Health

You can run, but you can’t hide

I knew it was coming. I knew it would not be long. I KNEW I could not go more than a year before it happened(que Jaws theme music)….the EAR INFECTION!! In our house, no two words together have caused more sleepless nights(everyone), snotty noses(kids), fever(kids) and tears(mostly mine). Kate has been diagnosed with her very first ear infection…and it only took 13 months. On the whole, that actually isn’t bad since it seemed like Max had one every three months for almost two years….he just CAN’T go easy on me can he? We were in beautiful, sunny Palm Springs for Christmas, but nary a sun ray to be had nor a palm tree to be seen since both kiddos came down with head colds as soon as their feet touched California land….I think they may be allergic, but I’m no doctor. So we spent most of our “vacation” running back and forth to CVS and stocking up on the local delicacies(since you can’t just get everything in one stupid trip) such as: Mucinex(Grape AND Cherry), Sudafed(even though the FDA has CLEARLY banned if for six years and under, but what the hell do they know….she says defiantly), humidifiers(two…one for each kid), Benadryl(because I’m not above drugging a baby to get some sleep!) and a very cheap, large bottle of wine for mommy. Needless to say my husband and I were dreading the flight back, and we were not disappointed. Let’s just say that bad things were said, food was thrown, hands flew and screaming emanated from everyone’s mouths. I even think Max let out a curse word somewhere, but I cannot be sure. But, we made it back to Texas safely, if not a wee bit humiliated and traumatized. First thing this morning, I called Doc Scott and I am about to go pick up BOTH of their antibiotics since they both have ear infections. Max is handling his very well…he’s the ole’ pro. Kate, on the other hand, has seen better days. She’s tired, misty eyed and probably wondering what the hell happened to the right side of her head. I too am tired, misty eyed and wondering what the hell happened to my entire face!

If only being skinny was MY problem!

Not to belittle the whole “failure to thrive” thing, but honestly….if a doctor said that I was in the 20th percentile for weight and 40th percentile for height, I just might make out with her. Seriously. We spend the first years of our lives trying to gain weight and keep up with the average percentiles. We then proceed to spend the rest of our lives trying to LOSE weight and keep up with rail thin teenagers and actresses! Oh, the irony. Why am I saying all this? I took Kate in for her 9 month check-up and the pediatrician said she was too, “skinny.” She only gained .2 oz in three months and barely grew in height. It seems as if Miss Thang decided that growing was just too much to deal with and she went on hiatus…such a diva! Like I said, I don’t mean to make light of the fact that she didn’t grow, as evident by the mere fact that I marched home and proceeded to shove food down her throat! I just thought how interesting it was that being called skinny and petite is not such a good thing when we’re little, but TOTALLY acceptable when we’re older. I use to be considered skinny and petite…now I would give my left nut to be called skinny. That is, if I actually had nuts to sacrifice to the skinny gods.

Oh, and don’t you like the fact that on September 11th, the 7th anniversary of our nation’s most devastating terrorist attacks…I’m only concerned with being skinny? Typical.

Researchers have found new genetic link to Autism

Great story and some hope for parents either worried about or are currently dealing with Autism in their family. This was picked up on all the major news networks, but I liked the CNN story best. As with any disease, knowledge is power and the more we know and educate ourselves on the facts, the faster we can start addressing the problem. In this case, detecting Autism early could mean the difference between a dibilitating disease and one that can be managed.

The child who didn’t sleep

No really…there actually is a child who is awake 24 hours a day! I was googling some information about sleep problems, after another 5 AM wake up time with my 3 year old, and I came across this story just a few months back. This 3 year old has a rare medical condition called chiari malformation where brain tissue protrudes into the spinal canal affecting his sleep…in other words, it keeps him awake almost 24 hours a day! You think you’ve got it bad, these parents take shifts during the day and night to keep watch over their poor kiddo. The father even had to quit his job! I won’t ever complain about my 3 year old’s crappy sleep habits again.

How to turn your kid into a Hypochondriac

My 3 year old has been putting things in his mouth again. I really thought those days were over, but, for some reason, he’s been licking or biting everything before using it. It kinda freaked me out at first because I thought he might have a “sensory” issue. However, my always logical husband reminded me that kids put stuff in their mouths and it’s as simple as that. He said, “when I was 5, I use to eat dirt just because I wanted to know what it tasted like.” Yeah. He’s an attorney now so all those minerals must have done his brain real good.

So, we’ve been having discussions about what goes in our mouths(er, that would be my SON and I discussing, not my husband and I…that’s a whole different kind of blog). Like food, cups, forks etc and what doesn’t go in the mouth like cars, puzzle pieces, the ottoman, little sisters etc. We’ve also been talking about WHY we don’t put things in the mouth that don’t belong….the “why” being germs. I actually thought I was doing a pretty good job…he was starting to not bite or lick things as much and stopped if I had to remind him that no, we don’t lick trash cans. Yes, I was ready to give myself quite the pat on the back for being a supermom. Just as I was feeling proud of myself, I saw him drawing on his Doodle Pro and I happen to glance over. He was drawing these little ghost-like things that kinda resembled the Pac Man ghosts; weird cause he’s never seen Pac Man! I asked him what he was drawing and he responds with, “GEEERRRMS.” He’s facinated, no, he’s down right OBSESSED with germs! When asked, “Now why don’t you put your marker in your mouth?” He’ll promptly reply, “Because it has GEEERRRMS and GEEERRRMS make you sick and go to doctor and get yucky medicine.” Great. Now I’ve turned my kid into a germ-fearing, obsessive compulisive, hypochondriac. Now every time I turn around he’s drawing GEEERRRMS. And today he started drawing little circles with squiggly lines and calling those, “AAAALERGIES.” Damn, I’ve got one weird kid. Unfortunately, I’ve got no one to blame but myself….good one supermom! Yeah, my manual on “How to turn your kid into a Hypochondriac” should be out in the fall.

Vaccines aren’t the enemy…the diseases are!

Here’s yet another story about the high number of Measles being reported in the U.S. Why, oh why are so many parents rejecting these life saving vaccinations based on unsubstantiated theories and media hyped fears? This story is quick to point out that most cases of Measles have been reported in children who weren’t vaccinated. Why let your kid suffer and possibly put others at risk? Just recently there was a sign on our gym’s child center that a case of Pertussis(Whooping Cough) was reported in the center. I think sometimes you can do too much internet research and get all caught up in the misinformation floating around in cyberspace. If you want the facts…talk to your doctor instead of some woman named “Kelly mom” with no face or medical background.

Mom’s don’t get to call in sick

So I feel just aweful and I’ve felt this way for the past few days. I finally went to the doctor and I’ve got a sinus infection. It’s interesting how we rush our children to the doctor for the slightest cough or smallest scrape, but it’s easier to move mountains than get OURSELVES there! Anyway, I’m laying on the couch, savoring a precious 30 minutes when both my 3 year old and 5 month old are asleep, and it occurs to me that Mom’s don’t get to phone it in….ever. Oh sure, there are days when the television is on too long, or your feeling lazy so the laundry that’s been piling up for weeks isn’t finished. Yes. Even I have days like that…it’s rare, but it happens(LOL!). I remember when I was working in pharmaceutical sales(pre-children) and I got 5 sick days, 2 weeks paid vacation and 4 floating holidays for the year…that’s like a whole month of NOT working: of blissful nothingness. You remember those days right? Back when your biggest concern when you were feeling sick was, “Ugh. There is nothing good on television between 9 and noon.” Of course, pre-kids, you rarely used those sick days because you were “sick.” Let’s face it, before you had a little petri dish to bring home every possible cough, cold, flu and pox, you were actually pretty darn healthy.

So now here we are, a few years and kids later thinking, “If I could just have those sick days back I’ll never waste them on a day of shopping and Starbucks again! Please!!!” But it’s impossible. You can’t have those sick days because you’re a parent and every time you turn around(slowly, because your head is so stuffed that it’s in grave danger of exploding), someone is demanding something of you. Now, this is where I’m suppose to mention that if having sick days back means I couldn’t have my kids then it’s worth all the sneezing, coughing and fevers in the world. Yeah. That’s what I’m SUPPOSE to say and any other day I would. But with how I’m feeling right now, ask me again tomorrow.

BPA. If ain’t one thing, it’s another!

So, there’s something else to worry about…BPA in bottles. I remember this story came out back in 2004 or 2005 and it was a big deal in the media, but, as it always goes with media, something better and more terrifying came along so we never heard anymore about BPA until recently. I found a great website that has some really great information on the topic as well as a list of Non-BPA products for baby. I think this is just a good site to have in your bookmark folder. The site is safemama.com and here’s the list of non-BPA products available.

I copied this from safemama.com because I thought it was a good summary of the topic:
For those who don’t know, BPA is Bisphenol A is a hormone-mimicking chemical used in polycarbonate plastics and resins commonly used for items such as shatterproof baby bottles. Bisphenol has estrogenic properties which, in animal tests has shown to cause a bevy of health problems such as an increase in prostate and breast cancer, uro-genital abnormalities in male babies, a decline in semen quality in men, early onset of puberty in girls, metabolic disorders including insulin-resistant (Type 2) diabetes and obesity and neurobehavioral problems such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Research is showing that when plastic containers, mostly those used to hold liquids and foods, are leeching Bisphenol into the foods and liquids they are holding. Heating food and liquids with these plastics is shown to increase the leeching of this contaminate.
Many companies use this chemical in their packaging including cans, soda cans, and plastic food containers. There is a risk of absorbing this chemical through the use of containing foods and liquids but can also leech into our water systems through landfills.
Many leading experts argue that the use of Bisphenol is safe to the human public but research may begin to further prove otherwise.

A different way to look at the suction bulb

Okay, my 9 week old has had aweful congestion for the past two weeks. I was just letting it run it’s course but decided I needed to take her in since it hasn’t gotten any better. I absolutely LOVE my pediatrician! He’s always got these great techniques to get stuff done. He taught me “the move” which made giving my son medicine much, much easier(I’ll describe “the move” at a later blog…if you have a bad medicine taker then it will change your life!). Anyway, I took my daughter in and he asked me, “What are you doing for the congestion?” I said, “Well, I’m dropping saline and suctioning it out.” He proceeded to tell me, “No, no…you gotta blow the saline up into those sinus cavities that need to be cleaned out. Let me show you.” I’ll give you a step by step of what he did. 1)Depending on how old or how strong the baby is, you may want to swaddle the arms down. 2)Tilt the head back a bit and flood the nose with saline, and I mean FLOOD it. I’ve always put a few drops in each, but this is where you just dump their nose with saline. 3)Take the bulb and push air into one nostril, the opposite of suctioning it. What this does is blow that saline all up in the places that just using drops won’t get. 4)Leave the bulb in and keep slowly blowing and the mucus will either come out the other nostril or they’ll swallow it. It took me a few times to get it down, but once I did…it worked great! Especially now with all the new regulations on cough/cold medications for kids under 2, this new way of clearing out a baby’s congestion works great!

Autism: Epidemic or Underdiagnosed

I just read an article on msnbc.com that addresses the hotbutton of Autism and the incidence rate that has been recently splashed around the media. A few months ago, the experts said that as many as 1 on 150 children suffer from Autism and that statement sent parents into a hysteria! Every little quirk, off behavior, display of anger was and is scrutinized as we look for that “Autism” red flag and mom’s everywhere agonize over little things like, “My kid DOES line up his toys” and “Sometimes my 2 year old DOESN’T respond to her name!” Then you’ve got all the parents who refuse vaccinations because they think the Thirmisol causes Autism. Here’s what I think….Get A GRIP People!!!!! There is no medical link between vaccinations(more specifically the MMR) and the rate of Autism, despite how hard we’ve tried to find a link. Instead, what is considered to be Autism, which now includes a “spectrum” of behaviors and different degrees, has changed over the years. Doctors and experts have started to 1)better diagnos the disease and 2)increase what they consider to be Austisic. Now, if you’ve got a disease that has widened the parameters and has much more information surrounding it…then yeah, of course it’s going to be caught and diagnosed more. That doesn’t mean the incidence rate has gone up, it means that we are recognizing it more and labeling it faster.

I think that in the next 10 or 15 years, what we’re going to find is that Autism is a genetic mutation and it’s as simple as that. Genetics and environment…that’s what we’ll find and all this vaccination talk will finally be laid to rest. Genetics. The key to many diseases like Cancer, MS and Heart Disease(to some extent).

It’s a great article…check it out: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21600784/

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