Bronchiolitis and (Probably) RSV

I’m so sick Daddy

Aellyn has been really sick for a few days now.  She has bronchiolitis which is inflammation of the bronchioles – small airways leading to the lungs.  It is caused by a virus and, in about 50% of cases, that virus is Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).  I love my pediatricians non-chalant, no-fear approach.  He said that bronchiolitis can be caused by a number of viruses including rhinovirus (common cold) but that RSV has a good agent and marketing department because it ends up on the cover of parenting magazines. 

Regardless, the point is that RSV is not an “illness” but a virus that can cause illness, like pneumonia or, in our case, bronchiolitis.  Because it is a virus there is no treatment (like antibiotics for bacteria).  We basically have to wait for Aellyn’s immune system to defeat the virus and in the meantime ensure she can breathe!

Here is a video of Aellyn yesterday morning.  This might look scary (and trust me it was from a mom perspective) but I’m posting it to show one of the major signs of bronchiolitis.  Notice her throat “caving in” with each breath – this is called retraction.

She is taking breathing treatments with a nebulizer and Albuterol and Pulmacort.  She also got a steroid shot yesterday (her first shot since we don’t vaccinate and didn’t do vitamin K at birth).  Today she is back to sounding like she has a chest cold.  No more retraction and short, labored breaths.  She slept well last night as did we.  And she’s is eating a nursing again.  Yesterday was the first time Aellyn didn’t want to nurse since the second she was born (that girl loves the boob!).

The nebulizer is not a good time for anyone.  She basically screams in misery the whole time.  I feel so sympathetic with parents who have colicky babies!  Aellyn has never really had to cry before for any time (the car seat being the big but rare exception).  Pete mentioned that he can’t imagine hearing her cry like that in her crib!  Also, I would NOT have slept a wink the past few nights without cosleeping.  I was so tuned in to her breathing with her right next to me and she got the comfort of knowing mom was there if a particularly bad cough startled her awake.  I simply can’t imagine it any other way.


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4 thoughts on “Bronchiolitis and (Probably) RSV

  1. So glad to hear she is doing better. What a comfort to know that she is being Attachment Parented. Can’t wait to see her happy self again.

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  2. Sorry to hear the little one is not feeling well. It is always hard for us moms to see our kids sick! My little guy has been suffering with RSV for 2 months now. He is just 5 months old and has been miserable.

    His doctor gave me a binky nebulizer, and he does great with it. He sucks while it does it’s job. Maybe something like that would work for your little one?

    When he 1st got sick, he was refusing breast too. I was finally able to get him to drink “some” from a bottle. After a few days of refusing nursing, I was just pumping for bottles, well now, he will not nurse at all.

    It gets worse…we spent the day at the hospital getting labs, and I had no pump! He would not nurse, so one of the nurses offered him one of those bottles of baby formula they give newborsn at the hospital. That is all it took for my little man to refuse breastmilk all together now!

    This RSV has not only made my little man very ill for months now, it also took my baby away from the breast way to soon!

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  3. Sorry to hear the little one is not feeling well. It is always hard for us moms to see our kids sick! My little guy has been suffering with RSV for 2 months now. He is just 5 months old and has been miserable.His doctor gave me a binky nebulizer, and he does great with it. He sucks while it does it's job. Maybe something like that would work for your little one?When he 1st got sick, he was refusing breast too. I was finally able to get him to drink "some" from a bottle. After a few days of refusing nursing, I was just pumping for bottles, well now, he will not nurse at all.It gets worse…we spent the day at the hospital getting labs, and I had no pump! He would not nurse, so one of the nurses offered him one of those bottles of baby formula they give newborsn at the hospital. That is all it took for my little man to refuse breastmilk all together now!This RSV has not only made my little man very ill for months now, it also took my baby away from the breast way to soon!

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