Category Archives: Medical Moments

A Broken Arm

Getting her cast on and off.

Getting her cast on and off.

In all of my 33 years I have never broken a bone (knock on wood). Wouldn’t you know my four year old would fall off a pony and break her elbow.

It all started innocently enough on a Sunday right before Halloween. My parents took Mia to a farm where the big event was self-guided pony rides. My parents both accompanied Mia and stood on either side of her as the pony walked the trail.

In an instant, the way accidents often happen, the horse went one way, Mia went the other, slipped passed my Mom and hit the ground on her arm.

My parents called right away to let me know and I talked to Mia who was pretty shaken up. We decided to meet back at home and asses the situation.

When I arrived home Mia was laying on the couch and didn’t want to move her arm. While she was very quiet, she was extremely upset. She wouldn’t let me lift her arm to examine her.

I carried her up to her bedroom and asked if she was being really brave, or if she really hurt and needed to go to the doctor. I was pretty blown away by her maturity when she responded that she was trying to be brave but she wanted to go to the hospital. So off we went.

You realize just how small your child is when they are lying on a cot in the ER. Also, nothing makes you feel more like a parent when you are speaking to healthcare professionals about your child’s well-being.

Long story short an x-ray clearly showed her arm was broken. I saw it right away. Luckily, it was not dislocated and she did not need surgery. They wrapped it in a splint and we brought her home to let the swelling go down before we visited a specialist.

Later in the week she got a cast put on just in time for her Halloween costume (Strawberry Shortcake) not to fit her. We improvised and she was a princess instead. The way she handled the “costume change” was impressive. To switch gears like that on a four year old could trigger a major meltdown.

In fact, the way she handled the whole experience of having a cast made me so proud of her. Aside from the first few days of keeping her activity low key, she bounced right back and never let it stop her.

Today the cast was removed. Last night we talked about what would happen and how they would take the cast off. She was still pretty nervous, but she tried her best to put on a brave face. When they finally cracked open the cast and removed it from her arm, she buried her head in my husband’s chest and began to sob. I truly believe they were tears of relief. It had to be hard and uncomfortable for her these past few weeks.

I know in the scheme of things a broken arm is pretty mild, but I’m still so proud of her!

Advertisements

Traveling With Two

20121104-201220.jpg

We are about to get on a plane for the first time with two kids. We’ve hardly been on a plane with one. I think we’ve flown a total of two times with Mia in the last three years. Any trip we’ve ever taken with our children has been within driving distance, so we load up the car and go.

And by trips I mean, mainly visiting my husband’s family in Ohio. Which is exactly where we are headed this week for my brother-in-law’s wedding. We had planned to drive to the wedding. We are all in the wedding and have dresses, shoes, baby gear, clothing, etc. to bring, so of course we would drive. Except the last road trip to Cleveland turned out to be a disaster.

The trip to Cleveland went surprisingly well. The kids napped most of the way and amazingly Mia never had to go to the bathroom, so we didn’t stop. Just drove straight through and made it there in record time.

However, the trip home was the exact opposite. The girls were antsy and Mia asked for the iPhone. So I gave it to her. And then the sun began to set and was very bright in her eyes. She started complaining that she wanted Tylenol. I thought maybe her throat was bothering her. She had been suffering from a little cold. And then she got really quiet and put her special pillow in front of her face. Aaron looked back and from the look on his face I knew that she was car sick and puking.

What you have to understand is that Mia throws up all time. We can usually read the signs and get her to a toilet stat, but she has never thrown up in the car. And we were driving, and she was buckled in and there was nothing we could do. It was awful. Especially because she had just consumed a banana, apple sauce squeeze and cheddar bunnies. Yuck.

We pulled over to the side of the road at a tollbooth. It was about 50 degrees outside, but we had to strip her down and clean her up. All we had were two bottles of water, a container of wipes and thank goodness there was a towel in the trunk. I set to work wiping her down with wipes, which are not very effective for getting puke out of long hair. Somehow Aaron pulled out new clothes from the back and I pulled her hair up and got her to the point of not being absolutely covered in cheddar bunny vomit.

Aaron dumped her car seat out at the side of the road and used the bottled water to wash it down. He put the towel over the wet seat and that’s how she had to ride home. Of course, I had to sit in the back next to pukey and hold her hand. We were still about two hours from home and the smell was pretty bad. Lana was very upset too, so I had to hold her hand to settle her down.

After that ride, Aaron made the decision that we would not be driving to the wedding. I mean it makes sense, the flight to Cleveland is about 50 minutes. But I’m nervous about schlepping all of the things we need to have.

I’m sure it will be fine, but I’ve got a lot of packing and organizing to do before we head out of town.

What are your tips for traveling with kids?

Shots Are a Little Less Scary Now

Since her birth last October, we have looked forward to each “well child” visit to the doctor to see how much Mia weighs and how tall she is.  Unfortunately, the exciting appointment always ends in a dreaded round of vaccinations.

Since any school Mia is likely to attend will require my little puppy to be properly immunized, and we want her to stay healthy, we comply with our pediatrician’s recommendations on which vaccines Mia should receive.

On Wednesday we had Mia’s 15-month check-up where she received her first measles, mumps and rubella shot (MMR).  I always get anxious about shots, not just because I HATE needles, but because of the scary Autism correlation that has been perpetuated by the media.  The MMR shot is the specific vaccination associated with the Autism study that was conducted in 1998.

I would NEVER consider not vaccinating Mia.  It just always makes me nervous, especially since you don’t know if a child is going to have a bad reaction.

But later that evening, my mind was put to ease a bit more with the news that the 1998 study was a “fraud.” The doctor who conducted the story has been discredited and revealed to have been paid to sway the findings.

Vaccinating, like anything else when raising a child, is a personal choice.

I took a history class on epidemics in college and know that polio, whooping cough and even the flu can spread fast and cause massive fatalities.  I don’t think it’s worth the risk to not get the vaccine when it’s readily available. To be honest, I never really thought that the shots caused Autism.

So we get our shots, and now we can rest a bit easier next time.  Hopefully, all of the attention that has been given to proving that vaccinations cause the condition can now be put towards research to really understand what causes Autism.

Strawberry Vomit

Motherhood does not begin when you conceive.  It does not begin when you birth your child.  It officially begins when you have been vomited on. I’m not talking about spit-up.  I’m talking about real, chunky, smelly, thick vomit.

I have been inducted.

Our Saturday started off like any other weekend for us.  We had breakfast as a family and played around the house.

Mia had a scheduled slumber party at Mimi and Papa’s (my parents), so we headed to the burbs with all of her gear in tow.

For lunch Mia had some challah and peanut butter, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries.  She didn’t really want her challah and peanut butter, but she gobbled up the berries. Then gobbled up some more.

Once in the suburbs, she was still acting fine.  Then she started making faces like she had just ate a very tart lemon and was wringing her hands a lot.  We all thought she was being cute.

She started to act very clingy and wanted me to pick her up.  So I did.  She laid her head on my shoulder and then…

Strawberry vomit every where!

I was coated in it right down my left shoulder.  Real chunks of smelly strawberries.

My Dad thought she should take a nap, so after we got her cleaned up he headed upstairs to Mia’s room.  Enroute…

Strawberry vomit all over Papa.

This happened twice more.  Once more to my Dad and another time to me.  We were coated.  My Dad went through a few shirts and thank goodness I still have a stash of clothing in my old bedroom.

After Mia was done vomiting, she passed out on me in the bathroom.  I was afraid to move her, so my family gathered in the bathroom and we reminisced about funny family moments.

When she woke about about an hour later, she looked a little better.  She peered around at all of us, wiggled her way off my lap and walked around looking to play.  It was almost like it hadn’t happened.

But the bright pink stains on my parents carpeting and this photo are proof of what occurred.

I am covered in strawberries. Mia is being held by Mimi. Papa's shirts are hanging up to dry.

Strange Dream

Last night I had a strange dream about my OBGYN’s office. It wasn’t graphic or anything. Just that I was there for an appointment. I left the office and got into the elevator and the elevator was swaying side to side and landed with a crash on the first floor.

When I woke up I remembered that I needed to make my appointment for my annual exam, but I couldn’t remember the name of my gyno. The name of the woman who I had seen for 9 months on a monthly, then semi-weekly, then weekly basis.

Weird.

At first I thought it was Dr. Erickson. But she was the doctor on call the night I went into labor and delivered Mia.

It wasn’t until later when I was in the shower that her name finally came to me. So strange. And I had just seen her a few weeks ago at Whole Foods, which was a little awkward.

I called to make the appointment today and it felt so bizarre to make an appointment that wasn’t related to pregnancy. I wonder how I’ll feel sitting in the waiting room surrounded by all the bellies. Something tells me slightly liberated and slightly envious.

Ear Infection

Ladies and gentleman, we have our first ear infection.  My poor little baby. 

Starting on Monday she was just not herself. 

My husband and I had a dinner to attend on Monday night and my sister came over to watch Mia.  

The dinner was at The Hyatt Hotel.  That place is monstorous and we were in one of the ballrooms in the basement.  I wanted to be sure I was receiving service so I checked my phone and sure enough there was a text from my sister that Mia had been crying every since we left.  That is not like Mia at all.

I left the dinner to call my sister and heard Mia crying in the background and I new I had to go home.

On Tuesday she was whiney and upset all day.  Again not like her at all.  I thought maybe she was teething.

But yesterday same thing and I knew I needed to call the doc.

The nurse told me that it sounded like an ear infection, so we made an appointment for later that afternoon. 

Sure enough, that’s what it was.  The doc also said her front bottom left tooth is about to pop, so double whammy for my little girl.

We are on antibotics now, so hopefully those will work.  I’m also giving her generic infant Tylenol (thanks recall) every four hours.

My Baby Has Acid Reflux or A Mini Maalox Moment

When I was pregnant with Mia, I had a raging case of heartburn.  Pretty much from the moment the test turned positive all the way through pushing.

When I found out my little helpless baby had a case of acid reflux, I felt so sorry for her because I knew her pain. 

Every single baby has acid reflux.  It’s called spitting up.

However, there are varying degrees of baby acid reflux severity.  Do you have a “happy spitter” or a baby that arches their back while eating, screams while burping and then projectile vomits all over you both?

I noticed all three of these phenomenons when Mia was about 7 weeks old.  She would gulp down her bottle, arch her back while eating, then proceed to scream like the devil had taken over her body, make a huge burp and spit up half her bottle all over us.   

At first the doctor recommended giving her Maalox prior to each feeding.  I was told if the Maalox soothed her symptoms, then it was probably reflux.  The Maalox worked like a charm.  But you have to be careful.  The Maalox has a short shelf life and after about two weeks of use, the effect wears off.

So we went in for a visit and Mia was put on a prescription medication. Axid.

We’ve been on Axid for almost three months and it does seem to help.  However, as soon as she gains weight the dose has to be adjusted.

Things seemed to be under control for a while now, but just this past week the old symptoms started showing themselves again.  So it was back to the doc for us.

The doc said that around the fifth month mark, the reflux will start to act up again because baby is becoming more physically active, but still not completely upright.  Mia is a text book case.

So, we’ve switched formula now.  We are on Enfamil AR.  It has rice starch added to it to make the formula thicker.  It seems to be working for now.

There are other ways to control the reflux.

Some docs will recommend adding rice cereal to baby’s formula to thicken it up.

There are also other formulas on the market that cater to the reflux baby, but they tend to be very expensive (and smelly).

You can prop baby’s mattress up with towels so that they are on an incline while they sleep, as opposed to flat on their backs which tends to irritate the reflux.  We did this for a little while, but Mia would always roll down to the bottom of the crib.

And of course just making sure your baby is properly burped and stays upright for some time after feeding always works well.

In the scheme of things we are very lucky.  Some babies have such severe reflux that it is hard for them to eat and they don’t properly gain weight.  The doc told us that Mia’s weight gain is right on track. 

I don’t mind the spit up, having to sit upright for a while after she eats or even buying medications and formulas.  I just hate to watch her suffer.