Tuesday, March 14, 2006

I forgot to mention that during my hiatus from posting, Max celebrated his first birthday! :D

Long time no post....

So it's time for a looong post ;)

Things have been very crazy around here. It's been a real hell of a couple months.

It all started about a week before we moved....
A close family member announced that he had prostate cancer and would be undergoing surgery in a week. Thankfully, the surgery went well and seems to have been very successful. It was still quite the bombshell at the time.

Then we moved. It went pretty smoothly. One of G's friend's and his father helped load and unload the van which went quickly. We've gotten things into their rooms and the important stuff set up. We've made a couple trips to IKEA to fill in some holes ;) We finally got a new vaccuum which seems to be pretty good. I'm LOVING the king size mattress, which finally has a bed to rest in. Katie loves her new bed, although she's only actually spent two whole nights in it.

Then Katie came down with her first ear infection. It was very sudden and I was on the way to drop her and Max off while I taught lessons. She was pretty upset and screaming and crying in pain and I didn't know what to do because she's never had one before. I ended up having to cancel most of my lessons and was able to get an emergency appt with the ND, which was awesome because we were right near her and she'd never seen Katie before (just Max) but still agreed. Otherwise we would have had to drive about an hour + in rush hour traffic to see someone at her old ped's office since her ped (who we love and is worth the drive) is in the process of switching offices.

Then one afternoon, Max woke up from his nap and was breathing funny. At first I thought he was straining to poop, but soon realized it seemed like he was having trouble breathing. It sounded shallow and labored and he fell asleep an hour later and I started getting worried. I called the ped's office and talked with the on call dr. who wasn't very helpful at all. When he woke up he had a few spells of being his normal happy self even though his breathing was still off. And he was nursing well and ate vigorously off my plate so I decided to play the waiting game. I watched him like a hawk and slept terribly that night because I was worrying. I got up around 7am and found myself engorged for the first time since he was born (I didn't even get engorged when he was a newborn and my milk was coming in) and realized he hadn't nursed most of the night. So I went and pumped 5oz quickly (another unusual occurance for me, usually that would be a huge struggle) and stopped only because the bottle was full and I couldn't find any others that fit the pump. At about 8am the next morning decided we needed to take him in because he was sounding wheezy. I tried the ND first, but the office didn't open until 9am and so while we were waiting for her callback, we decided to head for the Children's Medical Center since it was the closest thing we knew of and had heard horror stories about the closest hospital (which we didn't even know how to get to anyways). Of course when we looked outside it was snowing and the roads were in terrible condition. There ended up being over 300 accidents that morning throughout the state (keep in mind how tiny CT is now) because of the bad weather. So we headed out as fast as we could, slowing periodically when we started sliding all over. The ND called just as we were pulling into the lot and reccommended an alternative drug to what she suspected they'd give Max.
I took Max in and because of the weather, the ER was empty and we were brought back immediately without having to sign in. They took his vitals and found his oxygen levels were low. They put us in a room and gave him some breathing treatments. They didn't stock the drug the ND suggested so we ended up with the albuterol which did indeed make him jittery. It raised his oxygen levels for a while. Then they did an RSV test which involved shoving a tube up his nose and collecting mucus. He didn't like that one either. He finally nursed for the first time that morning during the breathing treatment though. Then we waited some more and then went for a chest xray. Another non-fun event for poor little Max. When we got back from that, his oxygen levels were low again so they gave him another breathing treatment. Then they told us that he'd tested positive for bronchiolitis/RSV and the chest xray confirmed it and that we'd be admitted because his levels were consistently low and they were worried about bacterial pneumonia setting in or apnea from the low oxygen levels.

So we were admitted fairly quickly and got a private room with a bathroom and all. They didn't bug us too much up there, mostly just observation. Although they had the uncanny ability to sense when he'd just fallen asleep and chose that moment to come take his vitals. We stayed overnight and he slept next to me on the tiny foldout couch/bed instead of in the crib. Nobody minded or gave us any trouble. They kept pushing tylenol to lower his fever, but it was only 101.8 at it's highest so I kept declining. It was very sad for me because it was the first night I'd ever been away from Katie. She did well though and kept saying sweet things. G brought her by a few times while we were there and she liked the 'aquarium room' because she's into fish tanks now.

They discharged us the next night and I was sooo happy to be home. We got into see the ND the next day and got a crazy list of things to do. Mustard packs, garlic poultices, tinctures, vitamins A&C, zinc, ear drops, etc. It turns out he had thrush and an ear infection on top of the bronchiolitis. When it rains it pours, eh? I cleared our schedules for the immediate future and we hung out here while I tried my best to keep up with everything. It was really tough to get the tincture and vitamins into him because he didn't like them. He seemed to be improving. They said it could take anywhere from 5-10 days for the virus to run it's course and 2-3 weeks before his breathing returned to normal. I had no clue what to make of that.

He kept going back and forth for about a week. One day he'd seem so much better and be playing like his normal self. Then he would get really sleepy. One day he slept most of the day and then around 7pm he woke up with a 104.5 fever. Our ND (have I mentioned how lucky we are to see her?) let us come over to her home so she could check him out and listen to his lungs (which are actually sounding much better, yay!) but when we went home, it went back and forth a little and finally hit 105.2 at which time we gave him an acetaminophin suppository (why do they have to flavor all the infant drops???) which brought it down to the 103-104 range and he was much more playful.

The next day we had a follow up at his ped's office. They did a chest xray which showed he had bacterial pneumonia. When will this poor boy get a break???? We started antibiotics (which does wonders for thrush) and I think the only thing keeping me from completely losing it was the fact that I was just too exhausted to. I just wanted to cry.

Oh yes, he was teething on top of all this. So to run through the list, he had RSV, ear infections in both ears, thrush, bacterial pneumonia and was teething.

And *why* do ALL children's medicines have flavoring??? Don't allergic kids get sick too??? The antibiotics were flavored with several things Max shouldn't have as well as ASPARTAME. Because pneumonia isn't bad enough, we need to load him up with crap that he shouldn't have to get the medicine he NEEDS in.

Sooo, we thought Max was getting better and all was well but haha, the joke was on us. Would you care to guess what's scarier than bacterial pneumonia? Anaphalactic shock. Yes, Max is allergic to penicillin (he was taking amoxicillin) and we found out the hard way. But really, at this point, what were we expecting? It made perfect sense.

Throughout the whole ordeal, his eczema wasn't flaring up at all. And it's flared up a little since he's been better, but seems to be pretty calm. We've added back a couple foods to our diets too. Avocadoes, garlic (noticing the guacamole theme? hehe), pears, sheep yogurt and cheese, water buffalo yogurt and cheese, potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, and rice to name a few. We're giving him a tincture to help clear up the residue in his lungs which also helps his digestion. He's also taking dairy-free bifidis to help repopulate the good bacteria in his gut and permeability factors to help heal his gut. And vitamin C and zinc to help keep him healthy. If I can find my camera, I'll share some photos.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Cod Liver Oil

We have recently made the great discovery that cod liver oil does wonders for Max's skin. I was reluctant to try at first because I'd tried taking fish oil myself with little to no results in Max, and I didn't want another pretty little expensive bottle to add to our collection of Things That Do Not Help Max and Will Be Forever After Collecting Dust Because They're Too Expensive To Throw Away.

I'm so glad we did because it has helped tremendously. I've been giving it to him for about a week now and his skin is softer and retaining moisture better. His legs are no longer dry and are almost completely clear and his face, which had been flaring up pretty bad with the winter weather, is much softer and less red. I'm so impressed with the results that I've started taking it myself (yuck!!!) to help with my dry winter skin. His hair even seems softer and shinier. And the kicker? He absolutely *loves* the stuff! I have trouble prying the dropper from his clamped jaws. I think that's a sign that it's something he needs since babies haven't learned to suppress their cravings.

We also think that something G is using (a new deodorant is our top suspect) is causing Max to flare up because he keeps getting red and itchy around G and then it calms down once he's been back with me a while.

And getting back to the CLO, when I took Max's clean diapers out of the dryer this morning, they smelled like the CLO. Anybody know how to get fishy smell out? Ewwww.....

Monday, October 10, 2005

Remember those photos I promised?




Well these aren't them. Hehehe. But they are just too cute and you can see how good his skin is looking. And the awesome hat I knit for him. I've been doing a lot of reading lately on the SCD diet and healing our guts. I'll be adding links soon, but for now, Enjoy! And if you'd like to see more, you can visit his page.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Monthly Update

I mean to keep updating regularly, but seem to get around to it only about once a month...

Things are going pretty well with Max's eczema. It's steadily, though slowly, getting better and better. The backs of his legs and arms aren't scaly anymore, they're soft, like normal skin. They're still a little darker, but I suspect that will go away. He has occasional flare ups, but nothing like what they used to be. And the flare ups are getting less and less severe.

I'm still on the rotation diet which seems to be working for us. I'm still dying for a pizza, but can deal. I've given Max a few tastes of banana, sweet potatoes, carrots, canteloupe and seaweed. I think the flax seeds I've been using in my pancakes have been causing some slight flare ups so I'm cutting those out, as well as garbanzo beans (and flour) which somehow slipped onto my safe list, but was not tested so I can't be certain. I have added coffee back and figured out that the instant coffee we use doesn't cause a reaction, but the brewed one does. I'm sooo happy to have coffee back.

Sorry to not be more exciting but I'd like to get into more of a groove with posting to this blog so I'm just going to put this out there. Check back soon, I have pictures to scan ;)

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Coincidence?

My mother was just diagnosed with eczema today. She has a flare up on her neck. How weird is it that after all these years, she's just diagnosed with it now?

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

What a day!

I was surprised to find myself in a pretty crappy mood when I woke up last Tuesday. I thought I'd be excited about all we had planned for the day, but I just couldn't shake my aggravation. And it was beautiful out too! I'd been keeping the house spotless for the past couple days and suddenly it had exploded overnight. I have no clue how. Max was extra clingy so I couldn't get anything done. Then we left for the appointment. I was still in a bad mood in the car but at least we were running early(by some miracle!).

As I was waiting to turn to find parking, we were rear-ended.

Just great. We haven't had this car for 3 months yet and already a crash. Luckily everyone was ok. I was worried for a while though because short of obvious physical injuries, such as ones spewing blood, how do you know if a non-verbal 8 month old is injured? We exchanged insurance information with the other driver, who was apologizing profusely, and I checked out the back of the van. It didn't look bad from a distance, but the bumper was pushed in and up a bit blocking the trunk door from opening and closing. So now the back hatch is permanently open which the car tells me everytime I start moving by beeping annoyingly.

So we found a parking space and went in to the appointment. The results were actually in. What a crazy little list. Max's blood reacted to:
apple
avocado
bean, green
bean, yellow wax
broccoli
brussels sprouts
cabbage
cauliflower
celery
cherry
coconut
cranberry
eggplant
garlic
grape
grapefruit
lemon
lentil
lettuce
lime
oat
onion
orange
papaya
parsley
pea
peach
peanut
plum
radish
strawberry
tangerine
wheat
egg whites
cow's milk
barley
soy

Basically, he's reacting to most of the foods I'm eating now. I think that he got sensitized to them because they were all that was left after eliminating so much. I have a theory that his liver is a little sluggish because it took unusually long for his hematoma to go away after birth (rough train of thought to how I'm making connections: hematomas~jaundice~liver) and because he had such a positive reaction to the sarsaparilla (purifies blood and detoxes the liver) and now I'm thinking that it's not clearing the proteins out of his system as quickly as normal and so they build up and he gets sensitized easily. Does that make any sense or am I a complete loon?

So now I'm on a 4 day rotation diet using the foods that tested safe. There's a bit more variety, but it's tough to come up with enough ideas for 4 days worth of different stuff. I can eat goat and sheep milk products so I get to eat some cheese! I'm hoping to get some goat mozzerella from a shop that makes their own cheese so I can make a pizza. At the least I know they have parmesan from sheep milk so I can have my rice pasta with sauce and parmesan.

The little things that bring such joy.....

Oh yes, as I almost completely forget the most important part. It's now been a week since the appointment and Max's skin is looking really good. I'm holding my breath because everytime it gets clear, it flares up again. It feels different somehow this time. I suppose because we're not relying on a cream. Although I did get my fun package of herbs today and got the crockpot all ready to make up a batch of salve tomorrow.

And on another good note, things are going pretty smoothly with the other guy's insurance company. We have an appointment to get the van fixed and they said they'd reimburse us for new carseats which is awesome because we spent the big $$ for the Britax seats because car safety is very important to us and we really don't have the money to replace them ourselves. Now to see how it goes tomorrow when I call to discuss the issue of a rental car for the week the van is in the shop.....

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Wish us luck!

Well today's the day. Or at least it's supposed to be. I'm not nearly as excited or hopeful as I was for the previous two visits. On the bright side, I won't completely break down if there's some strange turn of events that prevent us from knowing yet again.

Max has been continuing to look better this past week. He was a bit itchy yesterday and the day before because the day before I had a tiny bit of coffee. I'm quite sure at this point that coffee is a strict no-no. That's what experience is telling me. Last time I tried coffee, it was decaf and I noticed a flare up/increased itchiness so I don't think it's a fluke. Unfortunately. Man, I could use a coffee right about now.

I'll try to update tonight, but my friend is coming in from out of town and staying over so we'll see how much time I get versus how much there is to write about versus how excited I am about the news....

Oh, I forgot to mention that I ordered the herbs and supplies to try to make my own sarsaparilla cream. I ordered from Mountain Rose Herbs which is supposed to ship promply within 24 hours so now I go running to the window panting with excitement everytime I hear a truck go by the house. I know it's early since I didn't spring for 2 or 3 day delivery, but I'm hopelessly impatient when it comes to packages so I'll continue to stalk. Besides, I'm also expecting a nice big package of yarn ;)