"For thus says the Lord: Lo, I will spread prosperity over her like a river, and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing torrent. As nurslings, you shall be carried in her arms, and fondled in her lap; As a mother comforts her son, so will I comfort you..." Isaiah 66:12-13

Friday, August 29, 2008

Update on Amelia.

Well, I, being quite resourceful and having knowledgeable friends, managed to avoid a trip to CHOP, having discovered that they have a satellite diagnostic center near the KoP Mall.

So Monday morning, Jim took the morning off work, and we took Amelia for her testing. Siblings weren't allowed in the testing rooms, so Maria had fun in the toy filled waiting room, being zombified by the cartoons on tv.

Amelia did very well with the tests, pretty much taking everything in stride.

It turns out that she does have moderate urinary reflux, on both sides, meaning that when her bladder was being filled with the contrast, it traveled part way back up the ureters towards her kidneys. Obviously this is not a good thing if it's happening frequently and if it causing bacteria to infect the kidneys, which can cause permanent damage.

The treatment? Preventative antibiotics. Which may or may not work to prevent kidney infections, or reduce damage to the kidneys if an infection does occur. So even with antibiotic treatment we still have to watch her for signs of infection, so that she can be treated immediately if one should occur.

We don't like giving the kids medicine, unless we know it's needed so preventative antibiotics that aren't necessarily proven kind of rub us the wrong way. Fortunately, they are doing a study, in which some kids will have the standard treatment of preventative antibiotics and some will have a placebo.

We are hoping to take part in this, and of course hoping for a placebo. We already know that we'll be watching her more closely, so adding an antibiotic doesn't seem all that helpful. If we don't get in the study or choose not to do it (once we hear the full protocol) then we'll have to take Amelia to a urologist who will help us decide what treatment to follow and will help us monitor her to see if/when she grows out of the condition. Because most kids do grow out of it. And it seems that they are finding that it's increasingly being linked to the time of potty training.

So all this is a rather long way of saying that Amelia'a ok, and probably will be ok. Which is a nice change after all that excitement.

Another First for Maria.

I almost forgot to post these... Maria's first pictures. I just set up the camera, told her which button to push and let her do it. This is what she came up with. Not bad, huh?

Note: I hate Blogger! Despite the fact that I'm always able to move my text to above my photos after they're added, today's it's not allowing me to do that and it's trying to make everything bold. Grr....

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What Maria's been doing....

What with all the excitement of summer, I haven't had a chance to post an update on Maria. Somewhere around the beginning of the summer, maybe early June or something, she drew her first ever stick person.

It's Amelia with one blue eye and one yellow eye, brandishing a spoon. I'm so proud.

Then more recently, while Jim was working at the computer, she reached over and wrote her name on the white board next to him, all be herself (except for a little help with the letter r).
I'd only had her practice tracing it three or four times, months ago. I think homeschooling just might work out. :)

She also moved into her very own big girl bed. And she stays the whole night.

(At least she did until recently when she decided that if I don't kiss her goodnight when I come home from A Baby's Breath, and if she doesn't wake up when I'm kissing her goodnight, then it's important to come in at 4 am and ask for a kiss and a snuggle.)

At the CCL convention, she got her first face painting, a rainbow, which she didn't want to wash off and which stained her cheek red for days afterward. She also had her hair French Braided, for what will most likely be the 1st and last time, since I'm incompetent in the area of fancy hairstyles.

And although I don't have a picture of it she very much enjoyed catching her first lightening bug. She exalted afterwards, "Today is a very special day, because today, I caught my 1st lightening bug ever! I'm soo proud of me! Do-do-do-ta-do!"

Note: This post has been edited to cover up the author's stunning lack of proof reading.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

"A" is for Adventure!

It's also for "accident" (not us), "ambulance" (us), "Amelia" (who else) and "A-mergency room" (k, that's a stretch I know).

*** Don't worry everything's fine. Just normal childhood illness, but I'll get to that in a minute. ***

Note: This post was started two weeks ago...so the time line is a little off.

So, we got back into town Sunday evening. Amelia slept or almost slept most of the trip. I didn't think much of it as she (and we) didn't get a lot of sleep the night before. (She seems to know just when it would be best for everyone to have a good night's sleep, and this makes her very agitated... so much so that she wakes up and cries, squirms and fusses thus keeping everyone up. Caves under the pressure I guess.)

I also didn't think too much of it when she felt warm at the rest stop. I assumed that the air conditioning wasn't high enough in the car. So I cranked it up for the rest of the drive.

When we got home, there was no mistaking it however. Amelia had a fever. It was high...104ish.

So I ran a lukewarm bath, gave her Tylenol and watched her. Till about 11. When the fever was back in the low/normal range, I got her to sleep.

Monday, no fever she was acting fine all day. Maybe a little tired, but fine. Until Monday night right around 10:30, when Jim called me as I was coming out of the grocery store (yes, late I know). Amelia had woken up and was crying and saying something over and over. I tried to get her to tell me what was wrong over the phone. The only thing I understood was "hurt." And there was something weird in her tone.

I assumed the fever had come back and I had Jim get her an ice pop. When I came in she was eating the pop and watching Barney. But when the ice pop was gone, she started to cry and then was breathing strangely, in short gasps as though it hurt to take deeper breaths. I tried to get her to nurse, but she wouldn't. She was also sitting very stiffly and her stomach was tense and hard.

So I had Jim call the pediatrician. When he heard her symptoms, he told us to go to CHOP. This made us more afraid that it really was something serious. We got Jim's mom to come and stay with Maria, who was still sound asleep and unaware of what was going on.

When we had just gotten on the expressway, we saw traffic stopped dead in front of us. With all the rescue vehicles, we knew something serious had happened. I was just contemplating driving up the shoulder to the next exit when three cars shot up the shoulder and blocked us in.

Amelia was awake again, now that the car wasn't moving, and starting to fuss. I rolled down my window and tried to reason with the man in the car next to us, asking him not to move any farther forward to block us in. I told him we were trying to get to the hospital with my daughter.

He just said, "It's not my fault, I didn't cause this," and rolled up his window. Argh.

So I called 911, to see if they could send a cop to help us get out of the jam, or to at least tell us how long a wait it would be. The man I spoke with recommended that I get an ambulance, as it would be "quite awhile" before we'd be moving again.

So Jim and I got out to flag down the ambulance. Rescue workers from the accident scene ahead of us came back to see what was going on, and help the other ambulance find us. They asked a few questions and stayed with us till the ambulance arrived. Then the helped me climb over the barrier between the East and West bound lanes.

We decided to go to a closed hospital now that the fastest way to CHOP was blocked, and thankfully someone told Jim, who had to stay with the car, where we were going.

In the ambulance the EMT put leads on Amelia to monitor her hear and other things, and dangled a oxygen mask near her face to help her out a little, though he said her "oxygen saturation" was good.

When we got to the hospital, Amelia started screaming again, having fallen partly asleep in the ambulance. When the nurses checked her temp it was up to 103. They gave her some tylenol and we sat down to wait for the doctor.

I was quite surprised when Jim showed up about 20 minutes after we did. After giving him an update on Amelia, I got the story of how he made it to the hospital so quickly. Apparently, a state trooper told him to turn the car around and go, saying, "If anyone says anything to you, tell that that Trooper Scott said it was ok." So Jim wove in and out of the parked cars on the expressway, until he got to the entrance ramp, where cars were still getting on (and blinking there lights at the crazy person going the wrong way), where he drove on the shoulder and finally turned onto another road, finally going the right direction again.

I am very glad that I wasn't in the car while he was pulling that maneuver. But I was also very glad that he had made it to the hospital.

After waiting a little longer, the doctor came in and assured us that this most likely wasn't appendicitis, which is what we had feared. He ordered a blood test and a urine sample, which he was going to have a nurse get with a catheter. Yuck. I was clear-headed enough to ask if maybe we could try to have Amelia pee in a cup to get the sample rather than do a catheter. He said that it's been his experience that it wouldn't work with a kid her age, but he was willing to let us try.

Amelia did very well with it and was able to provide a nice sample for them. She also did beautifully when they put the IV in to take the blood sample. I think she was too tired and loopy at that point to protest much, but still she did very well, with no crying at all.

After the tests came back, and after they'd given her some fluids via the IV, we left thinking that all this adventure was caused by a virus.

But two days later, the culture showed that she had a UTI. So she was put on an antibiotic. Which we've since learned, through and all over body rash, that she's allergic too. So now we have a second antibiotic and are facing some follow-up testing at CHOP to rule out something called urinary reflux.

All of this shows that you don't have to go looking for adventure... when you're a parent the adventure comes to you.