Friday, May 15, 2009

I'm ready to talk about it

Reid's on his way back from Phoenix. He's only been there since yesterday, but it feels like a week.

So, I have some time to blog. I've thought about posting something along these lines before, but I wasn't ready for the cold, hard truth that I'm hoping I'll get. Today I'm ready.

Here's the timeline, in all its gory details. Skimping over this will only weaken your empathy for me and desire to help me. You must read every word of this timeline to fully understand how much i need you right now. all of you.

Jan 9- Emily gets sinus infection which leads to pink eye
jan 11- Eliza gets pink eye
jan 14 Abby gets pink eye
Jan 16 Grace gets pink eye
jan 19 Eliza gets pink eye AGAIN
jan 20 Abby's pink eye STILL NOT GONE
Jan 22 Abby' pink eye STILL NOT GONE
Jan 23 Abby's Pink eye finally gone after THREE antibiotic treatments!!
Jan 24 We finally think we're healthy enough to leave the house for the first time in almost 3 weeks, and we go to little Bria's party. Two days later our friend, Dana, gets pink eye (yeah, i felt really, really awesome about that--Dana you were sweet to pretend you could have gotten it anywhere else!!)
9 days of healthiness and then...

Feb 2 -Grace gets the stomach flu. Abby starts coughing on and off.
Feb 5 We decide we can leave the house again
Feb 9 Abby's pink eye is back
Feb 25 We babysit and kill our friends' little toad (could be related? dunno. just thought it was worth mentioning) :)
Feb 10-March 3 -we all get little colds/coughs that have us staying home most of those days...going crazier by the minute
March 4 Emily Sprains her ankle (completely unrelated, but just want to point out the complete awesomeness of the timing here)
March 5 Grace gets a fever and a terrible cough, misses all sorts of events. total bummer. Abby's still coughing on and off.
March 8 Grace and Abby get the runs. the kind that don't stay in the diaper, even sort of. love this.
March 9 Eliza gets the nasty cold that Grace had. But this one does NOT turn into anything worse.
March 10 Eliza somehow doesn't suffocate on a wrapper that's lodged in her throat for 12+ hours (again, not related, but it seems to add, doesn't it?)
March 15-26th we are healthy, mostly, and we get out of the house quite a bit
March 27 Eliza lets out one little cough and i KNOW that it is going to be RSV (bronchiolitis). And it was.
March 30 Eliza's in the ER getting nebulized.
April 5 Eliza's all better. Abby gets INSANELY sick. Fever of 103.5, can't breathe, needs the nebulizer, coughs till she pukes. She got what Eliza had.
April 11 Emily gets it, too. Sore throat, fever, chills, cough that's never really gone away. awesome.
April 16-May 14 - these weeks were pretty good to us. We were just starting to feel normal. and then today
May 15 Abby has fever of 101 and a cough and snotty nose

Seriously, people. WHAT IS UP?!?!?!?

I would just LOVE for ANYONE and EVERYONE to tell me what their theories on this are. Why are we more sick than other families in our shoes? Why do we not only catch everything that's going around, but we catch the stuff that isn't going around!!

I'm aware that we're more exposed than other people. All Mormons are. Our chapel is like a petri dish, housing and keeping warm all the germs of the season. But there's not much I can do about that. Also, we get out lots; the girls have lots of friends. We don't like to stay home. I'm not going to change that, either.

I'm aware that Abby is sometimes..."underdressed"-- She is prone to nakedness. It is MUCH harder to keep her clothed than you might think. (see exhibit I) She has no problem opening our back door. And she doesn't care WHAT the weather's like outside (see exhibit II). So, at least 3 times a week she's running around half dressed (can i call a diaper "half''?) in 50 degree weather. Could this be it? i've wondered. maybe i should listen to my mom a little more than i do....hmmmm

I'm also aware that as long as we all eat grapefruit off the the same spoon, and share the same water bottle at the park that I can't be that surprised when we pass things around in our family. But this isn't my big concern. All families pass things around. I expect things to get passed around within our family. (see exhibit III) What I want to know is who's passing it to us?!?!? Why won't they leave us alone!?!?
And don't even start on the whole "maybe you should stop feeding your kids all that healthy veggie and fruit and whole grain stuff" cause that's the ONLY thing that makes me feel okay about the situation. Can you imagine how bad I'd feel if we were this sick AND we ate crap!?!? Although, I must admit, i have considered eating nothing but red vines and fruit snacks next winter --just for an experiment...i'll keep you posted on my decision about that...
Some people who know me would NEVER call me a germ freak. And some do. The ones who've seen all three of my kids eat things off of the floor multiple times would not. The one's who've seen me around other sick kids would. I don't freak out about germs that I don't know about. But when i do know about a sick kid who's near mine, I try desperately to keep my kids away from him, wash our hands, etc.

I wish the world of mommies could divide into two groups: those who DON'T care about their kids being exposed to germs, and those who DO. I'm to the point where I'd join the first group. Why, you might ask? Because i've determined that the worst part of having sick kids is being cooped up. If I didn't care about getting other peoples' kids sick, then i wouldn't care nearly as much when my own got sick. and how silly is that?!?!? How silly is it that when my kid gets a fever i'm almost never concerned about that child's health (babies excluded) but only about the affect that's going to have on our social life? Am I the only one that sees the irony in this? I'm seriously thinking of starting a group here in my 'hood. I'll call it the Mom's That Don't Care 'bout Germs Club. And we'll all have shirts with our logo printed on the front--a boy licking the shopping cart handle, with his sister in the cart, sucking on some coins. Okay, i've completely lost it here, haven't I....

I really am interested in ALL your theories, people. Open to ALL suggestions. Please try to be as tactless here as possible. I'm not lookin' for sunshine, peeps. I'm desperate. I want the truth. I can handle the truth.
Meanwhile I should try to get some sleep because Eliza's 5th and 6th teeth (front middle) are just about through, and she's been whimpering, on and off, since i put her down 3 hours ago. Abby's cough keeps waking her up. And Reid's flight lands just before midnight, so really, i won't be able to fall all the way asleep cause i'll be waiting for him to come home... but i gotta rest up for my kick boxing class in the morning! (yes, that's a tinge of excitement for an exercise class. More than a tinge, really. I'm a changed person. i joined a gym. And yet i still seem to catch whatever my kids get...:)
Exhibit I
I swear it looked like a warm day when I told them they could have these little homemade Popsicles!! Poor Abs is shivering!!
Exhibit II
Exhibit III - The Binki Swap
My girls love to play in Abby's crib. And i usually get the binkis out before they play in there. But sometimes there's one or two hiding under the bumper. And they just LOVE to share them!


MariLouise said...

Well, we didn't move into town until February, so WE couldn't possibly be the culprits, right???

(Also, what does this mean for Sunday night?) :(

bostonroms said...

Emily -

I feel like our 2009 has been just about the same with the highlights from our past week of several middle of the night diaper blow outs and throw up scenes. Disgusting.

All I can say is... I WILL JOIN THE FIRST CAMP TOO! I try to make it very clear to my friends here that I don't care about colds. Don't cancel a playdate with me because your kid has the sniffles. And, quite frankly, I'm ready to not care about anything else. Staying home is miserable.

If you get any useful suggestions, let me know. :)

And I want a shirt too.

Stephanie B said...

When we were in MD, my kids would get sick every time I went to the gym. We would go for one week and then we'd be home recouping for 10 days. Then go to the gym - and get sick. It was a vicious cycle.

Adrie said...

My response was REALLY long, so I emailed you instead!

Candace said...

Well we were thinking about coming to visit you, but after reading this email we decided against it. So don't be made at me, we just don't like to be around a bunch of sickies! Ha Ha! Good luck with the summer, and would you put some dang clothes on those kids! Jks! Take care,

Team Millward said...

Ok, I may just have an answer. Your kids are the only ones that I have seen drink out of the doggy fountain. Could that be it? I for one am all for parents who don't care about germs (sharing sippy cups, etc. We all do it!) But I don't really like it if someone is well aware that their child is sick and contagious and still thinks it's ok to expose my kids just because they are ok for their kids to be around sick ones (I'm talking real sick, not the sniffles). I want to avoid that as much as possible because I do not like to be up all night with a sick child! And no, you didn't kill our toad, but please leave that in because it totally adds to the effect.

Amy said...

Sometimes pinkeye is hard to get rid of. . . my sister had it off and on for a couple of years in high school (is that just exactly what you wanted to hear)?

I always worry people will think Max is sick . . . he has a constant drippy nose from his allergies and a frequent cough from the asthma.

Maybe it is going to the gym daycare--maybe they're picking up germs that they're not acclimated to. Or maybe you've been cursed. I'd go with that.

Family of 5 said...

Is there any unknow Mold in your house? Just a thought. It could be somewhere that you can't see it.

emilyaaa said...

I got some good advice about this that never got posted here, so, for anyone who might ever want to read it, here it is:

adrie said: Remember your kids have to BUILD UP their immune system by trial/error...yes, maily "trial"! Yet, I SO remember being in your place (all young kids), when all we did was pass endless sicknesses onto each other.

Before and after we moved from CO to UT, I thought we were basically done being sick (the kids were older). Then school in UT happened, and my theory went out the window. We had to adjust to all the new UT germs, and we'd not been that sick in such a long time! Yet, I hope we've "acclimated", and maybe next year will be better.

As to pinkeye, I tell my kids to NOT rub their eyes, unless they've washed their hands, or use a tissue. If it's the viral kind, I don't stress about it much--because nothing will cure it, except your own immune system. Yet, I do still try to keep things clean until it's cleared up. (Some viral pinkeye can take up to 14 days to clear-up.) If it's the bacterial kind, I sanitize EVERYTHING until everyone affected has been on the antibiotic drops for 3 days. I change all the bedding/towels daily, and wipe down everything with antibact. wipes.

Another thing, I feel that if you get enough sleep, you'll be more likely to stay well, overall. If my kids get less sleep than they should (Marcus 10 hours; Grace/Luke 11 hours), they get sick. Yet, I know we all miss sleep now and then, thus I try to have them make it up the next day.

As to your healthy eating, I'm a fan of the red vines and fruit snacks diet :) Honestly, I don't know your feeding habits, so I can't really say anything. My only suggestion is make sure they're getting enough protein, as that will help their body maintain the needed energy to fight off whatever they have. Oh, and my smart Aunt Lisa told me to never let your child have sugar if they're sick, but I'm sure you already do that :)

One more thing, we do showers every night before bed. I'm big on washing hands throughout the day, but also on washing the body at the end of the day. Call me a germ-o-phobe, but that's the only way I'm o.k. with us playing and going-out endlessly. I also buy hand sanitizer from Sam's Club. My kids know that whenever we are done socializing, we get into the car and sanitize! Literally, it's every time, we never miss. (I know, it kills the good germs as well as the bad, but I'd rather know that the bad ones are history!) When we get home from anything, we all wash our hands. Yes, I know it sounds crazy, but again, it keeps me sane, so we can keep socializing--which is what I love best!!

emilyaaa said...

My mother-in-law said:

With this swine flu outbreak they have reiterated some good advice. Wash your hands often and long. Sing Happy Birthday while washing. Adults do this to, you may be surprised as I was that I don't wash long enough. Teach your children this by example as well as helping them when the time comes. All children love to sing happy birthday! A nurse talking to the school kids told them that stomach flues can be passed by fecal matter. Wash hands well after using the bathroom or changing a diaper. They teach the kids to cough or sneeze into their elbow thus not infecting their hands.
Color code your cups for your kids. Make a big deal about this being their special cup and little ones will catch on. It saves washing so many and as they grow older they know which ones to use. It will cut down on spreading germs to one another. Maybe you could try writing a large letter(from their name) on the cup so they know it is theirs. Color code toothbrushes, washcloths and towels(same color as cups). Change toothbrushes often especially if they have been really ill. Or you can let them sit in boiling water (separately of course) to disinfect.
When they have diarrhea and are throwing up put them on a BRATT diet. Bananas, rice (white), applesauce, tea, and toast. I never used the tea but these things are mild to let their digestive systems have time to settle down.
When everyone is sick (or just make it a daily job for your child) use a clorox wipe and wipe off door knobs, faucet and toilet handles and light switches about once or twice a day. This is a good job for children.
Air out your house periodically, turn on fans and get the air circulating; bad air out good air in. I honestly don't know if this helps but it always made me feel like I was getting out the germs, probably just psychological. :)
So take this for what its worth. But I do know some of these are good habits we all need to develop especially if this flu becomes an epidemic this next winter. Start the good habits now.

emilyaaa said...

oh, and April, you've really got me thinking about that mold thing...we never had our house tested, and now i'm thinking that we should have!! from what i've been reading, there is a direct correlation between mold and weakened immune systems!! you might have just solved all my problems!! :)

Liz said...

My good friend in my ward is just finishing her fellowship at Stanford's Children's hospital. She is days away from being an official infectious disease doctor. Every time I ask her about how to avoid germs, getting sick, etc. she always responds "hand washing is the number one way to prevent getting sick." As soon as we get in the car after church, the park, the museum, and any other place my kids have touched a lot of stuff, I do the preemptive sterilization with hand sanitizer. Then as soon as we get in the house, we wash our hands, and sometimes (every Sunday) my kids are stripped down to their diapers and redressed. I used to make them take a shower as soon as they got home, but that was back when George had just gotten home from his surgery and I wasn't taking any chances.

With all those precautions taken, Grace got the stomach flu with week. How she got it is beyond me. And, I agree it totally sucks being stuck inside.

As for pink eye, be sure to change your bedding regularly. I even wash pillows. Just a suggestions...