After a long heart to heart with my pediatrician last week, he gave me reason to believe my children might actually be suffering from severe allergies. He felt confident the cough is caused by a post nasal drip, and not from fluid in the lungs. This would be a wonderful diagnosis for several reasons. It would mean the coughing is not damaging to their lungs and that there might actually be some treatment available.
Ellery has been tested for allergies, but the pediatrician said their are more accurate tests she has not had. We will go see an allergist in the next couple of months. While neither Brent nor I suffer from allergies, we both have parents and siblings who suffer greatly. And I may have mild allergies. When I was an infant I was hospitalized for allergies and as a young girl, the doctors said I had an "allergy nose." (I guess this is when you constantly wipe your nose by pushing it upwards. You end up with a line on your nose.) But I would never consider myself suffering from allergies.
I have always been so skeptical of allergies because my children's symptoms are so consistent and began at the moment they were born. They do not change with season, location, inside or outside, time of day etc. I guess they could just be allergic to life in general? Emmett does suffer from eczema, which is an autoimmune reaction similar to allergies. Allergies would by far be the more common explanation. I have been given renewed hope that this might be the explanation.
We have taken measure to prevent allergic conditions. We have an extremely sensitive and aggressive, air filter we run 24 hours a day in our home. This is a sacrifice for me, because it is loud and really ugly. They are most commonly used in doctors offices or in smoking homes. We have carpet in only 3 rooms in our house, and it was replaced 6 months ago. We don't have cockroaches (disgusting I know, but they are a major cause of perennial allergies). Do the hospitals have cockroaches and dust mites that they children were exposed to upon birth? Ellery has also been treated with inhaled steroids, decongestants, saline, bronchodilators with no improvement.
I had hoped this weekend we could eventually wean Berkeley off the oxygen, but she seems to still need 1/4 of a liter to keep her sats in the high nineties. We will see what her pediatrician says tomorrow. This is a hard one for me. I think I need to get rid of this oxygen monitor though. It isn't good for my sleep or mental health. I can't find a darn thing on the internet about why a 2 month old, with mature lungs, born 2 days before full term, would need supplemental oxygen.