Friday, December 8, 2017

Welcome, Vest

Our pulmonologist of 23 years now has a partner. Another doctor working in the CF clinic, listening to lungs, prescribing medications, getting throat cultures, drawing pictures on the table . . . and encouraging me to get Addie going with a vest. Yes indeed. He told me that he wanted her using one. Dr. Roberts doesn't care for them, I said. Yes, but I do, he said. My heart started pounding, and friends ~ I started to cry.
She looks confident

 I don't cry. Well, only over movies and books, but not health stuff; I've gotten cold over the years. I was so embarrassed at my reaction and I could not process everything right there with him looking at me all concerned. This doc doesn't know our family like Dr. Roberts and probably thought I was weak-willed but I could not stop the tears from rolling. He toned it down to, Think about getting one to have in your den for when you can't clap her.

As we were schlepping through the tight hallway, on our way out with 85 pounds of drink and vitamin samples, this new doctor came out of the control room and stopped us. He looked me straight in the eye and gently told me that his vest recommendation was not due to her sounding poorly (Her lungs were clear) or raised eyebrows over my short-ish clapping sessions (10-20 minutes twice a day). He told me that it can clap all lobes at once and it's just a good thing to have. I nodded and told him thanks, sorry for crying, I don't really know why, I'll think about it all later when I'm alone and quiet.

And I did. 

* I realized that I did not want to disrespect our beloved doctor, who is still not a vest fan. 

* I realized that I did not want to admit that My Way could use some help from a machine.

* I realized that yes, I clapped Rees for 8 years until he could use a hand-held device, but by the time he was 8, I only had 6 year old John and 2 year old Clare. There's a lot more of us now. 

Rees is doing great; this is at Clare's confirmation.
* I realized that, while I still hold that the vest does not foster independence for the person with CF (after all, they are tethered to a machine), but rather fosters ease for the parents, that that ease for me is OK. 

So, my dear CF Mamas, Addie has a Hill-Rom vest in pink camouflage, decorated with camping stickers. 

Yup, I agreed 2 weeks ago. It arrived last weekend and a rep came over to show us how to use it.

I keep a tight rein on my nerves and always ask her if she wants vest or clapping and when she says clapping (usually when she's tired and wants to fall asleep with me on the sofa!), that's what we do. This old Mom has learned a new trick. More change and stretching and tears, even with me; darn it. 

I hope Dr. Roberts isn't mad at me.
Halloween, just because

   P.S. ~ Here's what it is for non-CF families!


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