Monday, April 20, 2015

Week 87: Flying trapeze

And I thought last week was interesting...So, when I left you last, we had just come back from the clinic with a prescription for Bactrim to try and clear up whatever has been causing Lemon's recurring coughs.  We started the Bactrim Monday night, and by Tuesday night it was clear things weren't going quite according to plan.  Bactrim caused Lemon's entire digestive system to go completely haywire, with undesired emissions happening from both ends.  This would be problematic in any kid, but was doubly problematic for us because if Lemon couldn't keep the antibiotics down, that meant that we weren't treating whatever was growing in his lungs, and if we couldn't treat what was in his lungs, we would end up in the hospital.  Quickly, though, the digestive problems became bad enough that we were thinking we would probably end up in the hospital anyhow, just due to dehydration/lack of food.  Of course, just to make it as hard as possible to make a decision, every once in a while he would hold down the medication or something to eat or drink, giving us false hope that we had turned a corner and things were going to be OK after all.  By Wednesday night, though, it was pretty obvious that Bactrim simply was not compatible with our child (or the continued survival of our washing machine) and that we had to change course. 

Thursday morning, I called the clinic, and after convincing them that we didn't need to be hospitalized quite yet, they agreed to give us one last shot at an oral antibiotic at home.  They switched us to cefdinir, which of course our usual pharmacy doesn't have so I had to go to a different pharmacy to pick it up.  We tried to start the new drug Thursday night, but couldn't get any of it to stay down.  At that point we were pretty desperate, and it seemed certain that we would be in the hospital before long.  But, Friday morning, Lemon managed to hold on to a dose of the new medication that I gave him with breakfast, as well as everything else we cautiously offered him that day, and we became optimistic. 

Saturday didn't go nearly as well.  We lost another dose of antibiotic first thing in the morning, although he hung on to the repeat dose a bit later.  Then we lost another meal later in the day.  But, we managed to figure out that it was psychosomatic--in our usual lives, I am responsible for nebulizer and PT, and Papa Bear does all the oral meds and vitamins.  So, he had been the
 one delivering the evil Bactrim, which we gave to Lemon while he was sitting in his highchair.  Lemon managed connect Papa Bear + highchair = spewing in his little mind, so even when there wasn't any Bactrim at play anymore, the results were similar.  We put the highchair in the garage, replacing it with a booster seat, and I've been giving the medications, and we've had no further problems aside from some fairly horrific diaper rash.  So, at least the threat of a crisis hospitalization seems to be behind us (I hope).

Now, we're back to focusing on first of all trying to kick the infection that all these antibiotics are supposed to treat, and second trying to make up all the ground we lost on the nutritional front due to the digestive malfunction.  We basically had to stop giving Lemon his Prevacid and all his vitamins for the whole week, because any extra things by mouth were, shall we say, very risky, and our #1 priority was to keep the antibiotics down.  We decided now to switch back from Prevacid to Zantac because the Zantac dose is smaller and less foul-tasting than the Prevacid.  It isn't quite as effective at blocking the stomach acid, but it is the medicine Lemon is on when he's well and it's good enough then, and certainly far better than nothing, which is where we were getting when we were still trying to give Prevacid.  We've been very gradually reintroducing foods and vitamins, and we are literally on the edge of our seats at every meal, always ready to leap for the paper towels at the slightest sign of an issue.

So, assuming the immediate crisis is now behind us, we still have the lingering issue of Lemon's cough.  We are due back at the clinic on April 29 for our follow-up visit.  If he has any symptoms then, we will be admitted directly from the clinic.  Honestly I feel that that is an unlikely outcome, because even with all the digestive distress, whatever amount of Bactrim Lemon did manage to hold down cleared up the cough immediately and it hasn't returned.  So, I doubt it will return after two days off antibiotics.  But, given past performance, it's entirely possible that he'll have a cough again within a few weeks, and then what?

Focusing on some positive news, our team for the Great Strides walk in Madison is now in the #3 position on the leader board.  We're delighted to have broken into the top 3, and send our most sincere thanks to all of you who have donated so far.  We're within striking distance of the #1 and #2 teams--if you haven't donated yet and want to make a donation to this important cause, please visit our team page by clicking here

Here's hoping next week will be less interesting!

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