The plague continues

Since I last wrote, we discovered we had a leak in the kitchen for who knows how long. Thankfully the leak detector was able to fix it without tearing up the floor. As to how much moisture it might have caused under the floor, we will have to see when we finally renovate the kitchen in a few years. Then my husband felt water drop on him in our new playroom. There’s a tiny leak coming from the seam between ceiling panels. Never ending!!

C and I have now been trading cold and cough for a good month now. Miraculously, hubby seems to be avoiding the worst of it for once. I was so bad off last week I called out sick and took myself into see my own doctor. Had a chest X-ray just to be sure but it looks like just one cold after another aggravating my asthma. It finally seems to be dying down a bit, but then C woke up with a fever and worse cough this morning. Again, I had to scramble to call out sick because hubby had something he couldn’t miss at work today. I’ve booked her for sick kids care tomorrow, but they warned if she has another fever they won’t accept her since flu is still hitting pretty hard. Thankfully I already have the morning off, but of course hubby says he absolutely needs to be at something by 5pm. Maybe he can drop her off at my office on his way up? I don’t know…

Please let this awful cold and flu season be over soon!!

Fraying

This month isn’t quite over, but I am so done. In the last couple weeks, we dealt with C’s cold turning into croup with me having to convince the hubby to pick up some prescription Decadron at 1am, to avoid taking her to the ER. She missed 3 days of school in just her second week there. It was a relief to finally send her back because she was going stir-crazy at home. Then she picked up another cold and give it to me, and I’m still coughing a ton at night thanks to asthma. I really need to just suck it up and get myself on some steroids too, but I hate how insane I feel on it. Otherwise, she seems to have adjusted pretty well to school, so long as hubby drops her off – she’ll run and hug the teachers, and cheerfully wave bye to him. I usually pick her up and she’s fairly cranky, fighting getting in her car seat and all the way home. She’s also now in a bath-hating phase. Ugh!

One cat is getting once a day antibiotics for another week, and subcutaneous fluids every other night. I had to take her in for follow-up labs this morning, and at least she’s still weak enough they could do the draw without too much fuss. We’ve had to resort to using a cat muzzle on her for the fluids because otherwise hubby can’t hold her still long enough for the fluids to get in.

The other cat had his lymphoma follow-up earlier this week. He’ll stay on Prednisone and Flagyl sort of indefinitely. The vet brought up a chemotherapy pill that we could use if things get worse, but at $90/month after insurance coverage, I don’t know that I could justify that plus I’m uncertain about restrictions with him hanging out so much with C. I guess we’ll have to cross that bridge when we get there.

Then our older dog had to go in also earlier this week because she had some blood-tinged urine. So she’s on twice a day antibiotics. This is her 4th presumed UTI in a year, and it’s perplexing because there really seems to be no great explanation other than presumed incontinence. I’m about ready to start her and the first cat on D-mannose just to see if it might help, since at least it can’t hurt.

I had a great Tuesday off where I actually didn’t have work to do, and was able to catch up on some household tasks. Even thought about going to watch a movie. I should have just done it, because work has sucked since Wednesday, and I’m working through the weekend also. 2 admissions in 3 days, no charts done, and I’m so fried when I get home I just crash into bed. Part time seems great, but I’m still carrying a full (overflowing) panel, and have to deal with the forms, messages, etc. This was my fear – that I’d be paid less but still have to do almost the same amount of work, just not necessarily in time seeing patients. I don’t know what the answer is…

One big sick household

Our cat who’d been having diarrhea since we came back home continued to be sick, to where we couldn’t wait for a home visit from my vet friend. Hubby brought her in, and she was weak enough she didn’t fight for the exam or labs. Thankful for that, since sedating her is too risky. She’s in stage 2 chronic renal failure, along with fighting a kidney infection and pancreatitis based on the ultrasound. Also an awful-looking left conjunctivitis and now the sniffles. Somehow she’s doing better now, thanks to taking her meds in Pill Pockets. She is fighting us more now though, we’re at 4 out of 10 days of subcutaneous fluids at home and she is getting eye ointment 3 times a day too. I swear this cat has been on death’s door at least 5 times in her almost 16 years.

I took her brother in for a routine exam and recheck of his hyperthyroidism. Was sucker-punched in the gut when the vet quietly asked me if we’d noticed his pupils being asymmetric. Holy s***, I look and yes, his right pupil is at least 1 mm larger than the left. I start to feel sick to my stomach and teary as she finishes his exam. She mentions feeling a mass in his belly, and asks if he’s been constipated. No, if anything all we’ve seen are somewhat sloppy poops in the box. Several hundred dollars later, he’s had full set of blood and urine and whole body X-rays. There’s a bit of poop visible but not in the area she’s concerned about. There’s some spots in the lungs that are likely metastases. Presumptive diagnosis is lymphoma, with metastases in his brain that are causing the pupil asymmetry. We declined to proceed with ultrasound, biopsy, and chemo – it doesn’t feel right in our hearts (or for our wallets, frankly). He’s now on Prednisone and Flagyl for symptomatic treatment.

Overnight, C starts crying and coughing a bunch, and after the second time, I gave up and laid down with her on the mattress in her room. I’d been fighting sniffles for a while, which got worse today with cough and an awful-feeling throat, probably thanks to all the crying and lack of sleep. I could probably make it into work this afternoon, though it’d be tough with not much voice, so I called out for my sanity.

So now, we wait… for the cats to tell us it’s their time.

Not quite the start to a new year I’d like

After working triple overtime this weekend with my period starting and awful cramps today, I barely made it home in time to put C to bed tonight. Rushed to get laundry washed and eat dinner, then when I finally settled in my bed to try and catch up on charts, I realized my back was in spasm. And I’m supposed to take C to My Gym tomorrow morning. Ugh…

Vent post

Because I may lose it if I don’t let it out somewhere…

  • My first 2 patients arrive 15 minutes late for their appointments – basically at the end of their appointment slot. Mother has a million questions, which I of course answer, and I proceed to spend well over their allotted time in the room. Guess who ended up pissing off every family after that because I was an hour behind all morning.
  • We are swimming in bodily fluids from all species at home. One cat has had diarrhea since early Monday morning, and I’m praying the meds kick in soon. I’m a little stressed by how much water she’s drinking and hoping this isn’t a sign of kidney failure or diabetes.
  • C had her first day in training pants today since that’s all she’s expected to use in school starting next week. As hubby put it, the poop today “muffin-topped” its way out.
  • C has been really clingy since the end of our trip to my hometown last week. She slept great there, but didn’t sleep at all on the plane rides. She woke up screaming from a nightmare at 5am today, I’ve never seen her hyperventilate like that.
  • My hopes for weaning soon seem faded. She is a monster in the mornings, and is basically unbearable unless she nurses both sides, for up to a half hour total! It’s getting ridiculous. I don’t know how to stop other than hubby needs to step in, but she’s such a pill to get ready in the mornings regardless.
  • I’ve only been back at work for 1.5 days and I’m already exhausted and a day behind on charts. I have to make it through 4 more days, then I’ll have a couple days off.
  • C’s godmother has been super flaky for the last several months, to where she’s only seen C once. She was supposed to come help hubby this week since he’s still nursing a pinched nerve, but guess who just bailed last minute again. It’s really beginning to get on my nerves, and makes me second-guess our godmother choice.

Holiday and somber news

I’ve been meaning to post about my transition to a reduced schedule, but never found the time. Now we’re visiting my family for Christmas, and it’s been really fun watching C almost run around and really take in everything in my hometown. I wish she had napped more on the flight out, but overall she did pretty well. We felt like novices when we saw parents pulling their toddler triplet boys along in a wagon at the airport!

I found myself with more time to catch up on Facebook yesterday, and read a post from a friend asking for help in finding her friend who went missing over the weekend. The last name sounded familiar, then it all came together today when I read the very sad news that her body had been found. Her sister is the nurse practitioner that performed many of my IUIs, and also helped me when I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. So very heartbroken for her family. 😖

18 months old! (3 days late)

Wasn’t sure I’d do one of these again, but it is a milestone in my mind!

Health: Nervously waiting to see how she fares when she goes to school next month. Moving from exposure to 3 kids to exposure to more than a dozen is definitely going to bring on more colds and not so fun stuff. She’s been on daily Miralax for a couple months now, I don’t want to back down yet because she still has a tendency to hold her poop (seriously, she can wait 2 days while on the stuff, then have a giant diaper!) and her new school pushes for early potty training. That plus constipation could equal disaster.

Growth/Feeding: This kid can EAT, but her growth has definitely slowed down as expected in the second year of life. She’s about 21.5 lbs and 31″ tall, a bit below average for our ethnic background. Her feet finally seemed to grow in the last few months, so there were a couple pairs of shoes she never even wore, since she had such a delayed start to walking. She’s only gained 2 teeth in the last 8 months so a grand total of 10. The bottom molars have looked swollen for 5 months but they still haven’t broken through yet.

She still nurses in the morning and right before bed. I am definitely ready to stop the morning feed, but any attempts I’ve made recently are met with screaming and non-stop tantrums. She is just not ready. I honestly think the only way we’d be able to stop those is for me to not be home when she wakes up, and that just won’t happen anytime soon. She is thankfully not terribly picky, though certainly has a preference for pasta, bread, and fruit, like many toddlers. I don’t stress about the almost non-existent dinners these days since she often eats double helpings at Mrs. K’s. We’ll see how she likes the lunches at her new school. Getting her to drink water is still an insane struggle. She gets 12 oz of cow’s milk a day, only because she sees the other kids drinking it at daycare, and it’s the only surefire way of getting Miralax into her.

Sleep: Bedtime is still pretty consistent, from 7:30pm-6:30am, though she usually rolls around in her crib for a half hour before she falls asleep. We’ve been dealing with more night terrors in the last couple months, thanks to sickness and fighting naps, so I sucked up the cost and bought a Lully Sleep Guardian 2, which has worked beautifully, and takes the guesswork out of scheduled awakenings, without risking her not going back to sleep. Naps are usually 12-2pm, occasionally until 3pm if we are really lucky.

Development: I’d say she has maybe 30 words or phrases, I don’t keep track that well. We have to be really careful around her now, because she does pick up and understand so much more. She sings along to her favorite songs (in tune!), loves to dance and play on our piano, and is super affectionate, very generous with hugs and blowing kisses. She can feed herself decently with a spoon, but still likes us to feed her or uses her hands for speed, ha! She’s getting more confident with walking in the last couple weeks, but still likes to drop to her knees, and is hesitant to stoop and recover. Physical therapy has been really helpful, even after just 4 weekly sessions. We have 2 more left this year, and sadly we learned her therapist is leaving at the end of the year. Unfortunately they do not know if they will be able to find another therapist who can take her, so I’m debating how much to push them, since the visits are covered by our insurance through April. Our local My Gym recently reopened, and she loves going there Saturday mornings. It is helpful, but certainly not the individualized attention she gets from PT.

Daycare: C has 2 more weeks at Mrs. K’s, though with Mrs. K’s appointments for her knee prior to her surgery, C will end up attending only 8 out of the remaining 10 days. She’ll start at the new Montessori in January, along with her 2 best girl buddies from Mrs. K’s! Not too surprising, since no other facilities had openings available. That should hopefully ease the transition for all of them. I’ll be taking her for a quick meet-and-greet with her teacher in a couple weeks before the winter break, when I drop off all her forms and pay for lunches. Food isn’t included in the tuition cost, but thankfully there’s an option to order lunch, which I will gladly try for now! We just have to provide one class snack every month too. I’m most nervous about the requirement to only send training pants, and no diapers. I bought a pack, but haven’t tried putting them on her yet. Guess we’ll try the last week of the year, and hopefully they’ll fit OK.

Parenthood: I’ve finally ventured back into aerial. It’s wonderful to be back, and my body remembers so much more than I thought it would. I have more strength left than I thought I would, being gone a year from any physical activity, but my endurance and tolerance for pain definitely need to build up. Hoping I can go twice a week sometimes on my reduced work schedule. I’ve only managed to make it back once a week because it falls on a Sunday at nap time.

I am officially cutting back to 8/10 starting next Monday. It doesn’t mean much this month, since I’m working a full extra Saturday in a couple weeks, am on vacation the 3rd week, then will be working overtime (12/10!) the 4th week while the other half of my colleagues takes their holiday break. Thus is health care. Is it any surprise I would discourage C from going into this field?? Rewarding, yes. Exhausting, unfortunately. Worth it… if you can find the right balance. And that’s what I’m hoping will happen, but of course guess who was asked to work 2 more weekend shifts in January. Seriously. I’m so f’ing over it!! If I could convince hubby to move somewhere cheaper where I could work half-time, that would be lovely. But then he’d be up a creek trying to find a job he loved as much as his current one. So here we remain. Maybe his company will continue to do so well, that he’ll get a massive raise and I could cut back to 6/10? Ah, to dream…

My group held a really good seminar on preventing physician burnout recently – one of the most helpful and practical I’ve attended. Implementing some of the techniques has helped with my happiness at work, though honestly it could just be that we’ve hit an odd lull around Thanksgiving. I actually left work today with all my charts completed! Anyways, the lecturer urged all of us to schedule 2 date nights a month. I can’t even remember when we had our last date night. September I think, for hubby’s birthday. I did buy tickets for the Total Package Tour, but that’s not until June. When I looked at my schedule this month, I’m either working every Saturday, or we have other obligations. So we’re going to take advantage of free babysitting while visiting my parents for the holidays – I bought tickets for a fancy dine-in movie theater to watch Rogue One. Then maybe we can convince C’s godparents to watch her once a month next year. That would be lovely.