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Medical Update #3

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Monday, 8 September 2014; One Year and Twenty Three Weeks Old.

We spent another night at the hospital last night.

On Saturday night Ayla developed a medium-high temperature which wouldn’t go below 38 degrees even with Panadol and Nurofen.

Then all day yesterday, Sunday, Ayla’s temperature continued to climb and as it got higher Ayla got weaker, floppier and scarily lethargic.

With no other symptoms apart from having eaten literally NOTHING for three days, my Mum and I made the call to take her back to the ER. While the logicial answer was that Ayla had caught a virus during our Friday night hospital visit, with her lack of eating, aneamia and other digestive concerns we knew we didn’t really have an option but to be safe.

By the time we got to the hospital, Ayla’s eyes were rolling back in her head and her temperature hit 40.5 degrees. When we saw the doctors thier first reaction was also a virus, but without any other symptoms they needed to rule out urinary tract and bowel infections.

I was freaking out. I was so worried that poor Ayla had contracted a bowel infection during her Friday night proceedures and/or I was terrified that the temperature was simply a consequence of Ayla having eaten less than 1000 calories over an entire week, causing her body to shut down through lack of energy.

The hospital was, again, amazing. Unlike the hospital care we’ve recieved previously in our home town, the doctors here were proactive, thorough and vigilant. They asked us to catch a urine sample (which is always fun, luckily I’ve become a seasoned pro at catching baby wee over the past 9 months) and while we were waiting for that they conducted a nose swab to confirm categorically it was a virus.

SIDENOTE: Never before did I know that a nose swab could identify a virus! In all the times I’ve visited doctors and hospitals back home with Ayla, or myself for that matter, no one has EVER suggested a nose swab; prefering instead to wave their hand non-commitally and proclaim “ahhh, some sort of virus”.

Anyway, while Ayla was sitting on my lap naked from the waist down, my mum sitting with a urine sample cup ready in her hand in the chair across from us, we heard a stange noise come from Ayla’s tummy. Then out from her little bottom shot a horrid, watery projectile that scattered for about a metre.

The doctors seemed pleased. To them it looked like confirmation of their virus theory but to be safe and sure they proactively took a sample of the smelly mess. I was mortified, secretly panicking that this new development was a sign of damage from Friday night or that all the stress and impaction over the last four months had finally reached a peak.

I was also worrying about how all this would impact Ayla’s proceedure on Friday. But, after 5.5 hours at the ER we were told we could go home. Ayla had narrowly missed having a catheter inserted thanks to her finally passing urine as the nurse was setting up, and within a few minutes of sending off the sample we had a positive result; no UTI.

While the swab and stool samples will take a few days to come back, Ayla’s temperature had come back down to a managable level after some Panadol and there was nothing more the ER staff could do for us.

It was a sleepless night, and today Ayla is still unwell although no where near as bad as she was yesterday. She’s still has some signs of a gastro bug and is still refusing to eat but the colour is coming back into her face and her smile is returning. I know better than to count my chickens, but thank goodness.

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All clear

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Thursday, 1 May 2014; Thirteen Months Old.

Ayla was given the all clear for measles today.

I wasn’t surprised because Ayla’s hardly seemed sick at all, apart from the rash and it’s itchiness.

Ayla was diagnosed with, wait for it, a “virus” and my theory is that it is actually Hand Foot and Mouth, which is going around at her day care centre, but for some reason it’s presenting strangely on Ayla.

Gosh, all this sickness has been stressful; not just because I hate seeing Ayla sick, and not just because my grand plan of returning to work with gusto has been shattered, but all the not knowing and speculation about what could be wrong is really taking it out of me.

As an anxious person it takes every fibre in my body to stay calm and keep on top of the what if’s.

I try my best to stay away from google… but it’s hard. And it seems as though everyone I speak to has a new suggestion I hadn’t yet considered and I find myself returning to the drawing board again and again.

Ultimately, I have to just focus on Ayla’s level of sickness and fortunately in this case it’s low.

Sure the rash is itchy and unsightly but Ayla is still happy and playful, chatty and curious, so I guess on the scale of things we’re good.

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Lumps and bumps

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Wednesday, 30 April 2014: One Year, Four Weeks and One Day Old.

When I picked Ayla up from day care yesterday she had a raised, red, blistery rash on her arms, legs and face that must have been itchy because she was trying to eat her knees!

At first I thought it might have been a grass rash but the day care mums assured me Ayla had worn her long pants when she went outside.

I didn’t really think too much of it, particularly because apart from the two days of screaming on Sunday and Monday Ayla has been her normal happy self.

But today the rash is still there and although it was spreading to her buttocks, back and chest, Ayla is technically well enough for day care because she doesn’t have a fever, an upset stomach or flu-like symptoms.

Alas, around lunch time I got “the call” (the second one in two days) and was asked to pick Ayla up and take her to the doctors to “rule out” measles.

It’s a requirement in the Territory to advise medical receptionists if you’re suspected of having measles, so consequently Ayla and I were asked to stand outside in the carpark, in the sun, in the middle of the afternoon and wait for a doctor to come to us.

The doctor seemed to think Ayla’s rash is viral but because of the small chance that it could be measles she had to take swabs by bursting some of Ayla’s blisters which have now, already, turned into unsightly scabs.

This all means that Ayla is now officially quarantined at home until the results come back tomorrow evening.

It’s all very gross (I hate lumps and bumps) but while Ayla seems happy enough I’m not too worried. Here’s hoping it stays that way!

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But still, I worry!

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Thursday, 10 April 2014: One Year, One Week and Two Days Old.

Today was so full of worry that I am going to bed exhausted and completely overwhelmed.

I got Ayla’s test results back today and while her bloods were ok, they still showed a low grade infection (due to “the virus”) and mild anaemia, which is apparently a lingering affect of Ayla’s gastro bug and her lack of appetite thanks to the lengthy fever.

But still, I worry!

Ayla’s weight is also about 800gm less than what it was two weeks ago, but the doctor assures me it’s probably just due to differing scales and that the difference isn’t significant enough to be concerned about.

But still, I worry!

Ayla’s urine screen also came back showing signs of a very dangerous bacteria called pseudomosa, but because the sample was ‘contaminated’, and because Ayla seems to be getting better by the day, the doctor doubts the results are accurate and has ordered new tests just to be on the safe side.

But still, I worry!

Ayla’s sleep routine is completely out of whack at the moment too, both during the day when she might not sleep at all, and at night when sometimes Ayla will be awake every few hours! Plenty of people have told me it’s just a normal part of adjusting to day care and getting into a rhythm so there’s no reason to stress.

But still, I worry!

On a more positive note however, the ladies at day care said Ayla has been eating much better lately. Personally I haven’t seen Ayla eat a proper meal for over a week now but they promised me the two biscuits and bowl of macaroni cheese Ayla ate today was great and that it’s a good sign she’s settling in.

But still… I worry!

I have never known worry like this before! There’s so much of it, all the time, and with no sign of it going away soon I wonder how I will cope!

It’s amazing how much worrying damages my self esteem and has me questioning my own decisions. After just one day of intense worrying I feel like my world has been turned upside down and I just want it to slow down and stop spinning!

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Hospital

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Thursday, 27 March 2014: Three Hundred and Sixty Days Old.

I am writing this from Ayla’s bedside, in hospital.

Last night as we flew out of Singapore, I fed Ayla on take off as usual.

Ayla was very limp and lethargic and fell asleep in my arms almost as soon as I laid down in Hubby’s lap, ready for the four hour flight ahead. But an hour into the journey Ayla vomited, a lot, and her temperature shot back up to 39 degrees despite having only taken panadol a little over an hour earlier.

The air hostesses on the flight were lovely but advised that Australian Quarantine officers needed to be informed if a passenger returning from overseas presented with a fever and vomiting on the plane.

When we arrived in Australia all the passengers on the plane were told to stay in their seats until the Quarantine Officer had boarded and spoken to us. Fortunately the conversation was very brief and we were told to go to straight to the hospital when we cleared immigration.

So that’s what we did and Ayla’s been in the hospital ever since.

The current diagnosis is viral gastroenteritis, but given Ayla hasn’t eaten solids for six days, has been off her milk for two and has had a fever, diarrhoea and vomiting on an off nearly a week no ones taking any chances.

For the past nine hours, after a smorgasbord of pain killers this morning that finally calmed her cramping stomach and helped her settle, Ayla has done nothing by sleep in a scary coma-like haze that’s making it hard for us to get her to drink the fluids she needs.

So Ayla has been put on a drip and just recently was given some more panadol when she suddenly woke with a 40 degree temperature and red (probably fever related) blotches on her belly.

Ayla’s back sleeping now and we’re waiting for the paediatrician to come and check her.

I’m sure she’s going to be ok, and she’s in the best place possible for getting better, but we’re all keeping our fingers crossed Ayla will be back to her happy, healthy little self in no time.

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D-day disaster

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Tuesday, 4 March 2014: Three Hundred and Thirty Seven Days Old.

Today was D-day (“D” standing for Day Care”) and it ended in disaster.

The morning started off smoothly and to plan; Ayla had slept well, she had some breakfast, a bath, and I even got her day care bag all ready complete with labeled clothes and expressed milk.

At around 10.30am Ayla was looking tired, and although she was rubbing her eyes a little earlier than I expected I decided to put her down for a nap and planned to get stuck into my uni readings, preparing the dinner and doing some washing while she slept.

But by midday Ayla still hadn’t slept – apart from accidentally falling asleep for 10 minutes while I was feeding her – andI was completely frazzled.

The washing was beeping, the frying pan was burnt from being on without having anything in it, the flies were trying to get to my half chopped veggies, I hadn’t gone near my computer and Ayla was crying. It was overload to my stress levels.

Ayla was just really clingy, she would settle in my arms but as soon as I put her down she would start coughing then wake up and cry. This cycle went on, and on, and on, until Ayla’s eyes were red ringed and darkly shadowed and my nerves were completely shot.

I knew there was something wrong that was keeping Ayla from sleep, whether it was a virus, her teeth or something else, which made me feel bad for her and had me questioning my own judgement about leaving her at day care while I went off to uni.

In the end, I couldn’t bring myself to take Ayla to her first afternoon at day care when she was so tired, upset and irritable so I made the decision to give Week One at uni a miss in order to take care of my baby girl.

Although I was happy with my decision, I think all the stress and pressure of the last couple of weeks finally caught up with me and I found myself in tears anyway.

Thankfully, like a knight in shining armour, Hubby came to the rescue by taking the afternoon off work to come home and look after Ayla.

It was a gesture so small and simple but it meant I got a whole three hours to myself to de-mummify, engage with a world outside my four walls and do something purely for me.

We’ll just have to try day care again next week.

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Under the weather

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Tuesday, 24 September 2013: One Hundred and Seventy Six Days Old.

Like Ayla, I’ve been under the weather for the last couple of days but today I realised I’m not tough at all, it’s just that my illness is running one day behind hers!

I feel terrible! How on Earth did Baby Ayla handle it so well? Killer sore throat, burning eyes, headache, runny nose, aches and pains – Ayla’s one brave little girl!

She seems to be a bit better today thankfully.

Her nose has stopped dripping, her cough’s subsided and she hasn’t vomited once, but she’s still a very sad little chicken.

Ayla’s been in tears for most of the day and I haven’t been able to put her down for more than a minute or two.

I have noticed that she’s clenching her jaw and sucking her gums a lot more than usual though, so maybe on top of being sick her teeth have been giving her grief too.

I’m hoping that Ayla’s all better tomorrow, otherwise I might have to take her back to the docs. I’m sure she’s ok, but I can only give her Panadol for so long!