Well, I just got back from my first trip away from the boys since before their births. I left Friday morning and didn’t return until Sunday (26th) afternoon! My brother Mikey, his fiancé Velear and I took a wine barrel tour at Del Dotto winery in Napa (jaw dropping ambiance with amazing Italian-inspired decor), ate ‘delic’ food at the restaurant Bouchon in Yountville, and saw an over-dramatic performance of “Private Lives” at California Shakespeare Theater while eating fabulous cupcakes from Teacake Bake Shop – yummo! What a fun and yummy trip sprinkled with great company. I was fortunate enough to accomplish many of my vacation goals, just to name a few: sleep in a comfortable bed (compliments of the Marriot), sleep in past 6am (until almost 11am one morning – I did go to bed at 2am, but still…), explore new places (Emeryville is quite a shopping Mecca – ha ha), and spend a relaxing, fun time with great people (Mikey and Velear were a great fit for my agenda)! Fortunately I was not a “stalker mom” and succeeded in calling home once a day.
Because of my daily update calls I knew I was going home to a “sick” house, but had no idea that Nurse Heather would be called into action so soon. Yes, my euphoria from time away was quickly severed as I walked into the “coughy, vomity, poopy-fest” (the best show in town).
So let me back up a bit - before leaving the hospital last week, John was complaining of a scratchy throat. By the time we left the hospital all three of my guys (Tyler, Parker and John) had runny noses and were building up for something grander. Sure enough, by the time I left for my mini-vaca, Tyler and Parker had runny noses and mild diarrhea.
By the time I got home on Sunday, the boys were in full sick mode and John’s scratchy throat had become a full-blown sinus infection. The next two days for Parker were filled with throw up after throw up after throw up…diarrhea after diarrhea after diarrhea…raw bottom to rawer bottom to the rawest bottom– followed by whining to crying to full throttle screaming …coughing, coughing, and more coughing…and then, pure lethargic submission. Poor Parker was whooped! Although he didn’t have a temperature, his behavior and symptoms were enough to warrant a call to our Pediatrician. After talking to the charge nurse, we were told to come in. I knew it was an appropriate call because our doctor fit us in even though he was already double-booked, covering the patients of his colleague who went home sick that day. I took Parker in as John stayed with Tyler – who hasn’t had the massive diarrhea but a severe runny nose, throw ups with feeds and a beginning cough. The doctor ordered stool cultures for Parker and took a mucus sample while we were there. He is being tested for Swine flu, Rotavirus, E Coli, two kinds of parasites and a bacteria (clostridium). It is possible the boys contracted some sort of parasite or bug while in the hospital! Eek gads, I hope not!
So John spent last night and today squeezing out Parker’s diahhrea-filled diapers and with my help (holding the liquid-filled containers), poured the feces into four culture vials. The challenge was getting enough mass to fill the liquid to the RED LINE (if it’s in caps is it important? – I guess so). He had to “ring out” multiple diapers to actually get enough “sample” to fill the four vials - poor Parker would only produce little squirty, but often poops. So after finally gathering up the last of the stool remnants, we finished our labeling and John took them to the lab. We are anxiously waiting for the results and hope there is SOMETHING we can do to help our poor little guy.
I’ve never seen Parker so sick – just lying on the floor, too lethargic to sit up or play. We’ve been gavaging as much Pedialite into him as he’ll tolerate, but he’s been throwing up with every bottle so it’s become a difficult problem to solve. Brother Tyler is also riding the train through our newest attraction, Vomit Volcano – the ride will turn your stomach for sure! For some reason Tyler isn’t handling feeds at the same volume as last week. We’re hoping it’s just this sickness and that he’ll return to his normal non-vomiting, semi-feeding self soon. Right now we switched both boys to a slow, 24-hour drip gavage until they can handle bolus feeding again. This drives me CRAZY and I hate it hate it hate it! Grrr…where’s the normal?
Now for my paranoid mom-ness. I just hate seeing Parker in this state and it’s just hard to not think about what could happen if he really contracted some sort of virus. He still has chronic lungs and is under weight. I can’t help but think of one preemie mom whose blog I follow – she lost her 18 month old Madeline in April. On April 6th, Maddie came down with a severe respiratory infection - she unexpectedly died ONE DAY LATER, April 7th. The other preemie moms who are in my yahoo group were so devastated – this could’ve been any of our babies. The one thing people don’t get is that our babies have CHRONIC LUNG DISEASE, making any sickness a serious matter. Maddie was a healthy 18 month old who got sick like any other baby, ended up in the hospital one day and was gone the next. Her mother (also named Heather, go figure) was BEYOND shocked and devastated - she often writes about her continued grief. Her blog is: http://thespohrsaremultiplying.com/ It’s very worth checking out.
So, I must go put my stethoscope back around my neck and get downstairs. John has spread blankets around the front room for “vomit catching”. We have no idea how much vomit, urine, poop, Pedialite or formula is in our carpet – and I really don’t want to know. It’s enough to make John crazy – he announced that he will be cleaning the carpets post-sickness or next week, whichever comes first.
Okay, so this post was written earlier today (actually Wednesday afternoon) but because of Bubbie drama I wasn't able to publish the post until now - 2am! John and I have been up with the boys, trying to get them to stop throwing up and blowing out their diapers. Both boys are FINALLY asleep and that's where I am going too. So, I mentioned above that Tyler isn't having the terrible diarrhea that Parker has...well, scratch that! Tyler is about two days behind his brother and just began having the same stinky, blow out diapers. Fabulous! And he hasn't been able to handle his slow drip gavage so we've decreased the rate considerably. As a result, he's not going to get the best number of cals or hydrate as well as we'd like, but he's throwing it up so we really don't have a choice but get as much as we can in him. Ugh, so tired, must go to bed! What a nightmare...good grief!
Here is just a sample of our sick journey below – and it is SICK!