Monday, October 17, 2016

Week 165: Go with your gut

This week got off to a promising enough start. Lemon came off antibiotics on Monday and it seems like the solid month of drugs might have put Something Sudden back in its place. Wednesday morning, Lime had his 15 month checkup--he's still short (6th percentile) and a little bit stout (12th percentile), but is sticking right on his growth curve and hitting all his milestones and whatnot. And, as the PA assures me at every appointment after she measures him, "Boys can grow until they're in college!" Or, he might just be short. Either way, it's OK by me.

I am now searching my memory of Thursday to see if there were any signs that, in retrospect, should have alerted me to the impending storm. I don't think so, but perhaps the overall absence of things to worry about should have clued me in. On Friday morning, Lemon vomited after his vest treatment. But, that happens from time to time and we didn't think too much of it, he seemed totally fine afterwards. The rest of Friday seemed pretty much OK, too.  Neither of the kids ate much dinner, which in retrospect was a small mercy. Because things became decidedly not normal after that.

There's no need for me to go into any further details. For those of you with kids, you know what having toddlers with a stomach bug is. For those of you who don't, let's just say my fondest wish right now is that I could somehow use two pairs of long-handled tongs to pick my house up from its foundation and dip it in a vat of boiling Lysol.

Thankfully, the storm seems to have largely passed. As is the nature of these things, symptoms progressed on a course from the top of the GI system to the bottom. Lime still has very little appetite, but whatever he does put in has been staying there long enough to make its exit through the traditional route, even if at a somewhat more rapid pace than usual. Lemon is getting a bit of nutrition through his tube (although we've temporarily stopped boluses and went down to one can a night over the weekend; we are, with fingers tightly crossed, attempting two cans tonight) plus whatever bits and pieces he eats during the day, which is currently less than usual, which isn't much to start with. He's also really struggling to tolerate his therapy--I have to imagine when your stomach is a little off kilter, being shaken violently for 30 minutes is not a soothing experience. We've definitely learned to take him seriously when he says he doesn't feel well during treatment, and are lowering the intensity of the shaking a bit until he's on more solid ground. Of course, we don't want to back off too far lest something decide to settle in his lungs, so it's a balancing act as usual.

All in all, this stomach bug is a totally normal thing, in its way. All kids get stomach bugs. Things are pretty much horribly gross until the thing runs its course. And then it's over. But it has reminded me how fragile Lemon's health is. The weight that we've worked so hard to put on him has absolutely melted away over the last few days. At least with the tube I can feel confident that we can put it back on again, and fairly quickly at that. But it is still a stark reminder of how far from well he really is--including this "regular kid" thing, he's been sick for 5 weeks with hardly a break. And it's only mid-October.

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