Benjamin has been through a lot and has come so far. And hopefully he will be home very soon. But as much as we will try to put the months at the hospital behind us, it is going to take a lot of luck and care to keep him from going back. While he is much healthier than he was, we need to be very vigilant with keeping him healthy. Because of his lung disease from prematurity and being on the ventilator so long, a simple cold, the flu or RSV can land him in the hospital and put his life at risk.
So with that said, we want to apologize in advance for seeming crazy and overprotective for a while. Because we will seem crazy and overprotective. Besides being first-time parents of a preemie, we have seen more doctors than we ever want Ben to see. Even worse – cold season is coming up fast. He has not come this far to be taken down by germs.
So for a while:
- Benjamin will need to avoid indoor crowds.
- We are going to be hand-washing hawks – washing your hands is the best way to avoid spreading disease.
- Hand sanitizer will be everywhere.
- We will be those parents with a sign on the stroller asking strangers not to touch the baby.
- We are going out to get flu shots tomorrow and we ask anyone who plans to spend a lot of time with us to get flu shots too. (This is mandatory for grandparents <that means you Pop>). (Though, flu shots are smart for everyone and you can get them everywhere – the sooner you get it in the season, the better.)
- Anyone with a sniffle, cough or ache will be be asked to stay away.
- No smoking. Smoking increases the risk of RSV and other respiratory illness in preemies.