Enough of you have read my Facebook and know about the drama with Isaak from Thursday night soooooo, here's the story. Be warned...there's a lot to the story, I'll try to make it as short and to the point as possible.
Tuesday the 13th was the American Idol premiere. The whole family was invited over to Amber's house to watch it since we lack cable television in our own home. Isaak was coughing up a storm that night. He was obviously uncomfortable but I hadn't given him any cough medicine because of the whole "don't give you baby under the age of 2 cough medicines" rule. INSTEAD, being the fabulously smart mother that I am I gave him this...
Wait a minute. Did you see that? I'll give you a million bucks if you can tell me the key word on that box. Read it again. "Cough Syrup with honey." Yea that's right...HONEY. WITH HONEY. Again...HONEY HONEY HONEY. Is this sending off alarms for anyone else because for some crazy reason, it didn't for me as I poured an entire teaspoon down my 7 month old's throat that night. It wasn't until AFTER I enjoyed my American Idol, my pork sandwich and gossip with Amber that I realized driving home..."Holy mother of idiocracy. I just gave my 7 month old HONEY. What in Pete's name was I smoking?"
It was late that night so first thing in the morning I called the makers of the product to ask if it would be harmful. I hoped that since it wasn't PURE honey Isaak was in the clear. They informed me that, YES, this product is almost as pure honey as honey can get and YES, it does contain the botulinum spores that cause infant botulism. Call your pediatrician immediately and tell them what you've done. Nice.
I call the ped. I explain everything to them and what do they tell me? "Uhmm, Ma'am. You know that you're not supposed to give honey to any child under the age of 1, right?" Are you kidding me? Uhmmm what the crap? YES I know that NOW. Why the crap do you think I'm calling you. I already explained myself...I LOST MY FREAKIN MIND lady...I gave this to him because I didn't want to give him cough medicine and just FORGOT about the whole honey thing. So she says..."Uhmm, ma'am. You know that you aren't supposed to give any child under the age of 2 cough medicine, right?" Okay, just shoot me right now. Are you even listening to me? Forget schooling me on the rules of babies, I need to know if my son is gonna be okay. Would you mind just telling me that? She puts me on hold to find out. When she comes back she tells me three signs to look for within the next 36 hours. 1. Change in bowel movements, either he'll have massive diarrhea or he'll just stop pooping. 2. Weakened muscles. and 3. Change in eating and sleep patterns. WoW. If those three signs don't cover ALLLLLL the bases, then I don't know what would. I mean come on.
So for the next 36 hours I watch Isaak. NOW, here's where it gets tricky...
Remember when I said I was switching Isaak's formula and I had married two jars of soy and milk based and would switch over completely very soon? Yea, well that switch came right about that time...full blown soy has now entered Isaak's intestines.
Isaak was fine during the 36 hours. He still had a little cough, snotty nose and he stopped pooping but I didn't think any thing of it because I related it back to the formula. When Jake was a baby and I switched him to the soy he had major pooping issues. So bad, I remember having to give him suppositories on a regular basis and help "deliver" his poops (crowning and all) but that's a whole 'nother post itself.
Back to Isaak. He checked out good within 36 hours and ironically he had his 7 month checkup as soon as the 36 was up. He got 3 shots in one, weighed, measured...all good.
Fast forward to Thursday (the world market day). I had forgotten about the honey incident, it was of course, 10 days ago. Isaak seemed weird all day. He was wobbly and off balance. He was there, but not there if that makes any sense. "Quietly alert" is the term the hospital uses later in my story. Glazed eyes, whiny, still no regular poop except for 1 that was "delivered" by me with the help of ped-lax and another that was massive diarrhea. By this point he was no longer sleeping normally. His naps were cat naps and in the middle of the night he'd wake up every couple hours screaming bloody murder for no reason at all. I couldn't console him (if I were Amber I'd just give him a bottle) and I couldn't get him back to sleep. I was stressed. I tried to think about what was causing this...the formula switch? the shot? is he still sick and has an ear infection? wait a minute...sick...sick...he was sick and the coughing and the HONEY!!! Oh my gosh, oh my gosh...honey...no pooping, no sleeping, crying, wobbly, weak muscles...oh my gosh, oh my gosh....BOTULISM!!!!!!!!! I panicked and called my cousin Peggy who is a nurse-practitioner. I told her everything, all the symptoms all the occurrences, the shots, the formula the honey. She confirmed that this sounded fishy and told me to take him to the ER right then.
Okay I just realized that I promised you I'd give the SHORT version and I'm not doing that so I'm sorry. This is getting really long and we're like only half way there so you can stop reading if you want. I'm gonna keep documenting the story in full if not to entertain you...then for my own family records so Isaak can read when he's 32 and realize how much of a nut drama queen his mother is. Now let's get back to the story...this is where it gets goooooood...
It's 9:30 when we get to THIS place...
Welcome to the Camp Lejeune Naval Hospital. Bleck. I signed in and sat as far away as I could from all the nasties that were there that night. If you like people watching then you should visit the Naval Hospital ER one night. Holy smokes...talk about drama. I felt so out of place and uncomfortable and I had only been there for 5 minutes!!! People were puking and rushing to the bathroom constantly. The lady at the front desk asks me, "Is the baby vomiting or having severe diarrhea?" Uhm..no. "Okay, because there's a severe stomach virus going around. make sure you sit away from all those people out there in the waiting area...they all have it." Eeeeww. gross. Don't worry, I was already planning on sitting far away from them. Bleck.
We wait there watching people ralph for 2 hours before we're called back. It's quite amazing how vulnerable and weak these "strong" Marines become when they can't control their bowels. They were curled up in their chairs having their wives or gunny console them like babies. These fighters had become like little children overnight, needing a mom and a dad to take care of them. It was the perfect analogy comparing a baby to a young enlisted Marine and the parenting they need and get from their superiors. It was odd. Isaak was great in the waiting room but after two hours...he was finished. Unfortunately, it had only begun.
When we get back to our curtain covered room we're surrounded by barfing friends on either side. The guy next to us was wheeled in shortly after we arrived. He was brought to the ER in an ambulance...for a stomach virus. He was cursing up a storm and the nurses had to keep telling him to watch his mouth, there are children in the ER. That didn't phase him. He cuss and then puke, and then moan and whine and scream because he was in pain. When he got his blood drawn he yelled and cussed for her to stop because it "hurt". The best part was when the doctor was asking him when all this started and he blurts out, "I GOTTA GO!!!" The doctor calmly asked, go where? The he screams, "I GOTTA GOOOOO!!" followed by him saying, "too late. I just S*#t my pants." It stunk....TERRIBLY. I could see it dripping onto the floor from under the curtain and I wanted to puke. I though to myself, "If Isaak and I leave here with nothing wrong, we'll probably be back tomorrow with this nasty virus because of these dirty people." All the while, this Marine keeps shouting and moaning in pain. I was tempted to get up, walk around his curtain and say to him, "You need to freakin grow some balls dude. You don't know jack CRAP about pain until you have a freakin watermelon coming out of your crotch. So just shut your mouth and be a freakin MAN." Ugh...idiot.
Isaak's doctor finally came in to see him after about 30 minutes of listening to the whiny Marine. He was an old man who didn't say but 3 words and shook his head up and down listening to my story. When I finish he stares at me. I wondered if I should continue the story making up stuff like I did with my toe and the bus stop lady. Was that not dramatic enough for you? have I left you wanting more? Are you wishing you were assigned to the whiny marine next door instead of the roundy baby? He says to me, "what do you think we should do?" Uhmm, excuse me? You want MY opinion? Uhmm, I have no clue what to do my friend, that's why I came to the HOS-PI-TAL, for HELP. He stared. I looked down at Isaak who smiled back up at me with rosey cheeks. I think all three of us were confused. Finally I said to him, maybe we should check his levels? He agreed and told me we should take a urine, stool and blood sample. I asked him how long the results would take and he stared some more then said to me, " don't really know." Well, okay then. I wouldn't have expected anything more from you!
He leaves and thirty minutes later nurses come in with a catheter to take a urine sample. Horrible, horrible, horrible is all I can say to describe this. A tiny string-like tube about 2 feet long gets completely shoved into the tip of my Izey's dingas as he screams bloody murder. Finally pee emerges and that test can be checked off the list. I'm sweating.
They leave. Thirty minutes MORE and they come back to take a blood sample. Two nurses and myself are holding Isaak down as one of the nurses sticks the needle in his tiny arm to find the vein. Nothing. He doesn't take the needle out but he continues to twist and turn it to find the vein. The second nurse lets go of Isaak leaving me to pin him down and then SHE takes over the needle to twist and turn. She's telling the other nurse in her southern accent, "It's just right there Jose (she pronounces this HO-SAY as southern as you can) I can see that little booger justa boucin around." This continues for, no joke, 3 minutes straight. Isaak is shaking his head "no" at me (he just learned this and it's totally cute) so I finally freak out and tell them to leave. STOP THIS and LEAVE. They look at me dumbfounded and say, "he's an infant child ma'am, it's going to be harder to find the vein in his arm as opposed to yours and mine." NO, that's not true, he had blood drawn when he was 8 weeks from his arm and they found it immediately. You have no idea what you're doing so GO AWAY. They pack their "tackle box" of tools and leave.
I sat there holding my baby, listening to the whiny Marine cuss, the puking girl next door, the nurses behind the curtain joking about how much they don't want to take Isaak's stool sample, the old man doctor calling the girl next door, "Mrs. Lowe" thinking she was me, the sound of sirens...and I just cried. I cried and cried and I felt so alone there. I wanted to go home. Not home to my yellow house in the circle, just home to Texas to Isaak's REAL doctor. I wanted someone who KNEW Isaak to see his smiling face that had gone to a frown and know, like I knew, that there was something wrong.
Thirty minutes more passed before the old man doctor came back into my room after realizing my neighbor wasn't me. He stared at me and I stared back with tears streaming down my cheeks. He said, "What now Mrs. Lowe?". I shrugged. I said, I just wanna know what's wrong with my baby, that's all." he said, "So do I. That's why I wanted to get a blood sample but you told them to leave." I was so frustrated that I had no energy to fight with this guy so I said, I just wanna go home. He told me to wait, of course. As if 4 hours of waiting, a crying baby an unsuccessful blood test and a urine test wasn't enough.
All of sudden it was like the entire ER staff was in my curtain covered room. Everyone wanted to know what had happened. They all needed to hear my story and document it. I kept saying that I just wanted to leave, can I leave? I just want to go...but no. They wouldn't let me. They kept telling me that I couldn't go home if I was unsatisfied with my visit there and what could they do to make me satisfied? Whatever. That just pissed me off because they were NOW trying to cover their butts.
Finally I get a guy who has a brain, Nurse Arce. I like to call him "the mediator" because I refused to talk (or should I say send brain waves) to the "mute" (that's for you Kehr family) old man doctor who loved to stare. Nurse Arce calmed me down and allowed me to RE-tell my whole story. I was honest and blunt with him about how I felt I was being treated and how Dr. Mute wasn't doing a THING except asking ME what to do. Nurse Arce decided that we should call the pediatric specialist to see Isaak at that point. Uhmm....YEA, why wasn't this done in the FIRST place? Obviously Dr. Mute had no idea where to begin or what to do. He also urged me to allow them to take a blood sample again. I was really hesitant but did go through with it because I needed to know for peace of mind that his blood counts were all normal. Again, a horrible experience, almost as bad as the first but they DID get blood. Isaak ended up with arms that look like his mother is a child abuser with bruises and popped blood vessels, but I knew it had to be done.
More waiting and the Pediatrician comes in. She's bubbly and full of energy at 3 in the morning. Not me. I tell the entire story AGAIN. Keep in mind that every time I have to re-tell this story it gets longer because more drama has been added to it thanks to the ER experience. Immediately she says to me, "Botulism is a VERY serious disorder. Anytime there is ANY suspected case of botulism, we are required to report it to the National Infant Botulism Treatment and Prevention Center in California so it can be a documented case. They will give me a list of very specific tests to run on Isaak (she called him by his name unlike anyone else there) so we'll know if he does in fact have it, or not." Awww...relief. Someone who KNOWS what they're doing. Someone who actually SOUNDS like a doctor, let alone MAKES a sound. I wanted to cry again just for joy. She goes off to call the center and returns with a long list of tests for little Izey Ro. I wondered why Dr. Mute hadn't taken this step as soon as I mentioned the honey and symptoms. If botulism is SO dangerous and serious why wasn't this the FIRST thing done?
The tests took about a full hour and included things like pupil checks, gagging, reflex, swallow tests, and much much more. I never knew there could be so many tests for such a small little person. In the end, he passed the majority of the tests. A few he failed but they weren't bad enough to make her worry and I felt confident that she knew what she was doing. She had to call the center back and report her findings. They told her that he was in the clear and would not need the $45,000.00 treatment. Wow. They told her that he is now considered a documented statistic of a possible botulism disorder and he even has his own reference number with them now. Wow again.
The night (or shall I say morning given that it was now 4am) ended with a diagnosis of: bad constipation and a URI? Whatever. We were sent home with a plastic cup to get a stool sample, a prescription of lactulose (which the mute doctor prescribed and the bubbly one told me not to give him) and a beautiful yellow bracelet with Isaak's name and Austin's rank to remember the occasion. Lovely. Lovely night that was. Is it just me or does anyone else ever leave the ER feeling more confused than when they got there?
Anyway, Isaak's okay and we're still waiting for a poop.