Monday, November 4, 2013

Week 11: Clapping for clearance

Wednesday of this week found us back at the CF clinic once again.  Each visit has the regular check-up with Lemon's doctor, and then a little something extra.  This week, we met with a physical therapist who taught us how to do the airway clearance therapy (ACT) that will be a daily part of our lives from now on.  The idea of the therapy is to loosen the sticky mucus in the lungs of CF patients so that it can more easily be coughed up and cleared.  At this visit, we learned the "old-fashioned" way of doing this: clapping on Lemon's chest with cupped hands.  We'll do his therapy this way until he's bigger, probably around 6 or 7, when he can start using a special vest to create the necessary vibrations mechanically.

To do the therapy, we have to clap on the sides of Lemon's chest

                                                            the front of the chest

and the back of the chest, each for 3 minutes.

We put what we learned into practice first thing Thursday morning.  Although babies don't have the very thick secretions that clog the lungs of older CF patients, it's important to start the ACT early so that they (and their parents!) get used to it as part of their daily routine.  Lemon certainly seemed surprised when I picked him up and started thumping on his chest, but he quickly settled down.  On Saturday morning, he actually fell asleep during the session.

Even though the therapy itself only takes 15 minutes at the moment (it will become longer and more involved as Lemon gets older), it has solidified in my mind the feeling that I've had since Lemon was born that my mornings are not my own anymore.  For someone who has been training in the morning for the better part of 15 years, this represents a major adjustment.  I'm slowly coming to terms with the fact that I will become one of those insane people who trains on a treadmill at night, at least during the week.  It will be sad to give up my morning runs and rides, but there isn't even a question as to what is more important. 

In addition to all the CF stuff, we had some fun times this week--Lemon's first world series and his first Halloween (thanks to Lemon's friends Andrew, Sarah, Linn and Dave for the great shirts!).

Papa Bear and I even managed to get a little work done on Sunday morning!

1 comment:

  1. Hi there! It's nice to "meet" you. I'm adding your blog to the CF Blogroll right now, and glad to have you aboard! I also had to laugh reading over some of your recent posts - my birthday and anniversary are 2 days apart, too! I always call it "party week."

    And your post about learning ACT (though I've always heard it called CPT, interestingly enough, for Chest Physical Therapy) made me smile. Every time I would burp my own baby when she was little I'd feel like I was doing CPT with her!