Thursday, December 29, 2011

Not exactly the Christmas I hoped for!

 Happy Christmas memory!

It's been a crazy month (or more).  The brief synopsis goes something like this:  Thanksgiving was fine, we finally started working on the baby's room but haven't gotten far, we did lots of fun pre-Christmas activities (Santa visits, light displays, etc), my birthday was good, we had a semi-surprise visit from my sister Lisa, and the baby was breach but has since flipped.  Oh yeah, and Dashiell ended up in the hospital the day after Christmas, after being sick for 5 days prior to that.  Which is what this post really is about, I just felt the need to preface it with some fair-to-good news first.  I should also add that he's now fine and pretty much back to his usual self, but boy was the past week a lot less fun than it should have been!

Wednesday night, right after dropping my sister off at the airport (she was in town on business but was able to spend some quality time visiting us!), Dashiell started throwing up.  He was hit by that stomach bug that about half of my Facebook friends seemed to have experienced as well.  It was rough - the poor kid was vomiting like crazy and unfortunately for us was being very stubborn about doing it in any kind of receptacle.  We tried, really we tried.  Toilet, old tupperware, anything, but he would insist that he didn't need to puke, push the bucket or whatever away, then let it fly.  Gross, and not conducive to sympathy-gaining from those of us who had to be on clean-up duty.  But I digress.  Thursday afternoon he seemed okay, then he threw up a few more times after going to bed.  I was then hit with the same virus, so poor Rick had to nurse us both back to health (thank heavens for his strong immune system!).  By Friday morning I was less disgusting but Dashiell threw up a half a glass of water about 30 minutes after he drank it.  We called his pedi and he just said to keep trying to give him sips of pedialyte (which he hates and I don't blame him - man that stuff is sweet!).  We opted for Gatorade, but even that wasn't his favorite thing.  He did drink some of it, though, and by the end of the day seemed to be getting back to his usual happy self, climbing all over me and wanting to be tickled.  The worst of it seemed like it was over!

Saturday (Christmas eve day) was fine.  I was still recovering a bit but that morning Dashiell seemed to be okay.  We were still trying to keep him on a bland diet, and encouraging him to slowly rehydrate - we didn't want him to guzzle anything and get an upset stomach again, but at the same time obviously wanted him to be drinking something.  We did notice that he didn't really want much to eat - only had a small amount of toast for breakfast, and wasn't really interested in his grilled cheese at lunch.  He had a few grapes and a banana, and I think a few pretzels, but that was about it.  After his nap - right before we were about to leave to visit Rick's grandparents - he threw up again.  Ugh!  So no Christmas eve celebration with the family for us - I didn't want D to be infecting anyone else with this awful virus.
The present Dashiell really wanted from Santa this year - an ATM bank

Christmas day started out fine - Dash was so excited about Santa's visit and his new toys!  We opened presents and played with our toys for a few hours, then headed off to Rick's parents' house to open more presents and hang out with family.  It was good!  But Dashiell was completely wiped out after lunch - which he barely ate, again, after not eating much breakfast, again.  Oh, and he gagged a bit at lunch but didn't actually throw up.  He napped for a couple of hours, then we had to wake him up to go over to Rick's aunt's house for Christmas dinner.  He had some pretzels, and did seem to be drinking water just fine (though he'd given up on Gatorade).  Then he gagged again and said he needed me to take care of him.  So we headed home before he had a chance to throw up, which he ended up doing that night in bed.  Would this virus ever be gone from his little body??

The next morning he was obviously much worse.  Couldn't hold anything down, and was completely lethargic.  After trying unsuccessfully to get through to his pediatrician (the office was closed for the day and their answering service was a complete failure - and yes his pedi has heard about this problem, has apologized up and down and has since gotten rid of said answering service), and realizing that even urgent care clinics were closed that day, we headed to the emergency room.  We didn't think this was an actual emergency, but I guess we were wrong since we were bumped to the head of the line.  Turns out Dashiell was not only super dehydrated but his blood sugar was waaayyyy lower than it should be (if I remember correctly the nurse said it should be between 80 - 120, and his was at 47 when we got there).  Yikes.  He got an IV drip to pump some fluids in him and was administered Zofran for the nausea.  My stubborn kid refused to drink juice, soda, or sugar water.  The nurse had to feed him a packet of sugar to try to get his blood sugar level up.  He was offered popsicles but only wanted green, which took a while to find.  He didn't want any pudding, but somehow managed to consume a bit of ice cream (which he normally doesn't like).  His sugar levels started rising, but not quite fast enough.  The ER doc decided it would be best to admit him to the pediatric ward for observation and an overnight stay.

It was much more comfy in pediatrics.  D kept getting fluids and popsicles, but didn't really want any of the food offered to him as part of the "clear diet" plan - no juice, no chicken broth, no jello.  He is a damn picky eater, that's for sure!  He puked a teeny bit at one point, but it seemed to be in reaction to the fact that a piece of paper was stuck on his popsicle so we didn't worry too much.  Rick was the lucky one to stay overnight with him (ooh comfy cot!), and the night went just fine.  I came back in the morning, hoping that we'd be home shortly after that.  He got his blood drawn, all his levels were fine, and then we waited.  And waited.  And waited.   Turns out they were waiting for him to drink more fluids on his own before they sent him home - had we known this, we would have encouraged him to do so.  He didn't want to be at the hospital either, and once we found out what it would take to get him released it was much easier to encourage him to drink!  He did get some breakfast and lunch which consisted of way too much dairy - seriously, he wanted a grilled cheese for breakfast, and lunch was a cheese quesadilla.  Finally at about 4 pm we were sent home.  Yay!

 Not-so-happy Christmas memory.
Notice how he decided that his right arm with the IV was dead to him -
he could move it, he just decided not to.

Then came another setback - about 2 hours after he went to bed he threw up again.  We were all beside ourselves.  I called his pedi's office (at which point I found out they were no longer using their failed answering service) and talked to the on-call doctor, and after hearing all that he ate that day she was pretty sure the setback was due to temporary lactose intolerance.  His little belly was damaged from all the throwing up and he couldn't handle dairy products.  So the next day I had a good talk with my dairy-fiend son about why we couldn't have milk or cheese for a few days, and we adopted the mantra, "no more hospitals!" to remind us why we couldn't have dairy.  We stuck to a pretty bland diet that day, drank lots of water, and didn't get sick!  And his energy level was pretty much back to normal - though he didn't get a nap so by the end of the day he was completely wiped, but I don't think that had anything to do with being ill.  Thursday we added some more acidic foods and even sprinkled a very small amount of cheese on his pasta.  No puking - yes!  Today we're going to stick with the extremely limited dairy diet, but by Saturday we should be able to bring back milk and see what happens.

So that was our holiday week.  Not terribly stellar.  Lots of laundry and disinfecting happened.  Much worrying was done.  The upshot is that all of this took my mind off of the fact that I couldn't be in Minnesota for Christmas this year (really the first year EVER that I couldn't be there), and I didn't get that Christmas let-down feeling I always experience the day after.  I was able to count my blessing and be thankful for my family, and realize how much I love and appreciate them.

I sincerely hope everyone else had a much better holiday!  I don't know about you, but I am so looking forward to the New Year!