Alex and I were out running errands. He had been napping pretty soundly for awhile and had slept through a feeding. He had been pretty hungry the week before so I figure he’s having a growth spurt and that’s what made him so sleepy. We’re at Drug Emporium when he wakes up. I change him and fix him a bottle. I feed him while looking at some of the baby/toddler foods they had available, after all it won’t be too much longer before he starts solids. He eats most of his bottle and then throws up, big time. He’s covered, his carseat and stroller are covered; it’s gross. I change him and wipe up his seat as best I can. He still had about an ounce or so left in the bottle so after a few minutes, I offer that to him. He pukes again. Well, I only had one set of clothes with me so we high tail it out of the store and back home to get him cleaned up.
We stayed home from church. Philip had a migraine and with the vomiting the day before, I’m thinking Alex’s reflux meds aren’t working and I don’t really want to have him spew at church. Later that day he throws up again. Again there are two spews close together. I make a plan to call the doc in the morning so we can discuss his reflux meds. My mom recommends giving him a tiny bit of rice cereal and mashed banana to help soak up the extra stomach acid. He enjoys his first tastes of real food, but his tongue thrust reflex is still pretty strong so he only gets a few bites. Alex sleeps a full eight hours plus some that night.
I have the day off for MLK Jr. Day but Philip has to work. Alex has a large, loose bowel movement in the morning. He eats about half his bottle, then vomits and falls back to sleep. I call the doctor’s office and leave a message for the nurse. When Alex wakes up again he has mucusy, bloody diarrhea. He eats a half bottle then falls back asleep. I call again and the receptionist says there’s no appointments until the following morning so I leave another message for the nurse and call my mom. She thinks its serious. I debate on taking Alex to the walk-in clinic near the apartments. I want him to be seen but don’t want to expose him to the flu which will be in all those waiting rooms. I send mom a picture of his bloody stool and she calls back and says to take Alex to the doctor or the emergency room. I text Philip that he needs to come home now and call the doctor’s office again. I tell them I will be taking my infant to the emergency room if they cannot see him that day. He has an appointment at 1:30.
I pack a simple diaper bag thinking we’ll only be gone a few hours and go to the doctor, bloody diaper in tow. They weigh Alex when we get there. He’s 11 pounds, 14 ounces! We see Dr. L who confirms that it was blood in his stool. That stool combined with him sleeping through feeds has her worried. She gives us orders for him to be admitted to the hospital for tests and to make sure he stays hydrated. The office is on the hospital campus so it’s a quick drive to the main hospital. Philip drops us off at Admissions and goes back to the office to wrap up the project he was working on. I fill out the admissions papers and we wait for his room to be ready.
Once we get the room, the nurses start his vitals and the tests that Dr. L ordered. He’s a full two feet tall! He hated the infant pulse-ox and blood pressure cuff. They take him blood, but not from his heel like I was used to, they take it from his arm and both nurses have to hold him down to do it. This was worst part of all the tests. He screamed and screamed. When he caught my eye, he just stared at me and cried his lungs out. I held his little hand and stroked his hair and they were done not nearly soon enough. I held him for a little while and then we were off to get his ultrasound done. The tech tells me that the scan looks normal but they will have to wait for the doctor to give the all clear.
On the way back to the room (themed after the Berenstain Bears Go On Vacation) the nurse tells me that he’s positive for Rotavirus so we have to be very careful to wash our hands, especially after any diaper changes. The nurse doesn’t know if that’s the problem though. He can’t eat until the doctor gives the all clear on the ultrasound so the nurse gives me some sugar water to make his paci sweet and help keep him happy. A little while later she brings in some Pedialyte and says the doc gave him the okay to try to eat as his ultrasound was clear and he wasn’t going to be needing surgery.
He drinks some of the Pedialyte but obviously isn’t happy with it. I think he only drank it because he’d gulp it so fast before he could taste it. When Dr. L comes by for rounds she says he can have formula again. He loves that idea! He eats a whole bunch and sleeps pretty well that night. When they weighed him he had lost a little weight, but the nurse assures me that it wasn’t much (they weighed him in kilograms so it was hard for me to tell as I was never very good with the metric system).
|Resting after a long day|
In the morning, Dr. Su. checks on him. She says that if he keeps his food down he might be able to go home that night. She assures me that his weight loss was minimal and was the difference of having eaten or peed recently. All his tests had come back except his bacteria cultures which could take 24-48 hours and the only positive so far was the Rotavirus, but she couldn’t say if it was from the vaccine he got a week ago or if he caught a wild strain. He does really well that day and is on full formula feedings by about midday. He spits up quite a bit a couple of times, but it’s not enough to be clearly vomit. He does still have very liquid stools during the day. Dr. Sh. sees him that evening. He’s not quite comfortable letting him go home yet, especially since the bacteria cultures aren’t back and he wants to rule out Salmonella and E. Coli both of which can cause bloody stools. He suggests Alex get Similac Sensitive formula as it’s made for those with lactose sensitivity and having diarrhea can lead to temporary lactose intolerance. We switch his formula and he does well that night.
Dr. L sees Alex in the morning. His bacteria cultures came back negative. He’s free to go home. He can even return to daycare after a day of no diarrhea or vomiting. Because he got sick so soon after getting his first Rotavirus vaccine (it was just a week prior to symptoms) there’s no way to tell if he got it from the vaccine or if he just caught it. He won’t be getting the second dose of the Rotavirus vaccine. He got the virus so he has the antibodies now. She’ll note this incident in his chart for when he goes to school. We go home and I bleach all his diapers and sanitize everything in sight. That night we try going back to his regular formula and he throws up again. We call the doctor. Dr. Su is on call and says to put him back on Pedialyte and try formula again later. She says that if we want, she will readmit him, otherwise we can just bring him in in the morning. He does well with the Pedialyte but shows a few symptoms of dehydration so I decide that I will make sure he takes at least two ounces every two hours. He also develops a bit of a cough during this time. It doesn’t sound like his regular reflux cough. He also has a low grade fever.
Alex still has some very loose stools. Some of them look a little red. I’m pretty sure it’s just the dyes from the Pedialyte but I bring a diaper with us to the doctor just in case. Dr. Su sees him that afternoon. She says that he looks good and he’s okay to stay at home as long as he doesn’t do any more backsliding. She also says that he could have diarrhea for a week and that would be okay. She takes a listen to his chest. It appears he picked up a cold at the hospital. We don’t have any vomiting or bowel movements that night but he does spit up a bit when we try a thickened feed.
We had healthy stool today! It was a bit dark and pasty, but definitely not diarrhea! He’s still had a slight fever and a bit of a cold. He seems to be teething too. He’s done really well. He’s spitting up a bit, but I think that’s because we haven’t been thickening his feeds. He’s happy and eating great.
This has been the most stressful week ever. I hated being at the hospital but it was better safe than sorry. I’m so relieved that he’s feeling better and that it wasn’t something more serious. I just pray he’s never in the hospital again (unless he decides to become a surgeon).