Eli’s cough has left the building.
We traveled together to Michigan, and I have a lot to say about my first plane rides with Eli.
It went so well the stewardess asked if she could spike my coffee. It was 5:45 a.m.
I’ll get to our plane ride later.
I’ve had so many visitors and had such lovely travels I fell off of my writing routine. And so far off the Weight Watchers bandwagon it’s not even funny! Oh well. It was worth the apple pie and Michigan beer and fried chicken (OMG Ann seriously that was good. And what did you put in those green beans woman???. Don’t answer that). I love food.
Back to Eli’s lungs.
(btw if you want the background on this, here’s the category, read backwards, this is the fourth in a series).
We’re finishing up a 21-day round of antibiotics tomorrow. He’s taken it like a champ. I’m so relieved he’s not coughing any more.
My friend Alyssa warned me that I’d flip out about his first cold. I knew this to be true. And I did. But we just pushed forward, did the care, and luckily, it didn’t stick in buddy’s lungs. With every little thing that comes up, we get stronger and wiser, or so it seems, or so I hope. That lasts until I flip out about the next new thing that comes up. But as the CF clinic coordinator Debbie said — “Don’t flip out — it’s a waste of energy.” She said that in a really nice way. Because Eli gets a throat swab every month. And every month, I’m afraid to know what is growing back there. Will it be one of the bad bacterias? Something that gets in his lungs, sticks, grows, steals my baby’s breath away a piece of ruined lung tissue at a time? It’s not like I live in this state, but those questions are always there, tucked away in some corner of my mind. The day-to-day – ya know Eli’s cuteness, Laila’s outrageous-ness, writing about violent death, dinner, the dishes, attempting to spend a few minutes just chatting with Mark at the end of the day — this is the stuff that fills my life, not Eli’s disease.
Might I add a friendly reminder: wash your hands frequently and cough/sneeze into the crook of your arm.
Back to Eli: He’s come up with positive cultures (if that’s the right term) for two different bacterias with scary-sounding names. The ones they found are bacterias that like CF lungs but they aren’t the ones that we fear the most. There’s a group of those bacterias. A special group of rude, ugly bacteria that can do more harm than others and are treated more aggressively when detected.
As you can imagine when a throat swab comes back positive for a bacteria with a charming name like “Haemophilus influenzae” my first question was “Should I flip out right now?”
And my follow-up is like:
“If so, to what degree?”
I do, even if I’m advised this wastes energy. My stomach gets jumbly and nervous and I feel quite down that my son has to deal with this crud. And I feel lost and out of control because I don’t fully understand this ugly-named weird thing living in my kid’s throat. Then I research. And I usually don’t like what I find. It’s still better to know:
Haemophilus influenzae (including Hib) is a bacterium that can cause a severe infection, occurring mostly in infants and children younger than five years of age. It can cause lifelong disability and be deadly. In spite of its name, Haemophilus influenzae bacteria do not cause influenza (the “flu”).
Oh yeah, and
The most common severe types of Haemophilus influenzae disease are:
Pneumonia (lung infection),
Bacteremia (bloodstream infection), and
Meningitis (infection of the covering of the brain and spinal cord)
Great. Neat-. Amazing. Awesome. Thanks CDC!
This is in my baby’s throat, and these are the things I think about and pray don’t go anywhere and cause trouble. And you know, I don’t even bother bringing this up to anyone except medical people and CF moms, because I don’t want to blather on about the bacteria living in my kid like some moms do about the milestones their babies are hitting — early. EARLY!
Neat, he’s already talking? Well my baby already has haemophilus influenzae!
I don’t want to report on something I don’t understand. By the time I got those test results, Eli was already on an antibiotic.
Any how, he coughed, and he went on an antibiotic for the cough, and hopefully, it knocked out this ugly-named bacteria, if that’s even what was in his lungs. Because from what I understand, sometimes the bacteria they find are just having a tiny-ugly germ party in the throat.
Screw you, bacteria. Except for the good kind we need.
So it’s back to normal. Regular baby stuff and just two half hour sessions on his vest a day. This fits into our life. I’m not saying it’s always a breeze – he has other ideas some days. Still, I try to take that time to interact with him and play with him and hold him. I’ll put a movie on for Laila, too, so we can sit together. Or read books to them on the floor.
Out of no where, he’s decided it’s time to get moving. This is pretty funny when he tries to scoot on his machine, because he is hooked to it via two vacuum tubes. As soon as we got to Michigan he got up on all fours for further baby strength training. It’s really really darn cute.
Now it’s time to relax.