Saturday, May 22, 2010

Save the Drama for Your Mama

Sorry for another medical-related post.  Trust me, I'm sick of them too, but I usually write about what is going on, and well, this has been going on forever.  The fever returned to the 101+ range.  I called the doctor to report the new development, per instruction, and the pediatrician saw him asap for a final check for something easy to diagnose (ear infection, cold, etc.) before ordering the next round of tests.  Is it weird that I was hoping for an ear infection?  No such luck. 
At this point, the doctor says it can't just be teething or the elusive "fever virus" I've been hearing about because this has gone way too long, without any real break in fever.  I've even got a fever speadsheet charting each little change.
Now we're scheduled to see the cardiologist first thing on Monday for more detailed tests to make sure the fever isn't heart-related, and then off for his FOURTH round of total blood work up.  And then, probably Tuesday, bone scan and CT abdomen scan.  I hope he doesn't need sedation.  I am absolutely dreading putting my little sweet pea through all of this.  He's already been through so much.  I'm upset about it, so moving right less dramatic news:
  • Barrett waved bye bye for the first REAL time last night!!  To a table of nice and pretty girls at Zippy's.  Figures :)
  • He gobbled up asparagus on the first try!  This is a big surprise.  I usually have to try a new food several times before he'll eat it wholeheartedly.  Especially if it is green.  So far, he's had butternut squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, summer squash, zucchini, sweet peas, apples, bananas, peaches, and asparagus.  Next up, black cherries, bartlett pears, and green beans.
  • He learned how to walk all the way across the kitchen in his walker at Grammy and Grandpa's house!  But only backwards.
  • He thinks it is H-I-L-A-R-O-U-S when daddy hangs him upside down and then swings him back up over his head.
  • Barrett is a 10 min part of a 30 min Children's Hospital TV special that airs this Thurs, May 27th, in the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire time slot.  I'm going to set my Tivo right now...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

MacGyver Baby

It happened again.  In the time I went from the checkout to the car, the receipt was stealthily removed from my purse and promptly shredded.  Does this happen to anyone else??

Here's the thing -- this is not the first time (or the second, or even the fourteenth...)  All of that lawyerin' and learnin' and I've been outsmarted by a 7m old.  Repeatedly.  Yes, I know some of those words were misspelled.  So Sioux me. 
Anyway, the very next day, we were in another store and this happened:

How did he grab my wallet so quickly??  Good thing he doesn't have chompers yet or there would be teeth marks on the corner.

Let me be clear: it's not like I leave Barrett at the front of the store to hang out while I wander around squeezing produce and perusing the sugar-free whole grain aisle (okay, fine, more likely the ice cream aisle, but who's counting?) He's always within immediate reach and I'm watching him carefully. But he's fast! And sneaky... I better start training or something so I can keep up with him once he starts crawling.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sweet Home Alabama

We went for a quick weekend trip to visit my family in Birmingham this weekend.  I've always tried to visit home as often as possible, and now it is even more important with a grows-so-fast-don't-blink-cause-you'll-miss-it baby.  And everyone is crazy over him, which I love, of course :)

Playing with Grammy

Telling Grandmom all of his secrets

The daily persistent fever is still hanging on in the 100.3 -- 100.7 range, but all of the scary test results came back negative, so the fever is likely "drug fever" attributable to the increased dosage of one of his strong heart medicine.  At this point, some over-reactive mothers (okay, me) would freak out at the prospect of reducing the meds that keep his heart under control.  But, his cardiologist said that he doesn't want to take any chances of Barrett's "wicked-bad" rhythm disturbance returning, so the dosage can stay the same for now.  Who-hoo!

Monday, May 10, 2010

And That's Why I'm Not a Doctor

Really, it was a perfect storm of circumstances that led up to it.
  • Things were pretty on edge around our house last week as we waited for the results of Barrett's blood tests and worried about all of the bad things that could be causing the prolonged fever.
  • I broke my cardinal rule and googled potential causes of fever of unknown origin and learned about all of the scary things that could be wrong, especially for a tiny patient with a history of heart problems.  A little bit of medical knowledge is a dangerous thing for a non-doctor, especially for my over-analytical attorney mind...
  • On Thursday, we gave a speech to 600 people at a fundraiser for the Children's Hospital to tell how they saved Barrett's life and why the Children's Hospital is so important to the community.  Even though we've come to grips with everything that has happened, it is difficult to talk about how scared we were and how close we were to losing him, especially in front of such a large audience (and especially after they show a video montage of Barrett from the ICU where he was unconscious and hooked up to a million monitors.  That will get a mom's waterworks going, geez!!).
  • All in all, my emotions related to Barrett's health were running high.
And so when we notice this large, egg-sized raised lump on the back of Barrett's head on Friday afternoon, I just felt sick to my stomach.  It looked like part of his brain was poking out of the back of his head!  What in the world?!
I described the lump to the pediatrician on-call, who recommended we take him to the ER.  Barrett's usual pediatrician happened to call with an update on test results while we were in the ER; I emailed her the picture and she said it could be an abcess, which would explain the fever. 
But, after waiting 2.5h in the ER, the welt shrank down and became less red. 
Ultimate diagnosis: insect bite
Yes, this means I brought my baby to the ER for a bug bite.  (sigh)  So embarassing.  In our (somewhat shaky) defense, we were acting on the on-call doctor's recommendation and with Barrett, we've learned it is much better to be safe than sorry.  The ER doctors and nurses recognized Barrett from his commercial and previous visits during SVT bouts, and they said we did the right thing to bring him in.  I'm just relieved it wasn't anything more serious!  But, Kristopher has made me promise to chill out. 
Barrett, as usual, takes it all in stride.  What a champ!
Watching The Backyardigans with Sassy

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

You Give Me Fe-Vah

Although Barrett's fever temporarily broke to 100.3 a few weeks ago, it came back 101.4 full strength the very next day.  He's been fighting it off for about a month now.  His doctors have run all kinds of tests -- several rounds of bloodwork to look for viruses or the usual suspects, urinalysis (via catheter, ouch), the whole kit and kaboodle.  Nada.  Normally, I love normal.  But, this is perplexing since his fever persists.  At the visit with the pediatrician this afternoon, I got marching orders to monitor his temperature without Tylenol and report in the morning.  If he has anything over 100.4, we have to start the next round of tests looking for more serious stuff (chest x-rays, bone scans, etc.)
I even bought a new thermometer on the way home, just to make sure I had as small a margin of error as possible.  His temp was 100.9.  Boo.  The doctor said they will start testing for cancers and other weird stuff, since they've tested for all the normal stuff already.  These words definitely fall into the Words a Mother Never Wants to Hear category.  However, I'm glad his doctors are willing to do whatever it takes to get to the bottom of it.
I have a good feeling about this because he is not overly lethargic and his other blood tests were normal.  So, chin up! 
And just for fun, here are some more pics of Barrett with his friend, Mr. Elephant:


We just got back from our first beach vacation with baby Barrett.  We went to Seaside, Florida -- the best place on earth.  Everything is just so, the people are nice, the food is great, the whole town is idyllic.  Ahh......If you've never been, I definitely recommend it. 

They have someone whose job it is to make sure the chaise lounges are all set to the same height every morning so they look perfect.  How could you not love this place??

Barrett liked testing out the sand -- I was shocked!  I still remember the pictures and stories my parents have of me, and my hatred for the sand.  I still do hate just gets everywhere and makes you feel grainy, ick.  Sand should stay where it belongs, like in exfoliating scrub.  Anyway, Barrett was intrigued by the sand, but never had a chance to become a full-throttle beach baby on account of the gale force winds. 

Kristopher was a good sport though and dragged all of our many beach accoutrements down so we could enjoy it for five minutes before heading back to the pool. 
Guess who had matching swim trunks?

We loved the pool~~ and if Barrett got sleepy, we could just roll his wagon under the cabana so he could have a little snooze.
All in all, it was a great vacation, and gave us a chance to kick our feet up and relax.