RSV: Respitory syncytial virus

RSV: Respitory Syncytial Virus

If you are wondering, like me about the S, in rSv. Syncytial means: multinucleate mass of cytoplasm that is not seperated into cells.

RSV is a common virus with cold like symptoms. Not usually dangerous for the typical child and adult. Their immune systems usually take care of it in a few weeks. But it can be dangerous for children who are at risk like those born premature, those with lung problems, and the immunocompromised.

Here are some factiods about RSV:
  • It's the most common cause of lower respiratory tract infections in children worldwide.
  • Virtually all children contract it by the age of three.
  • It's the leading cause of pneumonia and bronchiolitis in infants.
  • It may play a major role in the pathogenesis of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
  • It causes significant morbidity and mortality in immunodeficient patients.
  • It spreads easily from person to person through contact with respiratory secretions.
Ladybug was given shots to prevent RSV for her first two years of life. This is a common practice for premature infants, since during the first 24 months of life, RSV can lead quickly to bigger issues. Ladybug girl presented symptoms of a cough and fever a few weeks ago and later on a runny nose. It is her first time with RSV and as a child with chronic lung disease of prematurity, makes me a little nervous as her mama. We have been treating her with tylenol, xoponex and pulmicort, and some cough medicine at night to help her sleep. It has taken her some time, but she seems to be at the end of this yucky virus. She used to loathe her fish face mask, but now as long as we keep her entertained, is great about holding it herself and doing her breathing treatments. We think having PFT tests as an infant, which forced her to cry through a mask, began this fear and traumatized her.

As a lung transplant patient who is immunocompromised, this virus has been the first that has given me a high febrile temperature and has given me trouble with breathing since I was transplanted. Whenever you have high temps or dropping PFT levels, it is a sign of infection and time to call your transplant coordinator. I called mine, and they told me to head over to the local ER for tests. I tested positive for RSV, was given fluids and a prescription for Ribavirin and sent home.

Now this is the part that makes me a little upset. Of all my ye
ars of life, never have I been denied a drug by my insurance company, except for a vitamin which I can handle. My insurance denied the oral Ribavirin because, "coverage is provided for use in combination with an alpha interferon for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C. " The drug seems to be mainly used for this purpose, but if you read further, it is also used for respiratory purposes. So, instead of purchasing a simple drug on my behalf I was put inpatient to be treated. Yes, insurance company: deny me a drug so you can instead pay for a 5 day hospital stay, that will save you some money! : )

In the end, it is a good thing the insurance company denied me I suppose, since I do have RSV related pneumonia. Plus, having RSV puts one at risk for BOS, which I definitely want to stay away from! All things happen for a reason, right?

Antibiotics are only effective against bacterial infections and viruses are generally a little trickier which is why they say, "there is no cure for the common cold." My RSV is be treated by inhaling an antiviral teratogenic and mutagenic drug called Ribavirin. I inhale it with this mask which is attached to a small particle aerosol generator and am covered in this lovely plastic tent. Duke, if one of the few hospital centers who performs this aerosol treatment. I get to inhale this breathing treatment at night for 6 hours. I will complete this treatment after 5 days. My nose blocks up with the chalky crystals every 45 minutes. As soon as the six hours is up, I take off my mask and fall into a deep, restful sleep.

I miss my family very much during this 5 day hospital stay.

I am using skpe for the first time and have enjoyed skyping with Mr. L, my family, and especially our children. The super bowl was last night, but skyping with my daughter was the highlight of my evening! I miss my Ladybug kisses very much. I miss our Fosterbug's hugs. And I miss Mr. Lovebug who has been amazing through this all and can't wait to get home to the Lovebugs 3.

The nurses, doctors, and staff at Duke continue to make me thankful for the blessings of incredible care at this top notch facility. As hard as it is to be away from my family, the nurses here are like family and make my stay feel like, home away from home.

I also have received letters at Duke from family, friends and strangers letting me know they are praying and thinking of me and sending love and encouragement my way. These kind words touched my heart and soul. If you sent one of those letters, I can't tell you how much that impacted me. Thank you.

A big game is coming up this Wednesday here in Durham, NC. UNC vs. DUKE. I will depart the hospital that day with this cheer:



  1. Feel better soon, Tricia! I'm glad you have such great (and compassionate) medical care.

  2. So glad that you have such great care at Duke. Hope those chalky crystals work and you feel better soon to get home to your lovebugs!

  3. Praying for you to be well soon Tricia and back at home with all the BUGS!!! I am so thankful you are getting the great care you need right now. Praying for your family who is missing you big time right now too. You will be home soon:)

    Love and Hugs, Laurie

  4. YIKES..
    I guess maybe you can take this as a little break from the world. Well, with people coming in every hour or more maybe not. I hope you are up and out soon.

  5. Oh my dear Tricia... you seem to manage to keep going in spite of all the troubles you have had to face in life. The insurance game we all have to play in this life... criminal. Hang in there! I am routing for you... keeping you all in my prayers.


  6. Hope you are both feeling much better soon!

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