Monday, February 21, 2005

Surgery Tomorrow tomorrow's the big day. Adenoids out. We're off to the Children's Hospital of NJ first thing tomorrow morning.

Bryn and I have talked about it, and he seems to understand. ("My add-en-oids are making me sick. The doctor's going to take them out. I won't go to school, but I can watch Thomas videos all day.") He's such a good boy...I hope this doesn't suck too much for him.

I'm nervous as hell. I'm glad we opted to go to the children's hospital, where they have a pediatric anesthesiologist on full-time. We could have donet his outpatient, and a lot closer to home, but we would have been taking a gamble with the anesthesiologist. And, as my dad astutely pointed out, anyone can take out adenoids. It's the anesthesia that's tricky. And, might I add, especially when you're dealing with an asthmatic preschooler.

Really, what's worst for me is the idea of watching him go under. I did this last year, when he had a optical surgery. I walked him to the OR and held his hand as he went under. To see him walk down the hallway in that blue gown (which was too big for him) looking so much like a little angel, and then to watch him so agreeably put on the mask for the anesthesia (this is, after all a kid who's been on nebulizer treatments for two years) then lie there so frighteningly lifeless on the table -- well, it was the most terrifying thing I've ever seen.

The "AngryAsthmaMama" is usually pretty good about handling the illnesses of her children. After all, like all parents, I do what I have to do, particularly when it comes to my kids' health. But that moment in the OR was haunting and terrible. I completely lost it. As I left the OR, leaving Bryn in the hands of relative strangers bearing scalpels, I positively crumbled. I felt so frightened and helpless. I wanted to rip him off the table and take him home.

This is the scariest part for me. Usually, I take the advice of my doctors - about 85% of it - and administer treatments myself. I call for backup when I need it; I offer all the hugs and kisses and positive reinforcement I have to in order keep my kid as healthy and wonderful as he is.

But in the OR, I leave Bryn (and myself) prone and vulnerable and in the hands of a doctor I suddenly don't know enough about. It's not a control thing - it's a protection thing. I want to be there, not running the surgery, but holding my son's hand throughout his ordeal.

God, I just love that little boy more than words can ever express.

Say a little prayer; pray that everything goes well tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Adenoidectomy Scheduled

So...we're doin' it. Surgery's scheduled for Tuesday the 22nd. I'm not freaking out yet. But I am totally loathing seeing my baby under anesthesia. Did it last year when he had eye surgery, and it was just about the scariest damned thing I've ever seen. I don't recommend it.

Ideally, this surgery will mean fewer upper respiratory infections and hence, fewer asthma attacks (since Bryn's asthma is triggered almost exclusively by upper respiratory infections). My peds pulmologist admires my optimism.

I've read message board posts going both ways -- some have called the surgery a bona fide miracle, others have said it was a waste of a copay. I have to hope for the best. I don't take putting my son into surgery lightly.

We did find a doc who seems to be a highly regarded peds ENT. And he's doing the surgery at NJ Beth Israel, where he's head of Pediatrics (or just Peds Otolaryngology -- I forget) and where they have a peds. anesthesiologist on staff full time.

Y'know what? Maybe I am freaking out a little bit.

Anyway...they say he'll recover in 3-5 days, but he'll be home for two weeks. He's not allowed to run around at all, so I guess we'll be watching a lot of Thomas videos.

Poor kid. I just want to hear him pronounce his "m" and "n" sounds properly again. I've been "Bob" (instead of "Mom") since before Thanksgiving.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Update on the Boy: THIRD antibiotic for the sinus infection

That's right. Now we're on Biaxin, a completely evil and side-effect riddled antibiotic. Allow me to quote the sheet that came in the bag:

SIDE EFFECTS: Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach upset, changes in taste, and headache may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects...
Oh my God! What am I doing to my baby?

I have to keep reminding myself that he's (a) had this infection since at least November and (b) has had two back-to-back, 3-week courses of progressively stronger antibiotics. He still sounds terrible, and I'm scared to death that the infection will trigger a major asthma attack or - since it's defying antibiotics anyway - spread to his lungs.

But there does come a point where you start wondering if the treatment really isn't worth than the illness itself.

....more after we see the ENT on Weds.

Another New Asthma Resource has a great Asthma resource center, and an even better forum. (People actually post replies on this one! Maybe they just hate me on the Parents' Center one. Let's face it -- I'm not exactly reserved with my opinions, am I?)

What did asthma Moms like me do before the Internet?

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Best Asthma News Resource Yet -

Although I've never mentioned it before, I've relied on Breatherville, the official site of the Asthma and Allergy Network/Mothers of Asthmatics, for everything from basic asthma info to discount spacers and nebulizers.

Now I find that they have the most current news on asthma -- complete with little analyses detailing how it affects you as the parent of an asthmatic child.

While the marketplace is still lacking in certain respects, this is definitely the best resource on the web for parents of the "respiratory-challenged."

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Thanks to Blogwise

....for the listing!

Blogwise - blog directory

Tailor Asthma Treatment for Kids

Yesterday's HealthDay snippet is a handy reminder that all treatments don't necessarily work for all kids. In other words, just because your neighbor's kid is thriving on Advair, don't think your kid can drop his Pulmicort/Singulair routine. Asthma triggers are different, as are symptoms -- so the effectiveness of treatments will vary, too.

TUESDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDayNews) -- Specific asthma characteristics in children may help doctors determine the most effective treatment for each child, according to researchers at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's (NHLBI) Childhood Asthma Research and Education Network.

Read the whole article.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

(Omnicef) Two weeks down, one to go...

We've finished two weeks on Omnicef for Bryn's sinus infection, and honestly, I'm not seeing much improvement. His nose isn't running anymore, to be fair, but he's still got a wet cough and he doesn't look great. He's also a little lethargic, which also isn't like him.

We see the doctor next week....