Party Time, just in time for B's 8th month Birthday! We are having our welcome home party for Mr.B on July 7th from 1-5pm at the Highwood Community Centre. It is an Open House so please feel free to drop by anytime to say 'hello' and grab a snack! If you'd like to join us and want the full details, then please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll happily add you to our RSVP list.
I would also like to extend an invite to those of you reading the blog around the globe! We are collecting cards/post cards from people that are supporting us around the world to put into a book for Braeden to see when he is older. If you would like to join us in that, and can take the time to send us a post card or card of where you are from that would be great! (Local and Canadian Friends certainly are welcome too!) Mail can be sent to :
Lia Lousier (Braeden Lousier-Hicks)
5628-4 St NW
PO Box 64174 Thorncliffe PO
We are now into our third week home with B and I would like to say things are getting easier, and they are to a certain extent but they are still difficult without a doubt. I got my butt handed to me last week when my own body finally gave into the pneumonia and I crashed, hard. I was treated for pneumonia three weeks ago with steroids and antibiotics and was feeling somewhat better from that when I got kicked sideways. I ended up taking Mr.B into emergency early last week because he was having a difficult time breathing and he was coughing quite a bit. I called the Homecare Nurse and she agreed with me to take him into Emerg just to be safe. I got all three boys up and out of the house and by the time I got them all into the Van I was feeling pretty rough. We got into Emerg right away (I think they took one look at his file and just pushed us through) and when we got into the room for assessment the Nurse assessed B THEN assessed ME! How embarassing, I was so very sick all of a sudden, high fever, nausea and exhaustion. Not so great when you've got three kids in your care. Mike wasn't able to get away at all either so it was just me. The Nurse actually gave me Tylenol (big kid drugs, no grape for me) and antinausea drugs so I could at least function. I was having trouble breathing as well but was more concerned for B of course.
They did a blood panel on him, a chest xray and kept him under observation. His breathing was actually looking pretty good (of course) and he was still sating at 94% when we got there, so not too bad. I had turned up his oxygen before we went into the hospital and that seemed to help. They turned him back down after a few hours and he was able to maintain his levels which was great. All in all, there was no visible infection (thank goodness) and they sent us home. I wasn't sure if they would send us home with me being so sick but they still did.
So off to home we went (thank-you to the Tylenol I was able to function enough to load kids and drive). Got Torin settled back in at home as he was just on his antibiotics for his Tonsillitis AND sinus/eye infection and feeling rotten, got Ry in front of the TV and B into bed in time for Mike to come home from work. Mike walked in the door and I crawled out to go to the walk-in clinic. I'm pretty sure I shouldn't have been driving at this point but I needed to go and it was just down the street. I got in as the last patient of the day (thank you, thank you lovely unit clerk lady!) and the Dr took one look at me and said, 'that's not good'. Is that your clinical diagnosis?? I wasn't able to move much air in my chest by that point so he put me on the nebulizer for 20mins to try to get some air flow and gave me not one but two antibiotics since I was harbouring an UTI as well (wha??). He suggested going to the Emerg myself but I just didn't have it in me to get there and I was terrified that they would admit me and then what? Mike would be stuck with sick kids and no family here to help out. Trust me when I say Braeden is a full-time job in himself right now! I trugded home to go to bed and Mike took one look at me and laughed. He said he couldn't figure out what colour my skin was supposed to be, I decided on grey. I fell into bed and I knew that I was certainly ill when Mike offered to stay home from work the next day (I must have looked truly awful for that to happen!!). It was very sweet of him since I felt so terrible but by noon he was in bed beside me with a fever of 102. Yup.
Mike's trip to the Dr. reveled strep throat for him, tonsillitis, sinus/eye infection for T and pneumonia for me...can I get a break here people?? AMAZINGLY neither Ry nor B got sick! Ry got a bit of a runny nose but that was it! Torin missed an entired week of school however so that was not good. Mike and I spent the week trading off trying to keep the kids fed and clothed while we moaned and groaned our way through our illnesses. Mike tried on more than one occasion to get me to go into hospital but I just knew they would admit me and that was just too stressful to consider so I suffered through and just kept going back into the walk-in Dr for the nebulizer, antibiotics, oral steroids, inhaled steroids and pats on the back. We made it through but I am still absolutely exhausted without a doubt!
I had my real test of strength on Monday this week when Michael was gone for the entire day/evening. Mr.B had a good day but refused to nap for longer than 20 mins at a stretch for 15 hours straight! I would take 20 mins to get him to sleep and then he'd be awake 20 mins later, so frustrating! I got no sleep the night before and was a walking zombie who just wanted a nap but I would get him to sleep, lay down and he'd be awake. By the end of the day (thank goodness T and Ry went to bed somewhat easily) and after taking over 2 1/2 hours to get him to sleep (with me crying for the last two hours straight) I got to go to bed only to lay there wide awake with stress! It was a day of reckoning that is for sure and I was pretty convinced that I was certainly NOT cut out for this job! Any confidence I had gained in the previous week was completely shot in that 15 hour period! Now of course the next day Mr.B napped well and all was well once again, Murphy's Law. I was taken to task and certainly felt as though I had failed miserably. I know that 90% of it was simple exhaustion but like I said earlier, Mr.B is himself a full-time job.
We've been having issues with reflux again as well, rather I should say we are having issues with retching after his feeds. I can vent his tube for 15-20mins before a feed, feed him and within 1/2 hour he is retching horribly and needs to have 1/2 of his feed taken out (via venting) and vented for gas and then feed put back in. It is to the point that I am now planning my day around the need for B to be vented which is not easy. Vent for 10-20 mins, run a feed over 45 mins, wait 1/2 hr, vent again for 10-20 mins...repeat every three hours from the start time...not easy to do much else. The Homecare Nurses were out today though and he's gained weight well this week (on the high side) compared to not really gaining at all last week. It may be a question of changing formula (although he's been on this one for months now) or reintroducing his refulx meds. It is scary watching him retch as he turns a nice shade of purple and you know it must hurt! Nothing like trying to vent a tube, not spill any or have it come lose while trying to prop up your kid so they can continue to breathe...
I don't dare say life can't get much harder but I am slowly getting a better reaction time down I think. I am faster to grab the tube to vent or confident to treat the granular tissue (remember those chemical burns) on my own. Although with days like today when we've had two issues of feeding tube leakagage by 10 am and a pile of brand new laundry to do, not to mention a cat off to the vet with three kids in tow and a cat with a now empty bladder into his carry cage...the work is never done, but I don't know why that would be a surprise because a Mom doesn't get any time off, ever. Things they DON'T mention in "What to Expect When You Are Expecting"!!!
On a high note? Mr.B's laughs are so contagious, he can have us all in tears in a matter of seconds! He enjoys life and everything about it (a lesson to learn here?) and he simply adores his brothers and being adored. Life might be difficult but it is also beautiful and we simply have been given the biggest gift one could have been given, the light of our lives, our sweet and radiant Mr.B.