Lent has begun

Another week has come and gone. I find myself sitting at my computer twitching. I’ll get back to that point in a minute.

It’s been a rough week in our home. My wife threw out her back, my daughter got a massive cold and I became Dr. Dad. Went to work a whole 3 days this week.

I guess I feel like life is moving so quickly lately and I am really struggling to keep up. The stress of having a child with special needs really does weigh on me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying anything to down play anyone else’s situation, I’m just reflecting on my own.

Someone said to a friend of mine a couple weeks ago (which made it back to me), and I’m paraphrasing… When I come by with my daughter it’s a lot of work for them because of how much cleaning they feel they need to do. I’m not sure why that has stuck with me and weighed on me so heavy, but it has. I want my daughter to grow up like a normal kid. I want her to be able to call up a friend and go to their place or go out and play and not worry that she is going to touch something that is going to send her into anaphylaxis shock.

Now, a cold… I laughed this morning as I described her cough and a friend said I sounded like a walrus. hahaha… That’s my little girl. If she hasn’t been throwing up, it’s been snot and mucus and tears and a cough that sounds like she’s been smoking for 60 years. In today’s day and age I can’t believe there is nothing you can do for tiny people but just ride it out.

As I said earlier, I find myself sitting in front of my computer twitching. As a catholic starting into the Lenten season I find myself looking for something to “Give up”. It’s quite simple really, I’ve always been taught that we are supposed to give up something that hurts, something hard, as a form of penance. This year, I’ve decided to give up Facebook. I know, I know… Facebook? If you know me, you know that I love social media. I love following my friends from around the world and seeing what my friends locally are doing too. I really didn’t think it would affect me as much as it does. I realize now that I spend an ornate amount of time online using using Facebook. My wife pointed it out at dinner the other night. She says “You are sitting there twitching and fidgeting”. Now, to try and find a new outlet for my energy.

I really enjoy blogging and I wish I did it more. My mind is always racing and I think that’s why I actually have trouble doing it. If I’m sitting alone, in the quiet, like I am right now, it really comes naturally, but the minute there is something happening around me my focus really does wander easily.

There is actually so much more that could be said and I realize that I haven’t blogged in a long time so, let’s get back into it slowly.

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What a week… Last evening topped it all off with a second visit to the emergency room in 5 days.

Last Sunday was mother’s day. The day that started out like any other day. We started our day with cooking breakfast for Grandmamma and celebrating her as a mom/grandma, came home, had a rest and then proceeded to Nana’s house to celebrate a whole gaggle of days all wrapped into one.

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We weren’t in my mother’s home for more then 30 minutes when we noticed Eve was eating something. Her cousin, who they are teaching to share, had gone over to her and offered her a cracker. Of course Eve grabbed it and dummied it down. She started to cough and we realized she was eating something but didn’t know what. Everyone at that point was fairly nonchalant about the whole thing until boom, puke everywhere.

We quickly cleaned her up and I swept the remaining cracker out of her mouth with my finger. Then the hives started; I ran her to the sink and tossed her head under the tap hoping to wash the entire cheese cracker out of her mouth. It was too late, the reaction had started and Sue was in my ear and kept saying, “Give her the EpiPen”. I was getting frustrated with the entire situation and opt’d NOT to give it to her but to rush to the QCH ER. As I was flying to the ER her poor little face was swelling quickly. I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t second-guessing my decision. We got the ER and the staff very quickly took us in and monitored Eve. One of the first things the doctor said was “You should have given her the EpiPen”, that was like throwing gas on a fire. As I sat and stewed and tried to calm down watching my little girl in pain I wasn’t sure what I was more angry with, the situation or myself. Unfortunately I focused my anger in the wrong direction and Sue got the brunt of it.

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This brings us to the past 24 hours. Friday was a long day; I had been at work from 1:30am to 6am and then from 11am to 4pm and not had much if any sleep in between. When I got home I took the baby and we went to Nana’s house for dinner.

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The past week she had been showing signs of getting a cold but hey, what kid doesn’t have a cold when they are playing with other kids. Tiny humans are walking germ factories. As the evening went on my mom, sister and I were noticing that Eve was starting to wheeze. At 7:30pm I plunked her in the truck and we make our way home.

As we were driving home Eve was acting strange and she started to cry. I pulled over at one point because she really started to scream and it looked as though she couldn’t catch her breath. I loosened her belt and checked to see if I had caught her skin on the car seat but she just kept screaming.

When we got home Sue took her and tried to put her to bed, the entire time her breathing becoming more and more shallow. By 9pm I was content to let her cry herself to sleep but Sue wanted to take her to the ER.

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When we got to CHEO they took her O2 stats and told me to sit in the waiting room and took Eve and Sue right away, I guess the stats where low.

Here’s a fun fact, there are 3 levels of concern at CHEO. The 1st is when we show up and they deem you well enough to sit and wait, the 2nd is you see a doctor within 15 minutes (our situation) and the 3rd is immediate admittance. Eve was extreme enough that she was taken right back.

Once my name was called and I filled out all the paper work they took me back to the room where they were. Eve was melting down because they put a steroid mask on her face and she didn’t like it. In her defence, it’s a mask that well… smokes (not really) and makes a lot of noise. I figure it would be terrifying for a tiny human.

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The doctor came in and told us that she was going to have 3 of these masks plus a liquid that would help open up her airway and lungs. After the 3rd mask was administered they examined her and determined that she wasn’t reacting well enough and told us that she was going to have another, and possibly another and then maybe admitted.

It was now about 2am, I was running on about 4 hours sleep and they turned down the lighting. I sat on the gurney as Sue rocked Eve in a recliner chair and I had a meltdown. I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing and all I could think of is that I was a bad father. 2 ER visits in a week, both times I decided the wrong course of action. I decided NOT to give her the EpiPen and tonight, I was just going to let her cry herself to sleep.

It’s very hard to express my feelings on this whole thing. I’m dad, I’m supposed to be the Rock, the protector, and here I am making decisions that obviously go against that. I’m still processing my way though the past 5 days, and my brain is saying “Calm down, its ok” but my heart and gut are saying “What if? What if?”

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Doing my best to make Eve comfotable

So, after 7 hours at CHEO we had our way home, crawled into bed and went to sleep. The sleep was short lived. 4 ½ hours later Eve was up and not real sure if she was ready for the day. She is definitely off her game today and I hope over the next day or so she will bounce back into her normal routine.

We’ve got a couple drugs for her and puffers. We are taking the puffer slowly because I think last night traumatized her.

The adventure continues…

Daddy time

The past 17 months have been a time of learning, and growing for me. I’ve always had a pretty solid outlook on how to treat girls/woman, but when you are raising one of your own I’ve found that everything I know has been amplified.

You want your little girl to grow up and know she is loved. You want her to know that she is worth being dotted on, and yes… she is a princess and should be treated as such. As I watch her grow and develop I am constantly surprised at how smart she is, how strong and determined she is and how much of a sense of humour she has. She makes me laugh on a daily basis and all she has to do is give me a look.

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I’ve spoken with others who have children the same age as Eve and I find it interesting when it comes to the dynamic of mom and dad. I would have to say, 75% of the time if mommy is around, daddy takes second fiddle. This past weekend that changed.

Saturday morning we decided to let mommy sleep in and Eve and I started our day by making our typical BIG breakfast, which many of you know is a staple for me on Saturday mornings.

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By 9:45 we were all done, the kitchen was cleaned and we were ready to start our day. Mommy woke up and tried to jump into the mix but Eve only wanted daddy. I welled up and took it for all it was worth.

We tooted off to the community centre and registered for the local evenings happening.

The other cool thing that’s happening is the walking. We walk all the time. She made it almost the entire way from our house to the community centre. Granted it’s only 240m away, but that’s pretty far for little legs.

Once we were finished and got back to the house, mommy tried to get some lovin’ and once again was met with resistance and all Eve wanted was daddy. I looked my wife and said “I’m sorry dear, I’m taking this as long as I can get it”

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We jumped into the truck and headed over to Home Depot. Now,  I’m positive that I’m not the only parent who does this, but we walked through the store and I explained what all the tools where for, and which tools daddy owns and which tools daddy wants. I don’t know, maybe I’m hoping that subliminally she will take this information back and tell mommy 🙂

We finished up and headed home. It was time for some lunch and a nap. One of my favorite times spent with Eve is putting her down for her naps, or just to bed. We have a position, a routine, and she knows when daddy starts acting a certain way that its lights out. Sometimes she’s receptive and others… well, not so much. I love holding her and watching her drift off.

The adventure continues…

 

Kids and Allergies. So much to know

Growing up I always thought I was going to have a big family. I watched friends and family raise their kids and I found myself saying “I would never do that” or “That’s the way I want to raise my kids”. Then, seeing young people with allergies my thoughts were “I’m not going to be “That Guy” “

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Well, my life hasn’t really gone the way that 20 year old Doug thought it was going to go. That all being said, I am blessed to have an amazing, strong wife and an equally amazing little girl.

Having a child with allergies is a real challenge. I have become “that guy” that so many years ago I said I didn’t want to be, not that I had a choice. I now have to read every label before food enters my home. I need to mindful of her surroundings at all times. Having a dairy allergy had changed and continues to change my life on a daily basis.

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Yesterday, during lunch Eve had a reaction to something in her food. Food that she has eaten before and that she has never reacted to. She was eating humus, vegetable thins and broccoli soup. We were FaceTiming over lunch and she was really enjoying lunch. As she continued to eat she was becoming uncomfortable. Sue and I both agreed that her teeth were bothering her, so in goes the Advil. As we were wrapping up our conversation and Sue started to wipe off her face she noticed that hives were starting appear and over the next 30 minutes her cheeks, lips and face started to swell.

At this point my lunch hour was over and I was back to work but Sue continued to deal with Eve. I didn’t get to see the FULL extent of the reaction but it was enough to warrant a call to Telehealth who referred us to CHEO.

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By the time I had closed out my day, rushed home and got to CHEO Eve was only suffering from a slightly swollen lower lip. They checked her out, top to bottom and asked that we stay for precautionary reasons. The nurses checked on us twice and after 3 hours we saw the doctor.

The doctor and the nurses all agreed that this was a situation that warranted using the EpiPen that we have been prescribed and that would have been followed up by a 9-1-1 call. Being that everywhere the food touched became swollen it was only logical that her tongue was swelling as well (which would have explained the drooling, which we thought was teething). We received some clearer instruction on how and when to use the EpiPen and we were discharged.

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The entire afternoon was exhausting. It was an eye opener to me though. I have been selfish. I love milk, and I love cheese, and I have a couple items in the house that are “Daddy’s” and I like to think that I do a good job of keeping them away from Eve. I know that this reaction had nothing to do with the few items I have in the house, but my thoughts are… What if they had?? Time to get rid of the last couple things.

The old joke continues… I wish kids came with manuals. We are praying hard that she grows out of this allergy, but it’s not looking good right now. There is no worst feeling in the world then seeing your child in pain and not being able to do anything about it.

The adventure continues…