Sunday, April 29, 2012

It's baaaaack

Weather-wise, this may have been a mild winter, but this was Emily's unhealthiest winter ever! I doubt "unhealthiest" is a word, but you get the idea. She had 7 colds between September and February. Each cold kept her out of school and therapy for a week. It seemed like she would feel better for about a week or so and then it was back again. She has never been that sick before! It was making me crazy. I felt like we were fighting the same cold over and over again and it was never going to end. Thankfully, it did end...for a while.

One side note...Mike figured out what was probably causing the run of colds. Emily came home from school one day with one side of her face all red and blotchy. I sent the teacher an email to ask if they had done anything unusual that day. We went back and forth a couple of times and finally figured out that Emily was probably rubbing her face on her head rest. I mentioned that I should probably wash it and the teacher asked how she might wash the head rest on her chair at school (she has the same head rest on her chair at school that we have on her wheelchair, stander and Leckey chair at home). I told her that I throw the chin strap in the wash and clean the rest with a warm soap and water. I try to wash them pretty often at home. The teacher had never washed her headrest at school, but said that she would wash it once a week from then on. A couple of weeks later, Mike and I were talking about how happy we were to see Emily healthy for a change. I happened to mention the conversation about the headrest and that is when Mike said it was probably the headrest that was making her sick over and over. We felt like we kept fighting the same cold virus again and again because we probably were. She would go back to school healthy and then get herself sick again and again and again. I was washing everything at home like a crazy woman in an attempt to the kill the COLD THAT WOULD NOT END and it never occurred to me to talk to the teacher about washing the head rest at school. It is a good thing that one of us thinks clearly.

Well, back to this week. For the first time since February, Emily got sick. She had actually been pretty cranky for a few days before she showed any signs of a cold. She was very whiny and clingy on Saturday and Sunday. At church on Sunday, Mike and I were both called out of service (me out of the morning service, Mike out of the evening service) to deal with our cranky girl. She just wasn't herself. She did not sleep well Sunday night (it took us almost 2 hours to get her to sleep and then she woke up 2 or 3 times in the night). She seemed to be in pain as she was crying, so we figured she was having some tummy issues (constipation is a constant battle). All the crying and gulping in air really wasn't helping in that department either. I kept her home from school on Monday because I figured she would be exhausted and miserable. She continued to be whiny and clingy all day. I sent her to school on Tuesday, but when she got home I noticed that she sounded pretty congested. We even got a note from the teacher saying that she was congested and it seemed to upset her. I am not entirely sure what that means, but I know she didn't sound great.

So I kept her home on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. She had a pretty stuffy nose, gunky chest and was very, very clingy and whiny. She never had a fever. Thankfully, she seemed to sleep pretty well at night (if she did wake up it was only for a short time - we would put her on her side, clean out her nose and she was off to sleep in no time). The hardest part of the whole week was the fact that she was so clingy, which is pretty unusual for her. If I left her for more than 2 minutes, she would start crying and it would take me forever to calm her down. So I had to be by her side at all times. It was exhausting! We had lots of snuggle time and read lots of books and watched lots of movies. Emily doesn't usually sit on my lap for very long. I just don't think she is comfortable because she is so tall (and I am not). So it was nice to have her sit with me and enjoy it for long periods, but it was not so nice when she would pee her pants and mine too. Sad to say, that happened on more than one occasion this week. One other bonus to all that snuggle time - I got sick too. Fun times!

We had already planned to have a nurse come on Saturday night so we could have a date night. I had an internal debate about it for days. Should I go out and leave my sick child with someone else? I am her mother - shouldn't I be the one to care for her and help her to feel better (don't you just love mommy guilt?). Plus, I certainly would not want the nurse to get any of her other patients sick because she picked up germs at our house. On the other hand, I really, really, really needed to get out of the house. And Mike and I really needed the time out together. We try to shoot for one date night a month, if we can get a sitter. Well, we had one. I figured I would let her decide. I called the nurse and told her that Emily was sick and asked if she felt OK about coming anyway. She was fine with it, so Mike and I sped out of the driveway before she could change her mind decided to go out and enjoy ourselves. We had a great night! We went out to eat, played mini golf (at THE most expensive mini golf course ever!) and saw a movie (at a cheapo theater - 2 movie tickets were less expensive than one of us playing mini golf). When we got home, the nurse told us that Emily had a great night. She laughed and laughed all night and didn't give the nurse any trouble at all. Emily enjoys having someone here who is completely focused on her. Plus, she knows how to "work" the nurses to get out of doing things she does not like. I told the nurse to put Em in her stander for 45-60 minutes; she was in it for about 20. The nurse took her out as soon as she got the slightest bit fussy. Then they played and read books until bed time. I would say it was a win-win!

Today, Emily and I stayed home from church. We didn't want her to share her germs with any of the kids at church. Her nose is less and less stuffy, but her chest still sounds pretty congested. She is pretty good at coughing it up, but then doesn't seem to know what to do from there, so she swallows it again. I have been trying to teach her to spit when I ask her to, but it is a work in progress. So she will probably stay home from school again tomorrow (more quality time with Mama!). Hopefully she will be feeling better soon (it seems to take her a while to work through chest congestion). Only time will tell.

(By the way, the pictures are from January and March. I know I have been a slacker about taking and sharing pictures.)


Amy said...

Dawn, I totally get the "mommy guilt"! I'm glad you decided to go out with Mike for the evening. It sounds like Emily needed the break, too! ;-) I hope you are both feeling better soon. xo

Big brother, Little sister. said...

Get better very soon Emily! Sending healthy vibes! Lovely you had a nice night night too xx

Anonymous said...

Pollen is really high right now too. Add that in with a chronic cold and that spells misery. Glad you all figured out cleaning the head rest though. Maybe some vitamin C drops would help build her immunity to colds too. Does she take allergy meds? Something to consider. Hope she feels better quick.

Glad to hear you enjoyed your night on the town. Can't go wrong with putt-putt to relieve some stress and add a laugh or two, (even expensive courses).

Loved the pics. Little Em has some adorable clothes and looks just radiant in them! You can never post too many pics of this little ray of sunshine!

Praying for a healthy week,