When I left you last week, Lemon was gradually improving from the cough that he'd developed the week prior. We think it took longer than usual for the antibiotics to kick in because he was coughing to the point of vomiting on a semi-regular basis, so about half of the antibiotics he got during those first few days didn't stay around long. Luckily, that tapered a bit as the week went on, and I'm sincerely hoping Friday was the last incident since after that one I was sorely tempted to drag our highchair down to the curb and leave it there rather than dealing with the cleanup.
Given that Lemon spent about a week coughing violently directly into our faces, perhaps it's no surprise that by mid-week this week Papa Bear and I weren't in perfect health anymore. Both of us were tired and had some pretty standard-issue cold symptoms. These continued to get worse and worse, to the point where I was coughing and blowing my nose like no tomorrow, and Papa Bear was the same plus a fever of 102F.
Just as a precaution Papa Bear went to the urgent care clinic on Sunday morning, and good thing he did, because his "cold" had blossomed into bilateral bacterial pneumonia. So, he came home on two antibiotics and strict no-contact orders. He's basically been hiding in our bedroom ever since, emerging occasionally for sustenance and new boxes of tissues. Luckily, I never developed a fever or pneumonia because given that I'm pregnant they probably would have wanted to admit me to the hospital. So, on top of being sick and pregnant, I've been doing all of Papa Bear's share of Lemon's care as well as my own. Luckily Nona has been very generous with her time so I can put my feet up for a few moments here and there.
In any event, because Lemon still had a residual cough at the end of last week, we decided to bring him in for an extra clinic visit this afternoon. It confirmed our worst fears--he's back down to 9.5kg, meaning that we lost about 6 months worth of weight gain in 10 days, and he's now fallen off the lowest curve on the weight-for-age chart. In other words, we are in crisis mode.
Our most important objective is to keep him from getting sick again any time in the near future. He has absolutely no reserves left, and needs to stay well for long enough to gain the weight back. So, Wednesday morning we will be starting him on Pulmozyme, an inhaled medication that helps to break up mucus in the lungs. The idea is that if his mucus is thinner, perhaps it won't be quite as easy for bacteria to take root there every time he gets a cold. I'll write more about this next week, once we've actually started and have a better idea of how we will work it into our lives.
Of course, the most important variable is something we don't have control over--what Lemon decides to actually eat. Before he got sick, he was drinking two Scandishakes per day (1200 cal total) on top of the rest of his food. Now he's down to an average of less than one per day, and mostly just picking at everything else. Hopefully as he continues to feel better, this will pick up again. Since Papa Bear and I have the same thing, I can say from personal experience that it really does make you feel lousy and not at all like eating, so maybe as we all clear this we can get back to something resembling normal food consumption.
Oh, and thanks to Papa Bear's visit to urgent care, we now know what has caused us all this misery--everyone's favorite virus, RSV. It's no joke, folks.