It's been a very stressful two weeks with Marko getting sick with an intestinal infection that resulted in a hospital stay. I started my new job last week - and by start, I mean canceled all my meetings and took occasional calls while holding a feverish baby in a hospital room.  I really want to jump in and get started on some pretty big goals my boss has for me, not to mention all the regular Reading Warriors programming that I need to be working on. But as soon as we came home from the hospital on Thursday, I felt my entire body unclench and suddenly had a need for a 3 hour nap. I wanted that nap to erase 2 weeks of very little sleep, and then I would just get back to it. But that didn't really work.

So. We're easing back in. (And bleaching. Babies show no discretion or restraint when they vomit.)

The biggest lesson for me in all of this was about how the diagnostic powers of a doctor are highly dependent on the evidence they see. You can be sitting in the same room with them, looking at the same kid, and be seeing totally different evidence. It's very important to pay close attention to details, take notes, track symptoms and offer up information even if they don't ask for it. On our first two trips to the ER the doctors really couldn't see anything other than a regular stomach virus, and I don't blame them for that. Yes, he was dehydrated and needed fluids, but there was no indication that it wouldn't clear up in 3-5 days (ER visit #1). Oh wait, it could last 7-10 days (ER visit #2). Hmmm, maybe we should start investigating other possibilities since he's been vomiting for 12 days (ER visit #3). Really, the only reason they knew what he had was because I gave them a dirty diaper at ER visit #2 and asked them to do a stool culture. The culture takes a couple of days to run so when we returned to the hospital they had the results and could start treatment right away. (He had yersinia, which is sort of like salmonella, but happens when you make chitlins, then don't wash your hands and touch your baby. Which totally didn't happen in this house, so... medical mystery?)

Aside from the whole thing taking a while to figure out, I was very satisfied with Children's Hospital. They were supportive of breastfeeding and even gave me meals while we were there. Volunteers stopped by regularly bring me water and snacks, or toys for Marko once he was feeling better. The nurses were great. They talked to Marko like he was a person. They have this stuff called Pittsburgh Paste, which is some sort of magical diaper rash elixir that cleared up Marko's diaper rash in two days flat (and it was the sort of rash you winced just looking at).

Unfortunately, he's now regressed to nursing every two hours and refusing to sleep except in my arms. I've hit this mental wall where I believe with all my heart that I'll never sleep well again, and I fantasize about napping while waiting at line in the grocery store. Sometimes I pull over on my way home from work and just take a 5 minute catnap in front of some strange's house. (Don't be alarmed if it's your house, just a tired mom here.) I remember hitting this point with Laurel. Girl just would not take to sleep training. It was worse because I had to stand up in front of 9th graders and try to make them learn algebra for 7 hours a day, which is soul-crushing work in and of itself, let alone when you haven't slept in a year and a half. Then magically, around 15 months, bam. She slept through the night and that was never a problem again. (Also, she was toilet trained at night from the beginning. I can't really complain.)

I'm trying to take care of Marko, take care of me, not neglect Laurel too badly, and have a conversation with M every once in a while. I know this is just life when you have a couple of little ones in the house, but dang...it's hard sometimes


Anonymous said...

Hang in there Katy, it's hard and grueling work but you are doing a great job.
Love, Aunt DC

Anonymous said...

These last few weeks have been very tough for you. I wish I could be there to do something to help. We were all very worried. Sending you and the family my love, Aunt Mary