Wednesday, September 29, 2010

not again!

My poor little boy has been sick since mid-last week. It started with a little congestion and coughing that I first noticed last Wednesday. When he woke Thursday, it seemed worse, so I kept him home. I checked his temp and it was normal, but the cough was really bothering him, so I gave him a day of rest with Mom.

I kicked him out of the nest and back to school on Friday... and then got a call from the school secretary at 2:30pm saying Super Boy was in her office with a headache and low fever (99.6). I felt awful! What a MOM FAIL that was.

Super Boy continued to run a low-grade fever all weekend long, and into Monday. It never went higher than 101, but never lower than 99.3 (this was without any fever-reducer, as it didn't seem to warrant any given how low the fever was and the fact that Super Boy wasn't complaining). By Monday, I figured four days was long enough, and I figured it was more likely a bacterial infection of some sort than a viral illness because Super Boy ALWAYS spikes fevers over 102 with viral stuff and almost never does with bacterial infections.

We saw the pediatrician, Dr. O, on Monday morning. I LOVE Super Boy's pediatrician. He is one of the kindest, smartest, most thoughtful physicians I've ever met, and he LISTENS. He wants to know what I think about whatever Super Boy is experiencing, what I've observed, and if I suggest something, he addresses it without dismissing it. I respect him, and he respects me.

I told him I thought it might be walking pneumonia, because Super Boy's symptoms seemed to fit that bill. But after listening to Super Boy's chest, he said his chest actually sounded pretty clear. Unfortunately, after looking in his nose and throat, Dr. O said the words I had hoped never to hear again: "I hate to say this, Mom, but it looks like Super Boy has a sinus infection."

Ughhhhhh.... no, no, no!!

You might remember that my boy had a long and unfortunate history of chronic and recurring sinus infections earlier in his life. He started daycare at the age of 11 weeks, and no lie, from the time he was about 12 weeks until he was 3 years and 8 months old, my poor boy was on antibiotics for sinus infections more than he was OFF antibiotics. It was a vicious cycle: he'd catch a cold, it wouldn't go away and he'd end up with a lingering cough, I'd take him to the doctor, they'd diagnose a sinus infection, and he'd be on 2 weeks of antibiotics, and then we'd be right back there again within 2 weeks for the same thing, over and over and over... and over... again. We were seeing a different pediatrician for the first two years of Super Boy's life, and I grew more and more frustrated as he blew off my concerns that this COULD NOT POSSIBLY BE NORMAL. The one and only useful recommendation he made was that I remove him from the large daycare center he was initially at and move him to a much smaller in-home daycare. And despite that change, he was still sick almost non-stop.

I finally switched to our current pediatrician, and I never looked back. Dr. O agreed with me that it made sense for Super Boy to be tested for allergies, and to see an ENT to have his adenoids and sinuses checked rather than continue to prescribe antibiotics without knowing exactly what was causing the chronic infections or why they would never fully go away.

The allergist did skin testing for darn near everything. Nothing reacted. The ENT did sinus CTs, swabbed Super Boy's nasal cavities to find out exactly what bacteria were growing so he could prescribe the RIGHT medications, and he prescribed 21 days at a time to be sure the infection was totally gone. One of the CTs showed that Super Boy had enlarged adenoids, so he did an adenoidectomy, thinking that might help. Unfortunately, since Super Boy had been having sinus infections for so long, it was impossible to known if his adenoids were huge because they were chronically infected or if they were huge because it was a structural defect, but it made sense to take them out regardless. All of this made some difference, and seemed to help slow down the recurrence of the sinus infections, but only my getting Super Boy out of Petri dish that is daycare ended up putting a STOP to the infections.

And it was just that simple: After 3-1/2 years of nearly constant sinus infections and antibiotics, they just stopped once Super Boy was home with me and no longer at daycare. In fact, in the nearly four years since Super Boy has been out of daycare, he's only been on antibiotics twice: once for his one and only case of strep throat when he was 5, and then again as a precaution after he wiped out on his bike this summer and split his upper lip open, requiring stitches.

But the poor kid has a sinus infection again now. He's on two weeks of Augmentin, and it turns out that it's the one medication Super Boy hates with a fervent passion. He will take it, but it's a gagging, dramatic experience every single time, which means twice a day for 14 days. :(

I kept Super Boy home Monday and Tuesday, but sent him back today. He hasn't had a fever since Monday, and his cough - though still icky sounding - is actually getting better. Dr. O says it should be GONE by Monday. If it's not, the medicine isn't working. I'm praying that it is.

And I'm really, REALLY praying that this isn't the start of another slippery slope of chronic sinus troubles for my little boy but just an isolated incident in an otherwise really good, healthy year for him.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

funny kid

As Super Boy and I were brushing our teeth before bed last night, he looked at me in the mirror and - after spitting out his toothpase - said, "Mom... I can't believe you're in your thirties."

Me: "Oh, really? Why do you say that?"

Super Boy: "Because you look more like, um, 39 or 40." (Note: I'm 36.)

Me: "Dude! Thanks a lot!"

Super Boy: "What?? At least I didn't say you look like a man!"

Me: "And this should be a consolation becaaaauuuuuuuse....?"

Super Boy: "Because you DON'T look like a man -- you look like a girl!"

Me: "Gee, thanks."

Super Boy: "Well, at least you don't look as old as your mom."

Me: "Oooooo, I'm TOTALLY telling Grandma you said that! Your Super Cousin is going to be her new favorite grandson now."

Super Boy: "NO! Don't you DARE tell Grandma I said that! I'll give you THREE DOLLARS if you PINKY PROMISE not to tell her!"

Me: "Dude, you don't HAVE three dollars. I'm totally telling Grandma."

Super Boy: "All I was saying is that you're old but you don't look like a boy - that's a GOOD thing, Mom."


Thursday, September 2, 2010

back to school

My beloved little Super Boy started second grade yesterday. :)

He was excited, and a little nervous. He confided to me when I woke him up in the morning that he REALLY wanted JUST ONE MORE DAY of summer.

I told him he'd get it on Labor Day.

He was so cute, getting his carefully selected outfit on. We made tie-dyed shirts together last week, and he wanted to wear one of the more colorful ones yesterday, with the spiral swirl (it turned out quite well, if I do say so myself).

He had showered Tuesday night, so after he ate his breakfast and got dressed, all we had to do was brush teeth, comb hair and wash face. He was ready before me; it was one of those rare school mornings when I opt to shower before dropping him off, which means I have to "get ready" (i.e., dry and style my hair, put on make-up, blah blah) before I drop him off, too, which takes FOR-EVER.

He patiently waited in the kitchen, watching his cartoons for a few minutes before we had to leave.

I took a few photos, like the one above, before we left the house. And then we drove the short few blocks to school. I had hoped we could walk or ride bikes, but it was raining (boo).

Super Boy could hardly wait to get out of the car when I pulled up to the curb. He was frustrated by the rain, which meant there wasn't going to be the usual level of pre-school day play on the playground, but still oh so eager to find his friends. I was able to snap this picture of him up on the playground. I love this picture, despite the rain.

I knew he wouldn't cry saying goodbye to me this year. He didn't cry last year, or the year before that, either. The only year he cried a little was junior kindergarten, and even then it was just a few tears to go with his big excited grin to be starting school. I'm okay with that. I'd rather it be this way than hysterical sobs of sadness and terror every year on the first day.

And I didn't cry either. This time. I did last year, but I didn't let Super Boy see me - I waited until I got to the car. The year before that, I cried a little, too, but also in private. Junior Kindergarten I really cried. Openly. My baby was going to school for the very first time! It was an emotional day.

So, we both got through it pretty well this time.

We had discussed the night before what he felt was and wasn't appropriate Mom-Goodbye Behavior this year, and he told me I could give him a hug, but no kisses. And I'm only allowed to call him by his full first name or his one self-approved shortened version of his first name in front of his classmates - I'm allowed to call him NONE of my myriad nicknames for him.

Thus, when it came time for us to say our goodbyes yesterday morning, I gave him a hug (not too showy though), told him quietly that I loved him, and bade him good day.

I fought the urge to yell, "Have a great day, Baba/Cute Butt/Poo!!"

But it was itching in the back of my throat the whole time, I tell you.

probably long overdue

I wanted to let you all know that I decided to create a new blog this week, one that is specifically devoted to our struggle with secondary infertility.

I've felt for at least the past year that my AESW blog has become all about this segment of my life, and I wasn't really comfortable with that. Yet, my entire being has been very centered around this particular segment of my life during that time (I mean, literally, my first appointment with the fertility specialist was exactly a year ago today), so it does make sense that it was the thing I wrote about most.

Nonetheless, you can credit the fact that I'm feeling so strange about this being IUI #4 and us only having 2 IUIs left for the creation of the new blog. Despite my strong feelings of hope and optimism that we are meant to be parents to another baby, the fatalistic part of me is making me feel a little compelled to start thinking about what comes next in my life, if our remaining fertility treatments are unsuccessful. And one of the things that I think will come next is that I will be trying to raise awareness of secondary infertility. Maybe not on a grand public scale, but certainly through my writing. And, really, whether I end up with another baby or not, I want to continue to make a difference in this area. Creating a blog specifically about secondary infertility seemed like a good place to start.

If you're interested in checking out the new blog - called My Incomplete Family - I'd love to see you there. That said, I will still post - or at least link - here about the rest of our fertility treatment process, because it is still a component of my normal life.

On that note, thanks again for reading Average Everyday Super Woman!