Friday, May 29, 2009

Go ahead, kick her when she's down

Hm, so you know that whole Rock Bottom post? Well, not even close.

Let's recap shall we?

Tom was sick for a whole week with a head cold/allergies/cough thing.

Friday before Memorial Day weekend (which was supposed to be Nicky and my chance to go on a vacation to see Grammie, Aunt Liz and Aunt Jodi): Nicky threw up all night long.

Saturday night, I start feeling crappy, hope it's just allergies.

Sunday I run a fever and feel worse. Seems maybe I caught Tom's cold.

Monday morning I wake up puking and have stomach flu all day.

Tuesday morning Tom wakes up and has stomach flu all day. I just start regaining my strength and being able to eat food again. Still have a cold though. Doctor says we just have a cold and a stomach flu that started going around last week and to push fluids and rest.

Wednesday I start running a fever again and feel horrible. My cold is now aggravating my asthma too. I call the doctor for a nebulizer since I had to return the last one. They never call back.

Thursday my voice goes and while I made it in to work for about 3 hours for a meeting I come back home early. Nicky comes home with a fever of 101. Tom's nausea comes back along with dizziness. I'd called the doctor again about the nebulizer, but again, no call back.

Friday my throat hurts so badly I can't talk at all without pain, my voice is just about completely gone and it hurts even with throat spray. Lucky me I still get to have a cough anyway. Need the damn nebulizer and seem to have possible strep along with laryngitis.

Come ON man! It was a ruined 3 day weekend AND both Tom and I have missed a 4 day work week too. Nicky made it to school Tuesday and Thursday, the only days that one of us was strong enough to drive, and he still managed to catch another bug.

We just booked our June Disney vacation for 3 days and I just hope we can all be well for that. I feel like at least one of us have been sick forever at this point!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Rock bottom

Well if I thought our weekend was blown by Sunday, it was nothing compared to Monday.

Sunday night I dredged up the energy to write a post here and then do my homework up through Tuesday night. Good thing I did too! Because Monday morning I woke up early with really bad nausea. And then I got the full blown stomach flu. Fever, sore throat, stuffy nose, and the whole GI bit. Uphill, both ways. I spent all day in bed. I managed to hold down Gatorade by the afternoon and was eating chicken broth and half a banana by evening. I'm just glad I was able to avoid the hospital this time.

Today I'm weak and exhausted, but holding everything down and my fever might even be gone.

But now Tom's got it. So we're both at home resting today. I was able to drive Nicky to school this morning around 10:30 which allowed us to rest most of the day. I'll go pick him up around 4:30. Hopefully by then we'll be mostly coherent.

So my plan is to be able to go to work tomorrow. I'm not so optimistic about Tom though. We'll play that by ear.

Our next planned holiday is in just a few weeks. We're planning to take Nicky to Disney World. Hopefully we can avoid getting horrendously ill for that one! This is starting to be a pattern.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Another 3 day weekend bites the dust

You know, I'd really like to have a holiday weekend where we all actually felt good!

So we ended up staying home after all. Nicky was fine by Saturday morning, but I called my mom and we all agreed that it would be best to give Nicky a break and just have some quality time with him this weekend. Saturday we just took it easy and by dinner he was eating ok. Earlier he was drinking fine, but just not really hungry. He had a few graham crackers but that was it for lunch.

Sunday Nicky was fine, but a little stir crazy. We were going to all go shopping and let him play at the playground in the mall (it's been raining daily all week and he needed to get out and play). But as soon as we all showered and dressed I started feeling crappy. You know it's not a good sign when it hurts to wash your hair. Tom took my temp and sure enough I have a low grade fever. So I stayed in bed all day and Tom took Nicky out. They had a good time playing at the mall.

I dredged up the energy to go out to dinner. We met Tom's dad and JM at Applebees and Nicky did pretty well for a kid with no nap. We curbed his crawling under the table though. I think his days of doing that are over!

I did well at Applebees I think. I did a salad and tomato soup instead of the appetizer and then had a potato, steak and broccoli. Dinner had to be a little point heavy since all I'd eaten was breakfast. That's a good position to be in for dinner! But I was starving when we arrived, hence the salad and soup I had them bring right away.

Oh, and I did make it to a weight watchers meeting Saturday morning! I lost another 3.6 pounds. That's 9.6 in two weeks. Pretty good! I know it'll slow down to about a pound a week soon, but this immediate gratification at the start is awfully nice.

Well, I have a homework assignment to bang out. Then I'm headed to bed. Scratchy throat, stuffy nose and a fever. Ugh. I hope I feel better by Tuesday. At least Tom is finally starting to feel better. He's been sick for over a week.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

It's 2am and I know exactly where my son is

If you're eating, or squeamish, move on past this post. Don't even bother trying to read it. Seriously. You've been warned!

It's 2am on the Saturday of the holiday weekend. I was halfway packed for the trip Nicky and I were taking to go see his Grammie, Aunt Liz and Aunt Jodi. Nicky had already had a good dinner (we'd gone out to TGI Fridays and he'd eaten pasta and broccoli and then later he had a small ice cream from McDonalds. He'd had a fun bath with Daddy and about 4 stories and a nice long rock-a-bye with Mommy.

We were all set to be packed tonight and leave early in the morning for our three-day weekend extravaganza. Just Nicky and me. Tom was staying home to watch the dogs and work on the house.

And then about 20 minutes after Nicky fell asleep...he started coughing and then calling for me. Now, this isn't unusual. Nearly every night he comes to his door and calls for me or Tom to come do rock-a-bye with him some more. And we usually tell him to go to sleep for a while and then, depending on our homework situation, one of us usually will go in and rock him for a few minutes and put him back down.

But tonight I sensed he needed me more than normal. He wasn't crying like he usually tries (kind of a fake, manipulative cry usually). Instead he was just calling for me. I put down the stuff I was packing to go give him a quick rock-a-bye, but when I opened the door he was standing there covered in vomit. His bed was covered, pillow, animals, the wall behind his headboard... even the carpet on both sides of his bed had some. It was pretty icky.

I figured he'd been coughing from his allergies, as he'd been doing for months, and this time it just made him puke. That happened to me a lot as a kid with my allergies. I was super nice to him, because I know how it feels to be in that situation, and gently led him to the bathroom to clean him up. I put him in a warm bath and cleaned him off. He didn't want to get out of the tub, so I let him be there for a bit while I cleared off his bed and stuff. Tom was getting the car ready for our trip and bringing in Nicky's carseat to clean it. He took over cleaning the bedclothes outside with the hose before throwing them in the washer.

I finally got Nicky out of the tub, into a clean nightshirt and diaper, and set him in the chair in his room while I made his bed. He just sat there looking at a book. A bit pale and wan.

We got him settled into my lap for rock-a-bye. He wouldn't let me leave him to go change so I was still wearing pukey pants, but I figured he'd fall asleep soon. He did doze off pretty quickly and then rolled on his back in my arms and was sleeping nicely. I was just about to put him to bed when he coughed twice and started throwing up again.

How great that I finally got to experience that age-old tradition of catching your child's puke in your hand. I calmly called for Tom, who brought a towel, and then got Nicky into the bathroom where he finished puking in the toilet. Tom must have called the doctor at some point around then. I held Nicky for a bit, but then put him back down to sleep in his bed, on a towel.

Maybe 45 minutes later I heard him throwing up again and ran to him. Got him back to the bathroom and after this I didn't even bother putting a new shirt on him. I just wrapped him in a towel and held him. The doctor called back and Tom talked to her. Basically we were told to try the tsp of Gatorade every 30 minutes and take him to the doctor in the morning. Thank goodness our pediatrician has Saturday hours.

After putting Nicky back to bed again he was down for an hour or so. Tom went to the store and bought Gatorade.

My laptop decided to crap out at this point. For some reason the screen won't work anymore. Tom helped me hook it up to the big monitor we have for our desktop, so I can still access my stuff. Guess I'll be giving Dell a call tomorrow too.

And then we heard Nicky again. When I came in he'd just started coughing and I was able to get him to the edge of his bed to the trashcan I'd left there. Mostly it went in there this time. Tom got a washcloth and I cleaned him up. Nicky was so exhausted by this time that his legs were collapsing under him, so I just held him for a while, wrapped in a towel.

I just put him down a few minutes ago again. Tom and I are up and now it's 2:30am. We're kind of afraid to go to sleep. I'm thinking I might move my machine into Nicky's room and sleep in there with him tonight.

Nicky's not running any fever at all. If anything he's cooler than normal. His stomach is really gurgling and he's burped quite a bit since this started, so we thought maybe it was just he ate too much or something. But we'd have expected it to stop after one or two times. The last few times though it's just bile and dry heaves, so that doesn't seem like just an upset stomach to me.

We did eat out, so I'm concerned about possible food poisoning, but I would expect a fever with that. He doesn't seem to have any pain or swelling in his abdomen when it's palpated, so an obstruction seems unlikely. I would expect a fever with a virus or a bacteria, so I just don't know what this could be.

I feel a little queasy myself, but that didn't start till after all this, so I think that's just a reaction to seeing, smelling and cleaning up puke. (Although I'm pretty sure Nicky has no idea that I think it's gross. I've been very calm. A+ for me!)

I'm off to Google symptoms now and will probably convince myself it's something really wild by the time I take him to the doctor tomorrow. At first we thought he'd probably be fine and we could still go, but I'm thinking we're pretty much grounded for the weekend now. Darn it! I promise we'll get down there soon Mom!

Well, according to my Googling, it looks like the most likely culprit is food poisoning. That's the only one listed on the Dr. Sears site that says it often has no fever. Nicky was crawling under the table at one point, so who knows what kind of bacteria he could have picked up. The site also indicated this is usually short-lived (12 hours or so) so he might be fine soon. But I hear him now!

UPDATE 10am:
He seems ok this morning. He's holding down Gatorade fine. I'm going to give him some toast soon and see how that goes. Am I crazy for thinking we might still be able to go?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Gone Country

I finally uploaded a few photos and a movie last night. More will come now that I've gotten them off the camera.

This was the start of Nicky's tractor ride with his cousin Tyler and Grandpa in GA. Dad's foot slipped off the brake and they started to slide backwards, scared Grandpa pretty good I think.

Don't you think my laugh hid my fright well? They had a lot of fun riding in the tractor and Tyler was a good big cousin holding on to Nicky to keep him safe and happy.

I think Nicky's favorite thing though, was feeding the baby chickens each day:

He can't wait to go back up north to "see Aunt Jessie!"

Here he and Aunt Jessie were looking over Amicalola Falls. It's just gorgeous up there! Check out the view from the top:

Monday, May 18, 2009

What a big boy!

Nicky has really been such a big boy today!

First we went to the allergist and he was able to do ALL of the testing in one day. Originally he'd had two appointments, one today and one tomorrow, but he did it all today. For that they drew a grid of 10 squares on his back and then poked him once in each square. He wasn't happy about it, but quickly smiled when given two lollipops by the nurse.

We had to wait for a while and then see what the reactions were. Then anything he hadn't reacted to definitively would usually be retested the next day with a stronger dose via injections in his back (rather than the tiny pokes). But Nicky was amenable and so we went ahead with those six injections today. He screamed and squirmed as I held him. (I held him instead of having him held down.) It took a few minutes to calm down after that, but he was ok after a bit. Poor guy.

In the end he is VERY allergic to cats, and has strong allergies to grasses, weeds, trees and mold. He is NOT allergic to dogs or dust oddly enough. So the dogs can breathe a sigh of relief. But looks like we'll never own a cat again. The doctor said Nicky's reaction was so strong that even coming into contact with a person who has a cat (who might have dander on their clothes) would make him react. I took some photos of his back during the testing to show Tom, but they're on my phone and I'm not sure if I can get them onto the computer. But the cat one was really impressive!

We're putting him back on the Zyrtec and then instead of the Singulair we're going to try Nasonex for two weeks and then follow up with the allergist.

So awesome day already and he was super good.

The doctor said it would be best to take him home, give him benadryl and watch him for the rest of the day since he reacted strongly to several of the tests. So I called in to work and then we headed home. We stopped by to see Tom for lunch and then stopped at the drugstore for benadryl chewables (much easier to give him than the liquid). Then we stopped by McDonalds for small ice cream cones as a treat for being so good.

Now, this is the point where if you're not really interested in how potty training is going you can skip the next paragraph!


When we came home, Nicky finished his ice cream and then he said he had to go under the table. Now, this is secret code for "I need to poop" from Nicky. So I had an idea. I went and got his potty and put that under the table with him. By doing that he was interested in sitting on it. It took a while of sitting and then running around the kitchen naked, but finally he called me to come see and he'd gone poop in his potty! I was so proud of him, and I did a little dance for him and we took photos (which I will not share- see how lucky you are!). This was so exciting! I think we're really getting close to getting Nicky into the potty-routine. Nicky got a mini-candy bar as a reward and then we went to take a nap.


He's just fallen asleep now. We go to pick Tom up from work in about an hour, so I'm going to try to get some of my homework done.

Oh, and by the way, I lost 6 pounds last week on my first week of WeightWatchers. Yay me! I actually hadn't worked any exercise in last week, but this week we'll be walking 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the afternoon just to get to and from the car during the week. I bet that will help too.

I was very good about journaling and keeping within my points for the week. I wasn't too hungry most of the time, and I made a lot of good choices that I know I wouldn't have made before, so I know that helped a lot. I know I won't lose this much every week (and probably not actually ANY other week) but as long as I'm heading in the right direction that's good! I'm doing this with Donna (Tom's mom, Nicky's Nana) and she'll be coming soon to stay with us over the summer a lot. That'll make it even easier to stay with the program.

Nicky and I will be going down to see Grammie, Aunt Liz and Aunt Jodi over the long weekend. We're looking forward to celebrating a belated Mother's Day and Aunt Liz's birthday with them. I don't know if I'll make it to a meeting this weekend or not. I'll try though! Hm, I didn't think about it yet, but they do have a cat. We'll have to be sure to keep Nicky away from the kitty as much as possible and have Benadryl on hand.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Running in Place

So, tomorrow morning is the big day. I've been good on this WeightWatchers program all week. I'm expecting good results. I was hungry at times, but was able to make good choices and not go over my points. (It helps that I get 35 points a day!) I know I have already made a LOT of much better choices in foods this week than I normally would.

I do want to add in exercise still. I jumped on the treadmill once last week even, but Nicky wanted to walk with me and then he fell and his shirt got caught. I pulled the key off so that it would stop, but it did take a moment and he was scraped/rugburned on his upper arm. It didn't bleed or anything. But we put bactine on it anyway. I'm glad we did because it was a huge scab the next day, even though no blood. Weird. It's finally fallen off, but I haven't gotten back on the treadmill since. I think I'll have to do that after he's in bed from now on. That was just too much of a close call.

Monday I'll be starting to get in two 15 minute walks a day though, like it or not. Tom's gotten a full time OPS (no benefits) job at the libraries and starts Monday. This is great for him as he needs to get his foot in the door there and get experience to go with the masters degree he's working on. And he'll make enough to cover Nicky's daycare and maybe some gas money. But while I'm happy for him, I'm REALLY sad for me! I've thoroughly enjoyed having him at home to take care of all of us. The thought of now trying to pitch in to cover a fair 1/2 of the household duties is overwhelming to me right now. (I'm still hoping that I'll feel better about it after I get my sleep apnea under control though.)

So just to see how we will REALLY be allotting our time:

Starting Monday we'll be getting up at 6am (which is TWO hours earlier than normal) to get all three of us ready for the day and take care of the dogs. Then we'll drop Nicky off at school at about 7:15 and then drive to work. We'll park and walk for about 15 minutes to our buildings (right next door to each other) and work till lunch. I'm hoping we'll be able to lunch together most of the time. That'll be really nice. Then we get off work at 5pm and go for another 15 minute walk to the car. Pick up Nicky at 5:40 and head home.

We'll probably arrive home just about 6pm. Which is important, because on Mondays we both have class from 6-8pm and then Tuesdays I have class from 6-8 and Tom has class from 8-10pm.

So we'll try to have made and eaten dinner by 7:30, get Nicky in the tub and then to bed by 8pm. Then have a few hours to try to squeeze in homework each night.

WHERE exactly does the housework fit in? Weekends I suppose, although really those are days we like to spend with Nicky because we only see him for about 2 hours a day during the week. And honestly we still end up doing a ton of homework to get ready for classes on Monday and Tuesday.

Somehow writing all this down isn't making me feel any better. There really ISN'T enough time in the day.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Dieting, Celebrating and Frustration (all unrelated to each other)

Well, nearly a week has gone by and I have to say I think I'm doing pretty well on the WeightWatchers thing so far. I'm not always drinking enough, but I'm sticking to the right number of points (although possibly some days not eating quite enough of them, but I'm working on that). We'll have to see what the scale says this Saturday.

Saturday afternoon I'm taking Nicky with me to a celebration for a former coworker whose adoption of two children has just been finalized recently. I can't wait to see her and meet her children. I'm not 100% sure of their ages, but I believe they're older (between 2-6 I want to say) so I'm not sure what to bring as gifts. Nothing was indicated in the invitation about gifts, but I'm thinking something is called for for this momentous occasion! I'll have to do some shopping that morning after the WW meeting.

I had my sleep study last night and it was miserable! My problem is that I've started snoring (and thus not breathing) while WEARING my mask. I did get a new mask that doesn't leak and it's not as bad, but I'm still snoring.

But the sleep techs said since my original study was in 2005 I should do another split-night study. I didn't think that sounded too bad, so I didn't put up a fight about it. But trying to fall asleep hooked up in that whole apparatus with goop, tape, wires and belts made it so hard to sleep. Add in that I didn't have my mask on, which I've slept with nearly every night and nap for almost 4 years...

Well let's just say it was probably 3:30 before I really fell asleep. And then it seemed I woke up from not breathing every few minutes for the rest of the night. It was horrible! But since they didn't "catch" me not breathing until after 2am, they did the whole night without the mask.

So great. They've proven that I have sleep apnea. WE KNEW THIS ALREADY PEOPLE! Garg!

So today I'm completely wiped out, at an all day computer training (desperately trying not to doze off), and will have to go BACK again sometime to get the actual titration done to see if my machine is broken or if my pressure needs have increased.

I'd scream if I wasn't so damn tired.

They wouldn't share any information with me this morning at the sleep lab, and said it would be 3-5 business days before my doctor had the results. Perfect.

Anyone know how to increase your own pressure? Cause I'm seriously considering this.

Update: Ok, so thank goodness the sleep lab got the results to my doctor today and he immediately said to reschedule a sleep study WITH the cpap machine ON. They called to schedule it today. The bad news is that the earliest appointment is June 3rd.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Just easing back in

It's tempting to just wait till I have time to sit down and catch up on everything that's happened over the last... weeks since I've posted here. But not only would that be a giant post, there is just no way I'll ever find the time.

So here we are. This week classes started. I'm in a holding pattern till financial aid comes in. The other two managers in my department are leaving and I'm at least temporarily trying to do three jobs simultaneously.

So just a little stressed right now.

Tonight I think was the first time since I've become a mother that I really felt like I am missing out on Nicky-time. He's growing so fast, talking up a storm, coming up with such funny stuff that he's learning at school. And I am feeling like I'm rushing rushing rushing and can't take a minute to just sit and BE with him, fully present, for a while.

And it's just going to get worse. Work is getting really overwhelming right now although I've promised myself that I will NOT stay late, come early or take work home. School is bound to get overwhelming pretty quickly, and since I don't have any time other than evenings and weekends to do that work, that seems to inevitably take me away from Nicky.

I am trying to do some stuff for myself. I started Weight Watchers this past weekend with Tom's mom. And while it's ostensibly to help her, it's really something I'm doing for me that will also help her. That's time and money committed to myself. (Although not much fun I'll tell ya!) I plan on taking the long weekend coming up to visit my mom and sister with Nicky, and I will not be taking a lick of homework with me! That should be really nice. And I'm going tomorrow night for a new sleep study to get my sleep apnea back under control. Maybe that's part of the problem. I know my cpap machine isn't working right for me. Maybe my exhaustion and stress is partly from not sleeping well. If so, hopefully getting retested will help a lot.

Anyway, I'm alive, as are all the family, and we're doing just fine. The tomato plant is taking over the entire container garden we planted at Easter. We took a really lovely trip up to north GA finally! And that was really a wonderful get-away for us. I got to see family I haven't seen in years, and also got to meet new family. And Nicky got to feed chickens. He had a ball with that. I have photos on the camera that I'll post eventually of that.

Now if I can just not wait 3 weeks between posts we'll do alright.