Saturday, January 23, 2010

2 surgeries in 16 months. Boo.

You know how you write a whole blog but you aren't quite ready to post it so you save it as a draft to go back and edit but you never do and by the time you get around to it is kind of old news but you want to share it anyway?  No?  Mmmm, maybe it's just me.

I wrote the following a few days before BBZ was going to the ENT to talk about ear tubes (about 3 weeks ago).  I have to put it here because I never did post it and the details are important to get us all up to speed...

BBZ has been sick for 57 days. He was stuffed up and snotty and coughing for 10 days before I took him to the doctor the Wednesday (11/18) before we flew to the far north to visit my family. He didn't have an ear infection and we went on our way. He didn't get any better that week, and finally on 12/1 I took him to the doctor and he had an ear infection. This is the one when they said if he has one more we have to talk about tubes. He was on amoxicillin from 12/1-12/10 and while his ear pain seemed to get better, his snottyness was just as bad as always. I started to think it was teeth, but the yellow/greenish color screamed infection. I took him back to the doctor again on 12/18 because he had a few bouts of diarrhea, and sure enough, another ear infection. His 6th one since this time last year. They gave him a stronger antibiotic that gave him a horrible diaper rash, but did wipe out the infection. He had his well baby appointment on 12/28 and the doctor saw fluid in his ears, but no infection. She suggested I continue the antibiotic until it was gone even though it had been 10 days. I gave it to him for another day, but his diaper rash came back, so I stopped.

We see the doctor on Wednesday and Wednesday can't come soon enough!

Yesterday he woke up and his eyes were stuck shut with nasty booger-like eye stuff. I had to use a warm washcloth to wipe them clean. In the tub I noticed that they had puffs under them and were swollen. My poor baby. His teacher called today about his eyes (I didn't tell her when I dropped him off because they have strict rules about pink eye and I know he doesn't have pink eye and he wanted to play with his friends so badly today. I know that's not an excuse to send him to school if he might be sick, but I knew he really wanted to go and felt ok otherwise!) When I asked if I had to come and get him becasue of his eyes, she said no but did need to know that it wasn't pink eye. I called the doctor again. She said that it is likely an eye infection and agreed with me that he was probably running out of room to hold all of the green and yellow snot so it has begun leaking out of his pores. I had some leftover eye drops from the last time he had a little eye infection, so I snuck them in the corner of his eyes when he was nursing. Just another reason I am so glad to still be nursing! That and the fact that he hardly has any appetite and my milk is one way I know he is getting at least some nutrients. I can't help but wonder how bad all of this would be if I didn't breastfeed! I guess it's not a cure-all, but hopefully this is better than it would have least that is what I am telling myself.

I've been thinking back to last July when he had his surgery. I've felt sad, and frustrated and helpless to provide anything to my sick little boy for almost 2 full months now. It's not as severe as his illness in July by any means, but this is just getting old! The doctor asked me today how he is doing other than the eye trouble and at first I said fine, but then stopped myself and told her that I am so used to him not feeling well that it doesn't seem out of the ordinary anymore. I then explained my concern for his ongoing sickness and she said I will hopefully get somewhere with the ENT on Wednesday. He wakes up at least once, usually twice every single night. That is just not like him! I tried letting him cry a few nights ago, but I can tell the difference between his not being willing and his not being able to settle himself down. He feels rotten and wants me to help him feel better in the middle of the night. I have honestly been ok with it the last few nights in hopes that they will end soon if the ENT has some suggestions. I'm willing to do anything at this point as long as he would just get better.

So that was what I wrote.  The ENT was weird.  He prefaced our whole appointment by saying that he does not tell parents that their child needs tubes, he's just there to present it as an option and it's up to us to make the decision.  I at first really liked this, so we listened to him and went ahead and made the appointment for the surgery, which would be about 3 weeks later.  We felt ok with the decision at first, but as we thought more about his approach N and I both felt that if this is just one of the options, what are the other ones?  We thought we were at our last resort by going to the ENT, but he didn't tell us BBZ needed the surgery, so we felt like we wer doing this even though we didn't need to.  I called our pediatrician and explained the situation, what the doctor said and asked her what she thought.  She forst said that the ENT must have been criticized for pushing someone into the surgery or something because he is apparently usually more upfront abotu a child needing the surgery.  She then said that we can wait if we want to, but he is just going to keep getting ear infections at least until April (the end of cold and flu season) so she said we shoudl just do it now.  That was really all I needed to hear.  I love our pediatrician mostly because she is a straight shooter.  She doesn't beat around the bush and she tells us what we need to know, whether we want to hear it or not.

So that was about 3 weeks ago, and BBZ is scheduled for surgery on Tuesday.  Someone will call us on Monday to tell us what time to be there.  BBZ had yet another ear infection at the ENT appointment.  So that meant more antibiotics (this time augmenten aka the worst diaper-rash causing medicine he has been on yet) and yes, more diarrhea.  He was at least able to go to school until he got a stomach virus that hit us both, remember?

So surgery it is, again.  Doesn't it just seem wrong that my 16 month old babe is having his second surgery?  I'm trying to find comfort in the fact that we don't have to worry about his having a reaction to the anesthesia since we have been down that road before.  He has slept well the last few nights, which is nice for us.  3 weeks ago I was worried about how we would make it through those 3 weeks and now we are almost there!  Just a few more days to go.  I knw it is the right decision, but that certainly doesn't make it any easier.  I am putting a lot of faith in that this will solve a lot of problems, so I hope I'm not being unrealistic.  From what mt friends have said whose kiddos have tubes, they are like little miracles.  That is what I am hoping for!

So friends, please think of us on Tuesday and send some positive vibes our way.  We'll be anxious to get it done and probably dealing with a cranky little one who won't be allowed to nurse until after the procedure.  Hopefully we will get the earliest appointment!