Thursday, March 4, 2010

Wet Diaper Dance!

Out my office window fat tree buds frothing with pre-spring cotton are bursting on their fingerling branches. Also out my window a fresh snow storm shafts horizontally, millions of furry flakes wiping out the horizon. It's cold. I haven't whined about the cold much this year, so I figure now may be my last chance.

I love the end of February. By February's arrival, days have already been dark for long enough; winter has had its say and should leave well enough alone. Why make us endure one whole month more of dark and winter and call it February? Besides, February is spelled weirdly. No wonder the calendar gods won't give it more than 29 days in a generous year.

But March is nice because it represents a good fight. Winter and spring tussle day to day, and there's not a year so far that spring hasn't won out. Not in my lifetime anyway.

I suppose the last two weeks of Bridgette's health represent our personal February to March transition quite well. February 21-28 were horrible with my peak depression on the 24th, peak anxiety on the 26th, and peak stress on the 28th. Darn Feb-R-uary.

Then came March, and we finally found the good fight and some spring buds. We can't quite see the horizon, and it's still a bit chilly, but spring is donning its boxing gloves.

After emergency room visits Friday (Feb 26 - PCMC - 10 hours) and Monday night (March 1 - Riverton - 4 hours), we were able to visit our pediatrician on Tuesday. By then, the cold that triggered Bri's intestinal shut-down had also given her an ear-infection and upper-respiratory infection. We'd been watching development carefully, so I think we caught those two complications pretty early.

The pediatrician also helped us get return calls from the pediatric gastroenterology team at PCMC (who told us we could come in on April 21st - haha! - we had words about that), and the infectious disease specialist in Utah County. Those appointments are now scheduled for next week, Monday and Tuesday.

Then on Wednesday we visited with Dr. Black, her surgeon at PCMC, and he agreed that it was a terrible waste of everything holy for us to go to the E.D. for rehydration. A waste of our time, a waste of emergency resources, and a waste of IHC health insurance funds (the benefit of reaching our maximum out-of-pocket the second week of January is an obvious simplification of billing on our end for the rest of the year).

Initially, he used the same line I have heard a lot over the last week as I've tried to figure out a way to administer I.V. fluids at clinic or at home, "The system just isn't set up that way."

But we worked it out between 4 different hospital administrators, and I was not only set up with pediatric home health care nurses and a load of I.V. supplies, but eventually it was decided that "this health savvy mom here" could be the one to make the call. Essentially, I don't even have to go through PCMC or my pediatrician to request action. I can literally make all the calls.

The situation is unusual for the home health care folks. As such, we have to do a few administrative tricks to keep us in the system, but hopefully it won't be too much hassle.

Somewhat ironically, as soon as we got the I.V. situation set up for home, Bridgette had a wet diaper today! She also pooped last night! Her lungs sound minutely better, and she's not grinding her teeth as much to resolve ear pain.

Today she also ate food! Granted it wasn't much but it was certainly better than nothing (nothing being the sum total of the last 9 days).

Today she ate 1/3 of one strawberry, 10 black beans, 12 kernels of corn, and 5 bites of oatmeal. She also licked three blueberries. Her fluid intake has not been stellar, but it's a slight increase over days past.

In the meantime, Bridgette is taking Amoxicillin for her ear/lung infections, a second round of Flagyl to stave off C-diff overgrowth due to the Amoxicillin, and Diflucan to stave off yeast colonization due to both the Flagyl and Amoxicillin. When you add her probiotics, daily vitamin with flouride, and Tylenol for pain and fever, we practically have our own apothecary. We line up all the little medicine droppers and start plugging away! It's not Bridgette's favorite, but she is obviously already feeling better.

As to the reason baby's intestines didn't work for over a week?

We still don't know. Dr. Black's best guess was that it wasn't mucus or yeast or bacteria. He guessed that the viral infection that first manifested itself as a cold simply moved into her intestines as well and wreaked havoc there. Have you ever noticed how havoc must be wreaked? I suppose there is no other way.

If that is true, I suppose I will be more grateful in the future than I am even now for the home health care set-up. If baby's instestines stop operating with every cold, every flu, every viral or bacterial anything... it could still be a long winter. But man, when it ends, what a spring.

Riverton Hospital
(iPhone photos thanks to Jeff)

Emergency Room beds are not child-safe, so this time I decided to climb in with her. Although sitting like this for 4 hours wasn't pleasant for either of us, it's better than standing!

On our way out the door, we checked the mail and found a care package from our good friends in Nebraska. The timing couldn't have been better. There were anti-bacterial wipes (perfect since Bridgette likes to suck on the hand-railings), tissues, a handmade bib of awesomeness, and the bright orange fairy doll pictured below. Bridgette really liked taking her shoes off and throwing them across the room.

Fairy receiving kisses from Bridgette. Or was it the other way around?

This is a new favorite photo for several reasons: 1) it reminds me how cute Bridgette is, and 2) how inventive we can get, and 3) how well this works. Bridgette gets nervous any time anyone comes in the hospital room. She usually yells and flips herself over, trying to get out of reach. At Riverton we learned how to solve the problem. When someone comes in the room, she simply *disappears*!!!

Uh-huh. Around 10 p.m. Bridgette and I are both "sleeping."

Discharged! One good thing about this round of trouble is that Bridgette only vomited when she coughed too hard. So, she was actually drinking minimal fluids, just not peeing.


Joy said...

Loved the post. I agree with the winter months, love that spring will come and how much I will enjoy it!

Tiffany W. said...

Don't know how you do it all! You guys are amazing!