Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Crazy Busy Days II

Things are crazy! Late afternoon yesterday Anna Grace began to have wheezing and tummy breathing even while sleeping. I was alarmed, and immediately went to get her albuterol package I had obtained from the pharmacy. The attendant told me they didn't have the mask that comes with it, but I wasn't overly concerned about that at the time, since I didn't think she would need it anyway. What a surprise! I tried giving her the two puffs, but without a mask, she wasn't getting any of it, as far as I could tell. She cried the whole time. The labored breathing continued.

While I was frantically reading the directions, I was facing the fact that it was 6 pm and dinner wasn't even started. I hadn't been able to get away from the baby long enough to heat up the oven for the frozen Stouffer's ravioli we were forced to have.

I had finally put the baby down at 5:30 to get poor Rose out of her crib from her nap. I allowed it to go long since she was up late the night before. I suppose she is getting used to me racing through her diaper change or potty use, as though I were frantically late for an appointment. My life feels like a race. Nothing can be done well. Just getting it done becomes the goal.

I ended up in the ER with Anna from 12:00 am to 5 am. They gave her a breathing treatment, and gave me a mask, which didn't end up fitting what the pharmacy had given me. I did the best I could with it, but the medicine doesn't change things much. This is my first experience with albuterol.

I am so tired, I'm afraid of not making good decisions about her care in the middle of the night. I know it is probably hard for the doctors to fathom that, but when sleep deprivation goes on too many days, I end up nursing her in my sleep, not even being aware of what I'm doing.

I used to do all the laundry everyday, but tonight I'm having to race through a load of towels and pajamas so the kids can be put in bed on time tonight. It feels awful to be so behind.

I don't have the time to blog anymore. I do it out of sanity preservation, I guess. It helps me to avoid primal screams, which would surely upset my kids.

I did get the mask today. The pharmacy got a shipment in, thank goodness. She is doing somewhat better with the breathing. Since she is still eating well, no need to put her in the hospital, per the pediatrician. Her oxygen level was 98 last night, despite the labored breathing. She has gained a total of five pounds in two and a half months. Despite that, I still had two people in the ER ask if she was a preemie. Is 10 pounds, 9 ounces that unusual for a 2.5 month old baby?

Liz, thank you for your input about the non-stimulant ADHD medication. Don got the day started this morning while I tried to sleep for two hours with the baby. He gave Daniel the medicine with breakfast, and did mention that the morning schooling went better than usual. I haven't seen much difference myself; the doctor said we would see results around the third day.

I will keep a very close eye on any problems with anxiety in Daniel. I am concerned that my doctor says the non-stimulant isn't effective, and your doctor says that it works 70% of the time. Our pediatrician says he has 100 patients on ADHD medication, and the non-stimulant has worked for only 3. In a typical classroom of 20 students, a teacher can expect to have at least one or two students with ADHD. It effects 3 to 5% of the population. I guess if one adds up all the 1st through 12th grade classrooms in our area, our doctor could end up with 100 patients. Still, that seems unusually high for one medical practice. There is no question in my mind that Daniel has this, but nevertheless, I have to wonder if my doctor is over prescribing medication for this disorder. Since there is no way to test for it, it is sometimes difficult to get an accurate diagnosis. A lot of things can mimic ADHD, such as a chronic lack of sleep.

Thanks again, Liz! You are a wonderful help and resource. I'm sure I'll have questions for you as we proceed.


Liz said...

Take care Pam and get some sleep. I wish so badly I could show up at your door, hold your baby, fix a meal and put you down for a nap! You need a friend like this right now and I am praying that God will provide for you.

By the way, other things that have helped with Grace are vitamins with iron (adequate iron is key for dopamaine production), fish oil -- she didn't like the oil on a teaspoon, but she'll swallow a capsule in a spoonful of applesauce, and eliminating artificial ingredients from her diet. She has opportunities for processed foods that I cannot control, but here at home she gets no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, etc.. and I've seen it make a difference.

I'm not implying that you could even find 2 seconds right now to do any more than you are doing.

Hang in there. Get that baby well. Stay out of the emergency room. Get some rest.

Evenspor said...

You seem to be doing very well for everything that's been going on. You never cease to amaze me. I hope you can get some sleep.

Jess said...

miss pam...oh girl, again i wish we lived closer to one another! i will be praying for a doctor visit free week (at least) and for the sleep you are able to get to be deep and restful. are there any ladies in your church you feel you could ask to a movie with the kids so you can nap, or play with them in the playroom for an hour so you can fold clothes, that type of thing? you need some help girl...if only for sanities sake.

with all that is going on health wise have you thought about taking an early 'spring break'? oh, sweet pam, i am sending hugs and blessings your way. wish there was something tangible that i could do.

Margie said...

Hugs to you Pam! Hang in there and I will repeat what Jess said that I wish we were closer to bring you a meal or help shuffle laundry. Things will get better even though it might not seem like it right now. Remember to take some time out to care for you. I know it is difficult but even a few minutes for a cup of tea or coffee is helpful to recharge. You are in my prayers my friend.

Steph said...

Thinking about you - hope all is well and that you've been able to get some rest.