Monday, January 14, 2008

Back to School

So after 10 days "out sick" from school, BB1 finally got to go back. . . And it was time. . . not only for her sake but for my sanity as well. I was right to think that I would run out of ideas for ways to keep her occupied and out of trouble. I ran out of ideas/thing to do yesterday. So timing worked out just about right.

I took her into school and the second she walked into the classroom, 3 little girls jumped up and where like "BB1", "BB1's back", "Oh, we have missed you BB1" It was too cute. One little girl (who lives in the neighborhood and who has been a super close friend) refused to leave her side, until BB1 was done taking off her jacket and hanging up her backpack and went to sit down at her desk. Again, too cute.

I just love how excited kids seemed to get to just see someone who has been gone. I guess I can liken the feeling to when I get to see family and friends whom I haven't seen in a while - you just feel all warm and bubbly inside.

So it's good that she is back at school and back to full health. I am not sure what BB2 will do, since I think she has gotten used to having BB1 around to play with her all day. This has actually been really great for me in terms of giving me some free time to get other, non-kid related things done (like paying bills, cleaning the house, shoveling snow, yelling at the phone company, you know!) And I have to say, they have been playing really well together. I love that right now, they get along and are at just the right age that BB1 can boss BB2 around, and BB2 doesn't seem to mind. I know it won't last, so for now I will enjoy their camaraderie (sp?) and BB2's tolerance of BB1's orders while I can.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Snow Day anyone?

So just how much snow do you have to get here in order to get it officially termed a snow day? Apparently the 4+ feet that we received in one day was not enough to warrant that status.

My heart went out to the kids that I saw standing on the corner just waiting for their bus to come and take them to school. The smart ones were bundled up to where no ounce of flesh could be seen, but there was one silly boy (Jr. high or high school/freshman age) in a simple black T-shirt and shorts and tennis shoes. He was not so bright and deserves whatever sicknesses come his way.
Here are just a few pictures of our mailbox, the front walkway up to the house, and the walkway around to the garage. I only wish I had a ruler (or a tape measure) to actually see how much was up there.

Papa Bear and I both were outside tackling the white stuff, and the first round definitely went to Mother Nature and her snow attack as I kid you not, just as soon as we would finish clearing a walk way or deck we would turn around and same said path/deck was covered right back up again. Talk about feeling like you were getting no where fast.

At least we were both able to take a moment an appreciate the total silence that seems to be unique to a massive snow fall. I love how everything is so perfect and white. I love watching the big fat snow flakes fall from the sky almost to the point where you feel like you are punching into hyper drive and shooting through space. It was a great moment, ended all to soon, by BB1 and BB1 screaming bloody murder inside the house, because hey, if mom and dad were both outside then that's where they needed to be as well. Never mind the RSV, ear infections and walking pneumonia. BTW - the girls are getting better and doing just fine.

And for those of you in warmer weather that don't have to deal with the snow, I have only one thing to say to you - Lucky!!!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Just a cold . . . yah right!

That's what I thought we were dealing with and like all good mom's I did everything I could think of to provide some relief to my coughing, runny nose, feverish child. Especially since the FDA decided that OTC medicines were ineffective for kids under the age of 6. So commenced the steamy baths to relieve the cough, medicated chest rub for easier breathing, cough drops for relief from the hacking cough. Motrin and Tylenol alternating out every 4 hours to help with the fever and lots and lots of liquids, Popsicles, hugs and kisses.

3 days later came the statement, "my ear hurts" and I knew it was time to call the Dr.'s office. This was on Saturday, so I knew I wasn't going to get in during normal hours, but they have a kids clinic on the weekends (thankfully) so I thought I would be able to get her seen at the clinic. Of course there was a mix up with the clinic hours posted on the web site (it said they were open till 6) and when the office was actually open (they stopped seeing patients at 4), so she couldn't get in on Saturday. (did I mention I made the call to the Clinic at 3:45)

So after talking with the on-call nurse, she tells me to keep doing all the things I am already doing and just call in and get an appointment Sunday morning during Sunday clinic hours. Guess there is no previous scheduling for the clinic. So Sunday morning dawns cold and snowy, but I call in and get the 10:45 slot. Leave BB2 at home with dad and take BB1 through a nasty snow storm to the doctors to find out that her cold is not a cold, it's worse than we thought.

After having the nurse and then the Dr. come in and check all her vitals and ears,and throat and heart rate/pulse, I get the possible diagnosis. It's either Bronchiolitis, RSV or Pneumonia. Oh and on top of that possible diagnosis, her right ear drum has definitely ruptured from the infection that is present in both of her ears and and her oxygen levels are at 87% (normal is 95+). When presented with that huge list of problems, it's easy to be overwhelmed. Luckily the Dr and I were on the same page and our first priority was to fix her oxygen levels, so the Dr. ordered a breathing treatment asap and a full panel to rule out RSV, Influenza and a whole slew of other things that I don't remember, but that didn't sound very good. Of course that involved some deep suctioning of BB1's nasal passages (she was not happy or amused about that one) but as long as she wasn't getting a shot she was able to keep it all in perspective (at least that of a 5 year old) with a little persuasion from mom.

After the breathing treatment, her oxygen levels were reassessed and she had only gone up one percentage point to 88 so the Dr. suggested sending her upstairs to the Pediatric Unit to be admitted for oxygen, another breathing treatment, monitoring and a chest x-ray (to help rule out pneumonia) and if none of that came back with any more answers, then we would order blood work and take it from there. Given BB1'a absolute intolerance to anything shot related, I appreciated the Dr's taking her fears into account and going about the diagnosis process in a way that still gave answers without torturing my little girl.

So upstairs we went, and once she was in her room she got the breathing treatment, hooked up to a monitor and given a round of antibiotics for her ear. An hour later, the x-ray tech came and gave her a ride in a wheel chair down to the x-ray room (she thought that was pretty cool) and she did awesome standing very still while the tech took some pictures of her insides. She asked to see what they looked like and she thought it was pretty cool that she could see her ribs and lungs and other insides.

SO back upstairs in the wheelchair and back onto the monitor where her oxygen levels continued to fluctuate between 89 and 91 (are the treatments working?) I still didn't know if she was going to have to be admitted overnight and the nurses, didn't know either. So we spent the afternoon watching movies (4 in total), having a room service delivery of chicken fingers, chicken noodle soup and an Oreo milkshake, followed up with a blue Popsicle, sprite and graham crackers and an apple. BB1 was happy as a clam and kept wanting to order something else from the room service menu, and she really had me questioning just how sick she was. Even the nurses commented that if they didn't know better, they wouldn't think she was sick from outward appearances. I guess she just hasn't learned to milk it yet (should I be grateful for this?)

During the next 5 hours we had plenty of time to wait for updates and her oxygen levels decided to jump up a bit and she got in the 93 - 94 range, which was good news to me, but still no word on the results from the x-ray or what we were going to do next.

By 6:30 the Dr. who first saw her in the clinic earlier that morning came up and finally gave us the news on the x-ray. She didn't have the really bad version of Pneumonia, just more of a walking type pneumonia, which isn't good, just not as bad as it could have been. They were still waiting on the results from the full panel they had requested that morning (guess it takes a day to get info back) for the RSV/Influenza possibilities, but given that her oxygen levels were back up where they should be and given how good she was acting, they didn't' think she needed to stay overnight for observation. But they did want to send her home with oxygen, a monitor and a nebulizer for additional breathing treatments, should her stats take a turn back down.

So armed with what felt like a hundred different prescriptions (in truth - 5) and an order for home health to come and bring us multiple machines (oxygen, nebulizer and a pulsoxomiter(sp?), we set off for the only open, 24-hour pharmacy in Northern Utah on a Sunday evening. we were home by 8:45 and BB1 was in bed by 9:30.

All in all, a very long day, but we were home. I have to admit after the home health guy left and seeing all the equipment and tubing now installed in her room, I almost wonder if staying at the hospital would have been easier?

So how is BB1 doing today - just fine. She's on antibiotics for the ear infection and breathing treatments to help her lungs open and heal up. She gets a week off from school and I am only hoping I can find enough things to do around the house to keep her entertained and me from going stir crazy since we won't be leaving the house and going anywhere anytime soon.

Before I forget - the results from the full panel are back and she tested positive for RSV, which is viral and so antibiotics won't do her any good (dump one prescription down the drain).

Incidentally - BB2 is beginning to get the same cough and stuff that BB1 started out with. And tonight the fever is kicking in. Guess it's a good thing that BB1 has a follow-up appointment tomorrow during regular Dr's hours and I had the foresight to book an appointment for BB2 as well.

All in all I just have to say for all the ups and downs, I am grateful for clinics and Dr's and good health insurance and for pharmacy's that are open on Sundays in a state where everything seems to be closed and especially for kids that no matter how miserable they might be feeling are still the best kids ever.

There is also some humor to be found (isn't there always when you most need it) This afternoon, when asked to come down stairs to eat her lunch - for the 3rd time, mind you -
BB1's reply:"Mom, I didn't hear you. My ears are broken"