Sunday, October 2, 2011

We're Off to See the ER...the Wonderful ER of GR

Well, we want to continue the mantra of "Never a dull moment" in the Murray House.  The good news is, Cohen got his cast off, school has started off relatively smooth with just a few bumps in the road and both Brian and I are enjoying our jobs even as banks continue to take some strong beatings in the media.

Evan turned four months on September 19 and had his four-month well-check up.  He is weighing in at a hefty 14.2 pounds (34th percentile), 26 inches long (84th percentile) and has a 16 1/4 in head circumference.  Clearly, he is not getting is long, lithe, small-headed genes from me.  It's amazing to see how much he has grown and how strong he is.  Evan has great head control and when he is laying down, if you pull his hands, he will pop right up into a standing position.  He is cooing and smiling and started laughing just a few weeks ago.

Little shrimpy at two-weeks old with his monkey.

Our big boy at four months old, laughing at that silly monkey.

We spent quite a bit of time speaking to the doctor about Evan's eating habits and the fact that sometimes, he just isn't interested in eating and seems to push his bottle away after 1-2 ounces.  He talked about how to get him to sleep through the night (sometimes it's an 8 hour stretch and sometimes he is up 3-4 times a night).  We voiced a lot of our concerns but were told we have a healthy, happy baby on our hands - music to every parent's ears.  We were also given the green light to start Evan on food - oatmeal first (apparently rice is no longer standard because of the obesity epidemic), then orange veggies, green veggies and finally fruit.  Brian and I were excited to start Evan on solid foods, for his sake, but mostly our own selfishness.  Does solid food mean he will sleep longer?  Well, let's try!

Evan's first oatmeal!

Evan's first veggie - I pureed sweet potatoes!

A few days after Evan's appointment, he continued to be very fussy and extremely finicky about eating.  He was taking less and less formula and seemed to spent a lot of time screaming and arching in pain.  Sometimes when we would feed him, he would take 1 or 2 swallows and push out the bottle and just cry. We stopped the veggies after the first day of feeding them and lessened the amount of oatmeal, but the crying continued.  Nana Moni had been convinced Evan had reflux from back in July when he would shake a bottle out of his mouth, but combined with the hoarse voice and heavy crying, we all were convinced.  I begged the pediatrician to get us in once again and Grandma Cindy took Evan to his appointment.  After hearing his voice, the same pediatrician that saw us seven days earlier said that he absolutely has reflux and send us home with Zantec.  

Evan had been on the Zantec for about a week and his symptoms just appeared to be getting worse.  He spent most of Saturday crying (and not eating) and a solid three hours crying on Sunday morning.  Brian and I agreed that it would be best to take Evan to the Children's Hospital to make sure that everything was okay and it wasn't something more. Of course this happened on a weekend when all of our family was out of town, so Lacey and Ben came through and saved the day and took Gavin and Cohen for a few hours. 

Wouldn't you just know that as soon as we got into the Children's ER triage, Evan didn't have one noise to make.   Not only that, he smiled at every nurse and doctor that came his direction!  Oh, you want to wrap a band around me and take my blood pressure?  Not a problem!  You need to get my pulse ox?  I'd be happy to do that!  Rectal temperature?  Yes, indeed!  I won't even make a peep.  At this point, Brian and I are sure that the nurses and doctors think we are crazy.  

Enjoying all of his ER attention

The doctor said they wanted us to feed Evan a bottle of Pedialyte (sp?) so they could see what we were talking about when he cries during feedings.  Well, of course we couldn't show them that because he took his bottle merrily!  And when he seemed hungry for more, well, he took his formula just as amazingly.  Feeling sufficiently stupid and one $100.00 co-pay later, we were told that he does have reflux and also sounds like he has colic.  Awesome.

One more thing, if your child is going to get sick and you are near Grand Rapids, I can't say enough good things about the Helen DeVos Children's Hospital.  The staff was quick, efficient, caring and reacted very quickly.  They even reacted quickly to our non-reacting child.  

The first time he has slept in the car in a week - after our hospital visit.  Of course you are, baby.

But now I would like to know, where are those nurses and doctors?  Because the monster made an appearance again and wouldn't eat, wouldn't calm down and had no interest in anything but being held and bounced around like a maniac.  I swear we aren't making it up.  Evan is four-months old and has already out-witted us, out-tricked us and made us look stupid.  Well played, baby.  Well played.

I know that a part of me gets very concerned the second that anything appears wrong with Evan.  Unlike any other baby I know, my baby went through chemo with me.  He endured two drugs that make most adults vomit and stay bed-ridden for days at a time.  And, I was an emotional wreck during my third trimester, so the poor little guy wasn't in a womb of warmth.  He was in a womb of wrath.  Yet, I can't help but thinking, "Did I do this?  Did I contribute to his troubles now?  Does he know how much I love him and hate thinking that I might have harmed him?"

My surgery is in ten days.  I am pretty anxious about it.  It's not that I'm sad about losing my breasts.  I think I'm scared to wake up and see that a part of me is just gone.  Just left my body.  And with crazy fuzzy hair starting to grow in, and half of my eyebrows and eyelashes non-existent, how am I ever supposed to feel pretty again?  I fear that I am not being a good wife because my femininity is leaving a little bit more each day and it makes me keep a lot of things to myself.  I also cannot lift or pick up Evan for four weeks after surgery.  That scares me and makes me so sad.  

I met with my surgeon and plastic surgeon last week.  My surgeon told me they expect to find cancer deep in the tissue during the surgery, even though I have responded well to the chemo.  She said this is common and I should be prepared for that finding.  I am also have a new micro-surgery incorporated into my procedure that is intended to further reduce the risk of lymphedema.  I am very confident in both of my surgeons and am looking forward to knocking this part of my journey out of the way.  

Have another round of Herceptin tomorrow...then Brian and I leave for our quick Florida getaway on Thursday.  More on that later in the week!

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