Thursday, February 16, 2012

down and out

I had hoped to be a blogging maniac starting with the new year, but alas, the forces of evil have conspired against me and we seem to still be under the effects of that curse. The computer is officially very, very dead which is fine for things like: the kids not having to be tempted by its innumerable charms, but not so great for thing like: me being able to function! Just kidding! But I do use it for paying bills, answering e-mails, sorting and storing our photos, purging my house of nice, but unneccessary things on ebay, and, of course, communicating with all of you! It has definitely become part of my life and hasn't turned on for almost two weeks. We just can't decide what to replace it with... We were hoping our next computer purchase would be a laptop for our college girl, but it needs to be something sooner so I can type with more than one finger! Getting a cramp!

The next victim on our long list of broken belongings is our upstairs main toilet! I know! What next? Long story short, we were trying to replace the 40+ year old toilet seat which had corroded and managed to crack the whole bowl in the process! It is a wall mount, which in case you don't know is positively pre-historic, not stocked in any stores, and can cost up to $800 to replace! We have a plumber working on it, it may take a month to find one, and in the meantime all visitors, including my pregnant students, are given backstage passes through the kitchen and laundry room to the only other toilet in the bowels (ha,ha) of the house. Thank goodness we put that second bathroom in! It is a long walk in the middle of the night, but better than an outhouse, right? Moral of the story: I should never try to make something nicer (replace toilet seat), because I could end up with something infinitely worser (no toilet at all).

The other even more super sad happening is that I'm pretty sure my baby has whooping cough! A couple of days after recovering from the stomach flu, he started this horrible choking cough that is so scary sounding! I looked up what kind of cough sounds like that and really the only answer is pertussis. So on the morning of Jan. 28, which was a Saturday, I took him to the doctor after a couple of long, horrible nights. I described in detail how the cough sounded, that he turned red, that it sometimes made him throw up, that he felt cold and lethargic after a fit, and that every time I thought he was going to stop breathing! Could he have whooping cough? No way. The doctor told me babies can't clear their throats and his looked a little red. He listened to his chest and said there was nothing wrong with him. I know it's not in his chest! I've had other babies with RSV and pneumonia and this is totally different! But baby, of course, isn't coughing while we're there so we're sent on our way. Oooohkay. More terrifying nights and I go in again on Wednesday morning to another doctor. I again describe the symptoms and add that he has no fever, seems relatively fine between episodes and ask again if it could be whooping cough because it fits the description. No possible way. There isn't any going around and baby seems fine, but here is some steroids for the cough that no one ever witnesses and some antibiotic for a slight ear infection. A little better I suppose. Another week goes by in which I've resigned myself to the fact that at any moment the baby could breathe his last and plan for a funeral and some dark days ahead. Some nights there are ten minute coughing fits every two hours and I cry and panic every time. I decided that he must be too cute and sweet for this world. A couple of times we almost take him to the ER, but he always stops before we get going and I know they will just give me quizzical looks for barreling in there with my bouncing chubby boy. I go in again on Feb. 10, and as he smiles and coos at the doctor I am patronizingly again given a clean bill of health. A few days go by, which I spend with my long, lost friend visiting for the weekend, and she is understandably quite alarmed by his cough and urges me to take him in again. I admit that I've become a little numb to it out of self-preservation because I feel so helpless! But call and go in one more time to see yet a different doctor on Valentines Day. She listens to my graphic description, compares it to the sweet baby talking away to her and says, "Hmmm, I wonder if it could be whooping cough." Finally! A doctor who knows something about a traditionally dreaded illness! How refreshing! She sends me to the hospital for some tests, which won't be conclusive until next week, and starts treating him for pertussis. She also tells me to find a video of someone with whooping cough coughing so I did that as soon as I got home -- bingo, on the nose! So after a few weeks, several visits and co-pays later, we are gratifyingly granted the obvious, and first arrived at by the ignorant, crazy mother, diagnosis. That is the good news. The bad news is that since the treatment is being administered so late it merely makes him not contagious without being able to alleviate the cough. It usually lasts about three weeks, which we're getting to, but can last several months (!) I hope, hope, hope we're nearing the end! 1 in 100 babies under one year old die and I can see why -- it is horrible and terrifying! So why didn't the doctors at least test my then not quite six month old when I first went in? Grrr. I'm just glad I have an answer because it was just stupid to think he could die simply because he couldn't clear his throat, but was otherwise the perfect picture of good health! I can't believe how much I just typed with one finger! In conclusion, although for the most part I follow an alternate vaccine schedule, I now have a testimony of the worthwhile-ness of the pertussis vaccine (of which he had had only one dose, not effective until three doses). And if you could please say a little prayer for his speedy back to normal-ness!

Friday, February 3, 2012

this moment

{this moment, a soulemama tradition}
A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

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