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Looking Back and Family Flu Shots

September 26, 2008 by Victoria Strong
Yesterday we went to see Gwendolyn's pediatrician, Dr. David Abbott, for a check up, check in, and family flu shots. We haven't seen him in almost two months -- a huge time lapse in our world considering there were months that we saw him every week -- some times every few days. Thinking of that reminded me of how lucky we are to have such a wonderful pediatrician. If it had not been for Dr. Abbott's diligence and conscientiousness, Gwendolyn most likely would not be here today. When Gwendolyn was 9 weeks old we took her in for a routine visit and her first round of shots. We had some concerns: she wasn't reaching for toys yet and she had just started fussing through feedings, but the morning of our appointment she was smiling and mimicking me. I even took pictures of her for our Christmas card (picture above is one of them). When we casually told Dr. Abbott about our slight concerns that afternoon, he listened and paid attention and then examined her carefully. At this point she was still smiling, but her body was definitely floppy. He went into action and had us admitted to the hospital immediately. I remember he mentioned SMA, although I had no clue what it was, but said he wasn't an expert on that disease and although we could probably wait until morning, he thought it best to be safe. Thank goodness he guided us in this way because by that night Gwendolyn was completely paralyzed, no longer smiling, and was laboring to breathe. While they didn't have to intubate her, it was very close to happening, and if we had been home, without oxygen, not alerted to a medical issue, I don't know if she would have made it. Her breathing trouble wasn't dramatic, she didn't cry or fuss, it was only when watching her belly work so hard most of the night and then begin to slow to a too slow pace at 3:00 am that we realized how very lucky we were to be in the hospital. I will never forget that feeling, realizing we were almost another SIDS statistic. She was so healthy and plump, but within 12 hours she nearly stopped breathing while she slept. This is not the typical SMA experience, however, I have now read that we are not the only family to have this sudden decline.

Anyway, flu shots went fine. We all got matching puppy bandaids. I am so glad we were able to get the flu shot already, before the major sick season begins. It doesn't mean we won't continue to be maniacal about hand washing and being away from sickness, but it hopefully will deter one sickness from entering our household.

Gwendolyn now weighs 17 pounds and 13 ounces. And is 30 1/2 inches long.

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