Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Breathe in

Maggie went to school. She seems to be coming down with something, but it is not here yet. I almost kept her home yesterday, but at the last minute decided to let her go. There is a nurse with her all day anyway. If Maggie were really feeling lousy, the nurse would know and call me. I was prepared to go get her and bring her home if need be. She made it all day, but she was wiped out when she got home. Today, she’s a little better. Go figure.

It is difficult to gauge things with Maggie. The tiniest cold can become full-blown pneumonia and put her in the ICU. Other times a terrible cold will just run its course and be gone. I don’t want to over react, but I don’t want to under react either. It is a fine balance.

It used to be that my instincts were spot on. I knew exactly what was going on and how to react. That changed when she got the tracheostomy last year. It’s a strange new world for all of us. The trach caused so many problems and complications at first that we did not think she would survive the year. Slowly things settled down. Though the maintenance of the trach and the care it requires is intense and overwhelming, it really did help. Maggie is healthier, overall, than she was before that trach was placed. Funny what sufficient oxygen will do for a person.

Breathe in. It helps.

Maggie has many other health issues unrelated to her respiratory issues. Those are always present and my instincts are still on target in those areas. Many of those are extremely serious, but remain in the background. Those present an ongoing, but subdued concern. I know what signs to look for and how to react.

In time, I will develop the trach related instincts and be back on my game. In the meantime, I will err on the side of letting Maggie live her life. Maggie does not have much of a social life; it’s all about school. She loves getting ready, waiting for the bus, hearing the bus driver, riding to and being at school, she loves her friends, her teacher, her nurse and everyone she meets or works with during the day. Further, she needs to be away from me and out of this house. She is not the girl in the bubble. I cannot protect her from every germ and danger without shutting her away from the world.

Winter is coming. The first rain has already come and gone. Winter often means illness, especially for Maggie. I am hopeful that I will continue to hone my instincts to keep her safe and let her enjoy her life.

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