Apr 30, 2009

A Small Scare

Wednesday is our doctor's day off.

Although James' appetite had returned to a degree on Tuesday, on Wednesday, he had almost no appetite and became rather lethargic throughout the day. He would lie around on the couch or the floor, sit up for brief periods and then go back to reclining. He wasn't willing to hold his drinking cup, and well before time, he began asking for a nap.

Obviously if you know James - or any other 2 1/2 year old - you can imagine that this was a little concerning. But without a fever or any other symptoms, we didn't know what to think.

So around dinnertime, we called Ben's mom who knows a ton about medical things. She insisted that we call Ben's sister to see what she thought. They agreed that if we didn't want to call our doctor, we should get an appt with a nighttime care center, rather than going to an ER where James, Ben and I would all be exposed to who-knows-what.

We called our doctor, and he graciously called us back. He couldn't think of anything it might be, but encouraged us to have James seen just to rule out anything he had missed by not observing him. The earliest appt available was 9:30 p.m.

We decided to put James down for the night, and get him up when it was time to go. When I was rocking him at bedtime, he was begging me to put him in his crib so he could lie down (usually he doesn't want the rocking to end, and when it does, he wants to climb into his crib on his own). As you can imagine, this shot fear through Ben and my hearts.

We left his room, me in tears, and prayed for wisdom. Ben decided we would just get him up and go to our community ER.

God was so kind. Not only did James perk up when we put him in the car. But when we arrived at the ER, we were seen immediately. We checked in, sat down, and they called us. In addition, we were pleasantly surprised to discover that at this hospital, they have a totally separate Pediatric Emergency Department, with at least 7 rooms with glass sliding doors. Any exposure to the "who-knows-what" that had concerned us seemed minimized right away.

Inerestingly, James returned to his usual upbeat self, even throwing a fit when the blood pressure cuff started to expand on his arm, eating tortilla chips I'd brought along, and being generally agreeable.

The doc ordered an x-ray of his belly (which was a bit more distended than usual, so she wanted to make sure there wasn't something really going on in there), and there James did a fabulous job. Nothing showed up.

We were on our way home before 9:30 (we'd cancelled our appt with the outpatient center). James was in bed by 10. And he slept peacefully until after 7 this morning! And he's been my regular boy ever since (with still a diminished appetite, but better than yesterday).

Today, I feel a bit weak. So I'm wondering if maybe there's something to the bug we had that kinda kicks you again after a few days.

But whatever the case, our precious boy is back to his life-loving self, playing with play-dough, putting together jigsaw puzzles, helping me read This Is the Farmer (by Nancy Tafuri), holding his own cup and climbing into his crib. Thank you, Lord!

Stomach Bug

Last Friday, James and I played outside in the beautiful spring weather. Then the recycle truck pulled around the corner - one of the highlights in James' week. The guys are so kind to him. They usually honk the horn, wave and greet him cheerfully. This day, one of the guys put out his hand, and James (after a quick look for approval from me) shook it. I think it made the man's day.

Unfortunately, it also made our week a little different than originally expected.

Before James & I came in and washed his hands, those pudgy little paws made their way to either his nose, mouth or eyes. And about 30 hours later, poor James lost his dinner. God kindly allowed James to be outside, making clean up easier(!). And our boy continued his merry way. So I didn't know what to think - did his dinner just disagree with him or had he picked up something somewhere?

I knew that we'd know soon enough if he continued vomitting, so we played outside past his bedtime. Sure enough, the water he'd drunk came back up. After a bath, we rocked for a short bit... and everything else in James' belly evacuated onto me and into the towel I'd mercifully brought with me.

Saturday night he continued to dry heave. Since Ben was out of town, I brought our sick little guy into bed with me to make it easier on both of us. I don't know if he slept, but for sure I didn't! Finally at 3:30, God gave us both rest... until 5:30 when James woke up and desperately pleaded for water. Poor thing!

Ben's mom brought over some Pedialyte, some of which I froze into ice cubes. I gave James an 8 oz bottle. I don't know what I was thinking because this parched boy proceeded to drink 6 oz all at once... and the vomitting began again.

Thankfully, I was able to slow down his fluid intake, and he stopped throwing up. Meanwhile, we played outside with the hose for as long as possbile. At lunchtime when he started asking for food, I offered him a waffle. He nibbled a bit and then announced, "Too much."

After a good nap, our friend Taluli (who lives with us) got him up. Unfortunately, when James had been saying he didn't want to eat dinner on Saturday night (prior to getting sick), I'd offered to have a bite in between his. And then I'd cleaned his plate. So after I realized that he had a bug, I fully expected to be sick within 24 hours. Sure enough, by late Sunday afternoon I was not feeling so hot, and went to bed.

Unfortunately for Taluli, James decided to throw up one last time on her watch. I could hear her ushering him into the bathroom and getting him over the toilet. Bravo, girl! And so far, she has managed to avoid it.

Poor Ben, though. Just as he arrived home, I got sick. Talk about timing! After just two more episodes, my stomach settled down, and we all slept through the night.

Despite the fact that I was no longer vomitting, Ben took Monday off to allow me to rest and to keep James occupied. Sweet servant!

Life returned to normal on Tuesday (except James & I skipped the preschool field trip to the Zoo). But that night, Ben joined the family in our "experience." And he took a sick day on Wednesday to recover.

I wish I could say that was the end of that... but James decided to give our hearts a bit of a gulp on Wednesday night. More on that to come.

Apr 29, 2009


Our good-natured and adorable son has -- how shall I put it? -- a minor flaw. Let's just say that his daddy & I aren't crazy about kissing him these days.

In addition to odorous breath, he's had a perpetual runny nose for months. We started to wonder if the two were related. I mean, we brush his teeth twice a day. He eats well but not a lot of garlic & onions (he would eat them if I served them, for sure!). So what could be the cause of this fetid breath?

I finally broke down and took him to the doctor about two weeks ago. Doc noted "Most likely the discharge and odor are coming from foreign organic matter in his nose which has become infected." (Uh-oh. Anyone remember a little incident with a raisin... ummm... how long ago, now?!)

After a glance, he confirmed "white gunk." The remedy: flush it out using a syringe at home.

So we tried that. Emphasize tried. Someone was a little less than crazy about having water squirted up his nose. Ben came up with a great idea: "Okay, James, Daddy will have a turn then it will be James' turn again."

Now we know why James hated it so much. Ben about flew through the roof!

So much for flushing at home.

Then Ben thought we should see an ENT. They scheduled us for the next day. Very nice doctor. Very uncooperative patient.

Result? In order to avoid damage to sensitive nasal tissue, James has to go under general anesthesia. The doctor will insert a camera up his nose, find the ultimate cause of the infection, remove that and all the accompanying "gunk," and release James to us - a happy and odor-free boy!

We would love for you to join us in praying that God would clear up this infection miraculously so that James doesn't have to go under general anesthesia. But should that be God's will, James is scheduled for minor surgery on Friday, May 8 at 10 a.m.