Thursday, May 9, 2013

Trying to cope and take care of myself

I recently took Andy in for a one month behavior recheck, I'll call it. It was with a nurse practitioner in Andy's very busy and booked up Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation office. He cried the whole hour that we waited to be seen, and he had been crying in the car on the way there. By the time the NP came in, I was in tears too, about ready to walk out. She quickly asked how Andy was doing, "a little better", I told her. Then she wanted to move on to me.

"You don't look like you are coping very well with all this", she told me, and asked "Do you feel you are on the verge of a break down, or how are you doing?". I was crying uncontrollably by now, finding it hard to speak. I get upset when Andy is crying for hours, and I start to feel out of control. I also feel helpless to stop his outbursts, and feel I am failing him.

She told me that my husband and I need to go to counseling to talk about our feelings and hard times with Andy. I understand that I need to go to counseling, and feel I would benefit from it. However, my husband does not feel it will benefit him. I also told her that when I was depressed eight years ago, I used exercise to start feeling better. Joining classes, and working out for a couple of months, helped me to climb out of my depression. Along with seeing my friends and family more. But lately, I feel I don't have the luxury of time to do that.

Right now, I don't use all the resources I have. I tend to isolate myself. Andy is a very difficult child. Difficult to keep happy and entertained. He has a very short fuse. When he gets angry, everyone suffers. Nothing else can happen, but trying to console him.

I have several sisters and friends that I could turn to, but I don't. I need to start scheduling more time to spend with them, so I won't feel so alone. My mental health is definitely suffering right now. The nurse practitioner felt that I wasn't making myself important, and she's right. I won't be able to take care of Andy, if I don't start taking measures to get myself better.

We are trying to sell our old house right now. That has been a priority for us. However, I need to make myself more of a priority right now. I can't continue to put myself on the back burner. There is too much at stake. If only I could find the time...

Friday, May 3, 2013

Surviving the Stomach flu

My daughter got the stomach flu two weeks ago, most likely the rotavirus. It struck without warning. We were driving in my mini-van and she told me she felt like she might throw up. I quickly moved a few things out of her way, tried to find a bag for her, and too late. She threw up three times, mostly on her lap.

She didn't show any signs previous to this. The most important thing to do to try and stop future vomiting is to move quickly to the BRAT diet. This is a diet made up of Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Toast. It is a bland diet, that is most likely to stay in your stomach and not come back out. However, my daughter is very stubborn and insisted on eating a few cheez-its. They came right back up. Avoid all dairy. For three to five days if you can. I knew this from a previous time. It will surely get you vomiting again. Get some Pedialyte or Gatorade right away to help keep your strength.

My poor daughters flu got severe. She had diarrhea and vomiting, and was unable to hold down even a small sip of water or Pedialyte. After three days of this, I could tell she needed to get into the hospital Emergency room. She was also having fevers of 101 degrees.

She was so weak and tired, she could hardly walk. She really needed to be rehydrated quickly. She was admitted and given fluids intravenously for two days. We've heard horror stories of 4 and 5 year olds getting the flu and dying of dehydration, and we were so worried about her. I checked with her doctor first, and she agreed that she needed to go right to the ER. It was my gut feeling as well.

Andy and I got it too, however, ours was not as severe. After first vomiting, we both had just a liquid diet the first day, then moved to dry toast only on the second day. We were weak, but we were no longer vomiting.

Andy was hesitant to eat, and often turned down sips of water or crackers. By the third day, we were both getting very hungry, but we went very slowly with food. I could feel that my stomach was still very off. Andy was off school for the entire week, and so was my daughter.

Despite vigorous hand washing and hand sanitizer, I got it. I was also the one cleaning up after the kids after they were ill, so I figured it would be unavoidable. We also tried anti-nausea medications from the pharmacy, but it seemed to me if your body needs to throw up, then it will. Benadryl was also suggested to "settle" my daughters stomach. I'm not sure whether it was effective or not. It seemed it worked for a few hours, but as soon as she was ready for another dose and didn't get one, she would vomit. The doctor ended up prescribing Zofran, an anti-nausea medication, for when we left the hospital. It kept us from having to go back in, I think. She would tell me, "I feel queasy", and I would give it to her. I did this for two days, until it seemed she could eat again.

We later learned that hand sanitizer alone was not killing this bug, so kids at school were urged to actually wash their hands, instead of just sanitizing before eating. My daughter often just washes the soap down the sink after pouring it in the middle of her hand, so I have to remind her to spread the soap all around her hands before rinsing. My son can also get sick easily, because others have to handle his food for him. He also puts his hands in his mouth all day, so it is very detrimental for him to have sick peers at school.