Blood gas? Sounds crackly? Replogle? G-tube? CPT? BPM? SATS? Cyanosis? Gavage Feeding? NPO? PPH? RDS? Simply Thick?
Familiar with these terms?
If not then you probably aren't overly worried when your child gets a cold, coughs, or looks fatigued.
However if you are familiar with these terms, You have spent a good many nights in the hospital, you have longed to be at home, you have wished it was the way it used to be, and there is a good chance you start to worry when the kid who sits down next to yours sneezes in their face. You probably notice every sneeze, cough or snotty nose that comes within 30 feet of your child. Many of us who have watched our babies ribs when they try to get enough oxygen to their bodies get the label germaphobe, or are told not to worry so much. It can even cause tension in families or among friends.
When Alex gets a cold, just a simple cold, it increase our feeding time by 30 minutes because of congestion, and reflux, he has four feedings a day so each feed takes an hour, so when he is sick it takes four hours of our day to feed him. He also doesn't tolerate textures as well so his eating skills slow down. When he is healthy only two hours of our day is feeding.
Because he cant blow his nose, I have to wrap him up in a towel and suction his nose to help decrease the chance of a sinus or ear infection. This isn't pleasant for either one of us.
Because he is at a higher risk of aspiration, he could aspirate his congestion putting him at risk for pneumonia.
Add all these extra complications along with the regular therapies, doctor appointments, and daily tasks, it is stressful, and makes for a very long, hard day. Colds last 7-10 days, and post nasal drainage can last up to 2 weeks after the cold. So one simple cold has the potential of uprooting the already daunting routine for almost a month.
These are just Alex's increased issues with a cold. Children with special needs can have heart issues, lung issues, brain issues, that can land them in the hospital in a second if they get a simple cold.
So the next time you see a mom washing her hands for the third time in an hour, or wonder why they didn't show up at the family gathering, (you know with all those snotty noses). The next time you feel critical of these moms, remember who and what they are protecting.