Preemie Paranoia

While I am indescribably happy that LIttle Miss Minion is out of the NICU, I do miss the 24 access she had to trained medical professionals. Case in point: yesterday, she started refusing the last 30 mls of her bottles. She takes 110 mls normally, which is about 3 3/4 ounces. You get used to measuring things in the smallest possible units in the NICU. Anyway, she started refusing the last bit of her milk. I immediately thought of her shunt. But her fontanel feels ok, her eyes look great, she’s focusing on my face and other objects. She was happy (when I wasn’t trying to feed her) and smiling all day. But feed refusal is the first sign of a shunt malfunction. Its also the first sign of any number of other things, such as just being tired, starting to get sick, not being hungry, having gas, or just not wanting to eat.

Watching LMM go from (appearing) perfectly healthy, albeit very small, to being on a respitator when she got meningitis and sepsis really made my hypochondria go into overdrive. Overall, I think this will be to her benefit. However, it also means that every little shift from her normal behavior triggers an exaggerated response. For example, she might have stopped eating because she was getting an ear infection. That could spread to her shunt, which could spread to her brain, which could give her meningitis again. Or she might have stopped eating just because she had to poop. You can’t tell which it is from the outside. But do you want to take that chance?

Turns out that she just needed to go back on one of her reflux meds. Two doses later, she is back to normal.

Public Service Announcement: Get your flu shot. Apart from protecting yourself from being miserable, you are protecting premature babies, immune compromised people, and the elderly. Cold and flu season starts on Thursday: are you ready for it?


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