• English
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish
  • Swedish

Insurance Funding Request

Did you know Firefly products may be funded by your insurance?

Learn More
Back to Firefly Blog

Year-Round Cold and Flu Season

Year-Round Cold and Flu Season

Before our youngest son was born eight years ago, cold and flu season didn’t seem like too big of a deal.

Each of our three kids usually came down with at least one cold during that time, and when April rolled around and the season was over, we breathed a little sigh of relief.

And then Chance arrived and suddenly cold and flu season became year-round for us.

After going into acute respiratory failure at two days old, Chance was placed on an Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine.

This treatment uses a pump to circulate blood through an artificial lung back into the bloodstream of a very ill person.

It provides heart-lung bypass support outside of the body. It looks as scary as it sounds and is very much a last resort type treatment.

He survived this, only to contract a staph infection in his lung, which required weeks of IV antibiotics and left him with compromised lungs from all the trauma he’d gone through.

Over the next few years, he was admitted to the hospital at least twice a year for respiratory issues. He would stay anywhere from a few days to two weeks.

Many of those stays required him to be on a ventilator, and all of them started with a simple cold.

As he grew older, the hospital stays became less frequent, but we also learned the hard way that respiratory issues were not always confined to the winter months.

He was in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit for a week in June of 2013 and just last August the smoke from the wildfires here in Northern CA led to pneumonia despite an air purifier in the house and wearing a filtered mask outside.

Chronic Lung Disease is deceptive and sneaky.

My kid can look fine in the morning, and by night time, his breathing is so labored we need to rush him to the ER. This has happened more times than I care to count.

It happened just a few months ago. He was acting like his usual chipper self at breakfast, but by 3pm was feverish and lethargic, and his oxygen saturation was lower than it should have been.

Chronic Lung Disease is like the dementors in the Harry Potter books; not only does it take my child’s breath away; it casts a gloom on everyone it touches when Chance is ill.

Every time he gets a cough, my mind goes straight back to seeing him hooked up to the ECMO machine; watching a machine doing his body’s work for him.

Sitting in the ER a few months ago, I was mentally preparing for admission and a possible med flight to a bigger hospital.

My mind always goes to the worst-case scenario now; I’m pretty sure it’s a defence mechanism.

That, or just straight up PTSD. This time we got lucky. He was diagnosed with pneumonia and sent home with antibiotics; we had caught it early.

Chronic Lung Disease will always be a part of our lives, and we will always be on edge every time a cold goes through the house or his classroom.

If there is a silver lining to Chronic Lung Disease, it is that it makes you slow down and learn not to sweat the small stuff.

It makes you aware of who you want to be surrounded by and who you would rather distance yourself from. It gives your perspective and shows you how resilient and strong kids can be.

It has also shown me how strong I can be as a mother, as it has forced me to make decisions I never dreamed I’d have to make.

It has also taught me how to advocate for my son and myself. Most of all, it has taught me that there are always life lessons to be learned.

Firefly Blog

Real life stories, issues and experiences of day to day life by special needs parents and
healthcare professionals.

Jennifer Arnold

Meet Our Blogger

I’m passionate about raising awareness about disability issues through education and outreach. When I’m not wearing my writer hat, I’m usually trying to control the beautiful chaos in my home.

View Jennifer’s Profile

Become a Firefly Blogger

Would you like to write for Firefly? Join our blogger network of parents, therapists and professionals.

Get In Touch

Become a subscriber today

Join over 40,000 subscribers to our weekly newsletter with insightful articles just when you need them.

Join Mailing List

By using our site you agree to our use of cookies. Click here for more info.

Accept & Close

No Interest if paid in full in 6 months on

Purchases on $99+

US Customers only. Subject to credit approval. See terms below

Paypal Credit

Pay now or pay over time with PayPal Credit. Just use PayPal Credit in PayPal checkout.

Subject to credit approval.

Purchases of $99+:

No Interest if paid in full in 6 months on purchases of $99 or more.

  • A minimum monthly payment is required and may or may not pay off the promotional purchase by the end of the 6 month period.
  • No interest will be charged on the purchase if you pay it off in full within 6 months. If you do not, interest will be charged on the purchase from the purchase date at the Purchase APR applicable to your account.
  • For New Accounts: Variable Purchase APR is 25.49%. The APR is accurate as of 6/1/2018 and will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate (as defined in your credit card agreement). Minimum interest charge is $2.00.
  • Individual items that are less than $99 qualify for special financing when combined for a total of $99 or more in a single transaction.
  • Multiple separate transactions of less than $99 per transaction cannot be combined to meet the minimum purchase amount.

Purchases of $98.99 or less:

Buy now and pay over time with PayPal Credit when you spend $98.99 or less.

  • If you pay your balance in full each month by the payment due date that is on your statement, you can avoid paying interest.
  • Or, make minimum monthly payments, or any additional amount of your choosing, until you've paid off your balance according to your standard account terms. Please note, interest charges may apply.
  • We'll send you email reminders when your payments are due. You can also keep track of your account and view your statements online at any time.

About PayPal Credit

  • PayPal Credit is a reusable credit line available on purchases at thousands of stores that accept PayPal. It's also available for purchases on eBay and exclusively at thousands of other online stores. Plus, it comes with the same security and flexibility you trust from PayPal.
  • If approved, we start you off with a minimum credit line of at least $250. See FAQs for more info.
  • For New Accounts: Variable Purchase APR is 25.49%. The APR is accurate as of 6/1/2018 and will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate (as defined in your credit card agreement). Minimum interest charge is $2.00. See Terms and Conditions tab for more info.
  • If you miss a payment your late fee could be up to $38, even less if it's your first time. See FAQs for more info.

Please wait...