Sometimes blogging is a tricky thing. While it's very important to be forthright and authentic in sharing our story, this is also like a personal online memory book for our family. And sometimes life hands us experiences that we'd rather not preserve and relive. Like last Wednesday when Josie went into respiratory distress. It was truly one of the scariest moments of my life. She was admitted to the hospital and diagnosed with RSV.
And while it's not customary for an almost-six year-old to be hit this hard by RSV, Josie has a history of chronic lung disease and that makes these types of things more severe and dangerous for her. This hospitalization calls to mind the whole first year of Josie's life in which she would be in and out of the hospital for multiple respiratory distress episodes. She was in the PICU on a ventilator for weeks. At one point we were prepared to lose her. It was such a traumatic time period for me that I can't stand to look back at pictures or even the blog archives from Aug-Sept 2010.
But we survived it. It left us scarred. We took drastic measures to protect her fragile lung health for years following that. Plenty of friends and loved ones will tell you how we quarantined her, obsessively followed proper hygiene protocol, avoided enrolling her in preschool, and even canceled family visits over a family member being sick to avoid Josie being exposed to germs and illness.
And for a long time, our efforts paid off and she remained quite healthy. But you can't fit your child with a bubble. Trust me - if you could, Josie would have had one in every color with a bow to match. And at some point, we decided to start living life "normally" again. Sure enough, Josie began to contend with the things that normal preschoolers contend with. All of the "ick" that accompanies cold/flu season made it to our house as well. And Josie acquired chronic congestion that further complicates her already compromised respiratory situation...then enter RSV.
RSV is a virus and all we can really do for Josie is to make sure she remains hydrated and has supplemental oxygen while her body fights to heal itself (and sneak her cookies, of course!). And I'm told that we can celebrate this as an opportunity to boost her immunity and protect her from further encounters with RSV germs in the future. But right now, it doesn't feel very celebratory.
So tonight we ask you to join us in praying for Josie and for every other little kid in the pediatric unit that is fighting a health battle that leaves them confined to a hospital bed, away from the comfort and security of home. Some of those kids don't have family up there with them and I want to send up extra prayers for those little ones.
We'll keep you posted.