Now that you all have your toilet paper and canned goods, I hope you’ll have some time to sit down and read about how a “common cold” virus almost killed my baby.
Like everyone else, my social media news feeds are flooded by COVID-19 themed posts. It seems like my friends and family are split 50/50 between brushing it off and taking it seriously. I love a good meme, and have even belly-laughed at a few, but underneath the “viral” humor is a very real issue that worries me to my core.
Many medical professionals have described this virus as a “common cold” type virus and claim that most people that catch it will be just fine. And honestly, most of you probably will be alright. But some people will not.
If you know our story, then you know our almost two-year old, Rowan, is part of the medically-fragile community. He was born at just 16.6 ounces and spent the first six months of his life in the NICU. He was doing so well the first two months of his life, and then, suddenly, he wasn’t.
They had to intubate him. He was yellow. His liver was failing. His lungs weren’t working. He couldn’t make his own blood and required more blood transfusions than I can count. He was extremely sick, and no one knew why. There were talks of sending him to another hospital with a liver specialist. There were thoughts that he’d need a tracheostomy. There were times I wasn’t sure we’d ever bring him home.
ALL. BECAUSE. OF. A. COMMON. COLD. VIRUS.
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Eventually, someone decided to test him for CMV, and he was positive. Ever heard of it? Probably not. It’s a virus literally everyone has had at some point. You’ve probably brushed it off as “allergies” with a runny nose or cough. If you happened to go to the doctor for it, they sent you home without meds because it was just a virus that had to run its course.
This common-cold virus called Cytomegalovirus (CMV) nearly stole my baby from me. It wreaked havoc on his liver, lungs, and nearly every other part of his body. And we are still seeing the effects today. CMV has caused slow growth, vision problems, and has nearly taken his hearing from his right ear where he wears a hearing aid. His lungs are still fragile, and we have home oxygen on standby. Because he was intubated for so long, he didn’t quite learn to suck and swallow correctly, so he is mainly tube-fed. Again, a common cold virus did this to him. For more information on CMV, check out the Mayo Clinic’s page HERE.)
I’ve shared this story about Rowan to express how fragile individuals may handle this virus. Something that affects healthy people mildly, can be a death sentence for others.
My worry is that by so many people believing it’s not a big deal, it’s going to become a BIG DEAL. It already is a devastatingly big deal in other countries. Do you have blinders on? Do you really think it won’t happen here?
My plea to our community and country is to stop taking this highly contagious virus lightly! Social distancing sucks! We’ve been in isolation at home since November 1st. We were planning first zoo trips, a second birthday party, and other fun outings now that spring had arrived and flu season was ending. I’m truly bummed that we have to continue isolating for an unknown amount of time. It’s not fun, but it is necessary. It is necessary for everyone!
There are real people (old, young, and in between) that may not survive if infected. Wash your hands and stay home as much as possible. By practicing self-quarantine you are not only protecting your family, but others as well. Follow the recommendations from medical professionals who ARE taking this seriously. It is a big deal.
How are you protecting your family from Corona Virus? Let us know in the comments below!