Inconsolable irony of Breathing

Rowan is sick. Again. I remember well the welcome-to-daycare series of plagues, but for Rowan a regular cold seems to turn into something more. This is the third time I’ve taken him in for coughing, with the second time being the dreaded RSV and hospital admission. I think he has had more sick visits in the eight months since his hospital discharge than Lorelei has in her entire six years. He’s on his second ear infection, and we’ve gone through almost an entire box of Xoponex nebulizer treatments. He spent hours last night screaming inconsolably.

There’s no way to know if this is related to prematurity, genetics, or random happenstance. I had recurrent ear infections as a kid and have had asthma most of my life. I was hoping my children would dodge that bullet because they live in a time with far less second-hand smoke. In the early 80s the air was half nicotine. We sat in cars, houses, and restaurants with smoke wafting through the air, so it’s no wonder I have asthma.

By contrast, Rowan has been exposed to almost no cigarette smoke.

He was exposed to breathing before he should have been. He got the steroid shots via my ass and came out breathing on his own, never intubated or needing oxygen support. So I thought we were out of the woods for any preemie-related lung issues. And indeed, nobody can seem to give me any statistics or researched information about his risk. It’s not that it really matters — it is what it is. He’ll either have issues or he won’t.

And it seems like he will. The doctor said that it’s likely that this is the beginning of asthma, and that he will have breathing issues with most illnesses. His suggestion was to use the nebulizer at the first sign of a cold.

It is so frustratingly ironic that the 31 week baby who came out breathing on his own is now having trouble breathing. Then again, I have a cat named Squirt who had to have his penis removed because he couldn’t pee.

That escalated quickly.

The point is that I am comfortable with irony, I just prefer it to be a little more benign and to quit messing with my family’s health.

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