Sunday, January 4, 2015

Pneumonia Free!!

We are approaching ONE year pneumonia free for my sweet Madelyn.  This is a HUGE step toward living a normal life and breathing easy.  Let me start at the beginning...the beginning of her sweet existence.  Three and a half years ago we were deep in the throws of a complete home remodel. We were broke, no place to call home, we had 3 children 4 and under, a lien on our home and a lawsuit (and lawyers fees) that was making it difficult for us to breath. We were surprised with the news that another sweet baby would bless our lives. It was a huge slap in the face , a giant dose of reality.  We were convinced that with our current situation not only financially but our lifelong goals, that our family was complete.  To put it simply, we were TIRED.  As awful as it sounds I spent 9 months in denial.   I knew for certain Madelyn would be the LAST baby, Then I embraced a cuddly 7 lb. bundle of joy.  For hours we called her Spencer, we thought she was a boy.  I sometimes wish we would have kept the name for her....it kinda just fit.  

I was insistent that she was born before her due date (Thanksgiving). I wanted everyone to be home to celebrate our first holiday together in our completed home.  However, God works in mysterious ways.  She was born on the 15th of November, released from the hospital....and RE-Admitted on THANKSGIVING day for her lengthy stay.  It was the nightmare that movies are made of.  It was Camryn all over.  Her liver wasn't functioning to excrete the Bilirubin from her body and her Jaundice was reaching extremely high levels.  This time I couldn't hold her, rock her or change her on my own.  She was locked in, what Scott and I refer to as a Darth Vader like chamber.  As her body grew, her body began to function and she was released.  I cried, that time was the longest I had been away from the other children, but I refused to leave her side. 

Fast forward to ONE!!! The last of the First Birthday Celebrations, kinda bitter sweet. If you have children you know that with the turning point of the first birthday comes many 'firsts'.  There is the introduction to new foods, walking, first words; a whole new world opens up.  But for Madelyn this was a the beginning of a downward spiral.  First bout with bronchitis, first pneumonia, first blood draws, first steroids. This played out for over a year.  The doctors explained that with each pneumonia irreversible damage is being caused.  Her lungs are still immature and they need be able to relax.  She was prescribed Steroids and Antibiotics what seemed like every 7 weeks for over a year. I knew she couldn't take much more.  Her body was so doped up, I wondered how she could function. FINALLY she was referred to allergy.  THANK GOD!!!! She was diagnosed with Asthma and given preventative care.

Since her diagnosis I have research the best possible lifestyle for Madelyn.  We discovered she is allergic to eggs and milk.  This was the cause of the pneumonia onset at age one.  Age one you are introduced to whole cows milk....well, that just doesn't work for Madelyn.  Her Doctors believe there may be more allergens and the discovery of those will come with time.  She maintains a fairly strict diet of fresh RAW foods.  I had no idea there was an 'asthma friendly' diet, but as I researched more I learned so much. At three we are working with her on knowing what she can and cannot eat, it is hilarious to watch her climb up in the fridge and say, "No cow milk".  She has tried preschool and her immune system is just too weak. Not because of asthma....but because of the medications she has been on.  One week of school and she came home with Bronchitis, Pre-Pneumonia.  Sometimes I sound like a protective freak, and I may be just that....but when your baby turns blue you will do what ever it takes to NEVER see that again.

One Year free of Pneumonia is exciting news!!   Not only because that means fewer sleepless nights and pain, but It means we are on the right track in preventing the attacks.  The birth of a child is an amazing thing. You never know what lay ahead as they take their first breath, what they will become or do in this life.  It dawns on me that just maybe GOD has something huge in store for Madelyn; after all she exudes love.

 “Sometimes I feel so full of love that there is no room for a breath.”  

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