Saturday, October 24, 2009

Is this week over yet?

Well I sent Akila and Imani to school on Wednesday. Imani had not had a fever since Sunday and Akila had not since Monday night. And neither was acting very sick, meaning that they had high energy and Akila was her regular sassy self.

I got a call about an hour into school from the nurses office. Akila had a 99.3 temp and was complaining about her tummy. I talked to her and told her she could make it through the day. She was definitely not hit as hard as the other kids by the H1N1. I got another call at about 12:30, she had a temp of 100.5. Nuts. I went to get her, brought her home, took her temp and it was normal, and she was acting normal (I mean what is normal for Akila, not the typical brained child). But an hour later, she did have a 99.6 temp.

This H1N1 has been a hard one to figure out. The temp goes away for over 30 hours, and then returns. Looking back, it did that to all 4 of my kids. So Akila stayed home on Thursday, as well as Hezekiah. Hezekiah had no temp since the ER on Monday night, but with his pneumonia, I wanted to keep him around still.

On Wednesday night, I had a little tickle of a cough, very tiny. I of course got paranoid, and for good reason. On Thursday, the cough progressed. By Friday morning, I was a wreck, just in time for all 4 kids to go to school, thank goodness.

I spent the day in bed, with a fever and the aches and chills. When the kids got home just before 4:00, they had free reign of the house as I was at my worst part of the fever. Well, sweet little Akila took advantage. She was being so good, if I had been in better shape (and really cared at that moment), I would have known she was up to no good. She basically went scavenging through the house.

She went into the basement, which she is usually too scared to go into because of the cobb webs, but not now- she was on a mission. She found where I kept the make-up bag. This is a bag full of cheap make-up that I will use as a reward for her. She is so obsessed with make-up and wants to do it all the time, so it is a great reward. She went into several other areas that are where I stash things and got into all kind of junk. Her room looks like a tornado hit it. And still, I don't care.

She gave me the space I needed, and for that I am grateful. She even made herself some scrambled eggs. Michael got home about 6:00 and got to spend the evening cleaning the kitchen and messing around with the kids. I actually cooked real meals on Tues, Wed and Thurs evenings. Thursday, I was feeling rotten, but knew it would be good to be filling the frig with more left overs.

I could not sleep at all last night,and I didn't want to get up and clean or do things that would spread my germs onto kitchen plates and such. I was suppose to get a flu shot today, but I guess I won't be able to. The ER doctor told me that 97% of the flu cases being seen are the H1N1, this is why they're not testing for it.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

phone book & med apron

I should probably clear out the memory phone book on our home phone. Akila has figured out how to use it. So I am sorry if she called you yesterday and left an incoherent message about our families flu struggles.

I just got a call from our friend Emily. Akila left her a message yesterday about how sick our family is. Not sure who else she called, hopefully she did not call 911 this time to alert them to our woes.

I have to be intentional about what I wear today, or I have to start wearing a medicine apron, like one from home depot with pockets. I am just walking from room to room, taking temps, giving out meds, juice, having the boys trade being nebulized, and charting all of their meds, fevers, etc. I bought a ton of Tylenol and Motrin last night at CVS so I should have enough to get us through this bout.

I called our clinic this morning and they are faxing in a Rx for Tamiflu for Zeke to CVS. It is kind of weird that I can't get it for the girls, but they don't have asthma. Zeke is the only one who woke up with a fever today, which means nothing I have learned. The really good news is that everyone slept pretty well last night. I was only awakened once by Zeke, so I got good sleep- and they all slept in later than normal. Praise the Lord.

Monday, October 19, 2009

4 kids + crud = H1N1, and 1 tired mom

We have had quite the whirlwind weekend. Started out the long MEA weekend with the kids sleeping over at Aunt Tara's and Uncle Dan's. Michael and I went out to the Melting Pot (my fav), to a movie, and out to breakfast and shopping on Friday. Picked the kids up at 5 pm on Friday, drove the boys to a friends house for a sleepover. The girls and I went to my friend Juli's for a birthday party for her 10 year old, Eva. Imani was complaining of a sore throat and little cough. No big deal.

Picked up the boys Saturday morning at 11 from their sleep over, and Hezekiah was sleeping. He got in the van, and he looked like a zombie. I had been assuming in the friend's house, that two nights of a sleepover in a row had worn him down. As I was driving them home, I could tell by looking at him that he was sick. Got home, took his temp, 104.4. Imani was out running around the neighborhood, playing like nothing was going on. I took her temp, 102. 5. And the fun began.

The two of them were sick all day Saturday, and Hezekiah has asthma so he was making me nervous. I watched him very closely. Sunday morning, they woke up and both had a low grade fever that went away by 9:30 am. Although Zeke woke with a low grade fever on Sunday. By Sunday evening, Zeke's was a bit higher. Imani and Hezekiah were playing fairly normally, but still had sore throats and coughs. I planned on keeping all 3 home today and sending Akila to school. Akila woke up with a 100.0 temp, so they all 4 stayed home.

Imani had no fever when she woke up, neither did Hezekiah. Zeke had a low one, and so did Akila. Imani played normally and was bored out of her mind. Hezekiah laid around. Zeke played, Akila drove me nuts. Is it bad that I am tempted to not five her Motrin so her fever stays a bit high so she lays around quietly? I won't do it, but I am tempted. Just being honest. Hezekiah had been complaining that his chest hurt, but he has not been wheezing, or having any outward signs of breathing issues.

This afternoon, around 3:00, I took Hezekiah's temp again. It was 102.9. He had not had a temp for over 30 hours. I called our clinic. They said to bring him to the ER. I hate the ER. I know that almost everyone does, but I have bad memories of it. When we first adopted Zeke, he was a little preemie who was sick, and we spent about a month at Children's Hospital. Two ER visits for him, one for Hezekiah. About 17 nights total in one month overnight at the hospital. Long waits in the ER, during February, the respiratory distress season. Gives me the chills just thinking about it.

And as much as I love Children's Hospital, their waiting room in the ER, is horrible!!!!! They are opening a new ER in 9 days, couldn't this plague have waited 9 more days? Anyway, Michael came home and Hezekiah and I headed to the ER. Waited for 2 hours. Saw a triage nurse pretty quickly, who didn't hear anything when she listened to his chest. This along, with Hezekiah pleading to leave, and the long wait with a room full of very interesting people, made me think hard about leaving (there were two women with a 3 year old waiting to be seen as a sitter had tried to put hot sauce in the little girls mouth, and it got in her eye. Her eye was a little swollen on the bottom, but that was it. They were on their cell phones carrying on to friends that nobody had flushed her eye out even. Ugh).

So, after two hours in the waiting room, we were brought back. The ER rooms were full, so we were in the Pre-Op rooms. Another long wait to see a Dr. Eventually, we learned that Hezekiah has H1N1, they did not test for it, but said it is pretty obvious. And it has progressed to pneumonia, as they did a chest X-ray. I was very glad that I did not leave earlier.

We were discharged at 8:50. Really, right before the pharmacies close? So I had to call Michael and have him look up the closest 24 hr CVS, and of course, it is in St. Paul. Over 6 hours later, we finally returned home.

Akila's temp was up to 102.something by bedtime, and Imani's temp was back, although it was low. Zeke still had a low one also. It is going to be a very long week. I forgot to mention that Akila threw up this morning once, and a little tonight, although she ate all day. Not sure what that was about. I read on Facebook, that in one 2nd grade class, 10 out of 20 kids were gone today. Hezekiah is in the other 2nd grade class. Crazy.

So, our house is basically full of the plague. I feel like we should put a red sign on the door or something. Stay away people, this thing is crazy contagious.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Last Tuesday night was a rough one, when I had to restrain Akila 4 times. I have not really had to since, and we are restraining her anytime she hits/kicks/pushes Michael or me. She did today afterschool, when she was trying to convince me that one of Imani's shirts was hers, she kicked me.

I restrained her, and I used the basket hold restraint, which I could not remember from my restraint training from when I worked in the schools, but a friend gave me some pointers last week. This worked much better than the one on the floor, my knees are still recovering, seriously. And the beauty of this restraint, was that it lasted less than 10 minutes. I did not have my watch on though.

I am really hopeful that this means that her brain has at least momentarily learned something, and possibly two things. One, she hasn't been physically hurting us as often the last week, and number two, the restraint was much shorter which hopefully means that she understands to calm down so I can release her. One thing I have definitely learned about FASD, is that often when Akila conquers a new thing, it can stay for an hour, a day, a few weeks, or months, but rarely does it last forever. In particular, when it is a behavioral thing, it does usually not last forever. One of the books I have read and appreciated, has said that when you find a discipline technique that works, rejoice, and use it for as long as you can knowing that it will probably lose it's effectiveness at some point.

So, I am hopeful- and it feels good.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Being held hostage

I am struggling with the feeling that Akila is too often holding our family hostage. Her violent bursts of anger are not lessening at all, and the main advise I have heard and read from experts, is to try and avoid the "triggers". Well the main trigger, is when she does not get her way, on the most tiny little thing.

One trigger, is when Zeke chews with his mouth open. One trigger is when I call her honey (which I do quite often, but sometimes it makes her mad). One trigger is one of the other three kids is standing in the kitchen and she wants something. One trigger is when you ask her if you don't turn the music up loud enough in her bedroom at bedtime. One trigger is if you ask her if the music is loud enough. One trigger is if you don't tie her shoes tightly enough, even though she can tie them herself. One trigger is if she can't find her lip gloss. One trigger is if you give her too many carrots at dinner. One trigger is if you don't give her enough carrots at dinner. One trigger is if you ask her how many carrots she would like at dinner.

So often, there is no rhyme or reason to her triggers that we are able to discern. There are some which are pretty consistent, like if she is watching TV by herself, if another child tries to join her, there are guaranteed fireworks. If she sees any of her siblings playing with our neighbor girl, there are guaranteed fireworks. If she can't find her teddy bear, there are guaranteed fireworks.

These guaranteed fireworks, are things I can often try to avoid. Sometimes, this is where I start to feel like we are being held hostage. Like not letting the other kids go into a room that she is in if she is playing nicely, watching TV, or engaging in an activity. There is nothing worse than disturbing her when she is doing well. I work very hard to help her keep track of her teddy bear. If I have to pick her up from school, dance or somewhere else, if I bring the bear and have it waiting in the van, it puts her at ease instantly. I am even ashamed to say, that sometimes I intercept the neighbor girl before she has rung the doorbell, and tell her the kids aren't available to play. I just don't want to deal with the issues that it is sure to cause. I know, I am a chicken.

But some days, this is what it takes to get through. Some days, I am not emotionally prepared to battle, and try even harder to avoid the rages. Some days, I say bring it on. And I send Zeke down to play with legos (see previous post). So I do try to avoid triggers, and I try really hard to not make it seem like we are always giving her what she wants. In reality, on any given day, even if I have avoided many rages and let her hold us hostage to a certain level, there are still a million things that have made her mad and that she has not gotten. She is by far the most demanding of all of my children and the one who is always wanting or needing something. We have just hopefully been able to avoid as much raging as possible.