About a year ago, I was in a restaurant with Kyle when a family came in and sat next to us. The mother pulled a roll of Lysol wipes and cleaned EVERY thing in sight. Then squirted sanitizer on the table and sat her little girl down and gave her some too. Me and Kyle sat there and laughed at this crazy woman until long after we left.
Shortly after Kyson came home, he came down with a cold. The doctor sent us home with Benadryl and a humidifier. But a few days later he became dehydrated and we went back to the doctor. After a catheter, a long wait in the ER, and a blood test we were admitted for having RSV… The three dreaded letters that make all preemie parents cringe.
Human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a virus that causes respiratory tract infections. It is the major cause of lower respiratory tract infection and hospital visits during infancy and childhood. It usually rears it’s ugly head during the winter months, similar to the flu.
In the United States, three out of five children get RSV in their first year of life. By the age of 3, almost all children have been infected. Out of the infants infected, about 2% will develop bronchiolitus and need to be hospitalized. The most severe cases can end in death. These two outcomes are more likely if the patient has immunity issues or was born premature.
For most people, RSV produces only mild symptoms, similar to the common cold. The Centers for Disease Control consider RSV to be the “most common cause of bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways in the lung) and pneumonia in children under 1 year of age in the United States”
•Low-grade fever for several days
•Difficult or rapid breathing and deep coughing.
•Blueish or purpleish tinge to skin
Studies have shown that the lung scaring from RSV may take two years to heal completely as long as there are no other colds in that time period. Most of us aren’t that lucky. Doctors say that with every cold after RSV, it’s like opening those old wounds again.
Recurrent wheezing and asthma are more common among individuals who suffered severe RSV infection during the first few months of life. Whether RSV infection sets up a process that leads to recurrent wheezing or whether those already predisposed to asthma are more likely to become severely ill with RSV has yet to be determined. That’s why it is imperative to stay away from cigarette smoke and any harsh chemicals that can be breathed in.
Kyson stayed in our local hospital for the night until I decided they had no clue what was going on. (We had random people coming in our room to see the premature baby everyone was talking about like a sideshow) That night he went into respiratory distress and the next morning his doctor sent him to the ICU at a children’s hospital in Atlanta. It was scary, but he will think it’s cool one day that he had to ride in an ambulance into Atlanta in the middle of Christmas shopping traffic. (:
I’m so terrified that Kyson will have asthma or even get so sick again that he can’t breathe. So guess what…
I’ve become the lady with the clorox wipes in my diaper bag. That’s why I obsess over wiping down carts at the store AND using a cart cover. I now agree with smoking laws where I didn’t used to and I’m married to a smoker. Rain, sleet, or snow, you better bet he smokes on the porch!
So with RSV season kicking off, make sure you take care of yourselves and be careful. Stay away from sick people at ALL costs.