So that's the questions I've been asked a lot the last few days ... guess that's what happens when you blog your frustrations. As of yet I do not have a clear answer to that question, although I think and hope we will finally see some light at the end of the tunnel soon.
Monday we tried again to re-introduce full-strength formula, but already on the second bottle he vomitted it all back up. At that point I had decided we needed to get someones opinion on this as it was going on six days of him being sick. So I made an appointment with the pediatrician for the next day and then went back to feeding him straight Pedialyte for the next 24 hours.
Monday also introduced a new issue into the equation ... did I ask "what next"? In the morning he had a bit of a cough, by evening he had a full-fledge chesty cough that was dragging him down and sure sounded like it hurt each time he coughed ... and he cried each time just to confirm it did indeed hurt. Just another thing to make life more interesting.
By time I seen the pediatrician on Tuesday I had just started Matthew back on formula - 1/2 formula, 1/2 pedialyte. We were having better luck with the stools - less of them, but still diarrhea. The cough was still sounding awful. He was still miserable, clingy, snuggly, sleeping off and on all day in my arms, crying during coughing fits and any time you put him down. The pediatrician agreed that six to seven days seems a bit long for a regular flu but yet it's not impossible. He was concerned about the pattern we were seeing once we reintroduced full-strength formula as well as the fact that he was crying and miserable non-stop for the past days. The positive side he felt was the fact that he's having both vomitting and diarrhea, for just vomitting would be more concerning. Since Matthew seems to do okay on half-strength formula and doesn't vomit until it's full or almost full-strength we decided to try get him onto 3/4 strength and leave him on that for the next week and see what happens.
He checked out his ears, which were fine, and given Matthew had not had any fevers since Thursday the cold did not seem a major concern, although he did think he sounded a bit wheezy and ordered a chest x-ray. We also decided to do an overall look at Matthew's blood as well as x-rays of his chest and abdomen. We have never done bloodwork on Matthew to see if anything is out of the ordinary. When the first bloodwork was done on James there was lots of stuff that wasn't right, it didn't tell us what was wrong, but it made us realize something was wrong. So these tests would just give us an idea of how he is faring overall, either putting our minds at ease or letting us know whether there is reason to be concerned. We were suppose to come back in a week to go over things ... unless he got worse.
Not two hours after the appointment Matthew spiked a fever. He had a rough night, coughing and struggling to sleep. He did not look well and I debated taking him to Emerge. But we held out the night since I knew we were off to Mac the next day. I figured I'd go for the tests and if he wasn't faring well just head to Emerge. So Wednesday we spent a good chunk of the day at Mac as there seemed to be excessive line-ups each place we went (plus running into people I know). Matthew fair quite well and I thought that he was finally on the mend since he had no more diarrhea and we were actually able to put him down for short periods and he would play. But again, two hours after getting home for the hospital he crashed, spiking a fever, coughing, seeming to be in pain ... another long night.
We managed to get him to hold off until the morning at which time I went back to see the Pediatrician. We went over the test results that were back thus far and everything was normal ... including the chest x-ray which was a bit surprising. So long term this is a good sign, but doesn't give us any answers for now. He did another check of the ears and ah-ha ... they are red ... not extreme ... but possiblity ... hopefully ... the cause of the latest fevers.
Unfortunately we had another vomit this morning - 24 hours after getting him onto 3/4 strength formula. So we're not sure how that fits in ... possibily just from being so congested, although he wasn't coughing at the time. So the game plan right now is to get the ear infection treated with antibiotics and then we can see how the rest of the picture looks. We may be looking at two viruses back to back ... which have really dragged him down making it such a long recuperation process.
We have a new pediatrician (ours is on maternity leave) but he's really good, listening well and wasting no time making sure he's covered everything. If Matthew doesn't appear better tomorrow we're suppose to bring him back in ... otherwise we play it by ear, hoping that everything will just settle down ... including the vomitting.
I have mostly come to accept that I'm simply not going to get anything done around here and so I am a bit better at tolerating Matthew's fussiness ... although I definitely still have my moments where I get frustrated that he won't go down for more then a few minutes (if that) without crying up a storm (and then coughing up a storm as a result). I also feel guilty as I see more responsbility put on the girls (Marietta pretty much got herself off to school on her own this morning, including doing devotions with Rebecca), which is a reminder of days gone by. I remind myself it's temporary and we'll put things back in order once he's feeling better. His attitude tells me that he is definitely feeling awful and I need to take the time to at least ease that awfulness as much as possible.
So last time I hoped we'd all get sick (or at least one of us anyways) ... this time I'm hoping the antibiotics do the trick to bring back my half-happy Matthew and everything else just settles out at the same time.