Thursday, January 25, 2007

Adaptive Clothing

Tomorrow Demeter has her appointment for the RSV vaccine. She gets the vaccine every three weeks, since its not a live vaccine, and wears off after a little while.

Before Demeter got her first RSV vaccination, she got the virus from her big sister and she (we!) were hospitalized for a few days. She actually didn't get nearly as sick as alot of the kids there, but it took a few days for her breathing to get strong enough for her to feed normally. It was (of course) crappy to be in the hospital, but I saw it as a dry-run for what we're going to experience when we're staying there after her surgery. I learned where the showers were, who to get pump kits from, and how little sleep you get on those little pull-out beds they have next to the babies' cribs.

One (little) thing that drove me nuts during the RSV stay was how difficult it was to keep Demeter warm and covered with all those tubes coming out of her. Her regular sleepers didn't fit over the IV, and didn't allow easy access for the doctors and nurses to do their tests; regular receiving blankets just didn't stay on her. Special clothes for those staying for a while in the hospital (or those with physical disablities) are available for adults - they're called adaptive clothing. I haven't found anything that really works well for babies, so I've been thinking alot about how to design some kind of sleeper that comes apart at the top for easy access to Demeter's chest (like this). Maybe it will help us feel a little more like normal people when we're in the wards (immediately after surgery Demeter will be covered in tubes and anaesthetized - she won't need any clothing there!).

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