30 March 2011

Chicken Pox

The pus-filled blister on her face appeared overnight. We thought it was caused by her mask. But the next day, more rash spots appeared on her back.

We happened to have a planned visit to the pediatrician, and she felt it may be early chicken pox. In normal kids, she would have let them fight the virus without medication. But as Vera's immune system is weak, she gave her anti-viral medication to limit the severity of the outbreak.

We should have given Vera the vaccination at 15months, but again, we dropped the ball and now she's caught it.

As pox is contagious, she may have spread it to Daen, as the incubation period is 3 weeks' prior to the appearance of spots. And yes, they have been playing together and he's been touching her mouth and face.

Vera's now quarantined in her room. Daen will not see his sister in the next 2 weeks. Separating them is the only thing we can do at this point.

Another setback, just when we were planning to get her back to school.

27 March 2011

Daen Is One

Vera's still dealing with a runny nose, but we decided she couldn't miss her brother's first birthday. So she made a quick special appearance. Daen was dressed in the tiger suit bought by his Godma.

Grandma shows him the jungle animals.

He got a safari-themed cake, and a jungle-themed party courtesy of his Mai Mai, our very own David Tutera.

Daen is born in the year of the Tiger.

In keeping with Chinese tradition, he was asked to crawl towards and pick one of four items. The one he chooses will reveal what he is likely to be in the future (supposedly)

1) Ruler - Engineer
2) Book - Academic
3) Abacus - Accountant
4) Chicken wing - Chef
He chose the abacus. (A-hah, a future CFO!)

We had a special pre-birthday visit from his Godma and kids as well, and he thoroughly enjoyed his new airplane car.

It's been a blast staying home with Daen - he's been such a good, easy baby that it's so much fun looking after him. Hopefully that continues!

24 March 2011

What It Means To Be Loved

This song brought me to tears. Thank you Mark Schultz, for writing this for all the parents who have gone through a difficult prognosis for their babies.

17 March 2011

Feet Reinforcements

Foot Braces - To support her inward-bending feet so they can
develop more normally. The orthotist says the shoes are less important now
as the AFOs are providing the all-round support for the feet.

Standing Time - I left her for a split second to take this shot.
She still needs to be held at the pelvis.

Taking a break - "I'm tired! Mommy is working me so hard..."
Her head control has improved and she can sit in her armchair by herself!

13 March 2011

Better or not?

I'm better, but Vera is not.

Two weeks after coming home from hospital and we're still suctioning 3 hourly. We should be back to no suctioning days by now. We might have to get back to hospital and Xray to check if the infection is still in her lungs.

The strange thing is, Vera seems to have become more active after the pneumonia bout.

I thought she'd be weak and mostly stationary, but the girl is back to doing her turns as if she never had the episode.

We got her some AFOs (foot braces) and she's been happily working out in them as well.

This is the Vera I like. Not the one who has started to scream in anger during suctioning.

06 March 2011

Mummy is Down

Vera came home 4 days ago, and I fell sick right after.

High fever and a throat that's so inflamed it's bleeding.

This is the second time I've fallen sick after a Vera-in-hospital episode. I guess being exposed to the germy environment plus a lowered immunity from lack of rest makes it inevitable.

There's a flu epidemic in Singapore now, and it shows no signs of abating. Once everyone is well, we're gonna get vaccinated. We just can't afford the strain on so many caregivers with another pneumonia bout like this.

04 March 2011

ResMed Mask

This is the mask we eventually got for Vera - the ResMed Mirage Micro adult nasal mask.

The hospital one was just too large for her face, and I didn't like the heaviness of the gel.

There are so many factors to consider when choosing a mask.

a) It must be lightweight.
b) It must not block her line of vision.
c) It must have low leakage.
d) It must have just the right coverage over nose and mouth.
e) It must be easy to fasten and unfasten.
f) It must be easy to wash.
g) It must give us a good view of her nostrils and mouth.

The Mirage Micro has all the above. Best of all, it has the same thin, soft silicone lining as her old mask, which made it a clear choice. Vera took to the mask so well.

I feel so relieved to have found it. So many nights I've been worrying over what could possibly be as good as the Maskmedic but bigger.

Once again, answers reveal themselves, just when we need them.

02 March 2011

The Home Stretch

We're on the home stretch. And it's been a stretch alright.

Two weeks of mind-numbing diaper-changing and we're still at it.

Two weeks of suctioning and we're still at it.

Two weeks of fighting us and she's still at it.

We're spent and so is she. But I see some smiles today, and it looks like the worst is over. We're likely to discharge tomorrow and continue managing the tail end of the infection at home. (No point staying longer than necessary and risk picking up new bugs.)

I'm grateful for all the help from our loved ones to care for Daen in my absence. Without which we would not have been able to give Vera round-the-clock attention.

With a young child on a biPAP who can't speak for herself, it is just impossible to leave her alone in hospital. Unless she has one-to-one nursing care (as in PICU), not in an 8-bedder.

It may be tiring but it's still manageable compared to the same episode last year when I was 7 months pregnant. So, I'm not complaining.

I feel like I've been waiting to exhale for the last two weeks. Now that Vera is breathing better, I breathe a lot easier as well.