Thursday, January 16, 2014

Howling in the New Year

I’ve been catching a lot of flak for not posting much lately, and rightfully so. Keep on me! I am baffled to think that New Year’s was already more than two weeks ago.

Howling in the New Year
As with Christmas, we stayed home for the New Year and celebrated as a family. I’d bought board games and puzzles for just Kraemer and me, but between baby duties and pure exhaustion, the games never made an appearance. We whipped up lots of festive snacks, vegged out to a movie, wrapped up with the countdown coverage on TV, toasted to our year and the little man that came with it … and hit the sack. Like a true new mom, right?

Unsurprisingly, we have three doctor appointments this week. The pulmonologist, Dr. K, gave us a good report today. He gave Calder a listen and said everything was sounding “very good.” Translating this into a prognosis is difficult, but it mostly just means we can continue to try to wean him off his oxygen. With the threat of illness around, not to mention his need still to learn to swallow, or at least for us to be sure that he can, having the oxygen on hand is a practical safety net. Everyone, including you and me, drops in oxygen saturation at times, like when we sleep or when we fly. For us it doesn’t matter much, because we’re starting from the top. But Calder doesn’t have that luxury. Dr. K also said that when we start him on solids (timing dependent upon results of the upcoming swallow study) he may need a little help in the O2 department. So it sounds like the tanks will be around for a little while. There is no magic age where we know Calder can do without it; trial and error for a while.

one shoe
no shoes!
Calder seems to be somewhat accustomed to having the cannula taped to his face, though, so a little bit longer may not bother him too terribly much. That said, his new favorite game is to eat his hands, and I think he gets bonus points if he pulls his cannula into his mouth first, so mom and dad have to keep an eye out to ensure he isn’t always oxygenating his top lip.

We also tried to gain some clarity on his immune system situation. I was surprised to learn that typically the immune system is not considered fully developed until somewhere around when we’re seven years old. I’m sure the answer varies according to certain circumstances, sex being one of them, but it makes sense of course, knowing that little kids tend to get sick more frequently than adults or even older kids. Dr. K told us to put off flying with him for as long as we could manage. He knows we are anxious to get him to both our hometowns, and although Cincinnati is a reasonable drive, New Orleans/ Baton Rouge is more of a road trip than we can handle. He says there are two issues with plane travel. The first is obvious: infection. The chances of infection increase when a couple hundred people are packed like sardines into a tight space and breathing recycled air, especially during flu season. The second is the oxygen. Calder is on very low amounts by most standards; although the levels make a difference for him, they’d barely register with an adult. But you cannot fly with your own tank; you have to preorder one that meets FAA standards, and that oxygen only comes in two varieties: 2L or 4L, both much higher than what Calder needs, even with the expected drop in saturation while up in the air. Not to mention that each commercial airline has its own policy, and the process for approval and making provisions sounds anything but easy. Flying is unlikely to be in Calder’s future (and thus mine) for a long time.

So we're at home, we're at home a lot, we are at home ALL THE TIME. We watch a lot of football and cheer for all our teams. Granted, that didn't go so well this year, at least not so much at the end of the year for our Ohio teams. But we wear the gear all the same.


We gave up on the outfits and decided to go generic football. We root for the underdog and for snow days for Daddy.

"Daddy's All-Star"

1 comment:

  1. I love his facial expressions! So cute! :) He looks like he's getting huge!