Sunday, October 18, 2009

The monstrosity of an RSV letter to my friends...

I sent this email to my friends today. It's incredibly long, but it his some important points about flu and RSV season. They already know that I'm crazy hand washing/hand sanitizing lady but this was just a reminder of why and some more info. It's soooo long, but I felt it was important enough to send out.
Hi friends, If you're getting this email it's because you
a.) either watch my babies on a regular basis,
b.) have watched my babies and may again
c.) have offered to watch the babies and may at some point watch them or be around them.

I know this looks long, but it explains some of my craziness around hand washing and sanitizing.

Now that Fall is upon us and Winter is right around the corner, I wanted to take this time to remind everyone that RSV season is here (October thru April). For those of you who are unaware what RSV is, RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus), is more than just a cold. It's a serious and contagious virus for young children especially those born less than 36 weeks. (Eli and Emerson arrived at 32 weeks). What is a common cold or mild cough for us as adults can manifest itself into something more dangerous to the babies if they are exposed to it, especially our babies who were born prematurely.

It is very, very easy to contract RSV. It is spread by physical contact (such as shaking hands with an infected person) or thru the air (usually from sneezing or coughing). RSV can also live for several hours on surfaces, such as doorknobs, telephones, faucet handles, counters or used tissues, towels, etc. RSV infections are very common in areas where people are crowded together. In homes where there are multiple children, such as us, RSV can spread very rapidly from child to child. And older children can even bring the virus home from school or
a friend's house.

Eli and Emerson are considered high-risk. Marcus and I have received our flu shots but the babies have not because they are not yet old enough to get one. The babies will however receive the synagis shot. A shot that will help prevent or lessen the effects of RSV. If babies the age of Eli and Emerson get RSV it can be really problematic with breathing. If either baby gets it they will most likely have to be hospitalized due to their prematurity it may even be fatal.

Even though the babies are getting big, are doing so well, and are otherwise healthy, we still need to be extra careful (maybe even anal) about illness, especially RSV.

So with that, we would like to ask visitors, that if or when you come over, to please wash your hands before touching the babies (Which I know you already do). Please try to get a flu shot, if it's possible for you. (Of course we can't force any of you to do so but if you're so inclined). Also, please refrain from coming over if you are currently sick, or you were sick but have not been symptom-free for at least 7 days, or have been in contact with someone who is/was really sick.

We will not be venturing out much with the babies until Spring is here, unless we determine the environment will be safe and germ free for them at that particular time. (I know we sound like crazy people, sorry).

We really want to make it through the winter without ending up in the hospital. The babies lungs have come a long way, especially Emerson who need breathing assistance at birth. But their lungs are still very fragile, at least until they are two. And until them we have to be crazy germ people.

Thanks for indulging me in all of this. We appreciate the support that all you provide to us, and I truly feel at ease with the babies being in your care. I couldn't do this school thing without your help.

I also know that you all already are very diligent about washing hands, I just want to add an extra reminder since it's getting into the RSV season which is so dangerous for preemies. We are taking the threat of RSV very seriously.

Sorry, this was incredibly long. If you made it all the way through good work :~) Thanks again for all your help and support with the babies. Marcus and I cannot thank all of you enough.

Thank you all again!
Sadie, Marcus, Eli & Emerson

I got this response back from one of my friends (we have a classroom at our school called the RSV which stands for Revised Standard Version because we're just that cool around here).

I totally thought this was an email about the RSV room at first.
Never fear!  I will be washing my hands whenever I *think* of E&E.  And I don't think you sound like a crazy person at all -- just a very good mommy with two lucky little ones.

I have the best friends around here. Don't know how I would do this without them.

1 comment:

~Jess said...

Awesome letter! I think, if you don't mind, I'm going to take parts of it and email our family/friends to explain why we're not going to be letting every single person touch/hold her...especially at church (where everyone is always sick and they're all over 75).