…chilling out after being jabbed…
Our little man is 6 weeks old today. My how time flies when you’re having frequent trips to see doctors. Today he went for his first round of immunisations and I’m so happy about that. This day couldn’t get here quick enough as far as I’m concerned.
This winter has been particularly brutal in the cold and flu stakes so combine that with the rampant information about the dangers of whooping cough and I’ve been an Anxious Annie. (And that’s putting it mildly!) While I know that just because he got his injections today he’s not immune until he has his next courses I feel like this is one massive step in the right direction for keeping the little man happy and healthy. Which is all I am focused on at the moment.
The past week has been filled with some great highs and some pretty crappy lows. I’m going to chronicle them now, so either scroll down to look at all the cute baby photos or get comfy cause it’s a long winded tale.
3 weeks ago we took Sam to the GP and she diagnosed him with a blocked nose and advised us to use a saline spray in his nose to help him keep it clean and clear. 2 weeks on and his nose was still blocked and his breathing seemed wheezy. So on Friday when I thought it had gotten worse and I was concerned it was moving to his chest we made an emergency appointment with our GP.
Only problem we couldn’t get in to see our normal GP so we went to an alternative doctor.
…watching the British Open…
When we got to the GP he took Sam’s temperature off his forehead and declared that Sam was running a fever because his temperature was 37.8. I tried to question the validity of the result as I’d had to remove Sam’s beanie so he could take his temperature and we’d taken his temperature at home and it was under 37. He then listened to Sam’s chest. He listened to the front of his chest under his clothes but then listened to the back of his chest through his clothes. He then declared that Sam had chest congestion, dehydration and a fever.
I tired to question him on the dehydration ruling as Sam was drinking heaps and hasn’t been off his food. He didn’t display any of the symptoms of dehydration that the books talk about and I wanted to know why he thought he was dehydrated. He didn’t answer any of my questions and fobbed off the comments about Sam’s appetite and demeanor. He prescribed Panadol for his fever, Gastrolyte for his dehydration and Bricanyl for his lungs. When we told him we were giving him a saline nasal spray he told us to stop that as it was just sending mucus straight to Sam’s lungs.
He then proceeded to tell us to use 2 phone books (who has those any more?) to jack up the head end of his cot and use a rolled up piece of foam under his neck to bend his head back while sleeping. Then as we were leaving he pulled out a cut out advert from a hardware catalogue for an oil heater with a towel drying attachment and recommended we go out and buy one and put a wet towel on there to steam to act as a humidifier for him. When I said we had an infant humidifier already which we were using he told us that they were useless because the water drops are too big and we needed the wet towel/oil heater.
By this stage I was just smiling, nodding and trying to get out of there. After the appointment HUBBY and I picked up the recommended medications and then proceeded to talk about all the information he gave us.
…Mummy’s Little Star…
We both agreed we weren’t comfortable jacking up his cot or using the foam roll. While I was in the hospital the midwife told me not to elevate one end of his cot as it was a SIDS risk. (Despite him coming back from the nursery with his cot on an angle.) Then on Saturday when I was at my St John’s Caring for Kids First Aid course and they were covering how to administer CPR to a child under 1 the instructor was adamant that you shouldn’t bend an infants head back as it can cause damage to their windpipe. With that information on board I was glad that we’d made the decision not to use the foam roll.
On Friday night we debated heavily about whether we would use the prescribed medications. I was convinced that he wasn’t dehydrated and so didn’t need the gastrolyte. I was also convinced that he wasn’t running a fever and so didn’t need the panadol. The bricanyl I wasn’t sure about either, but when it comes to his chest I didn’t want to run the risk. HUBBY agreed and then we talked some more about it and we decided to ere on the side of caution and do what we were told and see if he improved.
By Saturday afternoon I was still not convinced we were doing the right thing and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. So when I got home from my course HUBBY and I spoke some more about it and we both agreed to call the Health Direct Line and talk to a nurse about our concerns. When I ran through everything with the nurse and answered all her questions she agreed that he didn’t have a temperature so didn’t need the panadol and didn’t sound dehydrated so didn’t need the gastrolyte. She said she wasn’t comfortable with him having the bricanyl but as it was a prescribed drug she wasn’t legally able to say stop taking it so she advised us to get back to our normal GP as soon as possible and see what she would say.
…post feed slumber…
By 10pm Saturday night we were giving Sam a bottle and we thought that his breathing sounded labored. Again we talked about all of our concerns and debated (for the millionth time) whether to take him to the hospital. In the end we decided to take him to the hospital.
I’m telling you now, if you want priority service in an ER tell them you’re having chest pains or turn up with a 5 week old child who may be having breathing problems. They saw Sam straight away. The triage nurse said he looked good and his stats were good, but he needed to see a doctor. The doctor then saw him and after we ran through the big story of the last 24 hours he went and called the pediatrician at the Canberra Hospital. He came back and declared Sam to be fit and healthy, but with a stuffy nose and hiccups – hence the strange breathing that brought us to the hospital. However he advised that we were to cancel the bricanyl immediately as it was too strong for a child his age and could cause issues with his heart. (The pediatrician we saw on Monday night went on to tell us that bricanyl hadn’t been used for over 30 years and that no one these days was actually trained in how to administer it.) Not to mention his chest was clear and he didn’t need it. He also told us to stop the panadol and gastrolyte as he didn’t have a temperature and wasn’t dehydrated. He then went on to tell us to use a saline solution to help him keep his stuffy nose clear.
Because our local hospital doesn’t have a pediatrician on staff he told us we needed to return to the ER in 12 hours so they could check Sam over again and make sure he was continuing to be ok. We returned home elated that he was fine but so mad (so mad) that we’d been giving our child a medication that he didn’t need and were putting his heart at risk.
On Sunday we returned to the ER and they gave Sam the all clear. We returned home and spent the next few hours talking about all that had transpired.
…sleeping jazz hands…
Sunday night I had a horrible night. Sam was unsettled and I was emotional and so we both slept like crap. HUBBY stayed home a little in the morning so I could get some more sleep before he headed into work.
Around midday I changed Sam’s nappy and he’d had a loose bowel motion. By 4pm I changed another nappy and this time he had another bowel motion that was greenish and watery. I rang HUBBY and let him know and he tried to make an appointment to see our GP because all the information I had said that a baby with diarrhea under 3 months needs to see a doctor immediately. We couldn’t get in to see our GP so they advised to take him to the hospital.
HUBBY came home from work and we headed into the Canberra Hospital ER because we knew they had a pediatrician on staff and figured that would be the best thing. At the time I knew that it would be nothing, but again instead of leaving it to chance I opted to take him into the hospital.
Again he was seen by a nurse and then he was seen by the pediatrician. He was declared healthy and happy. Turns out he was getting too much formula and so it was going straight through him. So home we returned with our healthy, happy, little boy.
By Tuesday I was a mess. Two nights of really crappy sleep, 3 weeks of dealing with a cold myself, 3 trips to an ER and a shitty experience with a GP had pushed me over the edge. I just went for a long hot shower and cried it all out. I haven’t cried like that in weeks. (I used to be able to say years to that statement…) HUBBY was awesome and let me go get some much needed sleep while he looked after Sam.
…quality time with Dad…
This morning I woke up feeling better than I have in the last couple of days. We took Sam straight to the Community Health Center and had his shots and a great meeting with the midwife. We talked about all that had happened in the past days, I asked some questions that had been floating around and she told me that I needed to get my butt to a mother’s group.
My hope is that we can go at least a week without another visit to the doctor. Admittedly we need to go see the GP to get Sam’s 6 week check up, but still I’d like life to settle down.
In the midst of all the medical drama we’ve been blessed with Sam’s first smile. The cheeky little monkey has taken to smiling at us at varies times. We both get so excited when it happens and then spend another 30 minutes carrying on like pork chops trying to get him to do it again. It’s one of my favourite things, right up there with bath time.
He’s also starting to really look around. He’s found his dragon mobile and loves to watch it while on the change table. He’s just watching everything, it’s amazing. I love seeing what will capture his attention.
He’s also busting out of his 0000 clothes, which is really great but a little sad as some items I really love seeing him in no longer fit him. He’s been weighed as part of his many trips to the ER and it turns out the little porker is now 5.8kg (he was 3.8kg at birth). This means he’s moved up a size in his nappies as well. Farewell wetness indicator!
At times I find myself just looking at him and trying to absorb all the changes. He’s got a massive noggin – which I love. HUBBY and I have taken to quoting So I Married an Axe Murder to him and calling him head.
He’s also blessed us with a couple of really long sleeps. Listen to me, really long. I used to consider 12 hours a really long sleep, now I’m ecstatic when he sleeps for 4 to 5 hours. Regardless of what I used to think, I am now convinced that a sleep of 4 hours is heaven! I just need to reset my body clock again so I don’t wake up after 2 hours and then spend 2 hours waiting for him to wake up.
I’m so happy to have him in our lives, even with all the crazy. Now I’m getting over my cold (touch wood) things in the house are even getting back to normal. It’s surprising how something that I used to just take for granted (being able to be sick) has change completely. Now when I’m sick I still have to look after Sam and if the chores aren’t done it impacts on my ability to look after him and that just makes everything difficult. Who would have thought that all those cold and flu tablet advertisements are true! Now I’m even more acutely aware of how I need to look after myself to stop from getting sick.
Anyways, the boy is stirring and I must get back to tending to the home fires.