Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Life with an EPI pen.

 All of my kids have some sort of "problem", ranging from Autism, to ADHD, to a behavioral disorder, to food allergies.  Who would of thought that Autism and ADHD would be, by far the easiest thing to deal with?

So my husband has informed me that within the first year of life, all of my children needed some form of medical care and or procedure down.

At only 6 months old, with my son, we opted to have him have an MRI.  They had pulled his shoulder during delivery and it never truly came back.  We documented it for legal purposes but never pursued it.

You would of thought this would have prepared me for all medical procedures in the future.  And it kind of did.  I definitely cried through this procedure and it was heart breaking for me.

So when my 2 months old daughter fell ill.  I truly thought she would over come it.  I thought it was a simple cold and she would get better.  It just so happened that she was 3 weeks early, and classified as a premie, and it was during the worst year for pneumonia and RSV.

So at only 2 months old, she was hospitalized for 8 days for pneumonia and RSV.

I know with that one I didn't really cry.  I just sat through it, and stayed with her.  But it truly prepared me for any more medical procedures that the kids would need.

We made a silent rule, that unless there's blood gushing from a big hole....we don't go to the hospital.  And luckily for the next 7 months, I was able to follow that.  I had an all out freak out moment when my daughter got a hole in her head from a toy being thrown, but other than that, we were able to avoid hospitals all together.

But with the events that transpired Sunday night, truly had me running.  In both my daughter and oldest son's cases, they were emergencies but not necessarily EMERGENCIES.  Meaning I could drive to the hospital, and I knew that in the end they would be okay by the time I got there(except for the bloody incidence).

This time I wasn't sure WHAT was truly going to happen.  And it all happened so quickly.

My youngest son had been showing signs of catching his big brother's cold.  He was sneezing and coughing and fighting a nap.   So I was helping get my daughter down for a nap.  We had been asleep about 30 minutes when I heard the shower turn on.  And about 5 minutes later my husband brought the baby in.  He said he was going to elevate the head of the bed because he had wanted to be sitting up, and then get the humidifier going.  So I said I would nurse him and then he could go to bed.

He nursed the normal amount of time with no problems, about 5 minutes after he nursed, his left eye swelled shut.  Freaking out, I immediately sat up and pulled up his shirt.  He had hives all over his stomach.  I yelled for my husband to bring the benadryl fast(benadryl is something we always have on hand because of all of our allergies), I told him we could possibly wait 30 minutes and then take him to the hospital.  But his face wouldn't stop swelling, and it was getting redder, and it was going fast.  I told my husband we needed to get to the hospital and that someone needed to sit with him in the back seat.  This the one time that rear facing has a disadvantage.  I wouldn't be able to see him if he stopped breathing and wouldn't be able to reach him.

My husband grudgingly agreed, mostly because I threatened to call an ambulance.  My mother in law would meet us at the hospital to grab the other kids, and my husband would sit in the back seat and watch him.  With in 10 minutes we were all in the car.  We live in the "country", so I just prayed we would make it, the nearest hospital was 25 minutes away, 20 if you went fast if there was no traffic. 

My husband kept giving me updates, if he did stop breathing I was the only one who knew infant CPR so I would of had to pull over anyways.  Kept saying, "I think he looks better"

We arrived at the hospital just in time, my mother in law looked at him, and she looked worried and said, "Oh my", and I grabbed him and ran in.

I actually had to explain to the receptionist that he was having a reaction, even though he was swelling up faster and it was going down his legs now(which he only had a diaper on a shirt).  Even the sick people in the ER felt sorry for us.  When my husband sat down, I looked at the baby and told my husband, "I hope they don't make us wait, I really think it's an emergency", and that's when I saw it.  He was turning blue.  His lips were blue, they weren't pink and red and he had turned pale.  I told my husband to notify the receptionist immediately.  He hates it when I tell him to do that because a lot of the time he thinks I'm over reacting.  I practically yelled at him to tell her NOW!

He walked up to tell the receptionist, and she said, "The nurse is coming out for him soon."  That was it.  And that's when the first wave hit me.  Puke, all down my shirt, pooling into my bra, I'm sure at this point my husband was glad I didn't hand him off and tell the receptionist myself.  I practically shouted, "He threw up!" and then the second wave hit, all over my pants, looking like I peed myself.

The receptionist says, "Are you sure he threw up?"

And I stood up, getting a reaction from practically everyone in the ER, he had puked a huge amount for an 18lbs baby.

They told me to come over and sit down so they could triage him, but I was thinking, "Are you sure?  Shouldn't we be rushing back?" and the nurse took one look at him and said, "We have to go NOW!" and we started rushing back, practically running, before she grabbed him from me and started screaming for RT(a respiratory therapist, learned that from the pneumonia episode) to evaluate his air way I'm sure.  He was so swollen and pale.

But after the puking episode, he started to come back to life.  They gave him some IV fluids and some zofran, and EPI pen dose, and some steriods.  I noticed he peed, but I had to tell them no pampers, he's allergic(those are what the hospitals use), and tell him his extensive other allergies to wheat and lactose.  As soon as we got the diaper off, even though he was still swollen, he started grabbing himself down there and itching himself, and we knew he was getting better.  That's just his personality.

Because we don't know what he ate, we now have to carry an EPI pen, and take him to an allergist soon to try and determine it.  I really think it could have been anything.  He swelled up 3 hours after he ate, and 5 minutes after he nursed.  So was it something I ate?  Was it something he ate?  Or is it all the paper he likes to eat?  Who knows.  But now, even after being a CNA for 10 years and being taught to use an EPI pen, I had to actually learn how to use one.  I had to tell the kids that baby brother has to have one now.  And that it's a needle, which freaks out my autistic child because he's afraid the needle will go in his head(because of where the nurses place IV's).

So for that past 2 days I've been monitoring, watching him for another reaction.  Yesterday morning he was unable to eat breakfast which disappointed him greatly.  He also was unable to drink water.  His face turned red again, but luckily was fixed with benadryl and the steroids. 

Now we add yet another medicine to our growing stock pile of things the kids need because they're allergic to.  And I hate seeing it, I never thought in my life, my kids would have so many problems.  Although, they have so many problems, I really don't regret it, or them in anyway.  If they didn't have these problems, they wouldn't be them.  And I love them, just the way God made them.  Issues and all.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The kids 1st day of School

It officially happened.

Today was Jacob's first day of school.

And I was scared out of my wits.  I took more benadryl than normal in the hopes that I would at least try to rest last night.

Still, when that alarm clock rang at 7:15 am, all the worry came back.

The morning went well, I told Jacob no junk for breakfast, to at least add an egg to his breakfast.  And he did.  His lunch was packed and in the fridge ready to go, but I had no idea how or what was going to happen.  He's been in a specially contained room(special ed) for the past 3 years with very little introduction to how a normal classroom functions.  Today that was going to change.

As soon as Jacob was out the door(since he has to go to a school not within our boundaries I don't have to drive him or walk him, he takes the bus to the school less than a mile from our house, I'm serious, and I love being the mommy outside in her PJ's while everyone else is walking to school!), I gathered the other two children back up, and we went back to bed, no questions asked.  They HAD to, mommy needed sleep too, and luckily they all went to sleep no problems.

The only problem with taking a morning nap is great in theory but we got up at noon.  Half the day spent.

So Nat ate breakfast and excited, she proudly put on the prettiest dress she could find.  She was going to start school!  Homeschool!  (Homework she calls it!)

Not only was she excited, I was ECSTATIC.  It's always been my dream to homeschool my children.  To give them a quality education not corrupted by the public school system and their wordly views.  Ok blah blah blah.

My attempt to homeschool Jacob went down the toilet.  It was impossible to get him to learn anything from me.  So in my failed attempt, we realized he needed much more than mommy could offer, and with no other option, he receives schooling from the school district.

But my daughter, she was excited.  I however, am stumped.  What do I teach the child who knows EVERYTHING?  And she really does.  The decision to homeschool her a year early is because she's ready for a 3's preschool, but her birthday isn't until December.

So now the trouble is what do you teach her?  She already knows all of her ABC's, her numbers up to about 18(missing only 1 or 2 numbers), she can count to 5-10 on some days, knows all the important shapes, and colors. 

I decided over all, to teach her how to write this year, it's something she can't do, she can't even draw a straight line, I know that it will come in time, but it doesn't mean we can't practice!  I'm also looking into get a song/chant/finger play book to play with her. 

As for right now, we just have the left overs from Jacob, so we played with that today.  And I truly saw how easy homeschooling really is.  Especially with the right student.  Natalie was excited to learn and to play.

First we attempted to draw lines from baby animals to mommy animals(no go), and second we did our shape/puzzle boards.  They're from Melissa and Doug and teaches her how to place the shapes in the right spaces.  We discussed the colors of the shapes and what the shapes are.  I realize that she made need a little speech class too, which we'll work on because an oval is a "offul".

During this, Jacob's teacher called to say that Jacob was eating hot lunch at school!  And that was something I was worried about.  He had spaghetti, and "chicken nuggets"(I think it was supposed to be chicken parmesean she said), and a salad and juice.  So with that worry over.  Nat and I went back to school work.

We counted to 18 with her princess cards.

And then practiced her ABC's in her picture book

Afterwards, we took a break and watered her new babies.  Decided that the slide was to hot to play on(she didn't want to burn her but), and then checked the garden for fresh tomatoes and zucchini as we do everyday.

Lastly, we settled on painting pretty pictures for daddy, which last much of the rest of the afternoon.

I know we didn't do much as far as "schooling" goes, but I figured it was good for a first day.  I wanted to see how long she could sit there and do work, and start with something she knows.  I plan on doing more with her as time goes on, including planning a weeks work of activities and other things.

I didn't get a phone call from Jacob's teacher for the rest of the afternoon, so I got things done too.  Which was nice.  In addition to cleaning I finished a few birthday presents for my nephews and Natalie of course did more painting before we decided to get the baby up and go sit outside and wait for the bus.

As soon as the bus pulled up I sensed something might of been wrong.  The bus pulled over and stopped, and turned the engine off.

NEVER a good sign.

The doors open, and the bus driver gets up, and Jacob doesn't get off.  Instead everyone inside the bus is moving.  I wait a few more seconds but he's not coming out, I don't hear screaming, so I know that's a good sign, so I walk over and say what I normally say on a bad day and people are looking for something.

"Did he throw something?"

The "something" was his shoe.  And NO one could find it.  Not me, not the bus driver, not the other 2 students on the bus.

So Jacob came home with only one shoe, and he cried as he watched the bus pull away with his shoe.  I told the bus driver to look for it and deliver it to us tomorrow morning.  And all Jacob could think was that I was going to send him to school with only one shoe(I totally would if it was legal, just to teach him a lesson so he's not exactly wrong in his thinking).

After he calmed down he told me all about his hot lunch and how much he enjoyed it and that he was going to eat hot lunch the next day too!( I totally did not send enough money for a month's worth of school lunches!  1 school lunch is 2.25!)  He told me all about the salad that was "Not like the salad you make me mommy, but I tried it and it was GOOD!"  :)

His point sheet was less than encouraging but not terrible either.  He shoved his desk(he didn't throw it so this is an improvement), spit on his desk(also an improvement he didn't spit on anyone else!), and threw papers.  Nothing new. 

So overall both children had an excellent first day of school and Natalie was very proud to show daddy all the homework she did.