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Children’s Hospital Emergency Services Visit

Cinco de Mayo, a Super Moon and an ER Visit

Ever heard of a “SuperMoon?” Don’t feel astronomically challenged if you have not, over forty years old and I am just now hearing of this myself. In short, a “SuperMoon” is a term used to signify when the Moon appears to be closest to Earth. This past May fifth was one such astrological event and what I thought would be a fun Saturday night star and moon gazing activity with Kim and the kids but my good intentions turned eerily disastrous.

I’ll have to rewind the story to earlier in day… Not too far back tho… Early evening, I had mixed up a frozen batch of margaritas, it was Cinco de Mayo after all, and I had mentioned to Kim the coincidental fact that a super moon and the traditional south of the border springtime celebration coincided. (I’m not sure the history of Cinco de Mayo. Perhaps Mexico’s independence day? What I am sure of tho is that on this day we drink margaritas and eat Mexican cuisine). A plan was hatched to enjoy a couple frozen beverages, down a few tacos, dust off the telescope and find the binoculars for a fun night of sky watching. Harmless, right?

Around 8:30pm I scouted for the best spot to set up the telescope. The luminescent glow of a big bright moon was breaking the horizon line behind a row of tall trees directly across the cul-du-sac from our house. Attempting to find a decent lunar gazing location was frustrating, finding a clear shot of the ascending moon was impossible and it would take at least thirty to forty minutes for the moon to rise above the trees.

Higher ground is what we needed and I told the family that we must walk up the street to the elementary school for a clear unobstructed view, (ie, I begged Kim). Mobilizing quickly, the kids stayed in their pajamas and flash-like found flashlights. I cautiously disassembled the telescope and gently placed it in our green and red Little Tykes wagon with Sophie who was playing flashlight tag, my face being her target. Everyone except Hailey was excited for our sky watching expedition. She sometimes has issues with unanticipated change of plans, her main complaints being that she was in her nightgown and didn’t want to walk up the ‘big’ hill to the school. She had many other grievances as we marched toward our destination and I’m not even sure what those grumblings were; I let her cries drown in the bask of an ever brightening moon-lit sky.

Keeping track? It is now 9pm, we have four tired (one incendiary) yet excited little girls, a gargantuan full moon, Kim and I had consumed a pitcher of frozen Margaritas. What could possibly go wrong?

With flashlights brazened, we trudged up the “big” hill, (something we do almost every school day morning) to a steep narrow staircase that leads to a side entrance of the elementary school grounds. As we crested the last cement step the SuperMoon came into full view and it was strikingly magnificent.

Olivia (8) was fascinated, pressuring me to immediately get the telescope setup and I hastily chose a dark location, (better for viewing stars, but not so great for watching children) right behind the school at the apex of three terraced fields. Hailey (7) and Kim coldly bickered. Elizabeth (4) blasted into an elliptical orbit around Olivia and me while I was focusing the telescope on the oversized moon and in her exuberance she inadvertently enticed Sophie (2) from the Little Tykes wagon to join her in ring-around-the-telescope. Worried that the two little rockets would de-orbit and crash-land into the telescope I informed them that they were in a no-fly-zone and to jet “over there” gesturing with wave of my hand to a non-descript location.

In an instant, it happened: I had focused the moon into view and was making a slight adjustment for Olivia to have her first look. Hailey and Kim were still squabbling. Elizabeth darted down a steep shadowy incline that abruptly ends at a three foot retaining wall which drops down onto a black asphalt playground. Kim had hollered at Elizabeth as she was in mid-sprint down the hillside, “Elizabeth! Get back up here now!” Indifferent to Kim’s clear direction, Elizabeth defiantly did not stop, lunar crazed she kept on running down the hill with Sophie following closely in her contrail. Even with the reflective light of the massive moon they were both essentially flying blind. Elizabeth instantaneously stopped directly on top of the retaining wall, however Sophie did not stop and careened off the top of the wall disappearing into the darkness.

Silence, for a brief moment, frozen, for a split second and then an ear-splitting wail. My feet grew wings and carried me swiftly to Sophie. The crying was a good sign but she laid on the blacktop in a crumpled heap. I approached her cautiously reminding myself not to instantly scoop her up knowing that I could damage her little body even worse. She lay motionless for a minute and her cries were felt throughout the neighborhood. Rapidly scanning her body I couldn’t see anything dreadful although even with the radiant moonlight, it was too dark to see. She reached up for me and slowly drew herself into my arms. As she cuddled closer I softly felt her entire body for any breaks and gingerly carried her to the meager glow of the outdoor light fixture above the back door to the school. Using one of the kids flashlights, I noticed right away a large goose egg forming on her forehead, both elbows badly scraped up and her knees a bit scuffed. Intensely scrutinizing Sophies injured little body, if anyone had been talking to me I didn’t notice or acknowledge. I’m not even sure that I explained what my intentions or plans were to Kim or the kids, I didn’t speak a word, they instinctively followed my lead.

With Sophie cradled in a one arm football hold, I picked up the telescope, threw it into the wagon and pulled it behind me. “I got this. I got this.” Kim was trying to tell me she would tend to the wagon, but we still needed to get down the steep staircase so I pulled the wagons’ front two wheels over lip of the first step and waited for Kim to pick up the rear and we carried the wagon down the steps in silence listening to our baby scream.

Briskly walking home I still hadn’t said a word.  Sophie’s cries remained a constant ear shattering high pitch. Rapid fire questions from the kids were being ignored, “Will she be ok? Is she hurt? Is she bleeding? Does she have a broken bone? Etc. Etc. Etc.  I wanted to scream, “I don’t F-ing know! Shut the F-up!” Instead I bit my lip. The short walk back home felt like one of those dreams where you are running as fast as you can but going absolutely nowhere. Then Elizabeth asked, “what happened?”

“I’ll tell you what happened! Someone didn’t listen to their mother and now Sophie will probably have to go to the Hospital!” I regretted saying this as the words involuntarily exploded out of my mouth because at that moment, Elizabeth bared the blame and her older sisters let her know this too. “Yea Elizabeth, its all your fault Sophie got hurt!” Oye, sometime I say the worst things at the wrong times and this was definitely one of those moments. Elizabeth hung her head and slowed her pace. I wanted to tell her it was not her fault that Sophie fell, yet that would have to wait because I needed more than a flashlight to examine Sophie’s injuries.

Once home Kim and I quickly determined that an ER visit would be wise. Utilizing a couple stretchy hair/head band thingys I secured an ice pack to Sophie’s swollen head, made sure I had my ID and insurance card then strapped her into the five-point safety car seat. She was bewildered and crying but not as vocally. Before departing for the hospital, I talked to Elizabeth and told her again that what happened was not her fault, however by the look of regret and sadness in her eyes, our brief chat didn’t matter, she felt responsible and worried about her baby sister.

Hospitals are second nature to me; hockey injuries, childbirths, surgeries, illnesses, etc. I have plenty of expertise with emergency rooms although this was the first ER visit for any of my children. Fortunately, our home sits within a five mile radius of at least a half a dozen hospitals .Smartly, I chose (ie, Kim directed me) the children’s emergency room at the hospital where Sophie was born. Her medical information was already in the computer system which expedited the admitting process. All that I had to do before she could see a doctor was to fill out one standard medical history form, show my ID and insurance card.

This was my first experience with a Pediatric Emergency Center and the Children’s ER at St. John’s was great. The staff was quick and friendly however I was asked the same questions from the admitting attendant, the head nurse, Sophie’s nurse, an anesthesiologist and the physician. “Explain what happened?” ‘Umm… parental negligence.’ “Did she loose consciences?” ‘Umm… I almost did.’ “Did she vomit?” ‘Umm… pretty sure my wife hurled when she saw our baby disappear over a wall or maybe it was when she saw this nasty lump growing on her forehead.’

The doctor was confident that Sophie was going to be alright. The scrapes on her elbows indicated that she shielded herself and deflected some of the impact. “Better out than in,” is what the Doc said about the swollen bump on her head and “Better in then out,” regarding our taco dinner. No x-ray, no MRI, no CT scan. The prescription; Ice for the contusion on her noggin and elbows, ib profane for the pain and  polysporin for the abrasions. We were at the children’s ER for almost three hours, it was around midnight and before we departed Sophie was her inquisitive self again, playing with the toys and games that were available to us.

Kim was still awake when we arrived home from the hospital and overwhelmingly relieved to hear the optimistic prognosis. One odd coincidence tho; Elizabeth had vomited a few times while Sophie and I were at the pediatric emergency center. Strange, was Elizabeth sickened with grief? Or was it a metaphysical ‘twin-like’ sibling connection where the side effects of the accident transposed from one sibling to the other? I believe the former rather than the latter, although it was an ominously monster sized full moon and perhaps there is something supernatural about a SuperMoon.

 

Miscarriage – Complete Clinical Spontaneous Abortion

Unsubscribing from a Miscarriage

Babycenter.com is a great site. Good articles, good community, good tools, loads of goodies for new and expecting parents. I used to frequent the site quite a bit as a parenting newb and when the current forums were old fashion bulletin boards I started my journal which eventually transformed into this blog. Even though I rarely lurk there anymore, I mention BabyCenter because for the past few months I have been receiving depressing emails from the site which I am having difficulty unsubscribing from. It is not a technical problem getting the emails to stop from being sent to me, sort of a user error, let me explain.

When Kim was pregnant with Olivia, which was nine years ago, a co-worker first told me about BabyCenter. Originally what attracted me and glued me to the site was the automated weekly newsletter/updates that came via email. It was great for tracking the developmental stages of all my babies and throughout the past almost decade, I  have updated my personal information adding each child to my account. I still receive weekly email articles regarding the progress of all my children. I receive one for an eight year old, one for a seven year old, one for a three and three quarter year old, one for a one and three quarter year old, sadly I receive updates for twenty week old in-utero. Sad because our fifth child never mad it past week eight.

Flashback: Only a few knew about #5, my mom was one person who knew. She took the secret to her grave and it suffocates my conscience. Excitedly I told my mom about the pregnancy, unfortunately a week later Kim miscarried. I couldn’t bear telling my mom about it and then shortly after the miscarriage it was too late to say anything.

It went like this; My mom was very sick when I told her about #5, cancer was spreading throughout her body and she was spending twenty three hours a day confined to bed. “Mom, I have something to tell you,” whispering so my sibs would not overhear. “Kim is pregnant again.”
“What!?” shocked out of her morphine stupor.
“Please don’t tell anyone yet it’s still very early.”
With her sense of humor still intact she replied, “Why would I tell anyone how stupid my son is?” Although I’m not completely sure she was joking.

That was the last real bit of conversation my mother and I had. A week after that exchange of words, I didn’t have the courage to divulge the truth and like a child that hides mistakes and misfortunes from their parents I couldn’t tell her about the miscarriage. Within a few days her conciseness had evaporated and a couple days after that she died.

Flashing-back even further: Kim sobbed holding the positive EPT stick. At that moment she didn’t want a fifth child. Unplanned and surprised about the pregnancy, she cried a lot. Conversely I was excited. Four girls, a wife, even a female dog, I was sure #5 was my boy, but I concealed my exuberance and let her use me as a punching bag, after all, it was completely “muyyyy fault.”

Over the next few days Kim’s mood was gloomy and to make things worse she knew I was happy and sanguine about it. Attempting to put an enthusiastic spin on the situation, I mentioned all the joys and love new babies inject into the family. New life, new personality, new sounds, new sibling dynamic, new responsibilities. Being that Sophie was only sixteen months old at the time, fresh Kim’s memory was, she responded with; new baby equates to, no sleep, no breaks, no money, no quiet, no sanity. “All of that is only temporary,” was my reply.

Three weeks after the positive EPT and a few days before Kim’s eight-week ultrasound she started bleeding. “Normal spotting” is what I told her and what I prayed for, however spotting was abnormal for her pregnancy history, I was secretly worried. Two days before her exam and scan she had a “complete clinical spontaneous abortion” which is how her doctor described it. I didn’t need a fancy term to make the memory of blood stained sheets and a blank ultrasound monitor more empathetic, I was crushed and Kim was saddened, tears tracked down her cheeks as the diagnostic technician departed the exam room allowing us a “few extra minutes.” Kim was, “getting used to the idea of #5.” On the car ride home I suggested we could actually try again for a fifth child, Kim said that I was crazy and with that, was the end of my dream for five.

Three months later:  Kim had it right. I am crazy. My mom had it right. I am stupid. Not in the context of wishing for another child but for the painful emotional hoarding. Why can’t I just log into BabyCenter and edit my account, removing the fifth child, so that the depressing weekly email reminders of what could have been finally cease? Letting go is not easy.

Outpatient Surgery at Children’s Hospital in St. Louis – Department of Otolaryngology Pediatric

Hailey, almost five, needed a new set of ear-tubes and her adenoids removed at the request of ENT specialist Dr. Lieu, (Department of Otolaryngology-Pediatric). Hailey has toughed out five years of constant fluid trapped in her middle ears (even with first set of tubes) and countless infections, we’re hoping the procedure will help alleviate constant pain and sensitivity issues also prevent any long term hearing loss.

Extremely kid-friendly, Children’s Hospital in St. Louis is a great facility with the best care around. Dr. Lieu’s office is located at the hospital and between Olivia and Hailey, this would make our fourth out-patient procedure, so we have frequented “Children’s” many times prior to this, but nothing in our experience would have or could have prepared us for (although we should have expected), Hailey’s difficult recovery, I’ll get to that soon.

Kim had all the paperwork completed before our arrival so checking in was a snap. We just need to show picture ID’s and insurance card at the reception desk where a concierge was waiting to take us up to the surgical center. We were immediately placed into a spacious “family” room down the hall from the operating room where we waited for Hailey to be called. We did have a couple hours to wait too, luckily the room had cable TV, DVD, and a playstation. Right outside our room was a play area loaded with games, puzzles, books and non-messy art supplies. Hailey and Kim played Guess Who? Then it was time to send Hailey to the OR.

Dr. Lieu came in to see us right before the surgery and apologized for the wait. Dr. Lieu is highly personable and genuinely interested in her paitents health. Five plus years ago when searching for an ENT, Kim and I were lucky to have found Dr. Lieu from a pool of (in my opinion) mediocre doctors that were in our (then) insurance network and we did a few interviews too.

The cartoon print scrubs gurneyed Hailey off to the operating room, bravely she went, not looking back as Kim held in a tear. Kim and I went back to the room until they called us to the recovery area which only took an hour. I had some phone calls to make so the time went by quickly.

Approaching the recovery area we could hear Hailey shouting, “The medicine made me sick! I want to go home right now!” over and over again. She was surrounded by four attendants and thrashing around when we arrived. The fact that Kim and I showed up only made her scream louder, “Take me home right now! The medicine made me sick! I want to go home now!” I’m pretty sure the nurse administered (and I wasn’t rejecting) a sedative into Hailey’s IV more than one time over the course of a thirty minute Hailey scream feast, something I am used too, but probably nothing the nurses or techs had anticipated. A few surprised passer-byers gave us the look of ‘can’t you control your child?’ a few others gave us the look of ‘been there and glad it ain’t me’.  At one point, the stubby attending nurse told Hailey that she needed to try and be quiet because she was scaring all the other children, which I didn’t appreciate her saying to Hailey at that point in time. Hailey moved from the gurney to Kim’s arms where she shrieked and wailed “I told you blueberry! The strawberry medicine made me sick! It’s in my mouth! I can’t hear! Take me home now! I don’t like this! Etc…” for another twenty minutes before she finally started to calm down enough for the recovery team to get her out of their hair. Once back in the room Hailey cuddled up with me for a few more ear splitting cry’s and the nurses shut our door on us. Kim and I half-laughed at that and I added “well we should have expected this, [from Hailey].”

Hailey crashed in my arms for an hour or so then woke up vomiting on my lap which was no surprise and normal, (well, did not expect throw-up on me). She swallowed some apple juice which made an immediate return. Slept a bit more, then woke up and stomached half a 20oz bottle of grape Power Aid for a good amount of time. At this point we were ready to go, Hailey was calm enough to say that she was feeling better and wanted to go home and sleep in mommy and daddy’s bed. Kim had signed the release paperwork and picked up a couple prescriptions from the hospital’s pharmacy earlier while Hailey slept in my arms. I Hoisted up Hailey to leave when she vomited all over me again, this time on my shoulder and inside my shirt pocket where I had stashed my ID, insurance card and validated parking pass. I took off my button down and walked her out in crew neck t-shirt. The stuff on my pants had long dried.  She also hurled waiting for the elevator, lucky for the janitors she made it to the trash can. Kim and I were about to turn around and go back to the nurses station and ask to be re-admitted waiting out any further vomiting but from past experiences, we knew that this was just part of the process, figuring she would be ok soon and we were right. Hailey fell asleep on the ride home, slept even more once we got home, had no more stomach problems and woke up the next day feeling as if nothing even happened.

Lesson Learned:
1. Have all paperwork complete and sent to hospital before the day of surgery.
2. Get the kiddo familiar with hospital prior to day of surgery (most hospitals do tours).
3. Keep photo ID and insurance card handy.
4. Get parking validated.
5. Expect your kiddo to be disoriented after surgery and expect vomit.
6. Bring extra clothes for kiddo (and self).
7. Bring work or activity to fill an hour or two for yourself and spouse.
8. Have vomit bag ready for car ride home.
9. Kiddo will sleep a lot the rest of day and next.
10. Have quiet low energy activities planned the next couple days.

Old Hat

Originally posted on BabyCenter.com 01/16/08 

A month ago, Kim and I were cleaning out our bedroom closet, packing up the non-essentials getting ready for the move to our new house. During the closet clean-sweep I found an old favorite Blues (Hockey Team) hat. Fashioned in the ball cap variety with fading team colors of blue, red and gold, the billed still curved tightly with greasy finger prints all over it. The old hat had been stuffed into a corner and forgotten. I wore that hat daily throughout my college years and even up until Kim and I bought the house that we were now getting ready to sell. I put the old beat up hat on. I figured that it would slide right on without any adjustments and fit perfectly, but I was wrong. It was tight, chaffy and felt unbroken, kinda like new, when I first tried it on so many years ago. Kim asked me if I need to keep the bruised hat. If not, then to get rid of it, but instead I stashed it deep within the box we were packing, un-wanting to give it up and hoping one day it may fit again.
 
Under Contract
Speaking of our move, we have another contract and this time around we agreed on a price. So now we are waiting for the buyer’s financial commitment and awaiting the outcome (the bad news) from the building inspector. If all goes smoothly we will be handing over our keys to new occupants in five weeks. Olivia and Hailey mention the move every day now “Are we moving to Bubie’s today?” It will be good for them, more room to play, quiet cul-de-sac and a big back yard.
 
A day? A Week!
It has been one week since the birth of Elizabeth Rose but it feels like one long day since I have yet to sleep for more than three hours at a stretch. I’m on paternity leave and wishing it could be permanent although by next week I think I will be ready to get back to work. There is only so much laundry, vacuuming, dishes, and clean-up I can do before pleading domestic insanity. Today was Elizabeth Rose’s one week check-up and I took her to see the pediatrician. My baby is doing great. Her hips look good, (something breech babies have issues with), she has topped her birth weight by .1 of an ounce and besides frequent wet-burps during feedings she appears to be in spectacular health.
 
Shopping With Daddy
After the doctor put the seal of approval on Elizabeth Rose, we had a little excursion to Babies R Us for her first shopping trip. She can’t even talk yet and she cleaned me out. A cute purple on purple polka-dot zip-up sleeper, the girl has to have some new clothes. A couple pink hoody-towels, the hand-me-down towels are scratchy and frayed. A girly colors pack of face cloths, the hand-me-downs are grotesquely stained and have lost their fluffiness. Three new 9oz Vent Aire plastic bottles and a pack of old-school Gerber nipples, she collapses the nipples that come with the Vent Aire bottles and yes I know where she should have the nipple in her mouth. A new Boppy sling, our old sling was once willed to my sister Rachel, been through countless infants and its original color no longer recognizable, not to mention that it is back-wrenchingly uncomfortable. And a manly, well as manly as you can get for a diaper-bag, Columbian brand diaper-back-pack, my old pack has had it, the zippers unfunctionally tattered, the stretchy mesh on either side no longer able to hold its contents and a shredded gaping hole in the center divider. A ten minute showing of Elizabeth Rose’s new goodies ensued upon our return home and then Kim asked, “Did you get the lollypops you promised Olivia and Hailey [from doctor’s office]?” No, I forgot to grab a couple free lollies for my two big girls and spent a fortune on Elizabeth Rose, I thought I was being a good dad, but I failed.
 
Old Hat Feels New
Much like my old grungy Blues hat, I figured Elizabeth Rose would automatically fit, I wouldn’t have to make any adjustments and I could keep parenting, business as usual. I have forgotten many little things since the last go around. It took a week to get my diaper changing technique down and I’m rusty slow still getting peed on. Once a master, I forgot how to swaddle, I can’t seem to figure out my old method and in the mean time, rolling her up like a burrito. Her first bath which Olivia and Hailey eagerly helped with, I forgot to uncork the infant tub while rinsing off Elizabeth Rose nearly submerging her. Every child comes with a whole new set of challenges as well as the same old routine demands. They create a completely different dynamic in the family and unlike my old Blues hat Elizabeth Rose can’t be tucked away for future considerations. I have to get comfortable with my beautiful delicate infant and figure out how to make her fit. But it won’t take long, it is old hat.

Down With The Sickness

Occasionally we receive illness warning notices from preschool via backpack-mail that will read something along the lines of; ‘flushing rotavirus’ or ‘scratch out lice,’ a few weeks ago ‘spot the chicken pox.’ Over the past four or five weeks, we tallied six doctor visits. Super-germs have infected my family.

 

The first in this latest rash of pediatrician visits happened to be on a ‘daddy day.’ Both Olivia and Hailey were ill. Olivia had a full blown ear infection, her ear-tube was obstructed by dried-up gunk and the excess fluid behind the blockage became infected. The previous evening she howled throughout the night, “my ear!” so I got out the thermal thermometer took her temp, it was a bit high. Then I got out the opti-scope checked her eyes, her nose, her mouth and her ears, “yup it’s her ears.”

 

Hailey was being checked-out because of a nasty cough she had been rasping for a couple days. Her lungs were good, ears good, throat and nose a bit irritated but no soars so her diagnoses was a bad virus and there was nothing we could do but ‘wait it out’ and let the thing, ‘run it’s course.’ I hate when doctors say that.

 

By Friday night, Hailey’s body temp hit 103 degrees. I gave her a cool bath and a dose and a half of Motrin which help a bit. Saturday morning I took her back into the doctor’s office. Same prognosis, a virus and possibly a different one. No medicine, no magic pill to make my baby girl all better or to make Kim’s and my anxious frustrations disappear. That night and Sunday day she had been vomiting all over the place. It was bad. Kim couldn’t clean it up fast enough and Mimi (our dog) kept attempting to help with the cleanup angrily repulsing Kim even worse. So I was trying to keep Mimi out of the toxic zones and at the same time hurrying Hailey to the bathroom aiming to consolidate the mess. By the time we would arrive at the bathroom she’d be finished heaving, marking a trail behind her, Mimi whimpering to lop it up, Kim chasing us toting paper towels with a squirt bottle of Clorox Cleanup endeavoring to swiftly sanitize and Olivia wanting to play along too thinking it was some strange game of follow the leader. This happened several times and I’m not even sure what I would have done if we made it to the bathroom in time anyway. The sink? The tub? The toilet? The toilet being the obvious choice however that would contradict the multitude of times I have explained to Hailey not to stick her head in the toilet.

 

Monday Kim stayed home from work with Hailey and took her to the doctor again. (If you’re counting, we’re up to three doctor visits). Still no real relief, no magic elixir. “Have her drink plenty of fluids and get plenty of rest.” Resting was not a problem; Hailey remained feebly comatose all day as Kim scoured the entire house attempting to take revenge on the microscopic germs. When I got home from work the house smelled of bleach, Clorox and Pine Sol, pleasantly burning my sinus cavities.

 

Kim’s TLC stopped the vomiting however by Tuesday’s ‘daddy day,’ out of repetition, I taught Hailey a new word, it was grimly humorous watching her expression as I gingerly pulled off her pull-up and she inquisitively inspected the damage, “(dia)rrhea?” My poor baby girl could barley sit down her inflamed diaper-rash was horrible. Olivia was such a good helper, retrieving fresh diapers, soaking cool wash cloths to lay on Hailey’s forehead, checking up on Hailey making sure her drink was full and she was covered up with a blanket. Wednesday I stayed home from work and it was more of the same although Olivia went to school and after we dropped her off, Hailey and I managed to stop at the store re-supplying our sicky essentials of jell-o, chicken broth, crackers and fluids.

 

Sad and scary to see Hailey so inactive, lethargically laying around barley enough energy to watch the Wiggles or Elmo. I spent the whole day forcing fluids down her, my arm extended, holding a sippy-cup near her head with an extra long straw attached to her mouth, a makeshift Gatorade IV. Thursday it was Kim’s turn to stay home again. Hailey’s health had improved enough for them to take an afternoon stroll around the neighborhood and we felt she was on the rebound.

 

Friday was a gamble she hadn’t had any loose stuff in a day, no fever for a couple days and her tokus-rash was almost gone so we decided that she was well enough to go to school. Well we were wrong, according to Hailey’s assistant teacher she had two instances of diarrhea, but they didn’t call us. That was somewhat of a let down and a bit irresponsible of the staff at her school. Hailey’s lead teacher was absent that day but still that was no excuse. Not only that, Olivia came home feverish.

 

Friday night Olivia ended up in our bed again. This time it was the other ear and Kim took her to the doctor first thing Saturday morning. This time they gave her Augmentin for the infection instead of the ineffective amoxicillin which she was prescribed last week. The doctor also instructed Olivia to follow up with our ENT specialist. Could this be something serious please not another surgery? She was actually felling better within a couple days and not complaining at all about her ear, for a princess she is tough.

 

The following Thursday I picked Olivia up from school early and we went to see the ear-nose-throat specialist. Her office is located within Children’s Hospital and every time we have an appointment there it takes forever. This visit was no exception; three hours elapsed from the time we arrived until the time we left. I think we saw the doctor for all of ten minutes. Both Olivia and Hailey had ear tube surgery when they were about ten months old. Kim and I really like the doctor; she is very personable and came highly recommended. I was expecting the worst. However she said everything looked normal and that the one remaining tube wouldn’t have to be forcibly removed unless it remained intact for another year, the other ear-tube dislodged itself and fell out months ago which was expected. I asked her if I should be concerned that after almost two and a half years Olivia contracted two back-to-back ear infections seemingly out of the blue. The ENT was so reassuring “we’ll just have to wait it out and see what happens.” Why didn’t I go to med school?

 

Our sixth doctor visit occurred a week ago on ‘daddy day’ and this one was a scheduled two year check-up for Hailey. She did an eye exam, a hearing test, height, weight, twenty developmental questions with our pediatrician (one question she asked if Hailey could jump with both feet leaving the ground all the while she was leaping from the doctor’s metal stepstool landing with olympic gymnast perfection) and a hepatitis shot which Hailey didn’t even flinch on not even a yelp or a tear the nurse commended Hailey for her bravery and I could overhear her bragging to all the other nurses, “she didn’t even cry!” Olivia stayed in the back ground absorbing everything asking endless why questions for every test Hailey had to endure. Olivia and Hailey were so well behaved, must have been all the practice as of late or the promise of the coveted lollypop.

 

Originally posted on BabyCenter.com 10/26/06

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