Monday, December 7, 2009

Vested Interest

When Levi was about three weeks old, we found out that he has cystic fibrosis (CF). There are a number of daily meds and therapies that come with the diagnosis, one of which is chest percussion and drainage (PD). Till now, we've been doing PD by hand, but have been waiting until Levi was big enough for a therapy vest. It came last week, and it was an exciting day for a couple of reasons. We won't be doing it by hand anymore (I know I'm a wimp, but it's kind of tiring), and the vest will do a better, more consistent job than we ever could.

It's a pretty funny contraption - the vest itself is black canvas, and contains an air bladder inside. Two hoses run from the vest to a little machine, and when it runs, the air bladder inflates, and then the vest deflates and inflates at a rapid rate - up to 25 times per second. The technical name is high-frequency chest wall oscillation. To an ignorant layman (that would be me), it just looks like the vest is jiggling.

We were warned that Levi might really hate this until he got used to it, so we were geared up for a fight. He did cry a little bit the first time, right at the beginning, but he recovered quickly and really doesn't seem to mind at all. I'm so thankful! Paul has worked out that we can put him in his highchair if we take the tray off, pull the highchair up to the computer, and let him watch Rolf Harris videos (if you've never heard of Jake the Peg, do yourself a favor and go watch this).

Bonus: The vest makes you sound funny when you talk. Good for cracking yourself up and amusing your mother.

P.S. I have about one half project remaining for the Christmas knitting. I'm taking a quick break to knit Levi a pair of good old-fashioned wool mittens with a string attaching them so he can continue to go outside with his papa. We can currently only find one glove at a time, and it is cold out there. Here they are without the string.


Tracy said...

He's such a sweetie pie!
I'm glad the vest is working out for all of you.