Sunday, November 08, 2009

JB at 2 years+ and ML at almost 2 months

We went to the pediatrician for JB's 2 year old visit last Wednesday.

In the days leading up to his appointment, the kid was just a wreck. He was a drippy mess, sneezing, coughing, acting like a brat, crying at the drop of a hat... From what I've heard, this is the exact behavior that causes parents and peeps of parents to add the prefix "terrible" to the word "twos". There was this one moment when we were in the hospital and my sister was taking care of JB and every kid at her house and at day care started to get colds that caused that wet, bronchial-spastic cough that I wondered to myself if his doctor would tell us his ear tubes had fallen out at this upcoming visit. Since he had the surgery in December, JB has literally not been sick. The year before it was ear infections every six weeks, but after he got tubes, all was cool.

So, Dr. L looks into his left ear and in micro-seconds pulls away, "He's got an ear infection. The tube is out." The tube in the right ear is in his Eustachian tube and not the ear drum, and instantly we realize that all the signs were there. He doesn't get fevers when he gets an ear infection, he just gets sensitive and whiny, and stubborn, and prone to frequent breakdowns. Perhaps even more so if everything in his world was changing: home, schedule, family structure, stress level of parents, household members, etc.

At the 2 year "well child visit", the kid was a wreck. Really, he was all over the place. Cried when they wanted to undress him, then he pulled his diaper off and wanted to be naked-refused to get dressed again. He cried and shouted when they wanted to weigh him and when they wanted to measure the circumference of his head. Yes, he's been difficult, but this was hard to take, because for the most part we have the most mellow little boy on our hands. It is weird, but you really do want them to show off a little for their healthcare provider and barking, "NO! STOPPIT!" at the staff wasn't what I considered to be a shining example of his emotional or linguistic accomplishments.

Then at the end, they have to take a tiny tube of blood for lead and Hemoglobin; as well as give him 3 IM injections: H1N1 vaccine, HIB, and seasonal flu vaccine. During the finger stick, he observes the blood leaving his body with such intensity and curiosity that he could have been filming a commercial for summer science camp for toddlers. I'm dumbfounded that this didn't upset him AT ALL! The shots were a different story. He cried that heartbreaking cry that causes lesser moms to refuse to vaccinate their kids as part of the herd.

It didn't help that the appt was at 11am (lunch time at day care); and we weren't done in there before noon (30 minutes after the regular starting time of his daily nap). We wrestled him into his car seat and he screamed and cried a snot-fest of mucus onto the front of his shirt. He fell asleep about 3 highway miles into the trip home and Kt stopped at the pharmacy to fill his antibiotic Rx. When we got him home, he woke up, growled at me, and "declined" tylenol or his prescription dose. Then he slept for FOUR hours!!!! It was bizarre and unexpected and apparently just what the doctor ordered.

He woke up such a different person that Katy wondered aloud if the vaccinations might have acted a bit like shock therapy treatment. Upon waking, he looked at me and asked, "Mommy, I have a hug?" We cuddled for a bit and I picked up the spoons of tylenol and Cefdinir that he all but spit out at me immediately before the nap. I said, "Can you please take your medicine now?" He did without a word and then after swallowing it right down he looked at me, put a hand on my cheeks (as if he was about to say, "I love you,") and said, "Mommy. That's yummy."

(hee hee hee).

After the first 5 days of the drug treatment, JB is back to his sweet old self. He has a follow up ENT appointment in Dec and then we'll know what his ears look like. With any luck, this is a fluke and he will not need more tubes.

In the mean time, ML has picked up a wet cough and a sneeze that had his moms shitting a brick a few days back. Thursday and Friday we were desperate and frantic that he might spike a temp and we'd have to take him back to the hospital. He seems to be stable now (still has the cough, though) and he turns 8 weeks tomorrow. So that is good. He has enough to worry about with the health problems that might actually be real without being admitted as "R/O sepsis" and being exposed all over again to all those hospital germs.

We had a birth to 3 assessment done on ML on Friday. Generally they said our almost 8 week old is socially "right on track" but more like a 5 week old in terms of motor function. Not surprising after having spend 7 days of your 53 day old life in the hospital and also having had a fever and seizures and anti-seizure medication... but it was still a little sobering for his moms.

It has been a wild ride these last 2 months. I feel steady and charmed in terms of my good fortune. Still, I was in a department store during my lunch last week and I heard a child crying. It was a serious and desperate cry and it seemed to me misplaced at a department store. It was similar to the cry I heard from ML when they had to sick him 3 times to get an LP. And something deep inside me wavered. For a moment, I thought I might have to get down on the floor and lay there for a 10 count, right there in Ikea. It was like a wave of nausea and was gone as quickly as it rolled in. But it make me realize there's some stuff going on deep down inside me that I should probably pay attention to...

We moved into our new house last night. It is not really organized nor are all thing things done that I wanted to be done before we moved in. But I finally figured out what everyone else pretty much knew: we are never going to be able to move forward without staying here- there's no incentive to succeed and march forward on the TO DO LISTS unless our family is living here and not-yet-completed projects are affecting our daily life.

So here are a few of my favorite JB-isms and stories of the moment.

New negotiating tactic:
Me: Okay, let's go, put this shirt on...
JB: Umm, hmm, HOW'BOUT... this one over here, Mommy.

New stalling tactic or getting himself out of trouble tactic:
"I gotta go potty"
I swear this kid can squeeze out 4 drops of urine any time he wants to!

He's really great with ML and often says, "Look at ML, he's laughing at me... You're funny ML. Good boy, ML."

Just plan super cute at dinner: After eating a spoonful of peanut butter and wordlessly and unintentionally contorting his face (genuine "yummy", "sticky" and "peanut butter is hard-to-swallow" faces) JB lunges for his glass of water and gulps a bunch down. Then he looks up at his amused parents who have also said nothing this entire time and says, "I'm better now."



Sarah said...

Wow, that's quite an update. I'll admit, I hung on every word. Ear infections are the worst. We didn;t have that, but the crouo last weekend, and it unearthed a boy who previously LOVED tylenol turning into a "no want" machine. Language is fun. I guess that's the reason to learn.

I'm holding "settling in" thoughts for you guys! hoe all is going well with that.

Tracy said...

We have the greatest "lurkers" ever here at the GSO. Thanks for all the well wishes and positive energy!!!

Anonymous said...

That is quite the update! Patrick made the mistake of interrupting my reading a little way down to my yelling at him "JB's ear tubes are out!" HIM: "That's great!" ME: "NO! He has an ear infection!" I then proceeded to read the rest of the blog out loud to him. One of my favorite parts is your comment about "lesser moms" and vaccinations. So true.
Hang in there!