Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thoughts on NAB

NAB: Nebulizing A Baby.

So, as you know, Amarys has developed bronchitis.  Almost three weeks ago, she caught the head cold that was making the circuit in our family.  She spiked a low grade fever that lasted five days, and followed that up with a nasty cough.  The productive kind, with lots of green boogers.  Yum.
Well, two weeks went by and she couldn't kick that productive cough.  It kept her up at night, and she had trouble catching her breath between coughs and amongst all that mucus.  Double yum, I know.
So I took her to our doctor and she figures the cold turned into viral bronchiolitis.  She has had several pediatric patients hospitalized recently with this illness, and prescribed pulmicort and ventolin, given with a nebulizer and mask, numerous times per day.  As a natural minded person I like to avoid medications whenever possible, especially with such a little baby.  But also, as a paramedic, I know what the long term effects of chronic lung disease look like.  Early and aggressive intervention can really make an incredible difference for long term outcomes~like, the difference between having lung disease and not having it.  So, although I nurse her and give her vitamin D and rub essential eucalyptus oil on her chest at night, I've also been hooking her up to a rented nebulizer several times a day. 

Pulmonary disease is epidemic, and for some reason the lungs are a particularly vulnerable organ for children.  In nine years as a paramedic I have nebulized my fair share of kids, and I have to say that Amarys is the easiest one I've ever encountered.  Most kids hate the mask, are scared of the noisy air, and avoid the mist at all costs.  Especially babies.  Man, do they hate having anything put on their faces (survival instinct!).  But my little high strung, sensitive, pessimistic girl goes along with nebulizer treatments with very little fuss.  She wants to grab the tubing of course, so I wrap her in a blanket (FYI, stretchy blankets don't work: use a non stretchy one or you'll be struggling with a baby octopus) to keep her hands out of the way.  Not pinned, but blocked from grabbing the mask or tube.  If I put Baby Einstein's Baby Dolittle DVD on for her, she will sit on my knee rapt and still for the entire treatment.  This morning I tried Treehouse for variety, but I forgot that babies and toddlers don't like variety.  They like Baby Dolittle and nothing else.  I've learned that the reason Amarys does her little head bobby thing like a bear is that there is an owl that does it in this movie of hers.  Also, baby lions are cute, and baby tigers are cuter.  And monkeys have very intelligent faces.  I have to get that head dance on film for you...

The pulmicort gives me headaches, and the ventolin makes her hyper, which keeps us both up at night.  Wowser.  Fun times in the Vose household!

The bright side is that I'm having a milksharing holiday!  I don't mind sharing milk with baby Brayden, but a holiday from remembering to pump every day is nice, since it's happening anyways.

Pray for my girl, that she gets better soon!  And pray hard she doesn't develop thrush; the pulmicort is bad for that, and there is no way to effectively rinse out her mouth afterwards, so it's a risk we're navigating.  She's got some signs so far but I'm hoping it won't get too bad.  Thrush is painful!  And the last thing I want is her to be sick in another capacity, and for myself to be in pain (all too familiar).  I'm grateful she's getting treated, that rattly, can't catch her breath nighttime cough was pretty awful, and scary to listen to.  I'm also grateful it's temporary; there are families out there whose kids go through this type of treatment on an ongoing basis.  Grateful for health, overall.


lori said...

Yikes! Poor little Amarys. Saying a prayer for y'all...

melissa said...

I'm glad she's on the road to getting better. What a tough thing that must be to watch your girl go through, but I'm glad NAB hasn't been traumatic for either of you. The image of wrestling with a baby octopus did make me giggle a little ;)

Sending lots of anti-thrush vibes! Maybe a nice coating of coconut oil on your nipple right before you offer it?