As a preemie parent, you have the fear of RSV drilled into you from the moment the season begins. We are told in that first year of life not to take our preemies into crowds or indoor public locations from November to May. We go every month to get our $1500 Synergist shots. We wash our hands constantly. We bathe in hand sanitizer. We do what we have to do tokeep RSV out of our homes and our little preemies lungs.
After the first year of life has passed, things start to change. We no longer qualify for insurance coverage of that $1500 Synergist shot. We start to relax about crowds and public places between November and May. Even the amount of hand sanitizer used daily goes down. Maybe it is the cockiness that comes with having a thriving baby who ooks less like a former preemie and more like a linebacker in the making. Whatever it is, you start to forget about RSV and the dangers it holds for preemies.
And then, out of nowhere, your baby is sick. I mean really really sick. A solid week of vomiting, fevers spiking to 104, and coughing fits to end all coughing fits. And when that is not enough to scare you, here comes the crackling lungs and the modeled skin. From there, the only place to go is Children’s Hospital. This is what we went through the past two weeks. Sam got RSV and it did a total number on him. He was unable to keep any food or milk down for 4 days. His fevers went from 102 to 104 to 99 to 103 in the matter of minutes. He was unable to sleep. We were in our doctor’s office every other day trying to get someone to see that he was not doing well. We were told to watch him and see if things changed. When they did, we took him back in. We were sent home with a nebulizer and told to call the on-cal doctor over the weekend if he was still getting fevers. Then his fever hit 104.2 and I took one look at his skin and knew we were headed for major dehydration. We met with the on-call doctor on Sunday morning and were sent straight to Children’s.
By the time we got there Sam has RSV, pneumonia, a major ear infection and he was very dehydrated. We spent the next 5 days at Children’s- getting Sam IV fliuds and antibiotics as well as oxygen. It was a long 5 days- and I am very happy to be out on the other side of it. It was just a very scary reminder to me that my son may be the Anti-Preemie… but he is still a preemie.