Monday, January 18, 2010

RSV Finally Darkens Our Doorstep

Remember RSV? If you take a look back at our post from 27 September 2008 you'll see some of our first discussion about this nasty bug. Back then, RSV would have almost certainly meant a speedy trip back to the hospital for M&M for another lengthy stay. Concern for RSV was so significant back then that the kids received monthly immunization shots to the tune of about g-note each for every dose. Well worth it. (Thanks again to TriCare.)

Well, a few days ago, Milo started to acquire what appeared to be another basic cold. His cough became more persistent, he developed a fairly low grade fever (about 100), and after listening to some pretty intense coughing overnight we decided to pay a visit to the pediatrician today. It didn't take the doctor long to diagnose the problem -- it seems RSV has been making the rounds for the past week and she had already seen several cases over the last few days.

The good news. Despite a lot of well-deserved hysteria last year, Milo was in pretty good shape. His lungs sounded ok, and there was no plan at all for a hospital visit. Other than sitting through three nebulizer sessions a day for the next few days (which, by the way, are pretty awful) the RSV should pass in another few days without much more to it. Poor Milo absolutely hates the nebulizer, so hopefully he'll get over it quickly.

Although Milo passed the RSV to Dad (which is basically just an annoying head cold for me), neither Maddy nor Elaine has shown any symptoms at all. Given how contagious RSV is, and the fact that the twins share pretty much everything, it's pretty surprising. I wouldn't bet on it lasting. We have a trip to Tahoe planned for the end of the month, so hopefully it will be well past by then.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Mustache-A-Thon 2010!

As some of you know, I'm competing in the 5th Annual Beard500 - Mustache Division. It's fair to say that few things remind us of Megan's List like seeing me with a mustache. So, how can I turn such a force for ill repute into something that brings some good? Recently, a well-intentioned friend offered to buy me a giant trophy if I immeidately dropped out of the Beard500 and shaved off Mus-Caliber. And thus a great idea was born. So, here's the plan -- I will gladly shave off this hideous thing once I have raised at least $300 to benefit NICU families at Alta Bates (Milo & Maddy's alma mater). I will use the $300 to buy twelve $25 gift certificates for the families of infants at the NICU to use for purchases of food, local services, baby items, etc.

As Elaine and I learned during the four and a half months of M&M's hospitalization at Alta Bates, the financial toll can be huge. We spent roughly 6+ hours a day in the NICU, which means a lot of meals out, parking, and fuel expenses every day, in addition to reduced income. Many families are financially strapped to begin with, and worrying about how to pay for a decent meal or a parking garage should be the last concern for a family struggling with a very sick baby/babies.

So how can you help? Easy, contribute whatever you can. Whether the reason is to finally see the demise of Mus-Caliber or to support a great cause, give til' it hurts! I don't have any particular system for collection, and you'll have to trust my accounting. You can donate a few different ways: OPTION (1) If you have an account with PayPal, use PayPal to transfer money by going to Login, then select the "Send Money" tab; enter email address rstiles3 at gmail dot com (obviously write it like a normal email address - that's just to protect me from spambots); then enter the amount; and select the "Personal" tab and the "gift" option. OPTION (2) Send a check to me (email me for the address if you don't have it); or OPTION (3) the easiest, hand me cash. If you prefer, you can buy the gift certificate yourself -- there is a Whole Foods right next to Alta Bates and I'm sure something like Babys-R-Us would also be welcome.

Finally a bonus option: Anyone who contributes more than $50 will be entered in the drawing to personally shave off this hideous thing.