I’m happy it’s February already. We survived January, somewhat. And we survived the end of 2015. When I say survived I’m speaking of colds, flu, germs. The first few months of cold and flu season went great. I even started to get a little relaxed, actually very relaxed. Gigi even spent 3 whole days with me at the girls’ school in the beginning of December while I ran a school event. She went to her sisters’ games and practices. I took her shopping. She had a lingering cough in December but that was all. Then all hell broke loose in the beginning of January and she ended up in the hospital with bronchiolitis from a common cold. But here’s the thing, we know so many babies with Down syndrome that are unfortunately currently in the hospital due to complications from the common cold. Some are in bad shape – intubated. One died last week. I didn’t know the family personally but they are friends of a mom in my group. And our roommate from the hospital that was discharged the same day we were, he went back a few days later and into ICU. Needless to say, all of this makes me fear leaving the house.
I asked the question to my local Down syndrome group about all of this. I figured there were enough experienced moms to give me the 411. I wanted to know, is it the age? I thought last year, the infant stage, was going to be bad, but it wasn’t. Instead this year is difficult because Gigi is mobile, touching everything and then putting her hands in her mouth. So the answers I got from the experienced moms was “Oh, I remember those days” and “we were in and out of the hospital all winter one year”. Basically, from what they say, it’s the age. They are still so little and their bronchial tubes are small andget easily congested. Their muscle tone is low so they can’t get the mucus up and out. In a few years they’ll be able to handle their colds better.
In the meantime I will continue to hibernate as much as I can. I have been trying to get out a little this week. Sunday the girls had a basketball game at the school. I tried to stop by, but when I walked into the gym it was so crowded and hot. And it wasn’t a dry heat, it was a warm wet heat full of germs. I felt influenza A, rhinovirus and adenovirus all hit me in the face as I walked in. I lasted less than 10 minutes.
So for now, I choose not to have people over. Unfortunately my older girls are getting the short end of the stick with this because I don’t want to have them do playdates either. Playdates are worse than school in my opinion, no one is conscious of hand washing at home during playdates. At least school has that down. If I send them to someone’s house, who knows what germs they’re touching. If a child come to my house they’ll most likely touch Gigi’s toys. For some reason 6 and 8 year olds love baby toys.
Am I being dramatic? Maybe to you but not to me. A cold with a baby is a pain in the ass – sleepless nights and bad habits are created. A hospitalization with a baby is awful and very hard on the entire family, not to mention expensive. I’m not enjoying being antisocial, but it’s what I have to do right now and Gigi and I will enjoy some quality time.