Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sequestered Sickies

You might have seen the update over here regarding Braska’s strep infection. And Kinlee’s subsequent fever. It’s good times, let me tell ya.

We’ve got a divide-and-conquer plan in place, though, so we’re surviving. Braska’s here with me, while Kinlee is still at Grammy’s house. It seems that we caught KiKi’s at the beginning, so we started the amoxicillin and she’s doing well. M is trying to steer clear of this sickness, so he’s bailed on us and isn’t coming home til we’re germ free, I suppose.

So Braska and I are hanging out, playing a little, trying to nap… ah yes, trying to nap. I would love to get caught up on the house or something, but I still don’t feel very well and I’ve got no energy at all.

Sleep was not something either Braska or I accomplished last night. Unfortunately, I forgot one small thing when we started Braska on the ever-present, bubble-gum-flavored, bright pink amoxicillin suspension liquid yesterday afternoon.

She has a very unpleasant reaction to red dye. Anyone wanna guess what makes bright pink amoxicillin so pretty? I didn’t make the connection til this morning, after I’d given her another dose, because I guess I’m just that out of it.

[Let me interrupt this rambling and most likely far too boring post for most readers to interject an important element… if you have experience with red dye issues, health or behavioral, please do share… please.]

She slept for about 3 hours after I put her to bed, and though it was restless, that’s not all that abnormal. Hence the sleep study this coming Tuesday evening. But she got up at about midnight, and we were almost consistently up until about 7am. We spent some time in the recliner in her room, and she would sleep for about 15 minutes at a time. It would have been better if I was able to sleep in it, too. She couldn’t breathe through her nose, and this kid just almost refuses to breathe through her mouth. She holds her breath a lot, like she’s trying to force her nose to clear and let the air through. But it doesn’t really work that way. For a couple hours I tried to cuddle her in my bed, since M wasn’t in there, we could try to find something that worked. But she would doze for maybe 3-5 minutes and then be thrashing around again.

I’m sure that many times, if not most of the time, she was at least partially asleep for many of the thrashing episodes, but just not resting. She has had several nights of strange waking that’s not really waking. She sometimes sits up, even says something, then collapses again with a snore. A couple times I put her on the changing table to do some saline drops in the nose, she would count the drops like she always does (“1, 2, 3, 4 drops” “other side”), but then she would instantly be quiet, and her breathing maintained the deep rhythm, even though it was labored. Then in 5 seconds, startling again. So weird.

This is what we’ve noticed with the red dye. The excessively restless sleeping pattern, and during the day, she is more obstinate, not playing as well, more busy and more grouchy in general. I can’t find any other common denominator, and after chatting with a few moms who have pinpointed a red dye issue, the experiences are very similar. And remember, since she doesn’t eat willy nilly any food out there, the only time she gets the red dye is in medicines. So it is easier to isolate the situation, I think.

She started coughing--deep, like trying to clear her throat or chest—and kept coughing. From 4:40 am to almost 6 am. It was very disturbing, and I generally don’t get bothered by that kind of thing. But she just couldn’t quit, and I couldn’t do anything about it. There was a point when I thought I was going to have to take her to the ER. She was getting pale, not catching her breath, and just had the worst look on her face. Not fun to watch. It reminded me of her congestive heart failure days of 3 years ago.

No, sir, I don’t care to do all that again.

I finally took her into the bathroom and ran a very hot shower to steam up the room. I pounded on her back as she coughed, and she would move my hand back to her back when I paused. She finally calmed down some, and she asked to get in the bath. So she had an early morning bath. Once she was out and dressed again, we got back in the recliner and she fell asleep about 7am. I was able to put her in her bed, and we both slept about an hour.

After quite a few phone calls to pharmacies and our pediatrician, (And our family medical connections of all kinds sure do come in handy.) we finally got a prescription for amoxicillin capsules that I can open and dissolve for her to replace the pink stuff, dye free. KiKi will use the pink stuff, since she doesn’t seem to have a problem with it.

The bad news for me, beyond all that lack of sleep stuff, is that my sore throat is not going away, and my ear and head congestion is still present and my ear still is hurting and totally full of fluid. I’ll be talking to my doc again tomorrow to see if, with the info about the girls having strep, if he wants to rethink my diagnosis and prescription. He didn’t test me for strep or even talk about it, quite honestly. So who knows. I’m just ready to be done with meds and sick and all of this. I’m ready to be able to hear out of my right ear. I’m ready for my throat to not hurt enough to make me wince every SINGLE time I swallow. I’m ready for my eyes to not be blurry all the time and scary looking. I’m frustrated that we keep getting hit with this stuff. I’m tired of being powerless to keep them from getting the next thing going around. And I’m done hearing that “all kids who go to school get sick.” We’re past that. This is going on 4 months of almost constant illness. That’s just plain ridiculous. If I haven’t said it before, I’ll tell you now. Braska’s going to get an extra week off school next week. Call it “Spring Break: The Do-over.”

I just put Braska down, she’s sleeping well so far, breathing much better tonight, and I’m dashing for the bed while I have the chance. Who knows what the next few hours might bring. I’m praying we snooze all night long.


  1. My neice had strange reactions when she was young to red dye stuff too. So sorry hope you are all feeling better soon.

  2. :( I wish we were close enough to be of help!! I just wanted to squeeze BraskaBean when she put your patting hand back on her little back. Poor squiblet.
    So hoping that tonight is more restful than your last one...

  3. You know what I don't get at all? Well there are a lot of things I don't get at all, but the one I am referencing here is: How in the world can you write such a coherent, interesting, no spelling mistake post, when you are such a mess. If it were me, I would write, Groooooaaaaaaaaaaan! and be done with it.

    I admire your tenacity.

  4. Since my 8 yo was an infant, I have noticed a "bad mood" when he took Amoxil. Got to where I would tell the doctors, "No pink medicine." They would look at me like I was stupid. Now have a 2 yo. He used Amoxil a few times early on so I could see if I was stupid. Nope. Not stupid. However, I am forgetful. Dr. put my lil guy on it last week. I quickly took him off, and went to a diff dr. Well, I know I have an ear infection, so I thought I would save money by taking the pink stuff, myself. It actually never occurred to me that I might have a prob with it since I know I've taken it b4 Let me tell you, my behavior has been awful! I'm surprised my husband hasn't asked for a divorce. Here's where I feel stupid; My bff and I were talking and she pointed out that Amoxil has red dye making it pink. I have heard in the past about red dye issues, but never made the connection. Let's just say I'm off the pink stuff and Trix have been banned in this house, as well as any other foods I see contain red dye.


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