Tuesday, November 20, 2012

NJ's RSV Story

Back in March, I had promised a post telling the story of The Time That NJ Had RSV. I'm always on the prowl for blog topics, and when I suggest one to my future self, all the better! Stick with me. This is a good one.

Back in February of 2007, we were getting prepared for a major change. We were moving from Philadelphia to San Diego. This was a move we had planned on, in theory, for many years, but had only actually had about six weeks to prepare for, from the time we knew my husband had a job waiting there for him to the time he was to start said job. NJ was almost four months old. We had planned to rent a U-Haul trailer, load it with (hopefully) everything we owned that we didn't want to part with in our two-bedroom apartment, and set out across country. We expected it to take about a week, what with having to allow time for baby care, resting, and so on. We invited a friend of mine to come along, just to have an extra set of hands and eyes. She agreed.

We planned to leave on Friday, February 23, hoping to be in San Diego by March 2. Early in the week before we had to hit the road, NJ came down with a bad cold and cough. We took him to the doctor, where he was diagnosed with probable RSV. It didn't seem to be a severe case, so the doctor gave him an albuterol inhaler with a spacer chamber, saying that if we should need it on the drive, it would be much more portable than a nebulizer, and just as effective.

By Friday, not only was NJ still sick, but I had come down with an awful cold as well. I was coughing, congested, and generally miserable. Things were not looking up. We had decided to keep NJ's four-month "well"-baby visit for that day. Only, he was far from well. Indeed, the doctor was concerned enough about his wheezing that she gave us a nebulizer and sent us to the hospital. She told us that we should stay in the hospital overnight and that we simply could not leave for San Diego that afternoon as planned.

But at the ER, NJ was happy, playful, and had responded well to a nebulizer treatment. The pediatrician at the ER was hesitant to admit him, saying that he really wasn't that sick after all. We could handle the nebulizer treatments every four hours at home, and we should return to our pediatrician in the morning for a follow-up.

So, we spent the night in an empty apartment. Our stuff was packed and loaded in the trailer. We had no TV, no furniture except our bed and a couch that wouldn't fit in the trailer and a couple of bookshelves that we'd decided to leave behind. We had no food. My mom stayed with us and did NJ's night-time treatments, and we returned to the doctor the next morning.

He was a bit better in the morning, but the doctor insisted that we needed to continue the treatments, and we shouldn't leave town just yet, in case he got worse and needed to return to the hospital.

Well, okay. But we were supposed to be moving to San Diego! We HAD to get on the road by Sunday or we wouldn't make it to San Diego in time for my husband to start his new job.

What choice did we have? We scrapped our plans. The trailer was unloaded and returned to U-Haul. We hired movers to come pick up the stuff on Sunday morning. My husband would head out by car Sunday afternoon, and I would fly with NJ and my friend to Los Angeles the following Tuesday to wait for him. We would stay at my aunt's house in LA until we reunited, then drive down to San Diego together and wait for the movers.

And that was that. My husband hit the road Sunday afternoon, headed to Pittsburgh for his first overnight stop with a cousin there. NJ and I went to my mom's to spend a couple of nights until our Tuesday evening flight. I was still feeling very sick, but NJ started to do better. By Tuesday, I was starting to feel human again, thank goodness.

My friend and I flew out with NJ, as planned. He handled the trip like a pro, and everything went very smoothly. My husband arrived in LA on Wednesday evening, having made incredibly good time. Without a baby or trailer to slow him down, he had driven a good 800 to 900 miles a day!

NJ recovered just fine, obviously, although he was left with some reactive asthma that rears its ugly head occasionally. It amazes me to think how much our lives have changed since that move. Our family has grown by two children, we've bought a house, and we're quite settled here in southern California. It still makes for a good story, though!

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