We went back to the specialist today. Dr. Savi said there is still a slight wheeze, her ear infection isn't any better, but he was pleased. We also asked the doctor to change her antibiotic because the current one that she has been on since Saturday is not working. I am sure it's a great drug; however, my girl is very picky with her tastebuds, and it doesn't matter what I do, she spits that medicine out right back at me as fast as I can get it in her little mouth. We have tried all manner of tricks: putting it in her food, putting it in her bottle, giving it to her straight, trying to give it to her while eating and then shoving her bottle back in her mouth (same with the pacifier). So, I can't do that for 10 days because it means she is eating and drinking less, still not getting the full dose to help her ears, and generally hates it. Seriously, you can smell the crap across the kitchen when the bottle is opened! The pharmacy tech. suggested that special flavoring be added to make it taste like grape. The normal smell of it was unpleasant, and my kids have been on a lot of antibiotics, and I can't recall ever having this kind of trouble with the medicine. Note to self: don't go for the flavoring! Tonight she took it out of a spoon and didn't spit it back at me, so progress.
My girl is still on four albuterol treatments per day and two pulmicort treatments in addition to that. We have been doing this treatment schedule for more than two weeks now. She will be on pulmicort, which is an inhaled steroid, for the rest of the winter, and today, the doctor increased the dosage from 2.5mg to 5 mg. I find this a little scary, but I am trusting God. Spencer had the same dosage, too, and he is fine. There are nasty side effects from steroids, but pulmicort is not a systemic steroid; it goes directly to the lungs, and while it can have some bad effects over time, a year of pulmicort is just about equal to a short course of an oral steroid like Orapred (prednisone). This is all for at least another week, and then we can skip albuterol and only do one pulmicort, if she sounds good and is healthy. The second she starts coughing, wheezing, having a runny nose for any reason, we have to start the hardcore treatments again, with no waiting. I hope that tomorrow she can get her flu shot. We also went over the results of her chest x-ray from two weeks ago, the day after she left the hospital. There were some questionable spots in the lower lobe of the right lung. He didn't exactly call it pneumonia, but he did say that the antibiotic and inhaled steroid would address that issue over the next week. Over the years, I have learned to ask doctors and nurses specific questions. After the medical professional goes through the details of a particular issue or illness, I find it really useful to ask him or her about their gut feeling. I say, "So, what's your gut feeling about this? You just told me yadda, yadda, yadda, and I understand all that, but what does your gut tell you about the outcome of this ________________ (fill in the blank with whatever the problem is)?" Generally, I get a much clearer and honest answer from the doctor or nurse, and you have to MAKE them talk to you about the illness, not just listen to their expertise and get a report; you have to ask smart questions that don't waste time and that are straightforward.
Throughout all of this, she is her happy self; I adore her.
That's it in a nutshell. I am really exhausted of hearing the breath squeak out of her everyday. After awhile, it grates on the nerves like nothing I have ever experienced. It creates a stressful kind of worry that just escalates with each breath, and it makes my head want to explode or implode, I don't know which is better or worse! Please continue to pray for her.
Also, Slade experienced his first allergy shot today. He did alright. Of course, he didn't want it really, but when I promised him a sucker, a sticker, and a trip to the dollar store, he at least lessened the screaming. Picture this: I was holding Slade because he didn't want to sit in the chair, so we were standing. I was holding him against the front of me, locked in my arms so he couldn't move, except I couldn't get his legs so he was kicking the crap out of my shins. Because he had to be still, the receptionist came from the front to hold his arm, but that kid is a brute, and she ended up standing to the side of me and wrapping both her arms around Slade and me, in a kind of professional bear hug. It worked. Let's hope next week won't be quite as "touching".