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Saturday, July 26, 2008

On The Mend

I don't really want to think about this last week but there's too much funny stuff to not mention so let's catch you up!

First, I'm sure you'll want to hear about the stool collections. I know I can be a tad dramatic sometimes but the pure honest truth is that when I said Aiden had liquid poo I meant it. It was the consistency of orange juice and soaked into his diaper before I could ever hope of collecting it. One stool test required I fill a urine sample cup half way. With what, I don't know, since it's all liquid and either leaking out and soaking his clothes or absorbing into his diaper faster than I can move. I am left scraping tiny poo fragments out of his diaper into this cup in the hopes that I'll somehow get enough. Aiden sees me doing this a couple times and each time he watches with an odd look on his face and offers several "uh-ohs" and "nah-nah-nahs" to tell me I shouldn't be playing with dirty diapers.

After collecting bits from eleven or so diapers I decide the lab staff is just going to have to make do with the bottom of the cup being covered. Aiden is down for a nap when I finish the last collection and decide my entire kitchen needs to be completely sanitized. I'm scrubbing it down with my new favorite cleaner, OdoBan, when I flip the spray bottle over to see if I can use it to wipe down my porous wooden knife block. It's the first time I see "for use on nonfood surfaces only" and "do not use around children or animals" printed on the two sided peel-back label. I freeze, my stomach drops and I wonder if I have been accidentally poisoning my baby. I call the 800 number and talk to an OdoBan customer service rep. I get the web address for the material safety data sheet, print it out, wake up Aiden and take him, the sheet and the stool samples to the pediatrician's. I beg the lab to test the stool samples for the chemicals in the cleaner but since this isn't CSI they don't know how. They tell me to go home and call poison control. (Where the heck is Greg and the CSI Crime Lab with that cool chemical-goes-in-results-come-out printer thing when you need it?)

Back home we go and I am happy that the poison control magnet taking up space on the side of my fridge has been put to use. On the line I get one of the most disgruntled, sarcastic males working the call center that day. In a calm, normal conversational voice I tell him I need some information about a chemical my son has come in to contact with. He sounds mildly scripted as he replies "Okay, mom, take a deeeeeep breath and tell me the name of the chemical." I tell him it's the ready-to-use OdoBan spray and he asks how much of the bottle Aiden has drank. I stiffle a laugh and explain he hasn't drunk the chemical but he has had hand-to-mouth contact with surfaces cleaned with it. The gentleman on the line sounds as if he's speaking to a third grader when he says "There's nothing in this cleaner but isopropyl alcohol and detergents. It's no more dangerous than baby bubble bath and wouldn't cause the symptoms you described." I tell him the label says it will kill every germ, pet and small child in your house so how can it possibly be that mild? He swears I've bought expensive scented rubbing alcohol and there's nothing to worry about. We speculate that making it sound dangerous makes people believe it works well. And a little CYA never hurts a company these days, either. Our conversation ends with the poison control center dude assuring me other children have drank the stuff and been fine, aside from possibly having highly fragranced dirty diapers. (Could have used some of those earlier....) So that's out. Thank goodness I haven't made Aiden sick. Well, with my cleaning any ways. At that point the jury is still out on my cooking.

I talk with Brian later that afternoon and find out he's come down with the same thing Aiden has so now we're sure it's a stomach bug. (Sounds like my cooking isn't to blame, either.) So both my boys are sick and it's going to be a long weekend!

Here are some pics from last week that I just got around to downloading from the camera:

July 17: Aiden playing the part of a dashing villan with a chocolate pudding goatee.

July 21: A little goofing off at lunch time

See the banana chip he stuck in his hair? I bought these low sugar dried banana chips thinking "yay, organic whole foods!" and they taste like garbage. Actually, if you close your eyes, they taste like a slightly stale, under-salted baked lays potato chip. Not at all what I was expecting from dried bananas that looked like they were lightly glazed in caramel....

July 21: A little bubble beard action in the tub (after washing dried, salty banana out of his hair)

July 22: This was Aiden's first time to play with the bucket of sidewalk chalk he got for his birthday. I drew most of that, showing him how chalk worked. The blue blob is a tracing of his croc. The very faint, light scribbles around the edges are his work. (Not shown: the scribbles on the house, the garage, attempting to draw on the plants & the dirt in the pots and the slightly snacked-on yellow piece of chalk.) This was a couple hours before my kidney stone attack and I haven't taken any pictures since then. I've been too busy changing poopy diapers every 30 minutes. Let's hope next week is better. Oh, did I mention on top of all of this week's events, our ice maker broke? I'll be stuck at home on Monday morning waiting for the repair man to come fix it when all I really want is a day at the pool with no more poo!!!!

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Alright, let me fill you in on our last 48 hours. Monday night and Tuesday were about the same for Aiden. Lots of puking and diarrhea. By Tuesday night we had gotten him to bed, thinking the worst was over. Around 10:30 Brian was quietly watching the news while I read a book on the couch when I felt an uncomfortable stab in the lower right of my back. I changed positions and continued reading for about 30 minutes more, still feeling a slight muscle pain. Just before 11:30 I felt another stab, then another, now a dull ache, all coming within a matter of 2 or 3 minutes. I hobbled towards our bedroom and by the time I reached the bed I felt like the right half of my body was in labor.

I was panting in pain on the bed when I told Brian I was certain it was a kidney stone. He reminded me that I still had a pain killer left over from my C-section and brought it to me. It kicked in quickly and I fell asleep. I woke up at 12:30 feeling like I had slept 7 or 8 hours. I was drooling and when I felt saliva flood my mouth I ran to the bathroom and barely made it to the sink. I threw up 7 times in the next 5 hours in various places around the house. Luckily the pain meds kept the kidney pain to a dull ache while I was throwing up. It was all over by 5:30 am but I felt worse than I did after my induced labor and C-section. Luckily Aiden hadn't gotten sick at all on Tuesday night while I was dealing with all this. Wednesday morning I could barely walk and after a few hours of trying to take care of Aiden, who still had liquid diarrhea, I called Brian home from work. He took over and I spent the rest of the day sleeping, waking up around 8 pm and feeling much better. Last night we were up again for two rounds of vomiting with Aiden and I took him in at noon to see the doctor today.

Aiden was a screaming mess as soon as we walked in the exam room (see: remembers shots). Dr. Farrior checked his ears, throat and stomach while the kiddo had an all-out panic attack. The doctor said we'd done a good job of keeping Aiden hydrated and that he didn't feel an anti-nausea perscription was necessary but he was going to order a stool collection to test for salmonella and other food poisonings. (Lovely.) No sooner had he said this than a river of cranberry juice came spewing out of Aiden's mouth. It ricocheted off the exam table, splattering the wall and soaking his shirt, my arm, his blanket and part of my shirt. The doctor was spared from the mess and handed me a stack of paper towels, telling me not to worry about the table or the floor. Aiden shot out another waterfall of vomit and the doctor said "I think I'll go ahead and write that perscription for you."

Ten minutes later I'm at the CVS pharmacy that backs up to Humble Pediatrics. I walk up to the percription counter soaking wet (remember, Hurricane Dolly has brought in tons of rain during all this) and reeking of vomit. I tell the older woman at the counter that I need a perscription for anti-nausea medication filled and I'll have to wait on it because my son is throwing up about every 10 minutes. She looks down her nose, over the rim of her glasses at me, obviously unimpressed with my confession. (Can she not SMELL the vomit on me? Surely she can see it. It's cranberry juice red!) I trot over to the baby section to pick up the Pedialyte the doctor recommended and bring Aiden back to the waiting area of the pharmacy. He leans back against me, exhausted, drinking water out of his sippy cup. The pharmacists are working at a pace previously reserved for postal employees when Aiden begins to scream and squirm. I stand up and start to sway with him when another avalance of puke comes tumbling out of him. This time it drenches us both. Three more waves of vomit hit the carpet before an employee is kind enough to tell me where the bathroom is. As I drip and slosh my way there (some of it landed in my flip flop) I am secretly happy that decrepit old nag at the pharmacy counter now has proof I wasn't lying about the "every ten minutes" thing.

Someone is in the women's bathroom with the door locked so I brazenly enter the empty men's bathroom. Aiden is already in the second outfit I brought with us and I am out of clothes for him. I strip him down to his diaper, clean him up and then attempt to clean the puke off of me. I am certain they'll have my perscription ready when I get back to the counter. Indeed, as I make my way back, with Aiden howling like a siren, I only have to wait about 90 seconds more for the meds.

Once we're home, unloaded and all the clothes are in the wash, I call Brian to tell him the news. I'm looking over the THREE different stool collection sets when I hear Aiden whimper and I see him standing in a puddle of something that is leaking from his diaper. I remove the diaper to find it full of pure liquid poo - stool collection #1.

Into the tub he goes, while I am wondering how people with more than one child manage these types of situations. We fill and drain the water twice, after he poops in the water before I can get him totally clean and I mentally note that this is his fourth bath in 24 hours. Poor baby.

One-third of a CASE of diapers later, my day is almost over. Brian is off work and headed home to relieve me. (Keep in mind I'm only about 36 hours out from passing a kidney stone myself). Somehow amidst this chaos I have also managed to order the dog's vaccines online and schedule an appointment for myself to see my urologist to make sure everything with my kidneys is okay. Thank goodness my neighbor is having a Southern Living party tonight! I need out of the house!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Is it ONLY Tuesday?

How blonde is this: I have been so busy with my projects and a sick kiddo that I didn't know until last night there was a tropical storm in the gulf! I never watch TV. Or if I do turn it on it's because two hours of toddler whimpering and whining have melted my resolve to not show movies to children under 2 and I'm desperate for Disney to save me from my torturer.

Brian is calmly lying on the couch, listening to the storm forecast. I'm on the edge of the couch feeling about as prepared as the Galvestonians were in the fall of 1900. Sure, it's going to completely miss us but it's the RAIN I'm worried about. A solid week of storms means I'll be locked in the house with Aiden, unable to take him to the pool or park. Even more fun will be trying to let Major outside durring the torrential downpours. I'll be fighting to keep a screaming, angry Aiden, who wants to follow the dog out, dry inside the house while trying to coax a soaking wet dog onto a towel and topping him with another towel before he can shake water across the house. Which never works and Aiden ends up slipping on the tiniest puddle of water, sending him completely over the edge and into one of his horrible tantrums that usually end in comatose-like sleep because he's exerted so much energy. Just the thought of all of this makes me want to dress him in swim trunks for seven days and let him get rain drenched on the porch, just to ensure he gets the fresh air he needs. Maybe watching the storms and doodling with that bucket of sidewalk chalk I haven't opened will be a fun new activity I can keep him occupied with.

Monday, July 21, 2008

My Sweet, Sick Boy

You're not going to be seeing much of me online or out and about this week...

Aiden woke up yesterday in a foul mood, kicking on the changing table and later biting Brian out of frustration. Not at all like our playful and busy-but-sweethearted boy. I figured he must be coming down with something. He woke up at midnight with a 101.7° fever wanting some juice and had a full-blown cold by 9 am this morning when he got up from his first nap. When I laid him down for his second nap he was quiet long enough for me to move clothes to the dryer, start a new load of wash and do my quick dust of all the flat surfaces in the entry, kitchen and living room. I had JUST sat down to work on the shelf sitters I'm making for the charity craft show when I heard him cry out. I let him fuss for a few minutes then went in to check on him. I instantly felt like the worst mother in the world.

Aiden was covered in pink. He had thrown up and the smell was overpowering. Worse, he'd thrown up once in the crib, stood up and then thrown up again over the side of the crib. There was a GIANT puddle of pinkish tinted puke (from his cranberry grape juice and medicine) on the sheets and large pink splatter stains all over his shirt, his blanket, the carpet and the stuffed doberman I made for him. I picked him up and set him on his changing table before I realized his bum was covered in vomit, too. He must have thrown up, stood up, lost his balance, sat in it, then stood up again to throw up over the side. So now the changing table pad is pink, too. Gross.

I strip Aiden down for a bath (chunks are falling off of him - HOW is it in his hair?) and hurry him in to the bathroom for a splash-rinse before I fill the tub with Johnson's vapor bath and let him soak. The washer is only 8-10 minutes into it's cycle and the dryer is full of still-wet clothes so I can't do anything for the moment. I let Aiden take a long bath and we blow bubbles in the tub, which makes him laugh for the first time this morning. I'm dressing him on the couch when I hear the washer finish it's cycle and I don rubber gloves to tackle the room of puke.

An hour and a half later my fourth load of laundry for the day is running, the crib mattress has been scrubbed, the sheets have been changed, the carpet has been hit with the Spot Bot and the crib itself has had all the dribbles and splatter washed away. I'm about to put Aiden down for his super late, much needed nap when I find a shredded toothpaste box that I KNOW was sitting brand new, with toothpaste in it, on Brian's counter this morning. The hunt for the toothpaste tube begins. In my head I'm already writing the story on my blog when I find it, whole and unopened, in the bottom of Aiden's closet. Disaster avoided - his clothes are safe!

When he won't stop whimpering at my feet, I pull out his big, soft octopus chair and put in the Jungle Book. I sit on the floor beside him to get him engaged in the movie as I eye the mountain of laundry needing to be folded behind us. The little boy who doesn't ever slow down for a cuddle grabs his blanket and crawls into my lap. He lets me hold him until he begans to nod off and I lay him down for another nap. I'd say cleaning up all the mess this morning was well worth that 30 minutes! Funny, I don't mind him getting colds. It's the only time he wants to be held!