Wednesday, April 28, 2010

His turn...

A couple of hours after our guests left on Sunday, BubTar walked into our bedroom with pink cheeks. I felt him and he was warm to the touch. A quick oral temp confirmed what I already suspected, a fever. Looks like we sent our guests home with more than party favors! Yikes!

Today is Wednesday and he is still sick. Fever, cough, some mild wheezing (I can hear it with my ear to his chest, but not audibly most of the time), headache, and some vomiting yesterday only. If he is still sick tomorrow, we'll head to the pediatrician's office on Friday. It is such a radically different experience when BubTar is the sick one. I daresay it must be what parents of normal children everywhere experience! With KayTar, it feels like warfare...round the clock meds, tube feeds, glucose checks, urine dips...I have to keep notes on all her ins and outs, I have to set alarms for meds/feeds so I don't get busy with something else and forget. I have to wake up at 2:30am and give her a feed so her glucose doesn't bottom out while we sleep. With BubTar, sickness requires much less action on my part, a little quality time and cuddling, a little video game playing, some saltines, Gatorade, a cup of soup...maybe some Motrin if his fever climbs too high or Sudafed if he is feeling too stuffy. We've actually had a nice week together during his up times; we've played a lot of Super Mario 3 on the Wii and today we watched The Neverending Story. It is nice to have my little man mostly to myself with life at a slower pace. Of course, I've been studying and keeping up with things here at the house, and he's been resting a lot, but we've had a lot of relaxing quality time which isn't always the case with him being in school all day and me being in school 2 nights and on Saturdays. That being said, I'm ready for him to start feeling better and so is he! At least once per day he starts feeling very badly and I just hate it for him. I have a feeling that he's going to end up missing this entire week because as of tonight, he doesn't seem to be improving at all.

And as fate would have it, KayTar is not even off her antibiotics from the pneumonia and her incessant cough is back. No fever yet, thankfully, but she was only off round the clock albuterol for a day or two before this hit her. AGH! Josh is under the weather and I'm feeling a bit sick too, but faring MUCH better than everyone else in the house, hopefully it stays that way!

Thursday Update: KayTar yakked up her morning feed today and has a fever now, too. Geeeeeez.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Weekend Update!

We had a great time at movie night on Friday, and I studied before and after. My mom saw my SOS on Facebook and came by and offered to help with cupcakes, but we told her was had it under control. (I'm lucky to have great family support nearby.) After movie night, Josh baked the cupcakes while I was studying...we made it to bed about midnight.

On Saturday morning, I went to class (and stayed for the whole thing for the first time in weeks! it was actually pretty nice to just sit and write copious notes for a few hours! i also answered a couple of questions during lecture that the professor couldn't about the surgical treatment for GERD and one about congenital hearing loss from rubella/TORCH infections, nice!). After the lunch break, we had our lab exam, which I ROCKED in spite of not being in lab for any of this material.

After class, I swung by Starbuck for a frappaccino, then I headed to home where I busted my butt prepping for the party. The boys stopped by the store on their way home and I picked up KayTar from my mom's house (see? family support.) We finished up the last few preparations and it was party time! It went really well, the boys had a blast. Video games, playing in the yard, jumping on the trampoline...all kinds of fun. It was the first sleepover for all of the boys except for BubTar's best friend, who has stayed here about a million times and surprisingly, they all made it through the night without incident. We had two Wiis set up in the living room and they played and played. Then at about 10pm we had them get their jammies on and rented a movie. It went better than we could have expected. We didn't go to bed until after midnight and we were up at 5:20, but everyone slept through the night. Josh made a donut run earlier this morning and 3/5 of them are still here at 9 this morning, playing happily. KayTar just got home from her sleepover at my parents' house, too. The only thing left to take care of this weekend is my project for class, and I predict it will be pretty easy to knock out!

Here's a few of the photographic highlights...

Friday, April 23, 2010

This weekend...

* We are going to a church movie night with BubTar's new little friend's family. They want to get to know us before letting him sleepover for the party, which we think is awesome!
* Clean the house.
* Bake and ice cupcakes until we drop!
* Study for my Bio II exam tomorrow.

* Class bright and early, 8-2ish. Exam (the first of 4 in a row for the next 4 Saturdays).
* The rest of the family will be going to Scout Fair.
* Get home around 2ish, start prepping for the party!
* Around 3-4 the rest of the family will get home, so it'll be time to make the kids presentable and finish last minute party stuff.
* 5pm the party starts! Everyone will be here for pizza, cake, ice cream, and presents...then around 7, they'll head out and 5 of BubTar's friends are spending the night.
*Later, if the boys settle well, I may sneak out to grab a drink with my oldest friend at her bachelorette party...this TOTALLY depends on the level of CRAZY at our house with all those boys!

* Entertain the boys until their parents arrive, sometime between 12-2 ideally.
* Recuperate. Caffeinate.
* Work on/complete a project for my Human Sexuality course that is due by midnight.
* Eat? Shower? Maybe if there is time. Ha! Sleep is going to have to wait until post-midnight, which technically falls onto the MONDAY to do list. ;)

I was feeling a little overbooked earlier today, but then in the waiting area at therapy, KayTar announced loudly, to EVERYONE, "That is my mom over there...she's going to be a DOCTOR! Isn't that awesome?!" It was exactly the reminder I needed going into a weekend like this. It may not be easy to "do it all" all the time, but it will be worth it in the end. One day, in the distant future that seems lifetimes away from where I am today, I hope that I WILL be a doctor and that I will have taught my children that it doesn't matter where you are in life at any given moment, with dedication and hard work (and sacrifice and sleep deprivation), you can achieve whatever it is you set out to do. Now I'm going to go repeat that to myself while I toss back another cup of coffee and hit the books. ;)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy birthday, BubTar!

Eight years went by in a flash!

Happy birthday to my smart, funny, shy, argumentative, book-a-holic, video game maniac, derby-winning, cub scout loving little man.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Yesterday I took KayTar back to the doctor and TA DA! there were crackles in the base of her left lung. Pneumonia, of course. To think, I almost didn't bring her in because she was looking so much better! She's on a round of antibiotics and steroids, plus her regular regiment of inhalers. Hopefully we caught it early and she'll be over it in no time. BubTar turns 8 on Thursday and we've got a houseful of little guys spending the night here on Saturday, so we need her to heal up quick!

The rest of the week includes a GI check-up for KayTar (today), her return to school (tomorrow, hopefully), a project I have to complete for one of my classes, the first of FOUR Saturday exams I have coming up, dinner with the parents of BubTar's new friend, party prep, scout fair...and other things I'm probably forgetting at the moment!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Still sick...

As KayTar said when her fever spiked again last night, "I thought we were past this, Mom!"

Thursday, April 15, 2010

All In A Day's Work: Wednesday

12:00am Alarm goes off. Time to give KayTar Albuterol and Benadryl. It takes me a while to fall back asleep.

2:30am Alarm goes off, again. Time to tube feed KayTar 4oz of Pedialyte. She then decides she can't sleep unless she is ON ME. I doze a bit, but saying I slept might be a stretch.

4:00am Alarm goes off, a third time. Time for another dose of Albuterol and Benadryl. I roll her off of me and try to get a bit of actual sleep.

7:30am I wake up for the day, start the coffee.

7:45am KayTar wakes up. Test her glucose, 62. A little low for her, but not hypoglycemic low.

8:00am Give Benadryl, Qvar, Albuterol.

8:10am Test her urine. Moderate level of ketones.

8:15am Straighten my hair, pull on my clothes.

8:20am BubTar calls from school, saying Josh forgot to send him with a lunch. I call my mom and ask if maybe she can bring the poor kid something, since KayTar and I have to drive to the doctor and won't be back before his lunch. She says she'll get McDonald's and eat with him. Perfect!

8:30am Tube feed KayTar, 2oz Pediasure/2oz Pedialyte.

8:45am Make-up. Brush teeth. Dress KayTar. Pack up her meds. Gather things to entertain us at the pediatrician's office.

9:10am Leave for the doctor.

10:30am See the doctor. If she isn't better by Thursday, we'll start antibiotics. We get a referral to endocrinology for the ketotic hypoglycemia.

11:45am Get home. Test KayTar's urine, still moderate levels of ketones.

12:00pm More Benadryl, Albuterol.

12:30pm Tube feed, 3oz Pediasure/2oz Pedialyte. She eats 1 chicken nugget and a small amount of soda. Food and drink, by mouth! Hooray!

2:20pm Test her urine. Finally clear of ketones!

2:45pm Pick BubTar up from school. No conduct marks, no homework.

3:20pm KayTar has 4 oz of Pediasure...BY MOUTH!

4:00pm Benadryl, Albuterol. I'm feeling sick and/or tired and decide to skip class.

4:15pm BubTar's best friend is being mean to him over the phone. BubTar is very upset. I step in and tell his friend that my kids can't talk anymore today. This is becoming a pattern lately. We have a talk about standing up for ourselves...again.

4:30pm I have a major fall while sprinting into the next room to get to KayTar. She was coughing a ton and I thought she was going to vomit. I am seriously hurting and just lay on the floor for a while before figuring out if I can actually move.

4:45pm Josh calls from the store, asking what we want for dinner. He picks up a few necessary things plus dinner items.

5:30pm Josh is home!

6:00pm KayTar has 4 oz of Pediasure...BY MOUTH!

6:15pm Dinner. We have french dips, KayTar has a few spoons of powdered parmesean cheese. I force BubTar to answer THREE questions about his day. Getting the kid to talk about school is like pulling teeth. Isn't this supposed to start in the teen years?

6:30pm The boys go to the park with a new friend of BubTar's from the neighborhood while KayTar takes a play bath.

7:15pm The boys get home. Then it is pajama time, reading time, bedtime for BubTar. BubTar is too hyped up from the park fun to fall asleep on time.

8:00pm Benadryl, Qvar, Albuterol for KayTar. Try to get her to drink, but she is done for the day.

8:40pm Tube feed, 3oz Pediasure/2oz Pedialyte.

9:00pm Urine negative for ketones!

9:45pm Check her glucose, 91.

9:50pm LIGHTS OUT!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

1, 2, 3.

1. KayTar is still sick...actually she is sickER. Yesterday she really seemed to be making great strides, her fever had been gone for a whole day, we were working back up to Pediasure feeds, and then the bottom just fell out. I had a Chem exam, so Josh took the kids to scouts as usual. KayTar seemed like she could handle it, we were even thinking about her returning to school today. I finished my test quite early and called Josh to see if I needed to get her, but he said she was okay. I stopped by Subway to order a sandwich and as I pulled into our garage, Josh called back and said she was coughing non-stop and asked me to come get her. As soon as we turned back onto our street, KayTar said, "I'm going to throw up!" I said, "Not yet! Think about something out. Hey, what about BUTTERFLIES?" It actually bought a minute or so, but by the time I unbuckled her, she puked all over the garage floor. Then in a bucket in the garage. Then in the bowl we RAN to as soon as we entered the house. There was A LOT of puke. Her cough is just terrible now and her fever spiked up past 102, higher than it ever was on the front end of this. Tomorrow we're going to the pediatrician, in case she needs a round of steroids to kick this, after 5 days we want her getting better not worse! The good news is that we're staying on top of her ketosis and hypoglycemia and giving her that 2:30am feed is really helping.

2. BubTar won the ENTIRE district Pinewood Derby for scouts! He came in first place for the Wolves, but he also beat EVERYONE in the whole Derby, all levels! He was beyond excited. Now he gets to compete at Scout Fair! KayTar was at home sick again, but they raced for her and she won 3rd place in the non-scout race! The 'Tars make some awesone racing machines!

3. BubTar's surgical consult went well last week. He doesn't need surgery at this time and the belly tenderness was non-existent at that check. Hopefully, whatever is was will NOT happen again!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Maybe we're on to something...

KayTar got sick on Friday evening. It started with a little cough and then she woke in the middle of the with a low grade fever and that croupy cough.

Yesterday morning, I tested her urine for ketones and it was only at trace amounts (normal for the morning). A couple of hours later and I tested it again and it was clearly in the LARGE range. I was speechless when the stick turned dark purple. I know I theorized that this is what was happening when she was sick, but to see supporting evidence in my hand was CRAZINESS. We spent the day giving her carbohydrate-rich fluids and even then, she still lapsed back into ketosis more than once, in spite of being well-hydrated and having good, normal glucose levels.

This morning, though, she woke up with hypoglycemic symptoms and I checked her glucose. It was 46, too low, so I gave her Pedialyte through her g-tube. She vomited not long after, probably because of the hypoglycemia, so I gave her Zofran...and retried the Pedialyte a little later. Her glucose levels normalized soon enough. Her morning urine was STRONGLY positive for ketones and it stayed positive until just a short while ago. She's still sick, so we'll be at this for another day at least. I'll probably give her a feed tonight around 2am in hopes that she doesn't bottom out so drastically while she sleeps.

It looks like we just might be on the right track now!

ETA: It worked...I fed her at 2:30 am and this morning her glucose was 72 and her urine only had a small amount of ketones in it. Woohoo!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Poor BubTar!

My poor HEALTHY guy is falling apart lately! He's had some urogenital issues (which I won't be expounding on for respect for his privacy) in the past couple of months, which we're seeing a surgeon for on Friday and a urologist for in July (earliest available appointment, GEEZ!)...and on top of that he's recently started having very severe, intermittent abdominal pain over the past couple of weeks.

The night before last, as I walked in from my hospital shift at 1:15am, I heard moaning from upstairs. (As a side note: for some reason, there is a HIGH incidence of illness and discomfort in this house on Monday nights. I walk in the door and one of the kids is almost ALWAYS in need of something...the worst is when I come in, get all ready for bed and my head hits the pillow--then BAM! crying over the monitor. If someone is getting sick and is going to barf for spike a fever, it will be between 1-2am on a Monday night.) I went upstairs to check on the moaner and was surprised to find the noise coming from BubTar's room. I sent him to the potty, as that is usually the cause for his nighttime discomfort, but it didn't help. I gave him a Tums, in case he had a sour tummy, but that didn't help either. It QUICKLY progressed to writhing and crying, fast breathing, and him trying not to scream. At one point he whisper shouted, "I'M GOING TO SCREAM!" It got so bad that he asked to go to the hospital...which OF COURSE, is just what I wanted to hear after walking in the door from my shift there. I was going to run to the store for gas drops in case that was contributing to the pain, but he vomited some and the pain subsided. I dosed him with Zofran, just in case, and he went to sleep after a bit. The whole thing lasted for about an hour, from mild pain to the vomiting and subsequent relief.

It is actually the second time this has happened to our boy. The weekend before last, he was jumping on the trampoline and suddenly he had abdominal pains. He went to lay down and pretty soon it was severe pain, we thought we might need to take him to the hospital in case it was appendicitis! It was baaaad, just like the other night. The severe pain lasted 10-15 minutes and then he was okay. We thought, crisis averted! Hooray! But when it happened again, it made us think something really is going on with him. He's also been to the school nurse a few times recently for stomach pain.

We saw the pediatrician yesterday. His exam was a little abnormal, tenderness in his abdomen on palpation, but he didn't have rebound tenderness or guarding and his white count was good (I think that might actually have been the first time he's had blood drawn!). She said it could be swollen lymph nodes in his abdomen or something else, like an appy or intussusception, but she didn't think we needed to be sent for imaging immediately, because his white count was okay and his exam wasn't too terrible. If he has another bout of pain, then we'll get some imaging done. This morning he said he had mild pain in the night, but nothing like the previous night. He is back at school today and the nurse and his teacher know to call me if he has any pain. I don't know what is going on with him, but I hope we figure it out soon!

Sunday, April 04, 2010