Saturday, July 25, 2009

Getting better at last!!!!

I’m so pleased to be posting that everyone is finally starting to get better :)

Friday was the first good day in almost 2 weeks of sickness. Today, (Saturday) was even better. The boys haven’t had a temp since Wednesday. They both still have runny noses and wake up covered in snot (yuk) but their coughs are getting better. They still cough, and it’s still nasty, but not as often.

Despite these few lingering symptoms the boys are so much happier. They have been playing with their toys, making a mess, walking all around the house, walking around outside, smiling, laughing, talking/babbling and they’ve got their appetites back!

Yesterday Ben was playing with a toy and he started to laugh as he was having fun with the toy. I actually stopped and thought to my self “wow, i haven’t heard you laugh in days”. I did not really realise how many things they stopped doing when they got sick. They didn’t play, they didn’t smile and laugh, they barely ate, they didn’t want to get down on the ground and walk around and explore. They only wanted to sit or lie on the couch with mummy and have cuddles and sleep. They would cry if we put them down with their toys. I’ve often heard that you know a child is really sick when they don't want to play with their toys. It’s nice to see them playing and smiling again…….We’re so pleased to have our happy healthy boys back :)

Interestingly, as the boys get better and start to babble/talk again they aren’t saying as much as they used to. Since they started talking again yesterday Ethan has said ‘mum’, ‘yeah’ and ‘ti-ey’ (kitty) and Ben has only said ‘mumma’. They still communicate in other ways such as pointing and showing you what they want and shaking their head for things they don’t want. They also put their head to the side (ear and shoulder come together) to tell us they are tired. I’ll do another post soon with some more developmental updates.

Tracie is also starting to get better. Sal is still healthy and is hoping she has somehow avoided this nasty illness.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Gonna give anti-biotics a try. . . .

WEDNESDAY (continued). We took the boys and Tracie to the doctor in the afternoon. Unfortunately the doctor that we like wasn’t there, so we had to see a different guy. He listened to our story and looked in mouths, throats, ears and listened to chests. He said that if this infection was viral, they should be getting better by now. He said it is time to give some anti-biotics a try. He prescribed amoxicillin for Tracie and both boys. He said it should start to make a difference in 5-7 days and we should return if they are still sick. We’re hoping it helps!

Wednesday evening Ben got another temp, and the boys (again) didn’t eat much dinner. We’re worried they’re going to lose some weight. They are starting to look skinnier and feel lighter. We try lots of different foods, all their favourite foods and they barely eat anything. Tracie and the boys all have the same cough, and she says the cough makes her feel nauseous. Possibly the boys feel sick too?

THURSDAY: Everyone slept-in until 9am and we’re all feeling little better today. Still got nasty coughs, still not eating much but the boys have been playing a little more this morning.

Sal’s got to go back to work today after 5 days off caring for her family. She hopes that the boys behave for Tracie while she’s at work.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sickness update – Getting better and getting worse

WEDNESDAY: I never thought the day would come so soon that I would voluntarily get up before the boys! Our boys usually sleep around 12 hours (sometimes 13 in the winter) from around 6:30-7pm until 7am. In the last week with all this sickness they’ve been waking at 7ish, but dozing and not making us get up until 7:30-7:45am which is FANTASTIC!

Today I woke at about 6ish to hear Ethan crying. Thankfully it only lasted about 5 secs and he settled himself, so I turned over and went back to sleep. I woke again a little while later and saw the clock said 8:34! I was shocked. I listened closely to the monitor and I could hear someone breathing, so I wasn’t too worried. I slowly made my way out of bed, made some bottles for the boys (as they are still on 3 bottles a day – which is a whole different story) and went to see if they were ok. I went into the room at about 8:45 and both boys were still asleep. Unfortunately the door made a noise and woke Ben, so I got him up and gave him a bottle. I left the door open so Ethan would wake soon. I went back into the room every 10-15mins to see if he was awake yet. I opened the window as it was unseasonably warm for a winter morning hoping the light and breeze would wake him. It didn’t!! An hour later when I was in his room checking on him I accidently coughed and he finally woke up. Ben slept 14.5 hours and Ethan slept 15.5 hours last night! They’ve never slept that long before.

Poor Ethan woke up very hot with a temp of 39.1 (102.3). He was dressed too warm (like I said before it was unseasonably warm) so I stripped him down to a singlet and his temp didn’t come down. It has since returned to normal an hour after some Nurofen (ibuprofen). He’s been miserable, lethargic, coughing, snotty and not eating again -thankfully he’s drinking, but he’ll be going back to the doctor again this afternoon. Ben’s still coughing, but he’s a little happier and a little more active. He’s been walking around the house this morning in quite a good mood, but suddenly got very tired and almost fell asleep from exhaustion in my arms. Both boys are napping as I write this.

Tracie is slowly improving. She’s still coughing, has a sore throat, sore muscles from coughing and she’s got minimal energy, but she’s getting better.

I’ll update later and let you know what the doctor says…..

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Getting a little better :)

MONDAY: Things started to improve on Monday. The boys were still unhappy, coughing, runny noses and had mild temps, but they weren’t as sick as they were on the weekend and they started to eat a little again.

Our living room has many toys in it, and every night Tracie and Sal clean up and put the toys away. Over the weekend, there wasn’t much to clean up as the boys were too sick to play. On Monday they actually played with some toys and made some mess. We were so pleased to clean up some toys at the end of the day :)

Tracie still has a nasty cough but things are starting to get better. She did not have any high temps on Monday. Unfortunately she’s got an upset stomach. She’s had abdominal pain and diarrhoea today. She’s not sure if she’s got a tummy bug or if it’s a reaction to the medication the doc gave for her flu.


TUESDAY: Again some improvement. Both boys and Tracie still have a nasty cough. They all have the same cough. It’s very “barky” and Tracie says it hurts and makes her feel like vomiting when she coughs a lot. The boys often cry after a coughing fit :(

Both boys have been a little better despite the coughing. They’ve managed to make a little mess in the living room, had fun walking in the garden, eaten and drunk a little more (still not as much as before they got sick) and weren’t quite as miserable as the weekend. Things are still not back to normal, they are still much more clingy and whingy than normal and both boys got a little temp of about 38.0 (100F) this evening. Benny is getting exhausted all the time and even fell asleep on the couch today. We’re hoping this slight improvement is a sign of things to come.

On a positive note both boys have been sleeping quite well at night. I think there’s only been one or two nights in the last 2 weeks of sickness that I’ve had to get up to a crying child. Their coughs have been more persistent today and they coughed a lot during nap time today. I hope I haven’t jinxed it and they sleep well tonight too.

Another positive point is that Sal seems to be getting better. She’s been taking her vitamins and drinking water like crazy. She feels a little better today and is hoping like hell that she doesn’t get this awful illness like everyone else.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Can’t catch a break…………….

And the sickness continues…..

SATURDAY: Following from my previous entry, the boys woke from their nap Saturday afternoon and Ben was even sicker. His temp was 40.7 (105.2), he was miserable, lethargic, coughing and vomited again. We (Sal, Tracie’s mum and Ethan) took Ben to the doctor. She was the same doctor who’d seen him the day before. She was brilliant. She said he was so much sicker than the day before and told us to take him to the hospital. Sal took Tracie’s mum (grandma) and Ethan home, told Tracie what was happening and then took Ben to hospital. Tracie had been told by the doctor the previous day that she was to stay home for 7 days. Sal convinced her that she was too sick to come with Ben to the hospital and she must stay in bed. Tracie was not happy, but agreed that she was still too sick to come with Ben to hospital :(

At the hospital (about 3:30pm), Ben was found to have a high temp (39.9) and high pulse rate (210/min) – normal pulse for a 14 month old is 90-150/min. They said he was dehydrated from the temperature and the vomiting. The told Sal to force feed him fluids no matter how much he hated it. Ben had to have 5mls every 5 mins. Ben HATED the fluid. He threw up twice more and had diarrhoea once. He lay on the hospital cot bed looking very sick. He was very flushed in the cheeks, lethargic and totally miserable. Poor Benny just lay on his back on the bed and grizzled. He was not interested in anything, which is very unlike Ben. He was so hot Sal was reluctant to hold him and make him hotter. Holding him didn’t help anyway – he still cried/grizzled. He was only wearing a singlet, and had his nappy (diaper) off so Sal could try and catch a urine sample (very unsuccessfully!!) The doctors took a blood test and tried to insert a drip but it fell out. They said they would wait for the blood test results to come back and insert a drip again if anything was wrong. Ben’s temp and pulse rate started to come down  after about 2-3hours and he was looking a little better. He started to get an interest in his surroundings and wanted to sit up. The doctors said his blood tests were fine and discharged him home. We got home at about 7:30pm. Ben’s temp went back up to 39.5 (103F) before we left, but they told us to give him Panadol and take him home to bed. We did, and he went straight to sleep :)

Meanwhile at home, Ethan was being looked after by grandma while Tracie was sick in bed. Grandma fed Ethan half a banana for an afternoon snack (which Ethan loves). Unfortunately Ethan had a massive vomit and threw up his banana all over grandma and himself and the floor. Grandma had a hard time dealing with a crying Ethan and cleaning vomit at the same time, Ethan spent the rest of the evening feeling miserable. He got his temp back up to 39.5 (103F) and he didn’t want to do much. He went to sleep before Ben and Sal got home.

SUNDAY: Both boys woke up with a temp today. Both boys have had a miserable day. All they want to do it sit on mummy’s lap and have a cuddle – so that’s all we did. Both boys are weak from their recent illness, and are getting tired more easily. They are also very weak and wobbly on their feet. Ben looks very odd when he walks. It’s scary to see them so sick :(

Ethan’s been the sickest today. He doesn’t want to eat or drink very much. We think he’s also got teething pain on top of his viral infection. We’ve been watching him closely for dehydration. He’s had an elevated temp most of the day 38 – 39.5C (100-103F).

Ben’s been miserable, and not wanting to eat much either. He had a little more fluid than Ethan, but still not as much as normal. Ben’s temp has been much better today, and within the normal ranges. Unfortunately, the cough that started yesterday is getting worse. He’s got a cough like Ethan had before he ended up in hospital with croup. The doctors told us that if he started to get a croupy cough we should give him some prednisone (steroids Ethan had). So we did.

Tracie’s starting to get a little better. Her temp is normal, but she still has a runny nose, a terrible moist rattly cough, hoarse voice, sore throat, headache, muscle aches, nausea and diarrhoea. She was able to spend the day in the living room instead of the bedroom today.

Sal is still the healthiest person in the house. Yesterday and today she’s developed an irritating dry cough and a stuffy nose. She’s got that feeling you get when you’re getting sick :(

Sal was supposed to be at work Saturday, Sunday and Monday, but has taken these 3 days off as “carers leave” to care for her sick family. She has Tuesday and Wednesday off, and is hoping everyone will be well again by Thursday.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

And the sickness continues……

We are now officially living in a sick house. I (Sal) am the only healthy person (apart from the boys’ grandma who’s bravely come to visit the sick house for the weekend). Tracie is sick with a cold/flu type illness. She has aches and pains, cough, runny nose, sore throat, sore eyes, sore ears and a persistent elevated temperature. It went up to 40.3C (104.5F) yesterday and with medication only came down to 39C (102F). She went to the doctor last night who sent her to the hospital. They told her to go home and get some rest, so today Sal has taken the day off work to look after the boys and Tracie is spending the day in bed.

Ethan has started to get a better from his croup. He still has a chesty cough and a wheeze, but he’s happier each day. Unfortunately, Ben started to get sick last night. He got a temperature in the evening and had a very restless night. He woke up crying several times and had a temp throughout the night. He’s been miserable today. He’s vomited (biggest vomit I’ve ever seen all over himself and grandma), had diarrhoea, runny nose, cough and persistent temp around 39-39.5C (102-103F). Ethan also woke with a temp of 39.6 (103F) but he’s been ok after some medicine. Both boys are going back to the doctor this afternoon. 

I hope I don't get this rotten bug, and I hope everyone else gets better soon.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Poor Sick Ethan :(

Our poor little Ethan has been quite sick this week. Sunday he started to get a nasty cough, but was otherwise well. Sunday night he coughed a lot throughout the night and didn’t sleep too well. Monday morning he woke up with even more congestion. His breathing sounded like Darth Vader and he had a terrible chesty cough and kept tugging on his right ear. We took him to the local doctor at 11am. The doctor said he had an upper respiratory tract infection and was starting to get an ear infection. He said Ethan can have some anti-biotics if it doesn’t clear in a few days.

Monday afternoon at 2pm Sal was just about to get ready to go to work when Ethan woke up early from his nap crying and making another weird noise. We got him up and noticed he was distressed and looked like he was having trouble breathing from him cold. We tried to settle him, but he kept crying. Sal rang the doctor’s office who had an answering machine that said they were closed for lunch and would re-open at 2pm. It was 2pm, so she decided to take Ethan straight to the doctor. We did not know if this was normal for a cold, or if something was wrong. (meanwhile, Tracie stayed at home with a sleeping Ben and rang Sal’s work to tell them she would be late) The doctor’s receptionist told Sal the doctors were all busy and she would have to sit and wait with Ethan to see a doctor. Ethan was still crying and making a funny noise. Sal was crying too, as she was worried about Ethan. The receptionist still insisted they would have to wait at least half and hour to see a doctor. Sal rang Tracie to tell her what happened. Sal told Tracie she wasn’t happy with Ethan, and that they should take him to the hospital. Tracie woke Ben and we went to the hospital.

We arrived at the hospital at about 2:30pm. Ethan was seen straight away. He was triaged category 2 (1 is the most severe and life threatening, 5 is least severe). The emergency staff were fantastic. They took Ethan out to the kids area and treated him straight away.

They explained to us that Ethan had croup. Basically, as I understand it, croup is a partial airway obstruction caused by mucus and inflammation. As we all know, when we (as adults) get a cold, our nose gets blocked by mucus. We notice it more in our noses as they are very small passages that block easily with a small amount of mucus. Croup occurs in young children as their airways are smaller (because they are small) and can become narrowed or blocked by mucus and inflammation from a simple cold. This narrowing of the airway causes a stridor (a high-pitched sound heard on inhalation) and a “barking" cough (often described as seal-like). Apparently, the stridor is worsened by agitation or crying which explained the funny noise we heard while he was crying. They asked us to try and calm him down so they could tell if the stridor was present while he was calm. We managed to calm him a little, and he still had the stridor. They gave him some nebulised (inhaled) adrenaline to help open his airway. Ethan HATED the nebuliser, but it helped, and for the first time in over an hour he was breathing easily. They connected him to heart monitoring and an oxygen monitor. They also gave him some oral steroids (dexamethasone) to help open his airways over the next few days. The adrenaline works instantly for and lasts for about 30mins, the steroids take longer to work, but last longer too.

The adrenaline lasted for about 30mins and then he started to become distressed again. About an hour after the first adrenaline dose, they gave him another dose. The second one was another  horrible experience. Ethan HATED it. Like the first one, he screamed, kicked and tried to wriggle out of our arms. He was acting like we were trying to suffocate him with the mask. I can understand it would be horrible for someone to put a mask on your face when you’re already having difficulty breathing. Poor baby doesn’t understand we’re trying to help him. They also gave him some more oral steroids. He started to get a little better. We was EXHAUSTED, but wanted to explore the emergency department like Ben was doing. He had a little explore (being carried and with his heart and oxygen monitors attached) and was starting to get happier. It was  about dinner time by this stage, and we had been told that Ethan would be admitted to hospital and be staying the night. We decided that Sal and Ben would go home, get some dinner and some supplies and come back. We got back around 6:30pm. About 7pm Ethan started to get worse again. His stridor came back and he began to get distressed again. They gave him another adrenaline nebuliser. This was the worst so far. He fought it all the way. He was so tired by then, but would not sleep. By 8pm he was starting to bounce off the walls. The doctors said all the adrenaline would make him hyperactive until about 3am. Tracie and Ethan stayed at the hospital. Sal and Ben went home to bed. The boys are usually in bed by about 6:30pm. Ben finally got to bed at about 8:30pm. He was exhausted and went to sleep without a word, for the first time without his brother in the room. Tracie and Ethan were finally transferred to a high observation bed on the kids ward at about 10:30pm. Ethan was hyperactive for a while, but Tracie managed to get him to sleep and he got about 5 hours of disturbed sleep. Tracie got about 1 hour sleep. Sal and Ben came to the hospital the next morning. The nurse said that Ethan came alive when Ben arrived. He was very pleased to see us both. We took Ethan home about 2pm.

We were very pleased to be home. We put the boys to bed and they had a little nap. Unfortunately Ethan woke up crying with stridor again. The doctors and nurses told us to expect this, and to bring him back if it was bad again. We tried to settle him. It took a while, but we managed to get him to calm down. It was not quite as bad as the day before, but close. We did not have to take him back to hospital, but we seriously considered it. We packed our bags and made a plan in case he woke again in the night. Thankfully our poor tired boy went straight to sleep and slept for almost 14 hours straight. We have never seen him that tired. He was almost falling asleep while we were getting him dressed for bed.

The next day he was a little better, today he was a little better again. He’s still sick, but defiantly improving.

Ben has been reasonably well throughout this whole ordeal. The doctors said he might get croup too, as it is a contagious viral infection - but so far so good. Unfortunately it looks like Tracie’s caught Ethan’s virus. She feels lousy, has a high temp and a terrible persistent cough that sounds like a seal barking.

We are all hoping Ben and Sal don’t catch it, and that Tracie and Ethan get better soon.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

14months old – New videos and stuff

Life has been busy lately. Sal’s gone back to work (sniff sniff) after almost 3 weeks off. For those who don’t know, Sal is a nurse. She works on a medical oncology ward (deals with a lot of cancer patients, people with heart and lung problems) Her work has been crazy busy lately with all the winter illnesses. Her ward is full to overflowing most of the time, which is chaotic, but at least it makes the days go fast.

The boys have been sick again. When we got home from our road trip, Ethan had high temps and diarrhoea, and Ben had a runny nose. Now, Ethan has a wet chesty cough, and Ben has diarrhoea. They’ve been irritable during the day, but thankfully, sleeping well the last few nights. We’re hoping they get better soon.

I thought it was about time I uploaded some of the video’s I’ve taken over the last month.

Below is Ethan and Ben playing in one of the hotels we stay in during our recent trip.

The video below is of Ethan and Ben eating dinner. They are copying Sal shaking their heads.

Below is the boys playing together. It is quite rare that they’ll play nicely together. It often ends in tears after they fight over the toy.

Below, the boys are playing in the living room, riding their bikes that their Nana gave them when they were born. They’re finally big enough the play with them.

Below is the boys playing with uncooked rice. Ben has a bag of rice and he’s emptying it. They are sitting in their small pool in the kitchen. They really enjoyed playing the the rice, feeling the texture and listening to it fall onto the plastic pool as they dropped it. They playing for about 20-30mins. We kept the rice, and will defiantly let them play with it again soon.

Ben and Ethan in the pool playing with uncooked rice.

P7070402Ethan P7060377Ethan and Ben P7060387

Thursday, July 2, 2009

We love to play….

Our little boys are truly becoming toddlers now. They are very good at walking (toddling), but still fall a lot. They have a keen curiosity about the world around them. They like to be given an object that they haven’t seen before – almost any object will do. The draw cooking utensils with spoons and cups is popular. They prefer objects that are not their toys. Recent favourite items include; the ear thermometer, a marble sphere of approx 3-4cm diameter, a shell, spoons, fridge magnets, whisk, dustpan and broom, jar of nappy rash cream, laundry basket and telephones. The other day Ben was playing with the phone and he accidently dialled emergency 000 (Australian equivalent of 911). They hold the object in their hands, turn it over, study it and manipulate it. You can see the concentration on their faces. It’s amazing to watch them learn.

We like to find new and different ways to feed the boys hunger for exploring and learning about the world. Last week Sal sat down in the living room with the boys and made cookies. Ben loved making cookies, feeling the flour and eating the cookie dough. Ethan doesn’t like to get his hands dirty and watched closely at everything that was happening. Ethan did enjoy eating a small amount of cookie dough though!!

Below is Sal and Ben mixing the flour.  tn_P6260327 Sal, Ethan and Ben making cookiestn_P6260328 Ben with his hands in the bowl again – mixing the doughtn_P6260332 Is this what we do next mum???tn_P6260337 Ben, with flour all over himself and his head!tn_P6260342


Last Sunday we took the boys to go watch Uncle Michael playing soccer. Uncle Michael’s team won 5-0. Ethan clapped when he heard everyone else clapping after they scored a goal.

The boys had a great time playing with some spare soccer balls on the sidelines.tn_P6280345 Sal and Ethan at the park near the soccer gametn_P6280348 Tracie and Ben tn_P6280350 Ethan and Ben spinning the log. They were fascinated by the spinning log.tn_P6280358

Tired boys ready for bedtn_P6300362



On another note, both boys have been a little sick lately. After we returned from our road trip Ethan spiked a high temp up to 40.4C (104F). He also had a nasty case of diarrhoea and didn’t eat as much as normal. One week later his temp is long gone, he’s eating well, but he’s still having at least 3 loose bowel motions per day. I know it’s probably too much info, but the poor little boy got his first nappy rash from the diarrhoea. He HATED having his nappy changed as it hurt him. Poor baby, he’s never had nappy rash before. We hope it clears up soon.

Ben had a runny nose for a few days last week. It’s been good for a few days, but today he’s got an elevated temp and he’s been extra wingy and crying more than usual. He only wants to be held, and cries when he’s put down. He’s also not keen to each much…….. It’s been a hard day today as Tracie is also sick with muscle aches, sore throat and a temperature. To make things worse, Sal had to go back to work after almost 3 week off today. Everything happens at once :(  So far, Sal is the only healthy person in the house.

Interestingly, Ben did not get Ethan’s diarrhoea and Ethan did not get Ben’s cold.

We are hoping everyone gets better soon