Saturday, February 13, 2010

May I please get off this ride?

Eeeny, Meeney, Miney, Mo.

Pick a card, any card.

Up, down, up, down, etc...

Tuesday was really hard.

Wednesday was wonderful.

Thursday started out good but ended badly.

Today has been good.

So I suppose that means tomorrow is going to be rotten, but at least Valentine's Day should be good.

Here are some pictures from yesterday, from the good to the bad to the ugly.

After I dropped Andrew off at preschool, Benjamin and I went to Sonic. Check out this set-up! Food for me, and a DVD for him.


Scout goes with us everywhere.


Nothing like a Route 44 Dr. Pepper at 9:30 a.m.


After Sonic, Benjamin and I went to the library lapsit program (week three of six). Then he took a rather adorable nap while we waited for Andrew's preschool Valentine's party.


Benjamin and Scout waiting for the party to start. (Poor Scout's hands are always wet b/c B chews on them. I hope it doesn't eventually mess up the electronics!)


Andrew working on a craft before lunch.


My attempts of getting brotherly shots are always comical.


This one is so cute! Andrew has taught Benjamin to "pat, pat, pat" his head. It cracks B up, and is one of the few times Andrew actually pays attention to his brother!


Sigh. These are my sweet boys. I'm so glad they're mine.


Um, yeah. I was asking too much.


Things were going well. The plan was to stay for about an hour and then go to my mom's school (she is now the principal, and way back before I had kids, I was a teacher there). Every February, the school hosts a senior luncheon, where they welcome back the students who attended the elementary school who are now graduating seniors. This particular class was the third class of fourth graders that I taught.

So here is Andrew drinking his Hawaiian punch.


And Benjamin drinking his (thickened) milk.


And then, the day went from good to bad.

This is why we still use a sippy cup at home. And why we don't drink Hawaiian punch.


Happy Valentine's Day to me.


Even Benjamin couldn't believe it.


We left a little late but made it to the school in time to see some of the "kids" who are all grown up now. Andrew enjoyed a cookie and a few toy trucks while I mingled and Benjamin and Scout walked all over the library.

Then we went home and the day just got worse.

Because I finally came to grips with the fact that even though he's been finished with his antibiotics since Saturday, Benjamin is not better. After he drinks his milk, I can hear him breathing. And he is still coughing. These are not normal things. And it usually means trouble is on the way or that it never left the building.

And for some reason, when we got home from the school, while I was trying to deal with giving Benjamin another breathing treatment and listening to him try to nap despite his coughs, Andrew started acting nutty.

Like really fussy and irritable. Like beyond tired. Complaining that his throat hurt. Crying at the drop of a hat over the most trivial things.

I finally got him to sleep right around the time when Benjamin gave up on his nap.

Which meant no nap for me.

But worse than that was the realization that I had to call the doctor.

Oh, crap. Here we go again.

Their doctor is out of town until Tuesday, but I got them into see the Physician's Assistant at 8:30 this morning.

The verdict?

I'll break it down for you per boy.

Andrew--His ears looked clear. (He still has never had an ear infection in his life!) His strep test was negative. But his tonsils are large and swollen. The lymph nodes in his throat are also swollen. He's being referred to an ENT to see about removing his tonsils. His doctor and I talked in the fall about doing that this summer b/c he has large tonsils, a small throat, and he has trouble swallowing when he eats. I hope we can get an appointment soon and possibly even get his tonsils removed (if it's deemed necessary or imminent) before Thomas gets here. With Matthew's crazy and busy work schedule, it would be much easier before there is a newborn around.

Benjamin--His left ear is still infected. We started him on a new antibiotic today (Omnicef), so hopefully it will clear up soon. The noise I hear after he drinks is most likely upper respiratory junk, and not crud in his lungs. I told the PA that I really think he might be aspirating more. When he had his original swallow study back in July, we discovered that he aspirates on thin liquids. (From wikipedia: In medicine, aspiration is the entry of secretions or foreign material into the trachea and lungs. When it occurs in eating and drinking, the food or drink in question is often colloquially referred to as "going down the wrong pipe.")

So when he would drink straight milk, some of it would not stay in his esophagus, it would go down his trachea and into his lungs. This most likely caused his first bout of pneumonia.

There are three levels (that I know of) of thickening liquids. From thinnest to thickest, they are nectar, honey, and pudding. (To make it thicker, you just add more thickener. The thickener we use and prefer is Thick-It. It's just a powder that we stir in his milk. It does not change the taste (supposedly) and does not add calories. It just makes the milk thicker.) We are currently on nectar consistency, which isn't all that thick. I think it's about as thick as applesauce.

But lately, the past few weeks, after Benjamin drinks, I can hear him breathing. There is congestion somewhere in there, though I can never quite tell where it is. But to me, it only stands to reason that if that before he drinks I can't hear him breathing, and after he drinks, I can hear him breathing, that something is not right.

At his original swallow study, they told us he would need another one in nine to twelve months. Nine months would be April. The PA today agreed with me that it is a good idea for him to go ahead and have another one. It could be that his aspiration has gotten worse and that we need to thicken his milk even more. That could be part of why he keeps getting sick. But that's just my own theory.

So we're waiting to hear back about an ENT appointment (consult) for Andrew, and a swallow study for Benjamin.

It snowed quite a bit today, starting a little after lunchtime. So we all packed our bags and came over to Mom's house, where we got Pizza Hut and watched The Office and Survivor.

And we're all spending the night. Because even if we're not technically snowed in, we might be. Mom's driveway is pretty steep, and it's below freezing.

Tomorrow we have nowhere to go, and that is a nice feeling.

12 comments:

Tricia said...

Trust your mom gut on this one. You know your babies better than anyone, even the doctors.

Leah said...

Hmmm Sounds to me like Benjamin might be "splashing" liquids up into his sinuses, then they're draining back down. It's very noisey and rattly sounding when they do this. Sounds like they have a lot of junk in their throat. (like you want to clear their throat for them kinda. Does that make sense?) Angela used to do this A LOT!

That stuff splashing around up there causes all kinds of problems. The Eustachian tube drains into the back of your throat, but closer to the roof of your mouth. (like just behind your tonsils.) Liquids can get splashed up into there, which causes the eustachian tubes to get irritated and swell closed, causing fluid to be stuck in there...and there you have the lovely beginning of an ear infection. Does he have tubes in his ears? They make a HUGE difference! They can still get an ear infection with tubes, but at least the gunk can drain out (via the outer ear) and there isn't any pressure build up.

We are still dealing with swallowing issues 13 years down the road. Angela's problems are a bit unusual, but we dealt with all the "routine" swallowing/ear/sinus stuff before we got to this point! LOL

Another thing to think about is getting him off dairy. If he has problems with junk back in his throat, the mucus that is produced as a reaction to milk is just going to make that problem worse. When the problems are CHRONIC like his have been, it's time to start eliminating some things from the diet to see what makes a difference. With the problems you're describing, dairy (particularly drinking milk) is often the culprit.

HUGS!!! I know this is frustrating! I have so been there/done that/still am doing that!

Diana said...

Sigh.....No news is good news with you lately!!

Ellie was on Omincef and it didn't work on her ears and the next step is the Rocefrin (sp?) shot. Also FYI, I don't know if you pharmacist told you but it is only good for ten days, so if he needs it longer than that you will have to get a refill. I hope B's ears clear up b/c even those this is his first ear infection they frown upon those that don't clear up!
I think Andrew will do so much better once he gets his tonsils! I think you will really like Dr. St. Charles. There office runs like a well oiled machine!! Very little wait time and the people where very nice. They also have all their forms online so you can fill them out before you go and that saves a ton of time in the waiting room. It is also on my side of town so maybe we could coordinate schedules and you could leave B with me while you take A. He is very straight forward answers questions and then gets you out of there!

I think B's issue must be with the drinking based on your scientific Mom analysis but boo for more thickener though I am sure that will lead to even messier diapers :(.

I hope you have a Happy Valentine's Day with the love your life!!

Love you guys!
Diana

Branton Family said...

Hmmm...sounds way too much like a day in the life of Zach and Bella. Hang in there. Wish I had good advice...but if you get any, please pass along. :) Keep going with your instincts...Zach finally got better with congestion once he had his tonsils/adenoids out, tubes in both ears and they widened his sinus cavity. Oh and then there was the honey thickener. I'm tired thinking about it. You know, you could always put two packets of nectar in his drink instead of the one you put in now (makes the honey consistency). See if you notice a difference. I'm definitely no doctor, but I also hate waiting for that silly test and thinking he is aspirating. His speech therapist suggested that for Zach...worked for us. Love, me

Sarah said...

OK...I love the one where Andrew has the punch in his lap and just looks like "Ok who wants to go?!?! I dare someone to make a pee pants joke. I just dare you!"

Shannon said...

loved all the pics! such cute boys!!! i hope things get better with the boys health. it is so hard when they are sick!

carter got his tonsils out when he was 4. we did it at the end of the summer before school started. it was a hard recovery, almost 2 full weeks of staying home, and not doing a thing.

at the end of the day, i'm glad we did it when we did.

btw, you crack me up with the sonic picture!!! :)

jmason said...

love the setup you had at sonic! andrew looks thrilled in the pic of his wet pants...poor guy! I hope everyone gets healthly soon!!

kristi said...

I hate congestion, TC has asthma and we deal with it a lot.

Sonic! I lurve Sonic, so do my kids.

Christine said...

Your boys are so precious! :)

ps...Scout is the name of that stuffed animal? I want to name my first child Scout. Regardless of the gender. Call me crazy, but I like it. :)

what a fun filled time with your boys!

Monica Crumley said...

Darling photos! I love the ones with Scout. John Michael has that, too, but isn't quite as attached to it as he is his little stuffed doggy.

Emily said...

Savannah has Violet (the girl version of Scout - she's purple)...She LOVES that thing. That is now my 1st b-day gift of choice!!

Hope the boys ear/throat issues get resolved quickly.

Big Hugs!!!

Carrie said...

wow, I just found your blog and my heart is just full for you! What a sweet and caring mother you are and I wish you so much happiness with your third son coming soon!