Friday, October 2, 2009

Reflux and more...

Somewhat of a sombre post today, as life has been throwing every challenge under the sun at us recently.

Last week, little Owen was checked by the doctor for his four month check-up and his lungs were declared clear, despite a small cough he'd developed. Then on Tuesday his cough got a lot worse and his voice became very hoarse. On the same day, I took him up to his Neurologist to have an EEG machine stuck to his head for 48 hours so they could assess whether his jerks are true seizures, myoclonic jerks or summat else. Well, I REALLY wish I'd postponed this procedure, because by Wednesday Owen's cough was just awful and his temperature went over 100F. Considering he's always been a cool baby (in more sense that one, arf arf) this seemed alarming, so off we trotted to the local ER to have him checked out - EEG monitor 'n all.

Apparently the boy had pneumonia. Blah. The doctors suspected it was a result of his difficult intubation during surgery last week, where it's likely some saliva got pushed down into his lung and festered for a few days. I felt just dreadful that I hadn't taken Owen to get it checked out earlier, but I wanted him to have the EEG study done. Ho hum; can't win 'em all. Anyway, on Wednesday he just screamed and screamed all night with the jerking, coughing, refluxing and the EEG machine all keeping him awake, and by Thursday morning he'd clearly had enough because he pulled that sucker off his head by himself. Now, those electrodes were GLUED to his head, so it must have hurt him quite a lot, but after I took the rest of them off he slept soundly for the next 24 hours. Like a baby, in fact.

So, he's been recovering nicely from the pneumonia, but he still has a very bad cough. I'm taking him back to the doctor next week to make sure he's all clear, but the antibiotics run out tomorrow so if he's no better I'm not sure what we'll do. His reflux has been just awful since his illness, too, as whenever he coughs he brings up tummy fluids and makes such a mess. It's driving me to desperation and I feel very sorry for this little lad. I wish I could have his problems instead.

All his issues and my pretty-much solo care for him has led me to develop post-partum depression. There. I said it. I have depression. I started therapy this week to try and get some help, but I'm not mad keen on my therapist just yet. As my sister put it, "So, she's had two strikes. One more and she's out?" Yup. I said very clearly to her that my writing/proofreading/copy editing career was just starting to really take off and I didn't want to make it a low priority, but she didn't seem to take any notice. She told me that essentially, in order to battle this depression, I'd have to let some things slide, and writing ought to be one of them. Uh... no. The other thing she did was hand me the stock leaflet they hand out to all post-partum women and told me to make sleep a priority. Yeah... I would, but I have a BABY!!

The thing I find it very hard to convey to people is exactly how much work Owen's feeds are. For weight gain, this child has to eat every four hours, whether he's hungry or not, and each feed takes one whole hour. There are then two hours of battling reflux, during which he will routinely bring up 1/2 to 2/3 of his food, and then I have to give him supplemental water (and usually one or another medications) one hour before his next feed, over half an hour. So essentially, I'm only able to be in a different room to him for that single half hour before his next feed. Sure, I could take a nap then... but what about getting dressed? Or having a shower? Or eating lunch? Or preparing his next sodding feed? Sleep? Pah!

So, I'm going back next week for another session, but if she wants to prescribe me medication I might just boot her. I've told her I just want to be able to talk about the things I can't talk to anyone else about (scary, PPD stuff that I never imagined would ever enter my head), so if she wants me to start popping pills, it means she hasn't really listened to me at all and it'll have to be goodbye. Fingers crossed it doesn't come to that though.

Plus... it would have been Da's 82nd birthday today. I miss him.


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