Friday, November 23, 2007

Did you know...

that "although whooping cough can occur at any age, it's most severe in unimmunized children and in infants under 1 year of age (early immunization can usually prevent this serious disease in babies). But more cases have been reported in teens and adults, because their immunity has faded since their original vaccination. That's why the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently recommended that kids who are 11-18 years old get a booster shot that includes a pertussis vaccine, preferably when they are 11 to 12 years old." (Read the rest of the article HERE.)

Now how would I have become aware of this little known fact, at least little known to ME before this past week??

Last week our oldest daughter Amanda, who lives in Boston, came home for a four day visit. Despite a rather severe cold, she prepared all of Thanksgiving dinner which I was too sick to enjoy as much as usual, but was very happy for regardless. The rest of the family tucked in and enjoyed every morsel. I enjoyed several turkey sandwiches the following two days as Amanda had thoughtfully bought and cooked TWO turkeys to ensure left overs for us to enjoy, even after she had gone. I also ate most of the left over Apple Crisp my second oldest daughter, Jennifer had contributed to the dinner.

Dinner over, followed by two hours of washing dishes on Sunday and it was almost time for Amanda to depart for the airport. Sadly, we all grouped around and hugged her and I said a prayer of protection for her flights back to Boston. To keep tears away from little ones - I kept reminding them that Amanda would be back in just a few weeks for Christmas.

But I digress. My apologies.

A few days later Amanda called to tell us the results of her Doctor's visit for what we all assumed was a bad cold complicated with a sinus infection. Our daughter has somehow picked up WHOOPING COUGH also known as Pertussis.

So eleven z-packs later and waiting to see who needs boosters; I am calmly handing out pills to those eleven and older and dosing the younger ones with yummy sticky syrup that they all hate.

For those of you who may not have known that this greatly needed vaccination is possibly wearing out as the clock ticks away the minutes and years in your adolescent's life - now you know. So call your child's doctor today and see if your adolescents need a booster. I believe we will be needing about four of these boosters, unless Elsa missed hers. In which case we will be getting five. But with one child with severe asthma and another with a heart condition - I am very grateful for the antibiotics, the vaccinations and the co-operation of all of the medical offices that were involved in treating our family. They made what could have been a very complicated situation go very smoothly. Read more!

clean hands, clean hearts

As we drove to Thanksgiving Mass yesterday, I was informed that someone had failed inspection and had dirty nails. Jonathan and I switched places and I inspected the culprit's nails. Two year old Elsa's nails were indeed very dirty! I quickly cleaned them, and as I worked on them, she and I chatted about the importance of being clean, especially in God's house. 'We want when Jesus smiles down on us from His little house behind the Alter - we want all of us to be clean for him," I told her. She nodded soberly with her quick short nods as only she can do.

I suddenly realized that a great teaching moment had been awakened for me to share with five year old Emma who was sitting behind Elsa, in her car seat.

"Emma?" I said as I turned around to look at her. "Let me see your nails please." She quickly showed me her clean little hands and smiled when I pronounced them clean. Very clean!!

"Now, how about your heart?" I asked. "Is your heart clean?"

She thought quietly for a second, her right hand resting just about where her heart should be.

The slowly she nodded. "Yes Mummy, my heart is clean. I hasn't eaten anything since supper last night. Just a little drink of water at bedtime. " Read more!