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March 21, 2010

So, I'd have continued my update about our emergency visit with Elizabeth yesterday, but we had to take my sister to adult emergency after she threw up thirteen times in eight hours.  I wish I was kidding.


I feel like we should hang a quarantine flag outside our house.  Stay away!  This is the house of so much sickness that we even made up a song about it.


On the first day of PukeFest, my sister brought to me: a large blue bucket for me.

On the second day of PukeFest, my sister brought to me: two damp cloths and a large blue bucket for me.

On the third day of PukeFest, my sister brought to me: three yoghurts, two damp cloths and a large blue bucket for me.

On the fourth day of PukeFest, my sister brought to me: four bowls of jello, three yoghurts, two damp cloths and a large blue bucket for me.

On the fifth day of PukeFest, my sister brought to me: five cups of ginger ale! Four bowls of jello, three yoghurts, two damp cloths and a large blue bucket for me.


We were debating what day six would bring and Brendan brought the songwriting to an end by stating that we all got better.  Unfortunately, day six instead brought a completely listless Elizabeth who wouldn't open her eyes.  She'd had a rough night, tossing and turning without ever settling down.  Mom was awake until nearly 4:30am trying to help her find a comfortable spot.  At one point we even took her to the bathroom, turned on the shower and let it steam away in an attempt to help clear her congested airways.  Much use of the nasal aspirator and saline solution also occurred. 


At 11:30am, Elizabeth finally opened her eyes for the first time.  She seemed awfully hot and had bit of a temperature (about 38C under the armpit).  We decided we should take her to the clinic as her temperature rose and she became less and less responsive.  The clinic doctor diagnosed a "raging ear infection" but because of her lethargy and general "look" of her he felt she might also have a UTI and asked us to go to the hospital.


I've never been to the CHEO emergency room before, but now after three different emergency rooms in less than a month I feel like a connoisseur.  It's very confusing when you arrive with unclear signs pointing in different directions, but I guess they are under construction so hopefully this is a temporary problem.  We had to wait about half an hour before we were even triaged, which made us wonder what the protocol was for more urgent emergencies.  They gave Elizabeth some tylenol right away because her temperature had risen to 39 point something and the nurse was afraid of seizures.  She was also hooked up with a bag to collect a urine sample and we were sent away to wait.


On the sixth day of PukeFest, the doctor brought to us: six hours of waiting...  Yes, we waited a long time. Not quite six hours before seeing a doctor, but probably six hours of waiting total!  The place was very busy.  When we finally got to an ER doctor, his first comment was "You've been here since FIVE?" I didn't want to tell him we'd actually been here since 4:30...


They ruled out UTI and then attempted to orally hydrate Elizabeth with pedialyte and apple juice.  I say attempted because Elizabeth doesn't really take liquids except from mom yet.  She'll drink the odd sip from a cup but just has no idea what to do with a bottle (and we did try).  She thought the pedialyte tasted gross and that was that.  They decided not to do an IV because they felt she was borderline and I agreed, so they sent us home with strict instructions to come back if she showed any signs of dehydration.


March 20, 2010

"Please see this little girl who looks so unwell.  Temperature 38.5  Possible UTI???"


So read the note of the on-call clinic physician to our local Children's Hospital's emergency department where we had been sent.  "I hate to send parents to CHEO", he said, "because you might have to wait a long time.  But you should go there right now."


To be continued... 


March 18, 2010

Elizabeth has either had a cold, a cough or the stomach flu for most of the last month.  Our poor baby!


Now both mom and dad have spent the last couple of days discovering the joys of family illness.  It turns out it is very difficult to stay well hydrated as a sick breastfeeding mom.  On the upside Elizabeth is much better except when she throws up (approximately every 12 hours), but she's rather perplexed that mom and dad have suddenly taken to spending all day in bed.  Boring!  I'm feeling tentatively better as well, aside from an absessed tooth needing a root canal on Monday.  Brendan is still feeling completely rotten.


I tried the black tea eventually.  Didn't seem to help!


March 16, 2010

Elizabeth has been sick the last few days with a vicious tummy bug. Unlike last time, Elizabeth is as happy as a clam most of the time.  She's even been helping us clean out our basement...  (We went to Home Depot on Sunday before she got sick where she was thrilled to drive the race car shopping cart.)


Then she gets a bit fussy and we go through our list.  "Do you need to go to the toilet?"  "Need a diaper change?" "Are you hungry?" "Do you need a nap?"  BWAWP... goes Elizabeth.  Usually all over Mom.  Getting completely drenched in vomit is not my idea of a good time.  Elizabeth doesn't enjoy it much either, although she seems to love the baths afterwards.


Our employee Irina has been recommending black tea.  A few years ago she dosed me with Eucalyptus tea that was very effective if a bit vile so if Elizabeth is still sick tomorrow I might try it... 


March 15, 2010

Elizabeth loves drawing but I don't always have the energy to supervise an actual drawing session.


A few weeks ago I pulled out our Aqua Doodle mat acquired to entertain Erika a couple of years ago and let Elizabeth try it out.  She loves it!  She's been doodling on the mat several times a day, crawling down the stairs on her own (with supervision) to the Aqua Doodle room with drawing obviously on her mind.  Her drawings are getting more complex too, although they cannot be classified as anything beyond scribble.


I love it too because I can leave the "pen" lying around and even though Elizabeth has been known to "draw" on the walls, vacuum cleaner and floor, since it's only water it's not that big a deal.  She also has been known to suck on her art supplies, so having something completely safe to eat makes this activity less stressful for both of us.


The mat itself is basically a thin sheet spread tightly over a coloured waterproof mat.  I'm thinking about trying to make a few more with different backgrounds (we have lots of old sheets here!)


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