They told us…
“DO NOT LET HIM GET SICK OR HE’LL END UP AT THE HOSPITAL”…
…and unfortunately… they were right.
Here’s the scoop:
Henry started throwing up last Tuesday evening. We didn’t think much of it, as it’s common for him to get sick a couple of times a week. The dr’s call it a “developmental challenge”… aka… we’ve done everything we can to reduce the vomiting – this is just way the it is. So, he got sick.
But then Wednesday morning, he got sick again. And then again. And then again. And by Wednesday evening he had a temperature of 39.8, was throwing up even very small amounts of water and was getting very lethargic.
He had the flu. 😦
But we still didn’t worry too much. I had been sick for a day or two the week before and all his symptoms were normal for the flu. So we kept trying to give him water and he kept throwing up and thus was the circle of life.
Thursday things got worse. Henry still couldn’t keep down even small amounts of water, he slept for basically the entire day and was so lethargic he couldn’t even sit up on his own anymore. His muscle tone was so low he would tip over if not supported.
Friday showed slight improvement – he started keeping down some Pedialyte and his fever had gone down considerably. We visited our family doctor just to be safe and she wasn’t concerned about his low fever. Her advice was what I thought it would be… keep him hydrated, let him sleep and if either his fever returns or his vomiting isn’t resolved by mid-weekend, then go to the ER (her reasoning for the ER was, since it was the weekend, no walk-in clinic would get any test results back until the following week, so would likely refer us to the local hospital anyways).
Saturday offered a glimmer of hope… his personality returned a bit and he kept down a bit of food. Out of 5 meals / snacks a day, the threw up 4 and kept down 1. Not great odds and a failing mark in school… but for us – we’ll take it!
By this time I’d made a new batches of food, just in case. Because I make Henry’s food myself, I am always super-careful about sanitation and food spoilage. I’d returned to all foods that Henry had tolerated well in the past, and didn’t use anything that had been in the previous batches. That way if his vomiting was in anyway due to his food, this would resolve it.
But Sunday came and the vomiting continued. We fed him 3 times at home and he puked up everything. So… 2pm Sunday afternoon off we went to the hospital. Because of Henry’s medical background, and because of our previous experiences at our local hospitals, we always go Children’s Hospital, even though it’s a farther drive away.
All they do is kids… and yes, they really are better.
And thankfully they weren’t too busy when we arrived. Shawn barely had time to park the car before we were admitted and taken to a room. We did blood tests and Xrays and all was normal (yeah!). No obstructions, no bladder infections… all was good.
To make a long story short(er)… the working assumption was that as a result of vomiting with the flu, Henry was caught in a cycle of vomiting – his little tummy was so irritated by getting sick so much that his digestive process basically shut down. Nothing in… nothing out. He would eat as much food as his tummy could hold, puke it all back out, and then start again. As long as we kept feeding him, he would keep puking. The circle of life.
So the plan was… go slow. That’s it. Let Henry’s little tummy calm down all by itself and hope for the best. If there’s nothing actually “wrong”, then there’s nothing to “fix”.
So we tried Pedialyte, and it stayed down; we tried small amounts of food + Pedialyte mixed, and it stayed down… so back home we came to continue with a small mixture of Pedialyte and food overnight and hope for the best. The best did not happen. Henry tossed and turned all night and at 6am Monday morning – out it all came! And boy did it look bad!
(note to self… when using beets in a homemade formula, it looks like blood when vomited back up)
You should have seen the bed… covered from corner to corner with bright purple puke – it looked like some mass murder site from a tv crime show. At some point I’m sure I’ll look back at this at see the humour, but right now I just see the bed covered in purple puke with Henry sitting crying in the middle.
Back to the ER we went.
And we tried it all over again…
So we tried Pedialyte, and it stayed down; we tried small amounts of food + Pedialyte mixed, and it stayed down… so back home we were sent and hope for the best. The best did not happen.
We barely made it out of the parking lot before Henry threw it all up again.
Back to the ER we went. It was so quick we didn’t even have to back through admitting. I just went and found our nurse and she “un-discharged” us.
And we started again. Pedialyte – but this time over night and through the next morning. Lots of tummy rest – no food whatsoever. And this time they didn’t send us home.
As an interesting aside – apparently a child really can survive on Pedialyte alone. It provides just enough energy to sustain the brain and major organs, but not enough to maintain weight or muscle tone. So our little guy is losing all the weight he had gained, plus more. But he is staying well hydrated, which is the most important thing.
After approximately 15 hours of Pedialyte alone, we slowly introduced some baby food pears into the mix. Then baby food carrots. So far so good…
This is where the story ends for now… still at the hospital and still on baby food + Pedialyte. And this time they’re not sending us home, at least not tonight. We’ll see how it goes tonight and tomorrow morning…
More food + Less Pedialyte hopefully = No vomiting and going home tomorrow.
Cross your fingers and hope for the best :).