Thursday, October 29, 2009

Still Missing Preschool

I kept Clayton home from preschool again yesterday (two weeks now).  I had intended to send him, but he woke up at 6am coughing terribly, and then he threw up four times before 8am.  Clayton's gag reflex is soooo sensitive, so when he's been coughing a lot it's not uncommon for him to throw up.  Either way, I decided he was still coughing too much to go to preschool and enough to warrant another trip to the pediatrician. 

Apparently Clayton now has a sinus infection, possibly caused by all the congestion from the flu last week.  We made another big trip to the pharmacy and then headed home.  Clayton seems to be doing better today than yesterday.  He's still hacking up a lung every now and then, but he's better overall.  I really want him to get healthy once and for all.  He's so sick of being sick.  Hopefully he'll make it to school on Friday.

In the meantime my mom, sister, and niece have been visiting this week, and we've been trying to work in a little fun while they've been here.  We went out to a local farm for a pumpkin patch on Monday, but we nearly froze to death, seriously.  Oklahoma winds can be brutal.  What few pictures we took will be posted later.  Yesterday was a stay at home kind of day, due to the sick-o.  Today we got a little shopping done.  Who knows what we're doing tomorrow, probably just relaxing and letting the kids play together. 

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Swine Flu Update

So, I think this is the lightest case of swine flu in the history of the virus.  I can't explain it, but I've been telling everyone that the Lord has had mercy on me because I've been through a lot in my life, and I just would not be able to survive if Clayton became seriously ill with this virus.

When we were at the pediatrician last Tuesday, neither of us could assess how long Clayton had actually had the flu, as he'd had the runny nose for a month, but the fever last Friday led us to believe that was possibly the onset of the flu.  That would mean that Clayton didn't start the Tamiflu until four days into the illness, and Tamiflu is most effective if started within about 48 hours of the onset of symptoms.

Long story short, maybe the Tamiflu has helped.  Maybe he didn't really need it after all.  I don't know, but what I do know is that besides putting himself down for a nap two days this week, this boy hasn't acted sick at all.

To make the light flu story even stranger, just the weekend before all this Eli and I ran fevers for about 48 hours with runny noses and coughing.  I never thought it was the flu because you're supposed to feel bad, and we didn't feel great, but we didn't feel that bad either.  Could we have had it?  I don't know.  Our cases seem pretty similar to Clayton's.

Enough rambling... the update:

1.  Clayton has been fever free one week now.
2.  Clayton still has a slightly runny nose (much improved) and a slightly junky cough, especially in the mornings after he's been laying down all night.
3.  Clayton is still on the Tamiflu through Sunday evening.
4.  After much debate and research, Clayton will still most likely get a second dose of the H1N1 vaccine, as he's had such a light case, there's the possibility he has not built enough immunity to make it through the season.  This is assuming we can locate a second dose for him, which was difficult the first time around.

(His original dose was last week, so he was most likely infected before the vaccine had time to take effect, usually 10 to 14 days after the shot.  Clayton has to have the inactivated virus because of his condition, so there is not a possibility of contracting the virus from the vaccine.)

Answers to other questions I've received:

1.  Clayton was diagnosed in the pediatrician's office.  There's a rapid swab test (about 15 to 20 minutes) a doctor's office can run that tests for influenza virus.  This test cannot determine whether a person has seasonal or swine flu; however, the state of Oklahoma has been testing hundreds of random samples each week, and at this time, 98% of the influenza they've tested has been swine flu, so Clayton's doctor is assuming that all positive influenza tests are H1N1 at this time.  This will probably change as we come into November, but it doesn't really change how a patient will be treated because flu is flu.

2.  Clayton was prescribed Tamiflu.  I did not ask if he was prescribed this because he was a heart patient or because he was a young child or because that's just what they do.  So if Clayton was a heart healthy child, I don't know if they would have prescribed Tamiflu or not.

3.  Clayton cannot take decongestants or cough suppressants because of his heart condition.  He has been on plain old Mussinex, which apparently is neither.  It seems to have helped his tight cough turn nice and "productive" to put it nicely.  We also try to avoid Tylenol  (his triscupid valve issues cause some back up in his liver) and Motrin (because he's on aspirin as a blood thinner); however, desperate times call for desperate measures, and he did take these around the clock the first few days to try to ease the workload on his heart.  He is on none of these now.

4.  Keeping Eli and Clayton seperated is nearly impossible.  I considered it, but keeping a child who doesn't feel sick confined to his room or my room is just not feasible in my house.  I would have of course taken more precautions if Clayton had actually acted halfway sick.  Who knows?  This is probably the wrong approach, but I just go with my gut and do the best I can.  Maybe Eli actually had the flu the week before.

This post has become way too long now, so I will close.  Thanks for all your prayers.  We appreciate it.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Swine Flu

Yes, lucky us.  Clayton, the member of this family least in need of the swine flu, tested positive for it yesterday.  Urggg...  I've been working to keep him hand sanitized up, and out of public as much as possible without giving up church and preschool, but he's got it anyway.  Funny thing is, I was completely shocked by the test results.

Clayton has had a runny nose for over a month now.  I creditted this to preschool, his first time being with multiple other children for more than an hour at church on Sundays.  Last Friday afternoon he started running a low grade fever, which came and went over the weekend.  Monday morning there was a pretty significant cough, but no fever.  On Tuesday morning I thought I'd take him to the pediatrician, just to mention the everlasting runny nose and new cough.  She wanted to swab him for swine flu, and I consented, but neither of us felt this was the flu, as he just hasn't been sick enough, especially for a heart kid.

Well, we were wrong.  The test came back positive.  She prescribed Tamiflu, which he's been taking, and so far, so good.  He hasn't had any fever since Sunday morning (two days pre-Tamiflu).  He still has a pretty junky cough and the runny nose, and he's more a little more tired than usual, but other than that, he seems to be fine. 

Eli didn't have any flu symptoms, but the pediatrician did look him over, and found two "pretty significant" ear infections.  Mom of the Year, right here.  Who knew?  No fever, no cranky.  I'm not sure what else could have tipped me off.  By the way, Clayton and I have never had an ear infection, so this is new territory for me.

Anyway, a million prescriptions and over the counter meds later, we made it out of the pharmacy and home, where we've been ever since.

Clayton is doing really well with this, and I really hope he's building enough antibodies to fight off this thing the rest of the year.  I've had nightmares about swine flu since last spring, and recently reading about a child with HLHS dying from swine flu has not lessened my anxiety.  Keep your fingers crossed, and say a little prayer for Clayton's healing.  Please also say a little prayer for the rest of us, as we have zero desire to get the flu.

Spicy Hair

Clayton: Mama!  My hair's all spicy!

Yes Clayton, that's some spicy hair.  We then attempted to "spice" up Eli's hair, but this is all we got.

Believe it or not, I think Eli has more hair than Clayton did at this age.

Monday, October 19, 2009


For the last couple months we've been hearing about U2 coming to OU's stadium in Norman.  We had briefly considered trying to get tickets, but the tickets were pricey, and getting a babysitter is always a challenge, especially on a Sunday night with a start time of 7pm. 

Well, on Friday, Ryan called home from work saying they had released free tickets at the base, and he got a pair.  We scrambled for a babysitter, and luckily a friend said she could keep the boys.

We had such a great time, and the concert was amazing.  The set up was stunning, and the music was great.  The stage covered the entire (every square foot) football field, and in the spirit of their 360 Degree tour the stage was 360 degrees, and they had this amazing 360 degree television screen that was able to move up and down and come apart into hundreds of smaller screens.  The canopy over the stage reached 150 feet into the air.  I can't imagine how they assembled it in the stadium, but I know they've been working on it for a week, and they will now replace the football field in time for the Kansas State game on Oct. 31st.

Here are a few pictures from our night out.

It ended up being a pretty chilly night.  In Oklahoma you have to look at the temperature and the winds.  The low fifties didn't sound too cold, but the gusting winds were pretty chilly.

We arrived a little early to beat the parking nightmare.

The Black Eyed Peas were the opener.  They were great too.

Intermission, getting ready for U2.


Not too shabby for free tickets.

Looking Silly

The boys modeling their puppy dogs hats.  Silly, but super warm.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Clayton's New Friend

Clayton and Ryan discovered a turtle in our backyard this afternoon.  This guy looks like he's had a rough life lately.  The front of his shell is missing, and there are teeth marks all over the remaining shell.  He's dug himself a little hole up against the house, and if he's still there tomorrow morning, Ryan will take him over to a field across the street from our neighborhood.  Clayton was certainly fascinated.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Public Service Announcement

When one disassembles the door to their dishwasher and clearly reads the sticker warning the disassembler to cut the electricity to the said dishwasher before proceeding, the disassembler should heed the warning and not just plan to only examine the plastic handle device, as you never know what is laying just underneath that handle. 

It was just a slight jolt, but it was a jolt nonetheless. 

I plan on milking the electrocution excuse for all my short comings in the next several days, or weeks, or months.

Update: Just 15 minutes after originally publishing this post, I was able to use my "injury" to get Ryan to scoop me a bowl of Bluebell.  Yum.  If you don't know what Bluebell is, you live in a very sad part of the country.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

10 Months Old

Eli was ten months old on the 5th.  This last month has been a big month of firsts for our guy.  After spending the last two months inching across the living room on his belly, this boy is finally up on all fours and moving all around the house.  Along with crawling, he's also pulling up on the coffee table and in the crib and is opening lots of drawers and cabinets.  Table food is Eli's new best friend.  Although he will still scarf down two jars of babyfood, he's just doing that in an effort to get to the next course... whatever we're eating.  This boy has tried everything and loves it all.  Spaghetti, grilled chicken, french fries, minestrone, pot roast with potatoes and carrots... if we've eaten it, Eli's sampled it and loved it.  I've even resorted to feeding him Clayton's leftovers, which he welcomes gladly.  He's not picky.  He has six teeth (three on top, and three on bottom).  He has also started clapping and will sometimes mimic sounds.

Eli also loves playing with Clayton.  He knows most of the toys are in Clayton's room and is constantly crawling in there to see what he can get into to.  The last couple days I've had the playhut (pop up tent/tunnel/ball pit thing) up, and Clayton and Eli have spent hours crawling around in there and throwing the balls at each other.  It's so sweet and so nice for Mommy to not have to entertain people every minute of everyday.

Eli is certainly a member of the family.  I can't imagine how I lived without him so long. 

Here's a little collection of pictures, one from birth and each month of Eli's life.  We love this sweet boy!

PS Yes, he's still bald, and yes, his head was in the 97th percentile for his age.  The words CT-scan were actually mentioned at our pediatrician visit.  We'll see.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Brothers Today

Mama! Tate my pit-sir! -Clayton

Yes, the "c" sound is tough on dear Clayton, who still refers to himself as "Tay" or "Taytin".

Emily, does he need to go back to speech therapy?

In other news, Eli had a well baby check up yesterday. He weighed in at 19lbs, 1oz and was 28 3/4 inches. He's getting so big. I'm beginning to miss my baby boy.