Saturday, June 14, 2008

Transplant and Kids...

One of the major issues associated with post-transplantation is your immune system. You must take immunosuppressent medications to keep your body from rejecting your lungs. Therefore, transplant patients live with an extremely weak immune system and are more susceptible to catching colds, viruses, etc., than a normal-healthy person would be. Prior to transplant, I worked in a church nursery for 3 years and babysat all the time. I took some time off from it immediately after transplant, but started back about 1 year later. People have different view points about this and mixed feelings about me working with kids. I babysit kids from newborn age up to probably around 12 years old. So far, I have yet to really catch anything from being around babies/kids. I just do this once a week and occassional babysitting jobs. I have a passion for being around kids and loving on God's little ones and feel like I'm called to serve God's peaceful kingdom.

I just got through teaching Vacation Bible School at church each day this week with the 1-year old age group. Although it was exhausting, it was so much fun and such a lovable age group. Today (or rather yesterday-Friday), we only had 4 of our usual 9 kids show up. Well, evidently the other 5 are sick. On Monday, we had our full class show up. However, Tuesday, 2 of those kids were out sick. They stayed out Wednesday as well, but came back on Thursday. Well, Thursday night three more kids got sick and the other two "original" sick kids were sick again. It turns out that all of these 1-year olds have Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD), which is extremely contagious. Adults rarely get the disease, but are definitely not ruled out. Kids under the age of 10, are the most likely to catch it. However, I have an extremely low immune system right now (lower than normally for me), and I've changed about 50 diapers this week, comforted one of the sick kids in my lap all day Thursday (I didn't know she was sick at the time though) and wiped a few snotty noses, not to mention cleaning all the surfaces which were touched by these germy kids. So the question now is...will I catch the disease and if I do...will my immune system be able to fight it off? Most people don't think I should work or be around kids, being a post-transplant patient. But it is something I love to do and I just can't give up.

2 comments:

Jane said...

You go girl! I think you continue to pray and go where God guides you. As an aside...I'm pretty sure I had HFMD when I was about 25...really bad ulcers in my mouth...but nothing more than that...hang in there!

Katey said...

Thanks. Yea..I've heard it's not too bad. All the kids had a fever associated with it too. I might have already had it earlier in life with as much i've been around kids. Who knows? So far so good! Love ya!