Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Carry Me!

 I thought I'd share this article from Today's Parent. I'm cleaning out my emails of things I've saved; I might as well post them here so others can enjoy/learn!
Again, bold and italics are added by me!
This was originally published on Dec 19, 2006, on my knitting blog

Carry Me!Good for you, good for your baby. So why don't we do it more?
By Teresa Pitman

Lenore Kilmartin is convinced that carrying her baby saved his life. "OK, maybe the doctors who did the surgery also had something to do with it, she concedes. "But I have no doubts that being carried around helped him."
Liam, her fifth child, seemed healthy and normal at birth. Kilmartin took care of him just as she had her older children, carrying him in a sling or soft carrier most of the day while she did housework, went shopping and helped her other children.
"He did seem a little quieter than the others, but I thought that was just his personality," she comments. "He nursed frequently but for short times; and that was easy to do with the sling."
During a visit to the doctor when Liam was five months old, Kilmartin was shocked to discover that he had a serious heart defect. They went straight from their family doctor's office to a paediatric heart specialist. The diagnosis? Liam had four holes in his heart and would need surgery to repair them.
"The doctor asked me, 'Didn't you notice his lips turning blue when he cried?' " Kilmartin recalls. "And I realized that he really never cried. He was always close to me, so if he started to fuss or squirm around, I could quickly shift his position or burp him or nurse him if that was what he wanted. He really never got to the point of crying hard."
The doctor was also very impressed by Liam's weight gain. "Most babies with heart problems like Liam's, because they tire so easily, have problems gaining weight," Kilmartin explained. "But Liam never tired himself out with crying, so his weight gain was very good. That meant he went into his surgery in good shape."
He also made a rapid recovery --heading home six days after the operation. "I tucked him back into the sling and he continued to do well," Kilmartin says.

Being carried has also been shown to be helpful to tiny premature babies. With these infants, it's often called 'kangaroo care' because it mimics the way mother kangaroos carry their babies in a pouch until the joey is more mature. The system originated in Colombia, South America, but research shows that when premature babies are carried in an upright position, skin to skin with their parents, they gain weight better, maintain body temperature and have better breathing and heart rates. Just as important, the parents feel a stronger attachment to the babies they have carried, and are less likely to abuse or neglect them.
Carrying may be good for babies with health problems, but what about normal, healthy infants? Is it a good idea, or will it spoil the baby?

Happy or Spoiled?
Harvey Karp, a California paediatrician and author of The Happiest Baby on the Block, suggests we should consider that all babies are really born “prematurely” — at least compared to most other newborn animals.
"It's as though we made a contract with our babies," he explains. "Human babies have large brains that continue to grow through the first years, and in order for the baby's head to fit through the mother's pelvis, it needs to be born while it is still pretty undeveloped. So the deal was, the baby promised to come out early and we promised to imitate a uterus. That means giving the baby the constant contact, movement and soothing sounds that would be part of the uterine environment."
Karp adds: "The problem is that some parents are trying to wiggle out of the agreement. And babies let us know they're not happy with us not keeping our part of the bargain the only way they can; by crying."

Ronald Barr, professor of paediatrics at the University of British Columbia, says the link between carrying and reduced crying is very clear. He first discovered this in a 1986 study, where an extra two hours of carrying each day reduced the overall amount of crying by 43 percent.

Carrying a baby seems to make some other aspects of caregiving easier, which may reduce crying as well, says Barr. For example, the !Kung San in Africa ; who carry their infants almost all the time, respond to every fret or whimper the baby makes within 10 seconds. That's a lot easier to do when the baby is right there with you, not a wailing sound from upstairs heard through a baby monitor.

How important that quick response is may depend somewhat on your baby's temperament. Barr cites research which showed that babies who were described as irritable or sensitive and intense in their responses cried much less when their parents responded to them immediately and appropriately. Speed was important -- if it took a long time for someone to arrive, these irritable infants became very hard to soothe.

Despite the clear benefits of carrying, Barr's research shows that, in North America at least, babies are now being carried less, not more. There is good data to show that our babies are spending more time in car seats and strollers, and less time in body contact with parents.
Recent research by Barr, not yet published, looked at five-month-old babies in the province of Quebec. Barr recorded the total amount of contact time the babies had with their parents or caregivers over a period of 24 hours. This included feeding, diaper changing, dressing, bathing, carrying and holding -- and the average was six hours. "That seems very low to me," says Barr.

And it is much lower than in many countries around the world. Cathy Baldizon, a mother of two boys who formerly worked with CARE, says that when her family was living in Guatemala, the Mayan women carried their babies almost all the time, tied to their bodies with large shawls. One day I was looking at a book that had photos of Asian women carrying their babies tied in shawls, Baldizon recalls. I showed the pictures to my Guatemalan friends, pointing out that these women carried their babies just like they did. Their reaction was puzzlement: "What's the big deal? Don't all mothers carry their babies this way?" The idea that a mother wouldnÂ’t carry her baby was just unimaginable to them.

So why don't more Canadian parents carry their babies? Barr says: "I think it is almost a side effect of the campaign to get babies into car seats in cars, which has been very successful. It just seems convenient to parents to move the baby around in the car seat even when they arenÂ’t in the car, now that the seats have handles or can be popped into a stroller."

Tonya Brock, the mother of two-year-old Lindsay and four-year-old Jason, says: "It's the spoiling thing. I think people are worried that their babies wonÂ’t ever become independent or be able to separate if they carry them too much when they are babies. Certainly a lot of people said that to me when I was carrying Jason and Lindsay."
Barr has heard similar comments. "Whenever I talk about the !Kung San people and how they carry their babies constantly and respond to them immediately, the first question I get is "Don't they all grow up to be wimps?" The answer to that is a very clear NO! There is no way you can consider these people to be wimps! Just to give one example: the !Kung San mothers give birth without any help and without crying out from pain. There are many more examples of their strengths.

Barr also mentions a study done by Marjorie Elias, which compared babies of La Leche League leaders in the Boston area to other mothers. Barr says, She found that the babies in the LLL group --who were carried more, responded to more quickly and nursed more frequently --did not become more demanding or cry more as they got older. They did not show any more "spoiled" behaviours than the control group.

Brock has also had people tell her, "The baby looks so uncomfortable," when they saw Jason or Lindsay curled up in the sling. Once when she was walking quickly through an airport and carrying Lindsay, a woman stopped her and said, "You're going to make your baby sick by jiggling her so much."

Joan Grusec, professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, says parents shouldn't worry about spoiling babies. "Babies most often cry because they are distressed in some way," Grusec explains, "and physical contact is soothing and beneficial. The spoiling comes when the crying is deliberately used as a way of getting something else, such as attention. This is more likely to happen as children grow older. But carrying a baby in arms, a sling or soft carrier is a good idea -- it provides both comfort and stimulation for the baby."

The Carrying Continuum
Grusec adds that, in general, our culture doesn't encourage parents to carry babies. She points out that "different cultures have different goals." Close body contact for infants tends to be prevalent in cultures that value group harmony and interdependence. Other cultures value separation and autonomy — and Canada seems to fit into the second category.

"North American parents tend to use more visual contact and play with objects, and this is seen as facilitating greater separation," Grusec explains.
Of course, Canadian society is by no means a homogeneous mixture, like a purreed soup. We're more like a stew with a variety of different foods, so we have some parents who carry their babies a lot because of their cultural background or philosophy of parenting, others who carry them some of the time, and others who rarely take them in arms. These parents may have different aspirations for their children, different child-rearing goals. As Grusec says: Parents are comfortable with different things. There are many ways of raising children (including whether or not to carry them) and, within reasonable limits, most things work."

Baby's temperament
The baby's temperament may be a factor too in determining whether or not the baby gets carried. If carrying is the best -- or only -- way to soothe your crying baby, you may end up doing it a lot even if it wasn,t part of your planned approach to parenting. Tonya Brock says that easygoing Lindsay would probably be fine with less carrying, but Jason was a different story. "He was very fussy as a baby --not only did he need to be carried, but he needed me to keep moving," she recalls. "Carrying him was the only way we could both be happy."
When Brock returned to work seven months after Jason's birth, she spent quite a bit of time searching for a daycare provider who would continue to carry Jason. "I think the fact that Chantelle was willing to hold him made a big difference in how he adjusted to being in daycare," Brock says.

Sometimes carrying is just the practical way to go. With Jason a very active toddler when Lindsay was born, Brock found a carrier for her daughter was a very practical accessory. "It left my hands free to get work done, and I didn't have to worry about leaving her behind to chase after Jason."

So should parents carry their babies more? Barr has a lot of trouble with the word 'should.'
All other things being equal, the more body contact time you have with your baby, the better," he says. "If you can carry your baby more, you will both benefit because your baby will cry and fuss a lot less. But I also recognize that people may have important reasons that prevent them from carrying their babies, and so it can be a trade-off. The baby who is carried less will cry more, but will grow up just fine."
In the end, Brock and Kilmartin both say they carried their babies "because it felt right." Brock adds: "There is something about the feel of their little bodies and the way they mould themselves to you and relax. It's just such a good feeling.
The babies think so too.

Carrying Your Baby: The Practical Side
The right carrier can save your back and free up your hands. You might have to do a little experimenting to find one you really like. Ask friends if you can try theirs out before investing a lot of money and be sure to check second-hand stores.
Slings are popular and are great for discreet breastfeeding; or consider a wrap, which is a long piece of cloth that can be wrapped in different ways to hold your baby in place.
Try to find someone who can show you how to use your carrier in different positions. You'll soon learn which your baby prefers.
When's a good time to carry your baby? Anytime. But if your baby is fussy at a particular time of day such as the evening, it seems to work better to start carrying the baby an hour or two before he gets fussy.

Back to me:
I've known since Huey was born about the bonding/less crying aspects of babywearing. But once Megan was born, the convenience of it has been the best advantage. Yes, Megan does need a lot of attention; she is definitely high needs. Being able to 'wear' her comfortably for long periods of time has been a huge advantage. When I see parents struggling to chase one kid while carrying a heavy carseat, or manoeuvring a stroller through the small shops in town, or up to the children's room on the third floor of the library, I smile to myself and go on my merry way. But NONE of these women approach me. I get lots of questions from grandmothers, mothers past the toddler stage, and the occasional 'granola-ish' mother. Little kids love to see Megan being worn, and grandmothers are the next big lovers.
I wouldn't lug a carseat or stroller around now, even if I had a outrageously priced one with all the bells and whistles. My baby is safe when worn, I never have to worry about losing the stroller, someone stealing it or bags in the bottom, I can go where I want, no one whacks my baby in the face with a briefcase or dangling cigarette. These points alone would sell me on babywearing.
But it's the way she sinks into me and puts her head on my chest and tells me in her own way that everything is finally right, that keeps me doing it!

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Magic of Breast Milk for Adults

This article is copied from here. I cut and pasted it, but the pictures don't seem to have made it. Bold and italics were added by me :)  I originally posted this on my knitting blog, December 17/06.

Milk Therapy
Breast-milk compounds could be a tonic for adult ills
Julie J. Rehmeyer

Catharina Svanborg thought that she already knew how remarkable breast milk is. The immunologist had logged hundreds of lab hours documenting ways in which human milk helps babies fight infections. But when the group decided to use cancerous lung cells to avoid the variability shown by normal cells in laboratory tests, Svanborg and her team at Lund University in Sweden were in for a surprise. They applied breast milk to the cancerous lung cells, and all the cells died. Breast milk killed cancer cells.

"From that moment on, we've been working with it," Svanborg says.

Svanborg's serendipitous discovery of human milk's anticancer power is remarkable, but other researchers have also been finding that breast milk can both protect against and heal a remarkable variety of ailments. Perhaps these properties shouldn't be surprising: Of the thousands of substances that people eat, breast milk is the only one that evolved under natural pressure to keep people healthy.

Research teams are now learning to exploit its tricks for purposes well beyond feeding babies. Components of breast milk are being developed as drugs that fight viruses and bacteria. A particular target is diarrhea, which kills about 2.2 million people every year, mostly children in developing countries. Other milk compounds may be added to food to improve digestion. Some milk components might fight medical conditions ranging from arthritis to septic shock.

Although some of these compounds are found in milk from other animals, others occur only in human milk, and the nonhuman versions are generally less potent in people. This presents a challenge, since human-breast milk is not available for sale. So, researchers are developing new sources for the compounds, including genetically modified bacteria, rice, goats, and cows.

The potential for therapies derived from milk is "enormous, absolutely tremendous," says Marian Kruzel, an immunologist at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston.

Good bugs and bad bugs
The protective properties of mother's milk have long been apparent. Breast-fed babies, for instance, get diarrhea half as often as infants who are fed formula do. Decades ago, scientists began wondering how breast milk stops the pathogens that cause diarrhea.

In the 1950s, Lars Hanson, an immunologist at Göteborg University in Sweden, started to solve the puzzle. He found that mothers produce antibodies in their milk and that way pass on to their babies immunities that the women had acquired over their lifetimes.

But the antibodies in breast milk didn't explain all the observations. For example, breast-fed babies have different bacteria in their guts than formula-fed babies do. The breast feeders harbor more of the beneficial, food-digesting bacteria, such as acidophilus and bifidus, as well as less of the coliform Escherichia coli and other germs that can make infants sick.
When scientists started analyzing breast milk, they found that the third-largest constituent of breast milk, making up about 1 percent by volume, is a mixture of indigestible sugars known as oligosaccharides. Many of these sugars occur only in human milk.
Initially, the scientists thought that these were useless by-products of milk production. But why would mothers expend so much energy creating compounds that their babies can't use?
In the past few years, scientists have solved this puzzle. David Newburg, of Massachusetts General Hospital in Charlestown and his colleagues genetically engineered mice to produce oligosaccharides in their milk. He then gave their pups campylobacter, a bacterium that causes diarrhea. The pups that drank oligosaccharides didn't get sick.

Unlike the antibodies that mothers pass along to their infants through breast milk, oligosaccharides can protect the baby from pathogens to which the mother has never been exposed.
For a pathogen to infect a person via the digestive tract, it first has to latch on to the sugars that line the gut wall. Oligosaccharides have binding sites that are identical to the ones on the gut-wall sugars, so the pathogens attach to the oligosaccharides instead of to the lining of the gut. Once bound to oligosaccharides, pathogens travel harmlessly through the intestinal tract.

Surprisingly, bacteria that aid digestion prosper in the presence of oligosaccharides. Bruce German, a nutritionist at the University of California, Davis, proposes that only the beneficial bacteria digest some of the oligosaccharides, thereby gaining an advantage over the harmful bacteria. This theory is controversial, however.

German says that the beneficial microbes' advantage is a natural consequence of the coevolution of breast milk and gut bacteria. Oligosaccharides occur in thousands of slightly different forms, and the precise mix of types of oligosaccharides varies from woman to woman. Those who produced breast milk with oligosaccharides that only beneficial bacteria can eat must have had an evolutionary advantage.

German notes that because of this evolutionary process, some bacteria in human digestive tracts are found nowhere else on Earth. "What milk did is recruit an entire life form to protect the infant," German says. "To me, that's pretty inspiring stuff."

German and other scientists want to leverage that protection for babies that aren't breast-fed and for adults too. Oligosaccharides might augment elderly people's weakened natural protection against pathogens. After people have taken strong antibiotics, the sugars could help them recolonize their digestive tracks with beneficial bacteria. Foreign travelers or military personnel who expect to be exposed to unfamiliar pathogens could take oligosaccharides as a preventive measure.

Newburg expects that as bacteria continue to develop resistance to antibiotics, oligosaccharides will be increasingly important for fighting pathogens. "This is a totally different type of defense against pathogens that mammals have been using for thousands of years, and it still works," Newburg says.

He suggests that bacteria can't evolve a resistance to oligosaccharides because if they change in such a way that they no longer bind to the oligosaccharide, they also can't bind to the cell wall to infect their targets. "The mechanisms for protection in milk are so exquisite," Newburg marvels.

Procuring a supply of oligosaccharides for preventive or therapeutic treatments presents a challenge. Newburg is working to genetically engineer E. coli bacteria to produce the sugars.

"What motivates me personally is the large number of babies in the Third World who have diarrhea," Newburg says. Oligosaccharides added to formula could protect babies who don't receive breast milk.

Bioengineering milk
Getting bacteria to produce human oligosaccharides would be only the first step toward Newburg's vision. For protection against infections, people would have to eat substantial amounts of oligosaccharides regularly. So, to make supplements for adults or for baby formula, bacteria would need to produce oligosaccharides in large quantities and at low cost.

ATTACK THWARTED. Bacteria that can cause pneumonia attack a throat cell by attaching to sugar chains on the cell. In a solution of oligosaccharides—indigestible sugars contained in breast milk—the pneumococci bind to the sugars and don't latch on to the throat cell.

On the other hand, genetic engineering of larger organisms has already produced inexpensive and abundant supplies of two other human-breast–milk compounds: lysozyme and lactoferrin.
In 1998, scientists genetically engineered a goat to excrete lysozyme in its milk, and in 2002, another team created one variety of rice that produces human lysozyme and another variety that yields human lactoferrin. Also in 2002, a team engineered a cow to produce human lactoferrin. As a result, researchers are for the first time performing large-scale clinical trials of lactoferrin and lysozyme.

Lactoferrin is a dazzlingly multitalented protein. In breast-fed babies, it can appropriately suppress inflammation or boost immune activity. It also fights viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Even after the protein has broken down in the gut, the fragments fight urinary-tract infections as they are expelled from the body.

Because lactoferrin lowers the immune system's inflammatory overreactions, it may be useful against arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and septic shock. In 1998, when researchers treated piglets with lactoferrin before inducing septic shock, the compound reduced mortality to less than one-fourth of that in untreated piglets. In 2001, another group showed that treating rats in septic shock with lactoferrin dramatically reduced blood-toxin concentrations.

The many claims for lactoferrin's capabilities "may look suspicious," admits Michal Zimecki, an immunologist at the Polish Academy of Sciences in Wroclaw. Lactoferrin "seems like a golden bullet, but it really is so."

Lysozyme is, by comparison, a one-trick pony: It chews up bacterial cell walls. However, its trick is fine-tuned. Lysozyme selectively destroys deleterious bacteria, usually leaving the beneficial ones unharmed.

At a clinic in Peru, Bo Lönnerdal, a nutritionist at the University of California, Davis, recently conducted a trial of a combination of lactoferrin and lysozyme against diarrhea. The standard treatment for acute diarrhea in children there is simple rehydration with a solution of sugar and salt.

Lönnerdal added his two compounds to the solution given to half the children treated. Those who received lactoferrin and lysozyme, he found, recovered more quickly and were less prone to a repeat bout of the disease. The study is scheduled to appear in an upcoming Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition.

Killer milk
As outlandish as lactoferrin's potential may seem, it is perhaps even stranger to think that breast milk components could cure cancer.

Once Svanborg and her team had established that something in breast milk was killing human cancer cells in the lab, they isolated the assassin. It turned out to be the protein alpha-lactalbumin. But the compound becomes lethal only when exposed to acid, as it is in a stomach and was in the lab. The acid unfolds the alpha lactalbumin protein into a havoc-wreaking form.

Svanborg dubbed the acidified form of the protein HAMLET, for human alpha-lactalbumin made lethal to tumors.

Cancer cells take up far more HAMLET than healthy cells do. The huge quantities of unfolded proteins destroy the cancer cells.

Svanborg found that HAMLET killed 40 kinds of tumor cells in lab dishes. She has also studied the reactive compound in rats with human-cancer cells implanted in their brains. She used an invasive cancer called glioblastoma that usually kills people in less than a year. She injected HAMLET directly into the tumors of some of the rats, while others received injections of alpha-lactalbumin that hadn't been activated by acid.

After 7 weeks, the rats getting inactive protein bore tumors seven times, on average, as large as the tumors in the HAMLET-treated rats, the researchers reported in 2004.

Svanborg has also found that HAMLET reduces warts in people. Warts and tumors share the property of growing without respect to normal controls. HAMLET reduced the volume of more than 95 percent of the warts to which it was applied, whereas only 20 percent of warts treated with a placebo decreased in size.

Svanborg is currently concluding human trials of HAMLET for bladder cancer. She says that her results "look very good," and that the treatment produced no side effects. Pharmaceutical companies are now developing the activated protein for clinical use.
Hanson, the first scientist to isolate immune antibodies from breast milk, says that HAMLET is "quite a discovery," especially since it seems to be effective against so many kinds of cancer. He cautions, though, that "the crucial thing will be the clinical studies."

Whether or not breast milk turns out to be the source of a potent cancer therapy, its remarkable properties have led to a new view of its role. "My thinking on milk has changed totally," says Newburg. "I used to think of it as the best source of nutrients. Now, it's looking like milk is really designed to be protective."

Soon, that protection may extend to the rest of us.

Back to me!
How wonderful that 'modern' science is taking advantage of something as ancient and 'barbaric' as human milk. Too bad the protein has to be acidified before it can treat conditions such as cancer and warts (ssshhh....Rob has a couple warts, LOL). How can people NOT want to feed their human babies with human milk?! I just don't get it. There's not one single thing that makes formula 'better' than human milk, and it's not even considered equivalent. It's not a substitute for breastmilk, as so many think. Substituting implies equality, and formula is so far off from being equal. It's an alternative, and a poor one at that. Formula has gotten better in the past 150 years, and maybe adding these new compounds will improve it more. But gosh, why not just start with the good stuff anyway?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Scarlet Fever

Written Dec 13 2006:
(On December 8, Lucy had been feeling unwell in the morning, but fine for school).

Lucy was doing better, still coughing at night and in the morning but went to school Monday and Tuesday, we went to the Early Years Center Tuesday morning. Walked home from school yesterday, had popcorn. Then she laid down on the couch and went downhill. No dinner. Went to bed, but woke up so hot. She wouldn't take all her Motrin, even though she's usually a good medicine taker. This morning she threw up a couple times (probably from coughing), and I could see she was really sick now. Her sparkle was gone.

We went to the doctor's. We are not the type to run to the doctor's, and so, when we do, the kid is usually quite ill. Lucy laid down on the bed while we waited, and fell asleep. The doctor took her temp. and it was 40C! Yikes. So I felt bad I hadn't forced more Motrin on her. She gave her a double dose of Motrin right there in the office, told her to stay in bed with no TV (uh....sure), and gave us a prescription for antibiotics that she has to take every 4 hours. Not just 8 times/day type of thing, but every 4 hours night and day. She said she's really sick and might have a touch of pneumonia--there was some 'crackling' but it was inconsistent.

So I've got to drag a really sick girl out to Wal-Mart for medicine, and to pick up Huey after school. And Megan won't have her nap. I'm having a bad pain day, the sling I was trying to sew last night I goofed on, and Lucy's going to miss her first school concert.

December 15:
Someone stop the earth and let me off for a day. I need a rest.

Lucy had a red blotch on her face yesterday. Today, Huey wakes up complaining he's sick. And Lucy has a rash over her neck, chest, back, and some on her hands and arms. I read the sheet from her medicine; it says a rash can be a sign of allergic reaction. I call her doctor--not in today. The lady says to go to the ER. So much for having a doctor in a group practice. Lucy freaks about going to the hospital, but was a very good girl there. The doctor there does not confirm or dismiss the pneumonia diagnosis, but says the rash could be an allergic reaction, or it could be Scarlet Fever, based on her white tongue and enlarged tonsils. She took a swab, which won't be back until Tuesday, and like most things, the contagious period is mostly before the rash shows, and with SF, until on meds for 24 hours.  We get a different prescription.

So we get home, to hear Megan screaming from her bed and Daddy cursing. Huey's throwing up, Megan was throwing her sippy cup in the toilet, and poor Daddy can't get a thing done :)

We're not going to the family Christmas party tomorrow. In some ways, it's a relief. I got rid of some stress earlier in the week by buying a gift game present instead of trying to madly knit one and hope it works. But it would have been a stressful time there anyway.

December 17 2006:
So, it's Sunday night. Whew. Hopefully all will be back to normal tomorrow.
Lucy still has the rash, which would lead one to believe it is Scarlet fever and not an allergic reaction. However, despite Megan's very runny nose, and Huey's tummy troubles (He feels everything in his tummy), neither of them have the rash. Lucy is feeling better, but still has quite an attitude problem! Megan is cranky a lot, Huey is irritable, I'm sleepy, and Daddy is going insane, having been home for four days!

December 20 2006:
Looking back, I see I never concluded the mystery of Lucy's illness. After my post on Friday I went to Wal-Mart to drop off the new prescription. They said it'd be an hour, so I went home. Went back almost an hour later, spent 10 minutes staring at all the cold remedies, pain relievers, etc for kids. Why do they make no-name acetaminophen for kids/infants, but not no-name ibuprofen? I went to get the prescription. Oh, it's not ready. Ummm, the computer's not saying 'where' it is (the computer can tell the clerk if it's started getting filled, sitting in the drawer, or whatever). So I sit on the bench while she 'just looks after this next person' and the next, and the next, and the never ending line of people after them. I butt in and ask again. Oh, yeah...still no clue. I waited on the hard wooden bench for 50 MINUTES AFTER IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE READY! And I DIDN"T HAVE MY KNITTING!! ARGH!! Rob's totally pissed when I get home cause he had to stop working on the powder room again. I'm almost seeing double I'm so freakin tired. It was not fun!

On Monday afternoon the doctor's office phones, leaves a message to call back. So I did, and of course the lady says "Can I put you on hold?" and of course I said "Sure." Well, 10 minutes later I was still on hold. So I hung up and called back. For 10 minutes I got a busy signal. I was certain that when I finally got through they'd be closed, LOL.

The swab was positive for strep throat--the same bacteria that causes Scarlet Fever. AND, another girl in her class is suspected to have just had SF. So, we're going with that, and not an allergic reaction, which is good because she is hating the penicillin. But the cough is not a symptom of SF, so who knows.

No one else has the rash, but man, Megan is driving me batty. Poor sleep, up very early again. And she doesn't respond to any of the sleep 'remedies'! She starts the night out good--while I'm still up and having my 'child-free time' but by the time I get to sleep, she starts waking up way too frequently. Last night she was up at 1:30, nursed quite well and went back to sleep. But woke at 2:30 having a temper tantrum! I thought maybe it's the reflux again; there was corn in her dinner; maybe a burp....no! So I made a bottle and she drank 4 oz, which is pretty good for her, but why didn't she just nurse longer at 1:30? I was pretty much asleep then, LOL, it's hard to sleep while giving a bottle! Then she was up at 6:25!! Like, I mean, up for the day. Same thing yesterday. She had a short morning nap yesterday, and napped for the walk to school, but the rest of the day was totally miserable. Today I managed to keep her awake all morning (we didn't go out anywhere) and she was asleep in the truck before I even got Lucy in to take her to school! So, it's quiet here and I'm going to go have my coffee and watch my stupid soap opera :)

March 2012 (or 2011?):
Lucy gets sick and is put on amoxicillin.  After about a week, we notice (while away in Bancroft at Mom and Dad's), that suddenly her cheeks and upper body are blotchy red.  I take some pictures and show my doctor when we get home.  Yes, Lucy is allergic to penicillin.  So.  What does this mean for the mysterious illness she had in December 2006?  I don't know what the first medicine was, just that the second one was penicillin.  At least, I think they switched meds when we went to the ER, I don't recall.  It's possible that she had scarlet fever AND an allergic reaction.  I have read that you get very swollen with SF, and she wasn't.  But it would be strange that the first allergic reaction started so quickly when the next one (that we recall), took a week.

October 2012:
Lucy had a lump on a baby molar and we visited the dentist, who advised getting it removed.  He was informed on Lucy's penicillin allergy, so he went over to the pharmacist in the drugstore across the hall to ask him.  He came back over to speak with us, and recommended a different antibiotic, and said if she's allergic to that, there's not much else left for this sort of thing.  She started taking it, and a week later, on Halloween, I noticed her ears and cheeks were red.  Thinking it was just the wind, she went out trick or treating.  When she got home, they were more red, AND her arms were blotchy.  A trip to the doctors confirmed she's allergic to sulpha drugs too.  Just recently, Rob's mom had an infection, and after a week on a sulpha drug, she developed a rash.  So, now we use Biaxcin, we'll see how long this one works...there's been a couple prescriptions over the past two years and no rashes.

Those Were the Days!

Origianlly from Dec  8 2006:

You know you're tired when...

...you forget to pick your son up for your weekly lunch date! Not only was I at the school at lunch time to drop Lucy off, but I didn't even remember that I had forgotten Huey until he was home for the afternoon, and he said something about it! It was an off day--Lucy was sick again in the morning, so she didn't go to speech therapy, but was totally fine by school time, which I was glad for as I had a doctor's appointment in the afternoon. I was focused on getting Lucy to school, then going to Wal-Mart to kill some time before the appointment.

Megan slept better last night, but is pretty miserable today. And now I'm sick. I only felt tired, logically, and a bit sniffly, last night at Knit Night at the store, but shortly after getting home, I could feel it coming. And of course, today is another PD Day. That would have been okay if the kids had slept in, but as usual Murphy fashion, they were up earlier than usual (although Megan slept in a bit).

I'm having a hard time with Megan. She is pretty cranky today, but that doesn't stop her:

There she is...trying to make her own toast. She can climb onto the chairs and then right onto the table. (Pardon her outfit...she was a mess and I didn't feel like going upstairs to find a matching shirt so I stole one of Lucy's too small shirts from the laundry). She can also climb onto my extra high bed, into the bathtub, and even up several steps of Huey's ladder. On one hand, she likes having a big brother (and big sister), but she would be so much easier to supervise if she were an only child!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Funny Kids!

Originally posted on my knitting blog, December 4, 2006

Lucy has been full of hysterical sayings lately (when she's not being hysterical, that is. Hysterical as in screaming mad, not ha-ha funny). Grandma and Grandad with the Pear Trees were coming to babysit them last Friday (oh-Grandma--when we say bed at 7:30, there's a reason, LOL). Both Huey and Lucy thought we were going out to have another baby!! And last week, I took them to the Bulk Barn. I never take them anymore as the trip before had been so horrible. But I had put it off and ran out of time. We were checking out and Lucy wanted just about every sticker pack on the rack. I said I couldn't get them right then so I'd have to send Daddy back. The cashier thought that was a great 'lie'. Hee Hee. Works a lot!

When we went to Bancroft the weekend before, we listened to "Kids Are Worth It" by Barbara Coloroso on tape. The kids played, slept, ate, etc. We didn't think they were paying much attention, but occasionally Huey would laugh at something on the tape. But then...in Bulk Barn, Lucy asked for something. I was distracted, she already picked her one treat, so I said "No." She says "But on the tape, she said I'm supposed to convince you!" LOL!!! (Referring to the section about how to avoid saying "No" by saying things like "Convince me" or "It's a no now, but if you can wait, it might become a yes once I think about it".)

And last night the MOST hysterical thing. Lucy's JK/SK class is singing in the Christmas concert. She's been practicing the songs, "Nuttin' For Christmas", "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" and Jingle Bells. But last night she started singing something else which I recognized as "Merry Christmas/War is Over" by John Lennon.
"So this is Christmas/And what have you done/Another year over/And a new one just begun..." And Lucy goes on... "And so this is Christmas/For weak and for strong/For the witch and the poor ones...and the witch is the ugly one with the poison apple from Snow White".
I nearly fell off my chair!