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Monday, November 08, 2010

Where We Are at with Pertussis

Havah is currently in stage two of whooping cough. Typing that out each time is going to get old fast so from now on I will just write WC. I don't even like calling it by name. It annoys me. It makes me angry to even say it.

So back to the stages of WC. Stage 1 lasts for about two weeks. The symptoms are very minor and are usually confused with the common cold. Most people miss this and pass it to the masses. This stage is when it is most contagious.

Stage 2 is where the real WC shows itself - the demon that it is. This is when you hear the real "whoop" come from children as they try to catch their breath between coughs. This is serious stuff people! Children die in this stage!

Thankfully, Havah does not have any of the severe symptoms. She does not have coughing episodes that leave her vomiting, turning blue, or having seizure like symptoms that children quite often have in this stage. Havah has two serious coughs a day. She will cough three to four times between breaths. Her eyes turn red. She takes deep breaths. On at least two occasions she has gagged as if she would throw up. On one occasion I did actually hear her "whoop". Sean (my husband) has heard her whoop on another occasion. It is absolutely the most horrible thing that a mother could hear coming from her child. This happens in the morning as little H is starting her day (though it did not happen today). It usually happens post nap also. It usually happens once I start giving her food after she has woken up (I'll tell you more about that later).

She will cough several times during the day, but the coughs sound very much like a chest cold. You know when you've had a cold. It starts in your head and moves down to your chest. Then you have to work it out of your lungs. It sounds very much like that.

Havah has never been sick before. She's never had a real cold. She's had runny noses, but they usually produced teeth. I have been relatively aggressive with her nutrition to try to help her body be strong and fight off disease. This bout with WC is a reality check and right now we are kicking it into high gear. We will not be in high gear forever (i'm saying that mostly for me), but we will be for at least the next month.

Havah is not immunized. After the reading I've been doing and conversations I've had with the Health Department I am still thankful that this is the case. I might discuss this more with you later.

Havah is taking antibiotics. She has never had them before. I could have never imagined that she would need them in her life unless there was a real emergency. Well here we are in a critical situation. So bring on the antibiotics. The antibiotics don't treat the virus. You don't treat viruses with antibiotics. It just prevents the spreading of the virus. She isn't having a super dramatic response to WC but someone else's child might! We don't want to spread it. Also, we don't want to be "holed up" for more than we absolutely have to.

Well there's where we're at.

And here's my disclaimer again...

This is not my advice to you. I'm not suggesting that I know what you should do. I'm not suggesting that I know better than your doctor. I'm not giving you advice. Whooping cough is a serious virus! This year alone 10 infants died of pertussis in California because they had been misdiagnosed. So please...if you have pertussis or your child has it TAKE IT SERIOUSLY!

And one more thing. I'm sleep deprived. I'm stressed out. I will spell things incorrectly, punctuate incorrectly and use lots and lots of dot dot dots.

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