"I love you and want for you all things that make you happiest; and I guess you, not I, are the one who knows best what those things are."

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Blocked Bowels or Gastroenteritis?

You're guess is as good as ours!

We spent Friday night at Children's Hospital getting John additional fluids and having xrays of his guts taken. The radiologist at Anderson Hospital sent us to Children's when he found enlarged loops in his small and large bowels. After several more xrays, radiology reports, a GI specialist and two floor physicians - we decided against having John's insides scoped for blockages.

John is definitely still moving stuff through his gut - trust us - we've changed more diapers than a daycare this week. To scope him, they'd have to sedate him, which we weren't too keen on. And the doctors seem to think that the bowels are most likely inflamed from stomach acid and the like, not an actual obstruction in his pathway.

So we came home with directions to return to the hospital with signs of dehydration, bloody stools, or high fever. In the mean time, we're to head to the pediatrician on Monday if the diarrhea hasn't cleared itself up. As of this morning - they better save an appointment for us, cause there doesn't seem to be an end in site yet.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Long Time Away

It's been a long time away from the blog. Many people have emailed, called, or mentioned that while they appreciate the connection between blue poop and yogurt, they are ready for an update. So update we will - after all, we have lots to update anyway!

The past few weeks have been busy with doctors appointments. We had our ultrasound for the baby and are happy to report that we have a healthy little one on the way. The baby is measuring about 2 weeks larger than anticipated, but so did John. And I went past my due date with him. So we're not holding our breath for an early delivery. We chose not to find out the sex - much to the disappointment of many family and friends - but we're excited about the prospect of hearing "It's a ____!" in the delivery room. The ultrasound tech did take a single gender picture and labeled the parts. However, she then promptly printed it, folded it in half, stuck it in a sealed envelope, and deleted it from our records. So we have the "answer" in an envelope on the piano if we just can't stand it any longer.

John has also seen a number of doctors/therapists over the past few weeks. In early February he spent a few hours with a developmental therapist and a speech therapist at the recommendation of his pediatrician. He seems to be right on target for gross motor skills and way ahead of the curve for cognitive skills. However, since he hasn't mastered the pincer grasp and can't stack 3 blocks he's considered a little behind on fine motor skills. Most importantly, and the reason we met with the therapists, is that he is significantly behind on expressive speech. Although he is 16 months old, he only has the expressive skills of a 9 month old.

The state of Illinois supplements a program for children ages 0-3 to assist with such things, so we've started the paperwork to get John enrolled in speech therapy. He'll meet with a therapist once a week and learn through "play therapy." We'll be working on some basic baby sign language to help him communicate in the mean time.

All of this has added confirmation to what we already thought - which is that John is having some trouble hearing due to the repeated ear infections and fluid in his ears. So after some convincing of our pediatrician we got a referral to an ENT at Children's Hospital. Dr. Molter met with us on Monday and announced in a VERY definitive way - that ear tubes were non-negotiable. John has several red flags for ear tubes: 4 ear infections in 6 months, 6 ear infections in 1 year, consistent fluid in his right ear, consistent pressure build up in his left ear, speech delay, and lousy genes passed on by his father. SO - we will be spending St. Patrick's Day at Children's Hospital on the 6th floor Same Day Surgery Unit.

The good news is that medical technology has blossomed over the past 20 years and all the things Matt hated about tubes seem to be distant memories. Children with tubes can now swim without ear plugs thanks to anti-microbial tubes. The terrible taste that was left in your mouth following gas anesthesia is now replaced with flavors such as watermelon, root beer, cherry and many more. There are no longer IVs placed. And the grand total for time away from mom and dad is less than 20 minutes from start to finish.

The bad news is that Matt will be out of town for the surgery, so Mom will be stuck doing it alone. Grandma Rekowski has graciously offered to take the day off if needed. I suppose we'll see how Mommy's nerves are doing as we get closer. But since we've been through several blood transfusions without Daddy or anyone else around - I'm thinking I'll be ok.

So on top of all of this, John has come down with a nasty stomach bug. While we're happy he's not throwing up - things are moving on the other end. I think we went through at least half a pack of diapers yesterday and as a result his little bottom is raw beyond belief. Since John has never had diaper rash in his life he is not handling this very well. He screams at the mention of a diaper change, cries if someone even peeks in his diaper, and has decided that Mom must be torturing him by sneakily replacing his baby wipes with sandpaper.

Off the medical front, we've found a house that should come available for rent in early April. We'll be moving in there as a temporary solution until our house in NC sells. But it should give us more room for our newest addition and the landlords are friends of the family. We're looking forward to having a more space, but still planning on crashing Grandma and Grandpa's house for a few free meals!

That should bring you up to date on our lives for now. As part of my Lenten commitment I'm going to try to be more diligent about posting on the blog for our family and friends. Enjoy the Lenten season and see you soon!