It has been quite a ride. We have been in a tornado of sick and tired.
It all began two weeks ago with Reagan. On Sunday night she went down hard. It was like she hit a wall. Totally fine one minute. The next, she was down on the couch. Both kids had just returned from a weekend trip to North Carolina with their grandparents. So I attributed it to exhaustion, and I decided to keep both kids home and resting on Monday.
On Monday night, Stu and I talked about how it struck us as odd that Reagan had been spending so much time just laying on the couch. Usually she is cartwheeling, handstanding, backbending all over the place ALL THE TIME. Something was clearly up. The next day, we sent Riley to school and took Reagan to the doctor.
It turned out her ear needed to be drained. This was the first time we've ever experienced such a procedure. Let me tell you, it is utterly disgusting. I nearly threw up when the nurse showed me what they got out of Rea's ear. YUCK!
Buddy has an allergy to eggs and soy. We found out about it when he was around one and a half.
It is not fun.
I know all the food allergy moms out there know the stress. Luckily for us, Buddy's reactions have always been fairly mild. I give him a dose of Benadryl, and he throws up. Usually that's the worst of it. I count myself very lucky... we have a few friends whose kids have peanut allergies.
As I said, Grammie was making a special cake. Buddy helped put the decorations on the cake. He was SO excited!
Then, the moment of truth:
He selected a piece with 2 of the candies. He was cautiously optimistic.
SUCCESS!! YAY! He loved the cake! He was so happy. Mommy put the camera down to go enjoy the egg-free cake.
Then, he popped one of those candies into his mouth.
Immediately, his face changed. He knew right away there was a problem. He said his throat and tongue felt strange. I dropped my fork and ran to get the Benadryl. While I was doing that, Grammie fished the candy wrapper out of the garbage.... The second ingredient: Egg Whites.
Buddy took the Benadryl. He pushed his plate away.
We were all so sad.
I watched him like a hawk. I looked on my phone to see how long it takes Benadryl to work (15-60 minutes). Buddy was at the table, trying to play a game with family. He kept coughing - it was a strange cough. Like an asthma cough. One that's induced to bring more air in. His cheeks were flushing. He kept clawing at his neck. He said his tongue and throat still felt crazy.
We stuck him in the backseat. And took off for the hospital.
He was squeaky. He was quiet. He was coughing.
I was trying not to panic.
About the moment we were turing in to the ER parking lot, Buddy threw up.
The hospital was excellent. They had us back and in an ER room within 3 minutes of walking in. The doctor and nurse were great.
We stayed in the ER for about 1-2 hours. They gave him a steroid. But they were pleased that so much time had passed between taking the Benadryl and vomiting. The doc said that gave the meds enough time to be absorbed and begin to work. And throwing up got the egg out of his body.
What an exhausting adventure. I am so glad that it ended up ok.
Anyone else have food allergy stories? I'd love to hear them. Comment below or email me privately.
The other day, after school, we were all playing outside. The kids love to decorate the driveway with sidewalk chalk. They like to ride bikes, scooters, skateboards. They love chasing the dog, and she likes when the kids play frisbee with her.
This particular afternoon was not any different. Rea was riding up and down the driveway on her skateboard. I was goofing off on her bike. Buddy was drawing.
Bud wanted to see what would happen if I ran over a piece of the sidewalk chalk. Challenge accepted. The air in the tires absorbed the chalk and I rode smoothly over. Before I could stop it, Rea said she was going to go over it. On the skateboard. The skateboard that has solid wheels.
Buddy was back in school for only a few days before Rea said she wasn't feeling so well. Great.
She declined steadily throughout the week. When I picked the kids up from school on Thursday, she looked more like an extra on the Walking Dead (minus all the blood) than my energetic 8 year old. It was right then I knew it was going to be another long weekend. I suppose I should be happy that my kids were able to hold out most of the week at school and then crash for the weekends.
But I am not an idiot, of course I take temperatures. Rea's was in the 101-102 range that day and Friday (1) morning. I was going to let her rest out the bug. I didn't think she had the flu. When Buddy tested positive for the flu, his temps were in the 104s. So I worked from home on Friday (1), and Rea reclined peacefully on the couch.
Right about the time I was getting ready to take Buddy to karate, Rea seemed to decline. The fever that had been low-grade the morning shot back up over 102. And she was complaining her head was killing her. I called the doc's office, apologized for the late-afternoon Friday phone call, and got an emergency appointment.
The doctor agreed with me: it's a sinus infection. Rea tested negative for the flu in the office that day.
Friday (1) night, Rea woke up around 11pm with a fever of 104.6. It always freaks me out to see temperatures above the mid-103s. Saturday (1) was a pretty bad day for Rea. She spent most of it laying on the couch or on the bed in the office (so she could be downstairs). She rolled around complaining her head felt so bad. She asked me several times to take her to the hospital. I talked to our pediatrician on Saturday (1) night, and she thought we should begin Tamiflu. Even though Rea tested negative the day before, the fact that her fever spiked and her brother had the flu the week before meant there was a decent chance she had it.
Although she was on two antibiotics, her fever persisted. She never had a day without. But Monday seemed fairly hopeful. Her fever was low-isa and only spiked once to the 102s. She even perked up enough to talk and play the WiiU. I was beginning to think we were coming out of the woods.
You know what they say about counting your chickens before they hatch. Don't!
Tuesday morning I called the doctor because her fever jumped back up to 103. The nurse and I talked on the phone for a while about her symptoms. We decided a visit wasn't necessary (I could call if I wanted to have her checked). But as the day went on, she declined. Every 5 hours, her temperature would jump up to nearly 103. There was no need to set an alarm or schedule for Advil doses. Her body let me know.
My Mom-tuition told me something bad was happening. The hubs and I decided that our spring break vacation was a no-go and the local ER was probably going to take its place.
On Wednesday morning Rea woke up with a 104. I was worried about dehydration - from the high temps and tummy troubles she'd had since Thursday (1). Hubs told me to take her to the Emergency Room. I talked to our pediatrician after dropping Buddy off at school. She wanted me to bring Rea to the office first.
In the office, Rea's pulse ox was low. And the doctors didn't like what they heard in the lungs. Her doctor wanted to have some blood work and a chest x-ray done, so we left the office and headed right down to the ER.
*The first installment of our sick series can be found here.
Now it is the kids' turn.
First up was Buddy. I picked him up from school on Thursday. He walked out a bit like a zombie. He was the first to come out of school, so we stood there for a few minutes waiting for Rea. Buddy told me he wanted to go home because his skin felt like it was burning. I assumed it was because we were standing in the blazing Florida afternoon sun. So I thought nothing of it.
When we got home, the kids went about their normal after school routines. They snacked, Buddy put away his stuff and took his iPad to the couch. Rea took out her homework and proceeded to meltdown over the math questions. And I went into the office to attempt a bit of post-pick-up work.
About an hour later, I walked into the TV room to check on everyone - it was quiet, and all Moms know that's not usually a good thing. Riley was facedown on the couch. He said, "I feel like I am on fire from the inside Mom." I touched his head, sure enough he was on fire. My magic Mommy hands told me it was at least a 101. My hands were not wrong.
Buddy tested positive for the flu on Friday. Since I got him to the doctor fast enough, we were sent home with a Rx for Tamiflu. I nearly fainted at the pharmacy when she told me the script was going to cost me $267! What?! That's highway robbery. When I blanched at the price, the girl asked if I really wanted to buy it. I asked if there were any generic alternatives, she said no.
Luckily, $267 buys incredible medicine. Buddy was feeling more like himself within 48 hours. It took several days for the fever to go away completely, but he perked up and played like normal.
And like the good little boy we have been raising, he shared with his sister. Awesome.
Our consultation with the surgeon went great. Rea was very comfortable with him, since she'd met him in social situations with her friend. But even if she had never seen him before, I think he would have been an excellent choice. He was amazing with Rea. He spoke directly to her. Asked her all the questions about why we were there. Explained to her what was going to happen. Asked if she had any questions. Then he spoke to me. I was so impressed. And relieved.
Rea is 9 and Buddy is 7. Everyday is an adventure with these two! I love them so much.