Bert and Olive – Keeping the bugs at bay

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As Bertie’s P.A, I can tell you its been a hectic few weeks managing his diary. My little exec is in demand from every corner of the National Health Service.

Bertie was penciled in to visit the ENT specialist. Ever since he had his heart operation to close his PDA when he was a few weeks old,  his cry has been MIA. At best it is a rasping breathy whisper-cry, it really does break my heart.  I used to lay awake at night worrying that the SCBU and Neonatal nurses couldn’t hear my miracle man, therefore they wouldn’t know when he was upset to comfort him. I think I developed quite a psychosis about it. I would ring them randomly in the early hours to check he was ok, and to see how he had been in the two hours since I had left him. I’m sure they cursed me behind my back.

The specialist confirmed that his left vocal chord had been damaged during the operation, and we are to wait a few months to see if it can heal itself, or if they need to act on it. An operation might also be required to see if his voice box was damaged by the ventilator. It can affect breathing and eating as well which hadn’t even crossed my grey matter, so I am super happy that we are in the system and being monitored.

He also visited the dietician, who was happy with his weight gain, he’s now a whopping 10lb 3oz! We discussed weaning but it has been agreed to leave it for a few months, as we use his corrected age for this particular milestone, and not his chronological age. Its a minefield for a premature baby with what to expect and when, and I failed maths GCSE miserably so my face resembles a smacked bottom when they start discussing subtracting this age from that…. I just nod with conviction to ensure they think I am a genius.

Today we had Bertie’s RSV jab.  RSV is a virus much like the common cold, except in babies whose health has been compromised a weeny bit in the early months, it can turn into a serious lung infection leading to pneumonia and bronchiolitis.  As Bertie has inherited my immune system, I can guarantee he would catch every single germ that would pass under his nose and may as well take to his moses basket for the winter and hibernate until Spring arrives if we couldn’t get this immunisation.

Now I thought I was going to have to fight for this jab, as its not given out willy-nilly, its an exorbitant price and you have to hit certain criteria to be entitled to it. Luckily no dirty tricks from me required because Bertie has Chronic lung disease and because of his prematurity he is entitled to it. Although this won’t stop colds, it should ensure they dont develop into something more sinister that could hospitalise him.

I am also booked in for the flu jab this winter, again another avenue of preventive care to halt these germs from crossing our threshold.  Ive been lucky enough to get mine free of charge as I still have on- going high blood pressure from Pre-Eclampsia, (maybe not so lucky, BIG BOO to the Pre Eclampsia)  however I have booked in the other half to have his jab at the local Boots pharmacy for only £12.99. Lord thats peanuts to pay for keeping the lurgy at bay for six months.


Love Olive x