Monday, May 11, 2015

Week 90: April showers bring...

As of last week, we were really excited that winter was behind us and were hoping for a few weeks of relative calm and health with the arrival of warmer weather.  Little did we know that warmer weather had a new surprise in store for us!

On Tuesday of this week, not 12 hours after posting last week's edition of the blog, I got up as usual to begin our day with Pulmozyme.  When I got Lemon out of his crib, I could hear just the faintest snuffle in his breath.  I tried hard not to think about it and went on with the day.  But, by afternoon that snuffle had turned into a drip.  We've had a lot of recent experience with drips and where they lead, and I decided to come home from work early to do an extra round of PT to try and ward off the inevitable.



The drip continued into Wednesday, and progressed to include some sneezing and coughing as well.  But, there was something about the presentation of these all-to-familiar symptoms that was different this time.  Lemon was in excellent spirits and full of energy.  His appetite was strong, and there was no vomiting.  I thought, as I stared out the window, could this be a new bug of some kind?  Where would he have picked it up, since we'd been so careful about hygiene?  I continued to turn these questions over in my mind as I gazed through the hazy, yellowish air at the blossoming trees and the parked cars coated with a sticky green film.

And then, suddenly, out of nowhere, it came to me--what if Lemon has seasonal allergies?  I put on my shoes and walked straight over to Target to pick up some children's cetirizine (aka Zyrtec), which we started him on the next morning.  We started him on the minimum dose, since technically it's for kids 2 and up and he's only 21 months.  We didn't see any marked improvement, and actually his cough continued to get worse for the next few days, making me think that possibly I was on the wrong track.  But, the symptoms still weren't the same as his previous illnesses and he was eating well and behaving normally, so I thought it would be OK to give it a few more days for the cetirizine to really kick in.

As Lemon coughed through the night on Thursday night, another idea came to me. Perhaps it was really not optimal for him to be sleeping in a bedroom that we'd been airing out pretty frequently since the weather got warm.  Opening the window did make the room smell nice, but also let in the aforementioned yellow haze.  So, Friday we kept the window closed all day, and on Saturday night we installed a HEPA air purifier.  He coughed much less on Saturday night than on Friday, and last night (Sunday) he didn't cough at all and slept straight through.  This morning, he was more or less back to baseline.  Phew!  Now if we can just stay in the clear for another 3 weeks, we will actually make it to our next regular clinic visit without another crisis...

In other CF news, our Great Strides walk is coming up on Sunday.  Competition has heated up and our team is now in 6th place overall.  We are still in the running for Rookie Team of the Year (the new team that raises the most money) and if you haven't made a donation yet but were planning to, this would be a great time to chip in and help us secure that award!  You can go straight to our fundraising page by clicking here.  I have been asked by our local CF founda
tion chapter to give a short introductory speech before the walk, which is a very exciting honor.  The walk starts at Warner Park, home of the minor league baseball team the Madison Mallards.  The walk organizers secured use of the stadium including the jumbotron, so it is my understanding that images of yours truly will be broadcast to everyone present at several times life size.  Luckily Papa Bear and our dear friend Jon will be on hand to document this momentous occasion.

To all of you who have already donated so generously to our team and to all of you who are just seconds away from clicking on the link to our fundraising page (yup, this link, right here) and making a donation, thank you for your incredible support.  Photos and a walk report next week!

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