Sunday, October 11, 2009

Swine Flu Is For (Little) Sissies

So we've had a sick little girl at our house this week. Della tested positive for H1N1 on Thursday evening and I can't begin to explain how rapidly her condition worsened. Thankfully we saw a great Dr. affiliated with Texas Children's Hospital who put Della on antivirals and recommended that we start breathing treatments ASAP.

The problem with Della is that she has very low muscle tone throughout her entire body, this is the main reason why she isn't able walk. Since we have no diagnosis for her delays, her low tone continues to be a mystery. Her body's weakness extends to much more than gross motor movements and this includes her inability to "productively" cough making respiratory illnesses very dangerous to Della. Things like RSV, croup, and this particular strain of the flu all cause fluid to accumulate in the throat, sinuses, and sometimes in the lungs (pneumonia). Della can't cough all of that nastiness out and it is extremely scary to hear her wheeze, gurgle, and gag all day and especially at night. Sometimes she would be so desperate to clear her airways she would stick her hand in her mouth trying to physically remove the fluid. It was so sad.

Breathing treatments every 3 to 4 hours seems to help break up some of the fluid and has eased her breathing a little bit. We knew the *warning signs of when we should take her to the hospital and the Dr. was very clear in saying that if her condition worsened at all, we were to take her to the emergency room. We REALLY didn't want to do that. Thankfully, her little body came through and I think the worst is over. As long as the remaining fluid doesn't turn into a bacterial infection, she should be back to normal in a few days.

Thank you for all of the prayers, well-wishes, phone calls, and e-mails. We didn't feel so alone in our worries for Della and I knew that the Lord was looking out for us.

Meanwhile, Chad and I woke up last night with fevers and sore throats. Good times for all! Poor Archer is hating life indoors and since there is no school tomorrow, he has another day to look forward to!

*With H1N1 going around, you should know these warning signs too. Although it should be a mild illness for most, you never know who will suffer from the acute symptoms of this virus. It is proving very dangerous and children who have previously been healthy with no preexisting conditions to make them a higher risk have died from this strain of the flu. When in doubt, go to the ER or call 911. Trust me, you don't want to look back and wish that you had done something different!

Signs of Respiratory Distress As Listed By WebMD

Respiratory distress refers to difficulty breathing and taking in enough oxygen. Causes may include choking, asthma, an infection, or pneumonia. The signs of respiratory distress are coughing, wheezing (a whistling sound as a child exhales), labored breathing (especially flaring of the nose and use of chest and neck muscles to aid breathing), grunting, or turning blue.

When to Call 911:

  • The rate of breathing is greater than 50 to 60 breaths per minute
  • The child is turning blue around the mouth.
  • The condition is worsening instead of improving.
  • Severe retraction.

If these signs are present, don't try to put your child in a car -- call an ambulance. The paramedics can deliver oxygen and get your child safely to the hospital.