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A Cold Isn’t Just Cold

Francie Khalaf by Francie Khalaf Additional Needs

Francie Khalaf

Francie Khalaf

I am a wife and mother of two children with cerebral palsy. I believe in making lemonade out of lemons

A Cold Isn’t Just Cold

Sometimes it’s hard to explain to friends and family how critical their choices are in keeping Sawyer safe. During the pandemic we were extremely careful with visitors finding out later they weren’t honest about risky behaviour. For Sawyer a cold is never just a cold. While I do know that he is going to get colds, he is going to get germs, especially in school we try to maintain certain behaviours to keep him safe. We hand wash a lot and carry hand sanitizer in all bags. During cold and flu season we ask that family get a flu shot before visiting, and wash hands and sanitize frequently.

We also limit our outings with friends during cold and flu season. We be very aware of sharing food and washing our hands. It’s not always easy to explain but it’s what we do to keep Sawyer safe.

Recently Quinn came home with a cold from a neighbour. We recently opened up our restrictions on Quinn playing with friends, she has to be a kid! The neighbour wasn’t showing many signs at all and she has had dozens of colds so her immune system is prepared to handle it. We did our best to keep Sawyer and Quinn separated but they are in the same house so there is only so much we can do.

After a week Sawyer began to get congested and by 48 hours in he was so congested he was requiring oxygen during the day. Sawyer does not need oxygen on a daily basis. We have it for seizures and colds for overnights. We don’t use it during the day and when we needed it; it was a sign we needed to go in. This ended up in a 3 day hospital stay, 3 blown IVs, 2 antibiotic shots in the thigh muscle, lots of neb treatments and sleepless nights.

A cold for Sawyer isn’t just a cold, he can turn quickly and get very ill.

Often times he begins vomiting so much that he gets dehydrated. This time he wasn’t vomiting but had oxygen needs. While I know he is going to continue to battle things things; I know we can’t wrap him in a bubble. However, we can continue to be as safe as possible. We can continue to say no to family visiting that isn’t vaccinated or has recently been on a plane.

For now we are continuing to think of things as a case by case basis. They have to be kids, they have to play with friends but we can keep our bubble small. It’s a tough journey and exhausting but its so worth it to keep Sawyer out of the hospital.


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