic cups attached to your chest while your infant screams and your preschooler crawls all over you. In truth, I don't fully appreciate the depth of her hatred for the Medela Symphony myself, but I suspect much of it is rooted in the early months spent waking up 3-4 times a night to "feed" a machine.

Thankfully, Bryce has done so well with his eating and growth (a fact which we attribute, in part, to the milk produced by all that pumping) that we've finally weaned him off the Elecare. With the exception of his solids, he gets all his milk straight from the source now, which is a big win for everyone. Our little champ, who turned six months old (corrected) on Thursday, is up to 16.5 lbs. and continues to exceed expectations in nearly every way.

Unfortunately, we replaced one machine with another. This:

is probably a familiar sight to anyone with asthma. Bryce doesn't have asthma (as far as we know), but we are now the proud owners of a nebulizer, because he is suffering from a "RSV-like" illness that just about landed him in the hospital. Earlier in the week, Logan came down with his second (very mild) cold of the season, and Bryce started to exhibit symptoms yesterday. Early this morning, it was clear that the cold had settled into Bryce's chest, and he was scaring everyone with one coughing spell after another and severe wheezing. Being the good-natured kid that he is, he had nothing but smiles for Mom and Dad in spite of his suffering, but Bryce's pediatrician felt it would be best if we brought him into the office.

The doc said that his lungs sound clear (no pneumonia), his RSV test was negative and he doesn't seem distraught. However, he's working far too hard to breathe (65-75 breaths per minute), his airways are clogged with mucus (bronchiolitis) and his blood oxygen saturation was borderline hospital-admissible (88%). So, he offered us the choice of admission to Children's or nebulizer treatments and careful observation at home. With some trepidation, I opted for the latter, but after the nurse helped me give him his first albuterol treatment, Bryce was like an entirely different baby. In the past three hours, he's only coughed twice and he's breathing much easier. Thus, we're cautiously optimistic that this happy guy will be able to avoid another weekend in the ER.

UPDATE: At 3.5 hours, the coughing is back with a vengeance (he's due for treatments every four hours). That albuterol stuff really works! Print this post

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