Tag Archives: sick kids

Accomplishment of the Year

Early Tuesday morning, I was awoken by splashing coming from the girls’ bathroom. I stumbled into the hall to discover Rose throwing up in the toilet.

I was shocked.

Not so much about the throw up, though that was a surprise since she JUST had stomach flu a week before, but about the throwing up in the toilet. In the middle of the night. Without assistance from a grown up.

She recognized that she didn’t feel well and made it to the toilet in time all on her own.

I’ve been dreaming of this day ever since my first kid got her first case of stomach flu. I’ve been hoping and hoping for the day my kids would throw up in the toilet.

And Rose did it. At age 4! Her 6 year old sister hasn’t reached this milestone yet (though she has graduated to using a basin instead of the floor)!

There are a great many things this child probably deserves more praise for, but there is nothing I’ve been more enthusiastic about than her being completely miserable over that toilet.

Perhaps I need to rechannel that enthusiasm into some of my other praise of the child (and there is no shortage of praise), but anyone who has ever cleaned up after a kid who has stomach flu can understand my enthusiasm. Right now, this amazing life skill of throwing up in the toilet (without even telling me she didn’t feel well!) is the preschool version of getting into Harvard.


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Torture Chamber

It seems like they consult a medieval torture device manual when designing hospital equipment for babies. Every single medical item we were forced to use in the hospital looked like it was used to torment prisoners.

First came the IV. As if an IV isn’t torture enough in its regular form, with a baby they attempt to immobilize the arm with a board. Her poor little arm was strapped down to what looked like a splint. She hated it and had trouble sleeping and crawling.
After I gave birth to the girls, I found it really difficult to get to the bathroom and tend to the baby while attached to an IV pole. Well, it turns out being attached to an IV is way easier than carrying a 17-pound baby who is attached to an IV pole. Somehow I was supposed to balance a baby on my hip, walk AND pull an IV pole around with me. It didn’t go too well.

Obviously my torture is nothing compared to the baby’s. She worked her hardest to get out of that IV splint-thingy. Several times, she got her hand free. Toward the end, she had forced pressure on the split so hard and so many times that it bent easily when she wanted it to.

How are you supposed to keep an IV splint clean when your baby eats finger foods almost exclusively?
That’s sanitary!

The crib also looked like a torture device. I know cribs are kind of cages anyway, but this one was REALLY a cage. There was a special lid on the top to make sure babies didn’t escape. I understand the fear, but the bars of the crib were so high and Violet is so little that it was ridiculous!

I felt really guilty because Violet stayed in that prison a lot more than she would have stayed in her crib at home. The IV line was so restrictive that if she wanted to move, it could only be in a small confined area. Hello, torture crib. She didn’t mind it, but I felt neglectful to be sitting right there while she was trapped. Every time I tried to hold her, she’d squirm away to try to crawl on the germy hospital floor. Sorry, kid. Crib prison it was.

The worst torture device was the chest X-ray device for a baby. It looked like something out of a sci fi show. Here’s a link to some pictures of it on Google. I basically put my baby into a bucket with holes in it for her legs. Then the techs had me raise Violet’s arms over her head while they wrapped two hard clear plastic tubes around her to immobilize her while they took the X-ray. The babies in the pictures look content. I think those pictures must be photoshopped because no baby anywhere would keep so calm in a device that torturous. She screamed and screamed until they were finished.

I know babies are hard to keep still, but there seriously has to be a better way to treat them than to put them in multiple torture chamber-type devices!

I guess these torture devices are good incentive to stay healthy. No more picking up bugs, Violet, or we’ll put you in the baby X-ray machine and splint your arm with an IV!

That threat would scare me enough to keep me healthy if I were a kid. Except it didn’t work when I was a kid. I was tortured in the children’s ward at least twice. Oh well.



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Fun With Fever

I think fate has decided that we shouldn’t get a patio or new floors this year. Sunday we made our second trip to the emergency room in two months. Last time, it was because of my allergic reaction to azithromycin. I was sent home. Sunday Violet spiked a fever that only got higher and higher with Motrin and Tylenol. I wasn’t even sure we should go to Urgent Care, but the next thing I knew Violet was admitted to the hospital for observation. She spent the night and most of the next day.

As they were running our paperwork to keep us overnight, which I’m sure will be a new patio’s worth of bills, Violet’s fever finally started to drop. By the time we were officially admitted to the ward upstairs, Violet’s fever was completely gone. It never came back.

So, I ended up spending the better part of 24 hours in the hospital with a healthy kid. She slept on and off in between nurses poking her while I played a lot of Candy Crush Saga. I can barely sleep in a hotel, so I actually celebrated my ability to get two hours of sleep while we were there.


Most of her awake time Violet was smiling and trying to pull off the board that strapped the IV to her arm. Whatever bug was causing her misery had clearly been defeated, but we were trapped waiting for discharge papers for a very long time.

And now we are home. I have some observations about hospital stays with kids I’ll be posting later this week. For now, my brain is still fried. Enough with the health melodrama, family of mine! The next time we’re back in the hospital, it better be for something fun like cosmetic surgery! ;)


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House of Plague Continues

Rose and I started our first rounds of antibiotics on March 25. It’s now April 23 and while our original infections are gone, we are not well yet. Lily has a nasty case of stomach flu and four out of five of us are STILL on antibiotics for things unrelated to our original diagnoses. Our house is cursed, BUT one amazing good thing has happened.

Lily threw up in a puke basin!

The level of pride I feel over this seemingly unimportant and very gross thing exceeds the moment I realized she was able to read. I mean, I knew she’d be reading soon based on her level of letter/sound knowledge for months/years beforehand, but puking in a basin? No warning! Just Sunday she was still in the Barf-on-the-Floor skill set.

My joy and elation and praise over this skill was larger than any joy and elation and praise I’ve ever given her. I should probably feel guilty about this, but if you’ve ever had to clean up kid barf, you understand why I was SO excited. SO EXCITED. If my kid wasn’t so sick right now, I’d be on a happiness high. There were three separate vomit incidents that I didn’t have to scrub out of my carpet or couch. Three separate vomit events that did not require laundry. It was amazing. This is a goal I’ve had for Lily’s entire life and it is finally here!


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How to Give 3 Different Kids the Right Medicine

After we were diagnosed with three cases of strep throat, one ear infection and one UTI, I had this confusing mess of mostly identical antibiotics bottles to deal with.

Holy crap, right? It’s not quite as bad as it looks. Two of the kids needed two bottles of amoxicillin to have enough medicine to make it through their 10-day treatment. It looks like you are looking at 5 different amoxicillin prescriptions, but really there are “only” three of them. I was really concerned I’d screw up who got which bottle. Every prescription has a different concentration and dosage so I couldn’t just randomly give the kids medicine from each other’s bottles. It really mattered who got a specific amount of what.

I posted this picture on my personal facebook page and a bunch of people linked me to a pinterest idea where you write a chart on the bottle to keep track of whether or not you gave your kid medicine. This idea didn’t really work for me since there were multiple bottles for each kid. Where do you write the chart if you have two bottles? I tried labeling the bottles and putting special stickers on them, but I was still worried I’d mix up the bottles.

Still pretty confusing, right?

A friend recommended I separate the medicines into different plastic bags. Bingo. This solved all my problems. I gave each of the double bottle girls her own bag and wrote her name and dosage on it along with a chart for when I gave the medicine.

Ultimately, the chart was pretty worthless. I had a harder time remembering to mark the chart or finding a sharpie for writing than I did dosing the girls. I also had a harder time remembering to take the mid-day dose of MY antibiotic than I did to give the kids their twice a day medication. Three-times-a-day drugs are hard, yo.

Separating the medication into bags really helped, though. I was never in doubt that I had the right bottle for the right kid and the dosage was written nice a big where I could see it.

Most of us finished our antibiotics a few days ago, but Rose apparently didn’t beat her strep with her amoxicillin. She was put on a new antibiotic today. Will we ever be well again? Stay tuned.



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The Neverending Sickness

Rose is on her last day of antibiotics for strep, so naturally she started throwing up last night and spiked a fever this morning.

Once we all get well, and it has to happen someday, I’ll be back to my witty self. Theoretically.

I was sick ALL THE TIME as a child, so I guess I had this payback coming.


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Scary Mommy

My body retaliated against me for complaining about my Penicillin allergy by rejecting the Azithromycin prescribed to me for strep throat. The morning after I took my first antibiotic I woke up covered in a rash. I stopped taking the medication and was prescribed a new one, but by the next morning I looked ten times worse and was having asthma trouble (still not sure if it was related). I had my husband take me to the emergency room to get checked out.

My body was still rejecting Azithromycin, which I’ve taken at least a dozen times before, and not the new antibiotic. The ER doctors thought nothing further needed to be done. Tonight my body is STILL rejecting the drug. I am still covered in hives from a pill I took on Wednesday.

My kids have been very disturbed by my rash. When the kids woke up the morning I ended up in the ER, I was wearing a sweatshirt over my hives. When we got home, I took off the sweatshirt and scared the crap out of Rose.

“Mommy, put your sweatshirt back on! I don’t like those!” She kept cuddling me and getting upset whenever too much skin showed. “No! Wear your sweatshirt! You’re too scary!”

I told my husband I couldn’t run an errand because I’d scare people who might think I was contagious with a rash like that.

Lily heard this and keeps coming up to me and saying “Mommy! You can’t go out in public like that! You’ll scare people!”

And that’s what you get when you publicly whine about having to explain your Penicillin allergy to all your doctors: You get the pleasure of dealing with hives and explaining to doctors that you are allergic to Penicillin AND Azithromycin. At least my raging fever is gone and Rose’s appetite is back. Thank you, antibiotics, for both the cure and the curse.



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House of Sick

We’ve had an amazing lucky streak when it comes to health in this household. Do we get sick? Sure, but it’s usually mild colds. My children have only been on antibiotics a combined four times in 5.5 years. Like I said, we’ve been lucky.

Until now.

As payback for all that decent health, we’ve been in bacteria hell the last week. Since last Wednesday our household has experienced a UTI, pink eye, strep throat, an ear infection and more. Until now, only two kids have ever had one ear infection a piece. Our bad luck has absolutely exploded. I have no idea why this is happening RIGHT NOW. My sister is a pediatrician and assures me that all of our infections are caused by different types of bacteria and are unrelated to each other. Chances are we picked them up outside the house, but I still have the urge to either disinfect everything or just plain give up and move to a new house.

What’s sad is that I’ve been working harder at keeping things clean. The girls have a passion for wiping things down, so our level of cleanliness is higher than ever and BOOM 10 zillion bacterial infections. Maybe cleaning more has been a big mistake?

And I have guilt. Since Monday, I’ve been battling a fever as high as 102.6 F. I thought I had an ear infection. Meanwhile, Rose kept complaining about a sore throat. She had what I consider to be a school-safe runny nose, but was playing and happy and fever-free. I sent her to preschool. Then Wednesday I was diagnosed with strep throat and it all came together: Rose has strep and has been walking around passing it out to all of her friends. Sorry, world. I honestly thought she was ok.

When I called her preschool teacher to warn her, the teacher too was shocked. “But she’s seemed great this week!” See, I’m not a complete idiot. I’m just an evil person who infects the whole preschool with strep!

We have been to the doctor six times in the past week. Our streak of good luck is clearly over. Will we ever be healthy again? And seriously, why now? Why everyone? Why so many types of bacteria all of a sudden?

Before bed tonight, Lily said her throat hurt too. My husband remains the only person in this house unscathed by Antibiotics Fest 2013. For now.



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It’s 3 am I must be lonely

There is a war on sleep at our house this week. Nobody wants me to sleep. NOBODY. Everybody has a reason why I should wake up at 3 am FOR THE DAY. It’s a conspiracy and I’m convinced that I may never sleep again.

I forget what happened Saturday and Sunday, but I’m fairly certain that the kids did stuff that led to me not getting a ton of sleep then. All the stuff happened at 3 am. That’s when all stuff has to happen. A night can’t go by this week without my having the privilege of seeing the clock say 3:30 am. The last few nights were particularly evil. Are my children evil? Why this streak of bad luck? Why? They usually sleep so well.

The worst of it started early Monday morning and was partially my fault. I stayed up too late and then had trouble falling asleep because my allergies and old lady shoulders were both being stupid. Anyway, I fell asleep at 1 am, which could have given me 5-6 hours of sleep in a perfect world. Naturally the baby woke up for a half hour at 2 am. She never wakes up at night, so she of course chooses the best night ever to do it. Why not do it on a night when I go to bed at 10 or 11? That would just be silly.

In my experience, men are deaf to children at night. I have a lot of mom friends who agree. I’m usually the only person who hears children wake up in this house. I usually have to beat up my husband to wake him up if I need him to take over. So imagine my surprise when at 3 am I woke up to find him already tending to Lily’s lower GI disaster. I must have been completely out of it when she came in our room for help.

Since I can catch naps during the day and my husband is usually out of the house for work before 7 am, I took over with Lily even though I’d only had 1.5 non-consecutive hours of sleep. I was with her from 3-6 am as she went back and forth to the bathroom. I cat napped on the couch while she watched movies.

Of course, the second she went back to bed the baby woke up for the day.

Three’o'clock Tuesday morning had me up with teething baby. At the same time the baby woke up, Lily, whose tummy was back to normal, woke up with a bloody nose. My husband came to the rescue because I was already dealing with the baby. Dr. Toy Warden has been doing a ton of clean-up this week and is totally my hero (but he has gotten a lot more sleep than I have).

I actually got some consecutive hours of sleep in my bed after that, but woke up to Rose throwing up and another fun-filled day tied to the house. THANKS, KIDS.

I stayed up too late again that night. How? Why? Stupid. I assumed we were back on track because Rose had been cheerful and bright most of the day.


Three am again. Why is it always 3 am? WHY? She threw up all over her bed (and saintly Dr. Toy Warden cleaned it up while I cleaned HER up). I spent the rest of the night AND day with her watching movies and never got to go back to bed. The baby again got up at 6. I got less than 3 hours of sleep. Again.

Why? Why does it always all have to happen in one week? Why can’t it just be ONE 3 am night? Why does it have to be three or four in a row? I know we are usually very lucky with sleep considering we have three small children, one of which is an infant, but STILL. It’s totally unfair.

And with that, I should go to bed before someone throws up, has a bloody nose, gets hungry or has diarrhea at 3 am again. I have high hopes that our bout of GI issues has ended, but there are still three people in this house who haven’t been sick yet. Doom.


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The week before Violet arrived was a comedy of errors. In addition to my first speeding ticket, a bunch of other bizarre things happened. I had weeks of daily often painful false labor and went to the hospital twice incorrectly before we finally just scheduled an induction. For the first time in the five years we lived here, the giant florescent light in our kitchen burned out all of a sudden despite having four separate rod bulbs necessitating an emergency trip to Home Depot and a two-man installation project.

The week had been turbulent enough when the night before my scheduled induction Rose was twirling around the living room and stumbled and fell into the corner of the entertainment center. A dark bruised welt immediately appeared on her forehead and swelled up into a huge knot. After about two minutes, I announced we were taking her to the ER to get her checked out.

That’s right. The DAY before I had a baby, I had to rush my other baby to the ER. I was sitting in the ER having contractions while holding my hurt kid. Over the course of six days, our family made FOUR hospital visits. I guess we really like hospitals. Or something.

It just felt like the world was playing a huge joke on us. Who ends up in the ER with their 2 year old the night before they are scheduled to go to the hospital to have a baby? Who gets a speeding ticket while 9 months pregnant? Who has timeable uncomfortable contractions for nearly 3 weeks before she delivers and can’t tell if she is in labor despite the fact it is her third baby?


As we sat in the waiting room of the ER cuddling poor little Rose (who seemed fine aside from the scary looking lump), I joked to my husband that Rose just wanted to make sure she got to spend as much “special” time with us as she possibly could before she became a big sister. Clearly she just needed more attention before she wasn’t our youngest child anymore.

Rose’s head is fine. They didn’t even need to run a CT scan. As it turns out, however, her bumping her head turned out to be more convenient than we ever would have thought. Despite the fact that she’d been perfectly cheerful and hadn’t had a runny nose or any other signs of being sick lately, she apparently had an ear infection. There’s a chance the ear infection is the reason she fell and bumped her head in the first place. Looking back, she has been awfully klutzy this week. Had she not bumped her head, later this week she would have developed a fever right when we brought home a newborn. Or she would have been super cranky from the ear infection and we would have ignored it because we thought she was acting out because we’d just brought home a new baby. Or we would have realized something was wrong and had to deal with getting her to the doctor while taking care of a brand spanking new baby.

So really, bumping her head turned out to be a good thing.

But man, Violet’s birth week was way way WAY too eventful for my tastes.


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