Sunday, January 21, 2018

So sick of being sick....

Jack’s surgery was delayed a week due to illnesss. We have been literally sick at least every other week since Thanksgiving. Initially Jack seemed to have the least of it—he had pink eye and an ear infection—the latter being the reason for the new set of ear tubes he got along with his tonsillectomy. My younger son, Alec, had an upper respiratory first, then pink eye, then a double ear infection. I was sick in between with a weird sinus cold and hacking cough that took two weeks to clear. Finally the week after Christmas everyone was well. And then Jack got sick immediately thereafter with just a cold, but the high fever plus a ton of congestion caused us to reschedule. On the day of his surgery, he was relatively recovered having had no symptoms for at least 4 days, but little brother was sick again. Little guy and I were up from 3-5 a.m. with his throwing up every 15-30 minutes.

Fast forward to this last Friday. Jack’s doing well—pain management under control, sleeping great, no significant ill effects Everyone goes to school and ABA. About an hour before they’re done, I receive a call that Alec just threw up—a lot. He gets picked up and because he’s Alec, he’s hungry. After a snack, water, fortunately no more throwing up, he finally falls asleep. That night, he’s cranky but other than that normal enough. No more vomit, thank goodness. About 30 hours later, Jack’s throwing up all over the place. And it doen’t stop until after 1 am.

When will the cycle of illness end?!! Are we more sickly than the next family? My guys eat a ton of sugar and carbs, but they also have a green smoothie every day and the little guy—the one who seems to start it all, lives on fruits and veggies. I understand that this is a “bad flu season” but, thank goodsness, we haven’t had the flu. The boys also had their flu shots, which usually means nothing, but this year it apparently covered the most prevalent strain. My boys also put so much less in their mouths than they did a year or two ago. For the most part, they’re in the same number of activities—school ad therapies. Alec’s in a bit more and Jack’s class size is much larger, but Alec had the large-class experience and Jack had the many hours of therapy. The only major difference I can account for is the bitter cold that kept us in for much of the past two months.

Anyway, there was little point to this diatribe other than to document all our woes. I’m feeling nauseous myself at the moment, which really stinks because I just made and ate a super yummy breakfast of banana oatmeal pancakes with chocolate chips (randomly gluten free except for possibly the chocolate chips) and don’t want to lose it. :) Plus, I have marketing to do and intend to roast a turkey today. I’m leaning on a pillow which may or may not smell of vomit, so maybe the feeling will pass without incident. . Oh, that brings me to another little fun fact—the little guy is a squirrel. He somehow chews food and stores it somewhere other than his stomach. So when he was throwing up constantly in the wee hours of January 5th, he was spitting up chicken bits (we’d had chicken nuggets and fries for dinner) that were not covered in gross liquid. A dust-buster would actually have been more effective than the cloths I was using to clean up. The smell was also not vile.

Happy Sunday!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Post-Surgery Day 2

Every day, I count my blessings that my child on the autism spectrum is not that child on the spectrum. I have two sons on the autism spectrum, one higher functioning than the other. (I may write more details later and attempt to fill in the huge gap in posting, but I want to stick to the topic at hand now.)

On Friday, my older son (not the one I would describe as higher functioning) had his tonsils removed and his fourth set of ear tubes placed. Although he has had four surgeries in the past (three sets of tubes placed and his adenoids removed), this is the first one that has presented significant post-operative restrictions. Returning to my opening statement, I usually feel very fortunate that my sons do not exhibit many of the hallmark traits you may think of when you think of a kid with autism. But they do have their quirks. Since the biggest restrictions post-op are dietary, let’s talk about food. I’m forever grateful that they don’t live off of McNuggets or the orange stuff in the blue box. What foods they do love are not brand-specific. Texture doesn’t seem to be an issue so as even the pickier one eats mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, and ice cream, but there is a world of foods to be avoided, particularly by the big guy, and related quirks.

Post-operative hurdle #1—no straws, especially with frozen beverages. Though he can proficiently drink out of a traditional cup, he prefers a no-spill cup with a silicon straw—when he drinks out of this, he’ll guzzle down the liquid and easily stay well-hydrated. With a cup, he’ll take small sips and drink significantly less. He also has at least one smoothie per day, which is how he gets a variety of fruits and veggies since he only eats bananas, apples, and sweet potatoes.

Post-operative hurdle #2—no chips or crackers. Although he eats bread, sweet potatoes, and mashed potatoes, he doesn’t like pasta or rice. Thus, his regular day’s menu often consists of several snack cracker items and a sandwich for lunch, and then sweet potatoes or mashed potatoes with a protein for dinner.

Post-operative hurdle #3—no pizza or grilled cheese. I’m usually grateful that although he doesn’t eat pasta, he eats the other things nearly always found on the kid menu: fries, chicken nuggets, pizza and grilled cheese. Now that menu is cut in half. In this cold weather, that’s also nearly half of the “hot” (put in quotes because he prefers room temperature food) dishes he eats.

Post-operative hurdle #4—no lollipops. This in general does not sound like a bad thing and it isn’t terribly. However, after avoiding them for years, when we started using them as incentives to potty train the little guy, my older son fell in love with lollipops. They’ve become an obsession. (Obviously a bad thing, but I pick my battles). Whenever he poops, he gets a lollipop. My kids have great digestive systems, so pooping might happen twice a day. Running to get a lollipop from their hiding place, and then carrying it around a long time afterwards (because he doesn’t ever finish them—another reason, I don’t hate this obsession) is a daily preferred event. We made it through day one without lollipops, but it was a struggle. I baked cupcakes so that’s my plan for the moment, but we’ll see.

I’m sure there will be many other hurdles, but these are the ones I can think of at the moment, about 44 hours post-surgery.