Wednesday, April 25, 2007

99, 102, 99, 97 and on and on

We are having more trouble with fevers again. At 3 a.m. last Friday morning (the one night Mike was away on a business trip), Beth spiked another 102 degree temperature. Fortunately she responds to Tylenol and by the morning, it was hovering at 99 degrees. We made another trip to our doctor (again we had to track him across town) who decided to check her for a few things. First, she has been on antibiotics for 25 days (not just her regular dose of Amoxicillan but more stuff for ear infections). Her gut is not operating normally but I'll save you any description of her inner turmoil.

Suffice to say I've spent more time in the lab than I care to spend. Most of Friday was spent collecting one thing or another. On Monday, the on-call doctor (i know...I had no choice in the matter) wanted another set of urine samples because the first came back with "skin cells" in it. Her culture also was close to outside the range (believe me, I questioned the doctor on this one).

Let me explain how this works. They take two samples: one is to check for abnormal cell counts and the second is to culture to see if any bacteria proliferate (and to identify which ones). The first sample we collected on Friday was not sterile because it was captured in a small bag that we taped to her skin. Catching urine from a baby girl is not an easy matter! I wasn't surprised that skin cells were in that one. But when the culture showed it might have growth, we had to retest.

I spent much of Tuesday driving to labs to collect bags and urine cups. We finally got enough urine for the test and are awaiting results.

Just the day before, I spent much of the day collecting other types of samples (wink, wink). That is also a fun process requiring multiple containers...really more complicated than one would think. We don't have any results on those tests either. Her temperature is normal now and she is in good spirits despite another cold coming on. She is also sleeping much better this week. I'm only having to get up once during the night to feed her and again at 6 or 7:00 a.m. for her first breakfast.

We hope to get more tests for her bladder defect (Bladder Reflux, Grade 2) in May and if we are lucky, it will have resolved itself. Then we won't have to be so paranoid about every slight temperature increase.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Beth the Negotiator

I don't remember Elliott doing this when he was a baby but Beth has become quite the negotiator. When she is being fed, she absolutely will not open her mouth until you hand her something to investigate. And, that item has to be interesting enough or no deal!

If you hand her something that is not interesting enough or not the desired item, she unceremoniously drops it over the edge of the high-chair to the floor. Then she points at something else, all the while pursing her lips to prevent me getting any food inside. As soon as the coveted item is in her hand, BINGO! Her mouth opens wide -- but only for a second or two. Miss the opening and the opportunity is lost.

Yes it is cute but after these long days with little sleep (No, she still doesn't sleep through the night) and her irritable digestive system, I'm not so enamoured anymore. Makes me want to nurse her until she can feed herself!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

No UTI

Beth does not have a UTI! We found this out on Thursday and were most relieved. She still has fluid in her ear but it is no longer infected. I think this will be a chronic problem for her. She is not doing well with her antibiotics (talk about an irritable bowel!) but we'll be finished with those on Sunday and back to prophylactic amoxiciallian.

All other things are going well. She is still not the best sleeper and these issues of late haven't helped the situation any but we'll survive. While I don't want to jinx anything, I can't believe she will still be waking twice each night to feed when she is two??

Oh, she is doing great with solid foods. Yesterday she wanted to chew on the apple I was eating so I let her have a piece. She scraped her teeth on it until she got a chunk and was quite content mashing that piece in her mouth for a while. She loves Golden Grahams and isn't fond of Cheerios. She likes pretzels and she is having fun with iced molasses cookies! However, I stopped giving her those because the molasses in them could be contributing to her digestive issues. We are very pleased that this eating thing is going so well!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Beware the On-Call Doc!

We had an interesting situation arise since we saw the oncall doctor on Monday (April 2). You may remember that Beth is on Amoxicillian as a "prophylactic" dose to prevent a urinary tract infection. Because she has bladder reflux, it can be very dangerous to have a UTI. Bacteria could backflush into her kidneys due to the defect in her bladder, thus the reason for prophylactic Amoxiciallan. When I took Beth to urgent care on April 28 and found her ear infection, they prescribed Augmentin which includes Amoxicillian and clavulanate potassium. When she goes on to Augmentin, she doesn't need to take Amoxicillian alone.

Here's the rub...I took her to the on-call doctor on Monday because I thought she was developing a rash and I wanted to see if she still had an ear infection. This doctor prescribed Zythromax for five more days. If she was developing an allergy to Amoxicillian, then this new antibiotic would treat the ear infection. Now, I may have not heard him correctly but you would think that after all we've been through with Beth, I am a pretty diligent mom. I asked him, "I assume we don't go back on the Amoxiciallian while she is on Zythromax, right?" He said "right." Therein lies our problem...

Thursday night she spiked a temp of 103 degrees. I took her to our doctor's office on Friday morning and the same on-call doctor was there. So, I elected not to see him and instead tracked her normal pediatrician across town (Note: Beth's doctor, Dr. Arab, is wonderful and we have full trust in him. He works in Folsom two days a week and then goes between four other locations on the other days. Not great for us but if I can find out where he is, he fits kids in.) Turns out that Beth needed to stay on the Amoxicillian while taking Zythromax because that antibiotic does nothing for UTIs and thus left Beth suseptable to a more dangerous infection.

Dr. Arab put her on another broad spectrum antibiotic, Omnicef, checked her ears and sent us to the lab to collect a urine sample. She still has an ear infection which we hope is the cause of her fever -- not a UTI. As of yesterday, I had no call saying it was a UTI so we might be in the clear. The lab is culturing it now and will get results by Thursday.

Her fever is holding steady at 99 or so degrees and even goes down to normal when I give her Ibuprophen or TYlenol. Poor girl. Her spirits are good and she is eating well so we don't think it is serious. Just normal baby stuff. More later...

Friday, April 06, 2007

103 Degrees

Beth's fever hit 103 last night. With Tylenol and then Ibuprophen a few hours later, it has dropped to near normal. She doesn't want to eat much but will nurse just fine. She is also playing and acting almost near normal. I'm trying to get her into the doctor's office today (Friday) in the hopes we can figure this out. I think it is a stubborn ear infection that hasn't responded to the Augmentin or Zythromax or she has the flu (because Elliott had a slight fever this week).

The big hope is that we don't have a UTI started. Hopefully they won't send us the hospital as they did the first time. She is a much bigger baby now and not as risky to fight a fever at home for a while. I don't think Easter will be the big holiday we predicted...poor Elliott is so looking forward to some great egg hunts. More later

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Fevers for Beth and Elliott

Elliott started having a bad headache yesterday
evening and by this morning, he was quite sick. He passed out on the couch by 9:00 a.m. and slept for over an hour. He had a mild temperature (99.7 degrees from his ear) which dropped a bit by lunch time.

Our doctor thinks that Elliott gets migraines which would be quite possible given our family history. They typically start after a stressful or overly active day. For example, he has had similar situations when skiing, after a full day of boating and a long car ride and yesterday, after running through the nice tall grasses in the parkway. Since he allergies, I assumed an allergy attack launched the migraine. His fever has me stumped, however and when Beth registered a small fever this afternoon, have assumed we've got a little flu bug in the house.
I am finally recovering from my bad sinus infection, Beth is just recovering from her ear infection so I think we can assume we are all just sick. Nothing fancy, just sick. We'll see if Mike and I register fevers tomorrow.
I don't worry about the three of us but do worry about Beth. Because she has bladder reflux, she is at great risk for Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) that could "reflux" back to her kidneys and be REALLY dangerous. I'll be watching her carefully to make sure the fever doesn't eek up. We have a follow up appointment in May to check out the status of her Bladder Reflux. It would be wonderful if she has already grown out of it. She has a grade 2 defect which could correct itself as she grows (similar to the same reason children need ear tubes). If she doesn't grow out of it or she has too many UTIs, then she is a candidate for surgery to correct it. It seems she will need the less invasive surgery, if at all.
But in the meantime, they are both eating well and playing so the fever can't be too bothersome. Beth's sleep is affected (but at this point we have given hope that we will EVER sleep through the night.) Mike and I figure that given the 4 months I was sick at home and then the 2 months in the hospital, Beth's 3 months in the hospital...well, we haven't slept more than 2-3 hour blocks of time at night since August of 2005. I'm not kidding. I can count on my hand the number of times I have slept for a 5-hour stretch. Aside from two lucky nights where Beth slept until 4 a.m., all of of them came when I was away from home: Disneyland with Elliott and Texas for a 2-day business trip.
Just a little whining on my part. In the end, she is alive and we are so very lucky to have her. I gotta believe she will sleep when she is two...don't ya think?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Beth has Spots!

Beth has spots! We don’t really know what is happening but our first guess is that she is allergic to something she is eating or one of her medications. She is taking Augmentin right now for her ear infection and got to the last dose on Monday. Since she was seeing the doctor that same morning for her last Synagis shot, we inquired about the spots. Well, he thinks we need to continue the course of antibiotics but with something different so now we have another 5 days of Zithromax (http://www.drugs.com/zithromax.html ).

What does she look like? Well, she hasn’t turned into a Dalmatian or anything but she has about 10 eraser-size red spots in odd places. She has two on her right cheek, one on her ear, three on her leg and a two on her left arm. These seem to rotate around. The ones on her leg are fading just as the two on her arm showed up.

No, they aren’t hives. Elliott had continuous unexplained cases of hives over 2-3 months when he was two years old – I’ve seen LOTS of hives. These spots almost look like a bug bite (we have no pets so there are no fleas on our carpet!) In fact, I would be tempted to say they are mosquito bites but there is no swelling and they don’t appear to itch.

She has no fever and no nausea. She seems absolutely normal so we won’t fret unless they don’t clear up in a few days.

Interestingly, when she was weighed at Urgent Care on March 24, they said she weighed 15 pounds and 13 ounces. However, when we weighed her at her doctor’s office yesterday, she was only 15 pounds and 6.5 ounces. Little Beth isn’t a big as we thought!