Sunday, April 10, 2011

I Love Eli Too

I was accused by my lovely sister Kelsey that if I didn't post on my blog soon, she would think that I loved Nathan the most.  This is for you, Kelso!  I hope you're having a blast in Turkey!!

Eli has had a rough year.
Well, we all have had a rough year.
Last year, Eli had 8 ear infections (some double-infections) over the course of 4 months.
So in April 2010, we had tubes put in. While the doctor was in surgery, he checked Eli's tonsils and adenoids (by my request).  He told us after surgery that Eli's adenoids covered over 80% of his airway.
I have always known that something was wrong with Eli's breathing.  Now we finally had an answer as to why.  The doctor told us not to be concerned.  I couldn't help but be bothered by his nonchalance at the less than ideal chance at breathing for our baby boy.

We attempted to have the adenoids and tonsils removed in May 2010. As they intebated,  Eli had a broncial spasm, so the anesthesiologist and doctor immediately decided against the surgery.  He then told me he'd rather not do surgery on babies younger than 18 months. (Why didn't he tell me that before!!?!!?!?!!???)

Then fall 2010 happened.
Eli was always sick.
We would take him in to discover he had yet another ear infection, the doctors would put him on an antibiotic, and he would clear up. He would also get a yeast infection from the antibiotic. Then about 3 or 4 days later, we would be back at the doctor for another visit.
Oh, it's just a double ear-infection.  Here's a prescription.  He'll be feeling better in no time. Another yeast infection.
Then Eli got Balinitis.  The bacterial kind.  The doctor said it was probably caused from too many antibiotics, causing a yeast infection, then balinitis.  So we were given a cream to help that. I finally lost count of how many office co-pays we paid from November through December.

Next came the real hell.

This picture was taken on Christmas Eve.
Eli was absolutely miserable.  We were staying with my parents for Christmas so therefore, the entire household was miserable.
My parents have a nurse in their ward.  She said it looked like impetigo.  I didn't have a clue what that even was, but I trusted her judgement.
This picture was taken 2 days later at the pediatrician's office.  Apparently, Eli didn't have an ear infection or impetigo,  but he did have a staph infection.  It was basically a cold-sore that had grown out of control.  The sores under his nose and next to his eye were becoming infected as well.  The problem we kept encountering was that Eli's nose was constantly running.  If we left it, he was a mess.  If we wiped his nose, it would open the wounds on his lips, and he would scream and be miserable all over again.

One morning I started brushing Eli's teeth.  His mouth literally filled with blood and it scared me.  We noticed these white spots on Eli's gums, and I wasn't sure if he was teething, or we were dealing with something else.  I called our dentist next.  He told me to come up right away and he'd check it out.  The giant white spots were eyeteeth coming in, but Eli also had canker sores all through his mouth, and down his throat.  He also didn't think the sores on his lip were staph infection.  It was just an overactive cold sore.


So we press forward.  We finish the antibiotics we're given.  Less than 1 week later, we're on another antibiotic.  The ear infections just weren't going away.
At this point, I am completely disgusted with any person on the planet that calls themselves a doctor.
I couldn't get any person in the medical field to take me seriously as a mother.

If I don't stick up for my baby, who will?

I kept getting the "you're just a paranoid mother" vibe from every.single.person.
So our ENT was technically fired.  I switched to a different doctor (in the same office). Even though I got the same vibe, I felt like he was at least somewhat listening.  I basically forced him to agree to remove Eli's adenoids and tonsils.  At this point, I knew it was more than just ear infections.  Come hell or high water, we were going to get things done.  Surgery was scheduled for 2 weeks later.

When we got to the hospital, the anesthesiologist came in to visit with us about Eli's surgery.  We explained the complications we had in May with the bronchial spasm, so he suggested we do a breathing treatment and gave him a shot (a steroid?) that would open his lungs a bit before going back to the surgical room, and that they would take extra precautions during intibation.
They took Eli back, and we waited.  The anesthesiologist came out to tell us that Eli went under very well.  They started to intibate, and decided to suction out his throat - it was covered in cruddy stuff that was blocking his airway.  Once they got all of that removed the intibation went very smoothly, and Eli was breathing fine.  The doctor came out to visit with us about the surgery and his findings about 30 minutes later.  Eli's tonsils were completely compacted with infection. His adenoids were 'huge', and he had the one of the worst ear infections that the doctor had ever seen.  They had to remove quite a bit of fluid behind the eardrum.  He told us at that point that it was a good idea that we had completed the surgery.
I went back to be with Eli in recovery.  The doctors and nurses told me that he probably wouldn't be up to eating or drinking much.  They were dead wrong.  He wouldn't stop drinking apple juice.  And he decided about 2 hours after the surgery that he wanted french fries.  Go figure.
Eli got out of surgery around 9:30 a.m..  We stayed at day surgery until around 1 p.m..  Eli's breathing was silent.  I was almost scared that I couldn't hear him breathing.  He had always breathed like Darth Vader, so the silence was a bit unnerving.  We went home, and Eli took a nap.  He wasn't as groggy as we thought he'd be, and he just wanted to be held.  People had told me to "expect 7-10 days of hell".  
(My mom had Nathan for the week so we could focus on Eli's recovery.)

Then the strangest thing happened.  Derik and I were watching a movie with Eli.  He was content to just be held.  At 9:30 p.m., it was like we flipped a switch.  He climbed off my lap and went and jumped on Derik.  He started wrestling with his dad, and was actually laughing.  Laughing!!  He was jumping on the couch, and running around the room.  Derik and I just looked at each other in awe.  Was this our child, just 12 hours after surgery?  He was only on pain medication for about 4 or 5 days.  He acted like nothing had happened.  The only change we noticed was that before, Eli could eat Nathan under the table.  Now, he isn't so excited for food.  He will hardly touch foods that he loved before.  We guess it's to the fact that now he can actually taste what he is eating.  No blocked nose means no taste.  Open nose, tons of taste!  It's like he's a new baby learning textures and flavors all over again.

We thought that all was well.  Eli was well for about 3 weeks, and then we started to see a decline.
More ear infections.  More antibiotics.  Wait 3-4 days, and another decline.  Another antibiotic. Well, that Rx didn't work, let's try antibiotic shots.  Three of them. 
Talk about a yeast infection.  Yikes.

I was stressed about all the antibiotics.  I was killing all of the good bacteria that Eli needed to fight infection in the first place, and his body was becoming resistant to antibiotics.
So, I switched ENT's again.

This new ENT didn't really tell us anything new, but he listened.  He didn't give me the "you're over-reacting" vibe.  He told us he wanted to start small and work our way up.
And then he said what I needed to hear: "We need to quit with oral antibiotics. They're obviously not working. We need to go directly to the source."
So we started with antibiotic drops directly in the ears.
The nose has stopped running.
Eli's eyes are clear and bright.  He is full of energy.
He is a full-fledged boy, tearing my house apart.

We are on day 6 of being off the antibiotic drops, and so far we haven't "slid backwards" yet.
Hopefully we'll continue to move forward and get him better!


Deanna said...

Oh, my goodness!!!!! AMANDA!!! I'm so glad someone FINALLY listened. ♥

Tell me more about Eli's breathing...Kortlen has sounded like he has gookum in his throat since the day his was born! I wonder if he has a mild form of what you described...i've tried suctioning, his nose, saline, etc...and nothing...he sounds raspy all. the. time.

email me. rdpoulsen at gmail dot com.

*Stephanie Lance* said...

Holy smokes!! POOR BABY!!! And Poor MOMMY!!! I can't even imagine! That all sounds HORRIBLE!! I'm glad things are looking up! Hopefully for a long time! You guys have had your share of junk! I love all of this blogging business you have been doing lately! I have missed you in the blogging world! p.s. I posted this big LONG comment about your bedroom and it got erased! GRR!! I was too tired to retype it. I'll go back later and send it again! haha Love ya!

Michael and Kylie said...

I'm glad you updated your blog and love your boys. See you soon!!!

Travis & Joann said...

Awwww my heart aches for what your little guy went through, and you! Every child is different, and it would be hard to trust any doctor after this. I know the "vibe" but hey, we KNOW our kids best because we're with them every day. We know when something is not right and the fact that we're actually in the doctors office means we are concerned and want something to be done so my child can get better, right? I feel for Eli. I had ear infections ALL the time as a kid, got tubes put in my ears, went to see a specialist to make sure I wasn't going deaf. Got my tonsils and adnoids taken out. Had to wear plugs in my ears everytime I went swimming our took a bath...but that was a long time ago. Shouldn't technology have advanced by now? Good luck with this next year. I hope Eli is on the mend for good.

Kelso said...

yay for updated post! it would've ben nice to have seen a cute picture of Eli but hey, I'll take what I can get ;). I tried looking on earlier but turkey blocked blog websites so I couldn't see.
p.s. awesome job on your bedroom!

cydney sharp said...

Pants! I love your blog! I just discovered it in a link on Cambry's blog. You are such a great writer... I'm adding it to my favorites!

We need to catch up.

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