There are times when I get some perspective on suffering and it is possible to write this post. (Possibly I was curled up on the couch looking at the Christmas tree, Wills and Eliza were asleep, Virginia wasn't coughing, and Findley had just delivered my first grande, nonfat, two splenda latte in a week.)

But then the night comes, and the cough throws us back into the vice grip of death. I am not exaggerating- if you could hear it, you would understand.

Embracing the big picture of suffering doesn't make day to day pain any more tolerable. It doesn't hurt any less to watch my baby cough until she throws up. It doesn't take away the fear in my heart over what may lie ahead if we can't shake this cough. I wish it did, but it doesn't.

Our life is more of a roller coaster than usual right now. Virginia isn't sleeping well. She coughs a lot during the night and in the morning. By about 10 am, she sounds ok and we begin our day. But I am so tired I am not playing with a full deck of cards.

We are keeping Virginia out of school for the foreseeable future. If she keeps getting sick, it's impossible for us to make headway on the cough.

We saw the pediatric allergist yesterday. Obviously we've seen him before, but he got to hear her cough yesterday and I could tell it scared him. (and what he heard was nothing because we saw him in the afternoon). He thinks it's too deep to be just upper airway and when he saw the path report on her lung tissue, he felt like it is pretty obvious she is aspirating significantly.

He feels like she is struggling with reactive airway issues- that her lungs and airway are irritated from a combination of aspirating, viruses, and allergies. He is being very aggressive with her and feels like it is imperative to reverse this trend now. We do not want this to become her new baseline.

Today we started doing 6 breathing treatments a day of three different meds. Also started back on two steroids and a major antibiotic. And two more meds that I don't exactly know what they do- you know I'm tired if I just blindly follow instructions!

We also found out V is pretty allergic to dogs. She's been tested before with no results, but yesterday, she had a huge welt on her arm and tremendous redness from the dog test. So...Huck and Sawyer are at the vet today, I am having my whole house professionally cleaned (not by Mary:), and we are trying to figure out what to do. Obviously they can't be in the house anymore, but I don't think they will transition to being outside dogs at age 10. We love them, it is sad, but V's health comes first. It anyone wants two sweet, ten year old labs, let me know.

We see the ENT next week to discuss taking out V's adenoids, and go back to the allergist and pulmonologist the following week.

I am trying to give Virginia almost nothing by mouth to see if this helps. Pray she isn't frustrated or hungry. I feel like she is so isolated from the rest of the world, but I can't do anything about it.

Please pray for her cough. We have had a serious decline in health over the last six months and want to head back in the other direction!

Lost another tooth...

Christmas parade...