Friday, November 16, 2007

Just Another Day in Paradise

I think the country song "Just Another Day in Paradise" pretty much sums up our life. I got a pretty good deal going...married to the best man in the whole world, two sweet, beautiful girls, parents and in-laws that love and care about us, not to mention the material things of roof over my head, clothes on my back and food in my tummy. But sometimes life just gets a tad crazy...

Let's see, the first overriding event of the last month has been the shocking realization that Sedona has food allergies. At least that's our best guess at this point. We have plans to do a fecal smear with her poop tomorrow to check for eosinophiles, which will let us know for sure that it's allergies and not a vaccine reaction or some sort of weird infection (fringe benefits of being scientists). The short story is she started having these really weird green, mucousy stools, which I knew just weren't right. I cut dairy out of my diet (that's the number one allergy in babies), but had a hamburger (most kiddos with dairy allergy do not react to beef) a few days into it and she started passing blood 24 hours later. Went to the doctor for an exam to be sure there wasn't a physical problem (polyp, fissure, hemmorrhoid, whatever) and she checked out fine. She is 100% exclusively breastfed, so from a lactation standpoint, the next step was to figure out what in my diet was causing her problems. As a mom, I don't want her bleeding (and becoming anemic and therefore more prone to infections, and having an irritated gut that allows bigger proteins to pass into her system and sensitize her to other allergens). So, we started an elimination diet. For the last week I have only had: lamb, turkey, rice, millet, potatoes, sweet potatoes, zucchini, squash, broccoli, carrots, apples, pears, grapes, avocado, salt, pepper and olive oil. She stopped bleeding, seemed to be getting better. Then I ate a french fry. Potato, right? WRONG! It's a potato fried in soybean oil or beef lard or who knows what else that was put in the vat that day. Back came the bloody stools. Since I was losing weight, we had to add a few things into the diet, but mostly I'm still eating what's listed above. She's getting better, but still bleeding. We go back to the pediatrician on Monday--this time armed with my food log, research that's been published in Pediatrics and requests for testing that will lead us towards healing her up (ideally fecal culture and/or RAST testing and/or CBC and iron count).

Then we made a quick trip to the in-laws last weekend. Since I can't take off work this year for Thanksgiving or Christmas (no holiday time), we were going to have to take a short trip up there for the holidays and the ticket prices were astronomical. Continental puts out specials every Tuesday for travel that weekend and Houston to Raleigh/Durham came up, so we took it. It was a fun trip and nice to get to see everyone. The girls were great on the plane both ways, but still a stressful time taking a 3 year old and 3 month old on a trip.

And last Saturday my grandmother decided to pet a rattlesnake. Okay, maybe that wasn't exactly her plan. She was cleaning windows and dropped something in the flower bed. When she went to pick it up, she heard the rattle and jumped back, but was just a millisecond too slow. One fang got the very edge of her hand. 16 doses of anti-venom, a helicopter ride from Carrizo Springs to San Antonio and a 6 day stay at the hospital at Lackland Airforce Base and she's finally back at home, though with an oxygen tank (side effects of anti-venom are many....she ended up with lots of fluid in her lungs). We got home late Monday night from the in-laws and made a day trip to San Antonio on Tuesday (3 hour drive each way, lots o' fun). When we saw her, her oxygen saturation level was dropping to the low 80's anytime she did *anything*, I'm assuming that's a little better now since they released her, but I'm kinda scared to call her since I know she needs to rest.

And I'm on a wild-hare to rip the carpet out of the house. We have bamboo flooring to put down (gonna take a while to do), but I just suddenly want the carpet gone, like, yesterday. I think I've convinced Josh it's going this weekend and we can lay bamboo all Thanksgiving weekend.

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