Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Winter Blues!

   Seasons change and our bodies begin adapting to the new wintery season.  We start taking extra vitamins, we bundle up, and add extra layers of clothes.  Anything we can do to stay healthy and warm.  For our family, Momma nurse arrives.  Caring for a CHD child with an extremely low, to non existent, immune system makes the wintery season......not so much fun!  Now don't get me wrong, the entire winter isn't a miserable time, just 95% of it.  For my daughter, Cora, it's just like any other winter.  Since this is all she has ever known, all the preparations, changes in schedules, and daily quizzes and reminders about her health, are as she calls...overkill.  But for me, the constant check list is running in my mind.  With winter comes all kinds of viruses and the flu.  For this CHD Momma it means a cough can become bronchitis, a cold could turn into phenmonua, and the  flu could lead to hospitalization.  This is a truth any CHD child faces every winter season.  This year hearing and knowing several CHD kids who have been hospitalized due the flu, well, that has me on full alert 24/7.

     The preparation for this CHD Momma begins in the fall.  Knowing all the holidays are around the corner, I start figuring out what I have to do to prepare Cora, our home, and our family.  My goal, of coarse, is to get Cora through the fall and winter sick free...or as close as I can!  But.....It is also important that I do all of this and maintain a normal "kid" atmosphere for her.  I want her to experience everything any other child experiences.  Jumping in leave piles, playing in the first snow, enjoying the first day off of school due to inclement weather.  All the fun things any other child gets to experience!  

     So have I sparked your curiosity yet?  I bet your thinking.....what in the world does this lady do?  I shall share.  In the fall I begin stocking up on Lysol spray, Lysol wipes, sanitizer ( large and small travel bottles), vitamin C, and face masks.  I Lysol down all her coat, book bag, and any other school belongings after she goes to sleep.  I Lysol wipe her lunch sak inside and out.  I Lysol all the door knobs, inside and out, each night after everyone goes to sleep.  I make sure her travel sanitizer bottle is full.  I make sure there are multiple large sanitizer bottles distributed throughout the house.  Then each morning I remind my Cora to make sure to wash her hands with soap and water as often as she can.  I remind her to use her sanitizer all day at school.  I remind her there is absolutely no hugging friends, and she is to keep distance.  Coughs, sneezes, or wiping of noses without washing hands, could lead to severe illness for her.  I try to gently remind her that if the illness get worse within the school, she will have to wear a mask for her protection.   I know she hears me because she roles her eyes and reminds me she hasn't had to wear a mask since she was a toddler.  Maybe it is overkill but, even at 13 years old, it's important for me to drive home the severity of what can happen.

     Knock on wood, so far we have been blessed to be mostly healthy.  I try hard at Christmas time when everyone is together, and it's a germ fest, not to panic.  I keep my eye on her, and remember as much as I'd like to keep her in a bubble, it's just not possible.  So I will continue my routine of cleaning, reminding, watching, and loving my CHD daughter.  Carrying the responsibility of making sure she makes it through the winter unscathed by illness.

Blessings Until Next Time!
Drena