This darn cold virus!

I can’t believe this, I have never been sick within such quick succession. And I’ve never been sick for such a long time!!

Last week, Buddy aka baby Alex got a cold infection, with fever, cough and runny nose. We took him to a family clinic in the evening after my husband collected him from the infant care center. He was a little better after taking the medications. But in the middle of the night, we could hear him breathing loudly and fast, and it sounded like he was having difficulty breathing. My husband panicked and insisted we had to take Buddy to the nearest hospital. So at 3.30am, within 15 minutes, we were at Changi General Hospital, and because Buddy is an infant, he was taken directly into ER without having to wait in line.

My husband thought Buddy was wheezing and was afraid he might have an asthmatic attack. But it turned out that Buddy was only having a stuffed nose and because infant is obligatory nose-breather, he still doesn’t know how to breathe from his mouth (nor does he know how to blow his nose). So he had difficulty breathing from his nose earlier. The doctor told me if Buddy was wheezing it would sound high-pitched.

Anyway Buddy had to go for an X-ray of his lungs to make sure he didn’t have an infection. I was initially a little concerned that he had to go for X-ray at such a tender age, but the nurse assured me that it was the only way to have a good look at his lungs, and that many babies and young children have gone through it. Thank God his lungs were fine.

We were prescribed paracetamol, and antibiotics just in case the fever persists for a few days. Buddy was ok after taking the paracetamol and after we applied Iliardin into his nose. As he has baby eczema problem, there’s a possibility it may lead to asthma in future. So we’re doing whatever we can to reduce the risks, like giving probiotics to him.

Whenever Buddy falls sick, his eczema problem flares up worse than usual. He has it on his face, neck and some parts of his body. We were told it affects 20% of babies. Dr Ok prescribed special moisturizer and body shower gel for him, and also a mild steroid cream to reduce the flare-up. But you’ve to be careful with steroid cream, especially for baby. We were told we could only apply for two weeks at a time before stopping for one to two weeks. Still the steroid cream works pretty well on the eczema, and when we have to stop it and stick to the moisturizer only, the redness worsens. Anyway Dr OK told us that the eczema tends to go away as the child gets older if it’s not a genetical problem. Both sides of our families don’t suffer from eczema, so it’s likely that this is a childhood problem, and OK also assured us that it won’t leave scars on Buddy’s face.

Buddy recovered from the cold after a couple of days, but my husband and I got seriously infected after that. I can’t believe I’m falling sick on consecutive months. A nurse at the hospital told me baby virus is especially virulent. This is so true! After a week, I was still having a cough and runny nose and only starting to recover. I’m not sick as a dog since I’m still up and about, but definitely under the weather. Of course if I sleep for 13-14 hours a day, I could probably recover pretty quickly like Buddy. But I thought I’ve stronger immunity compared to him. Anyway we suspect he got infected at infant care center. This is expected. In fact it’s either he gets infected now and falls sick, or later when he joins the nursery group if he isn’t in infant care. We were told this is how children build their immune system, by falling sick, other than getting vaccinated. But you can’t vaccinate against a cold. So, even though we hope Buddy will stay healthy, we recognize that childhood illnesses are par for the course.

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