Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Health update

So, much of this info you would have already heard before, but I am going to include all the details.

27 week preemies are susceptible to lung issues just because of how underdeveloped their lungs are. This means colds are potentially harder to fight off, even later in their life. Mostly just colds, because of the congestion and coughs, which are lung issues. Now, Sophia had a ventilator in her lungs that vibrated causing scar tissue which makes it even harder for her to fight off coughs. Not only did she have the ventilator, but she also needed the ventilator. She was not able to breath on her own and only was able to survive because of the gas they gave her called, Nitric. (I just read a bit about this, and Nitric doesn't always work. It is a blessing it did and I rememebr the Dr saying he never saw it work so fast!!! I am more thankful the more I learn!!!) The scar tissue will take a few years to heal, if it ever does. So, she had extra issues. Sabrina was preemie, one issue. Sophia was preemie with extra lung issues needing a ventilator, meaning three issues. So, Sophia is 3 times more likely to get sick and be sicker. The fact that Sophia needed to return to the hospital at 38 week gestation with Para influenza A and still needed O2 for a few more weeks this would cause her to fall under the bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) category. There is a link below describing this condition.

Both girls have been sick with lung issues, following a cold, to the point they needed O2 assistance. Sabrina had Parainfluenza B. This means we have to be even more careful because once they have had these types of colds they are able to get them easier than they were, especially with all their other issues mentioned above.

I have also spoken to the NICU Dr regarding this and he agrees. Although, Sophia has a much milder form, BPD would show me how serious we have to treat all these issues. Not until they are around 5-6 years old are kids able to handle and fight off colds better. So, until then we have to be more cautious. I now know better what the signs are, especially for Sabrina who doesn't let on she is as sick as she is. And anytime there are issues with them breathing, coughing and or anything of the like we are going to be more likely to take them to the Dr to make sure they don't get as sick as Sabrina did. I also left a message with their Dr to see if we can rent an O2 monitor and O2 in case we need support until we can get them to the Dr. This will not be used by us at home, just because we think they need it. O2 is not good in high amounts... so it would only be in emergency situations.

When we get a cold it is called Parainfluenza C, mild and we can handle it. Type B is what Sabrina just had... she was ok, but needed help. Type A is close to fatal which was where Sophia was at when she was 38 weeks gestation and had to go back to the NICU within 24 hours after she was home. She probably was sick before she left.

It is not until more recent times that preemies lives have been able to be sustained. Now, these first few preemies who survived are in their 60-70's Drs are finding they are more likely to get emphysema and other lung issues. Smoking would be very hard on their lungs, more so than other full term babies. Preemies are not doomed, but they do have to take extra precautions because of their rough starts. I did not realize all these details and thought my girls were good. THEY ARE! But this last cold and hospital stay showed me I need to be more cautious and careful.

We will not allow boogers, colds or any like symptoms in our home or go anywhere while these symptoms are seen. Mostly when the visitors/household have young children. We will take them in public, but less so during the winter and we will carry sani-wipes for carts or use our strollers. Other than this life will be as normal. If we find Tyler is bringing home germs, we will decide what to do then. I am not sure if he brought this home from school or I was not careful enough with play dates... AND TONS OF HAND WASHING!!! But no more messing around for me. And this is just through the winter months when people are inside more often. Oct-April.

Thank you all for all you have done! I could not do it all without your support, care and love!

1 comment:

MoDLin said...

There are so many things to consider when you are raising a preemie. It can seem overwhelming at times. If you haven't already done so, you might want to connect with other parents of preemies at the March of Dimes community called Share Your Story: You'll get lots of support and find great suggestions for dealing with many different issues.