Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday Five

1. After a few supportive comments from knowledgeable people, I booked Gwen in for an eye exam to see if there was a vision-related cause for her recent ailment. The optometrist gave her the all-clear: no vision problems, and her eyes are healthy, except for a small allergic flare-up that could be caused by anything from grass to pollen to her recently-worn Halloween costume. So, on the one hand, we don't have to deal with a clumsy three-year-old needing glasses. On the other hand, we still don't know why she's so darn clumsy. In any case, after seeking guidance from a lot of different sources I feel that if Gwen should get another headache, I will be much better able to manage it and keep her comfortable.

2. Next week is going to be a crazy one for me. On Tuesday morning I'm heading to Vancouver to meet my best friend and go to a concert together (They Might Be Giants and Jonathan Coulton). The next day we will spend some time exploring the city, and then that afternoon I head back to the Island in time to pick up Gwen from daycare. I work the next day, and then on Friday (a stat holiday) I head back to Vancouver to meet my mom and sister for a girls' weekend in Seattle - our much smaller-scale follow-up to last year's trip to Las Vegas. In conclusion, I am only spending about two-and-a-half days out of eight at home. Whee!

3. In case you're curious, Gwen's Halloween costume was Domo Kun, who is a mascot for a Japanese television station and thus the equivalent of the NBC peacock. Domo is also an Internet sensation (see one of Gwen's favourite Domo videos here). Unfortunately, Gwen was not trick or treating on the Internet, so most people we saw had no idea what she was ("Are you a Nanaimo bar?"). That was totally made up for by the occasional group of teens or twenty-somethings who LOST THEIR SHIT when they saw her and begged to take her picture. I wish Chris - who worked his butt off making the costume - could have been there to take some of the credit, but he had to work.

4. Know what bugs me about doctors? Gwen has had this very uncomfortable-sounding cough for about a week now, the kind where she is suddenly and violently coughing in the middle of the night and then I lie there wondering if she's can breathe and I can't really relax until she coughs again, but then the cycle continues. So I took her to the doctor, where she was an absolute model patient - even the doctor was impressed. Anyway, the doc spotted a white spot at the back of her throat and thought it might be strep. So she took a swab and told us we'd have the results in about 24 hours, then did everything but physically escort us from her office. The next day, we get the call that lab results show it wasn't strep. Great, but NOW what, because she is still sick and we have no idea how to help. BOO.

5. I am doing a nifty little bit of business on the side selling my handmade cards and Christmas tags. I really enjoy making them and am happy to bring in a little bit of extra money as we're still struggling financially. I have spent the last couple of days setting up an Etsy shop and a Facebook group, which is way more work/time than I expected. The main challenge at this point is trying to learn how to take quality photographs of my products. In any case, the Etsy shop is now live (if small), so anyone who wants to can have a look. Custom stuff is available too. Please check it out and pass it on!


Sue said...

If you are really concerned about clumsyness and feel it is outside what should be normal for a 3 yr old. You can ask your Dr. for a referral to the Child Development Centre to have one of their physio's do an assessment. They just have her run around in their gym and see if she can do coordination things that 3 yr olds should do. I had them see Teagan and we ended up getting some orthotics for her, which she wore for about a year.
Have you tried a humidfier in Gwen's room to see if it helps with her coughing. You can borrow ours if you don't have one.

Anonymous said...

Hi Laura,

---This is dillen_dagen, btw.

Don't worry too much about the cough, unless it continues for several months, brings up blood, or other symptoms show up.

Basic doctor assessment for coughing is:
1) Is it strep? (test --> No)

2) Does the throat look sore? (prescribe cough syrup if child cannot sleep through, soothing soups and no acidic foods(irritates throat more)

3) If it's been going on for a month, is it bronchitis? (testing would require sending you home with a container in which to somehow sterilely insert a sputum sample(ie coughed up mucous plug)into. This is hard in kids, and the only other option is a nasopharyngal wash, which is upsetting to children and involves tubing and liquid up Gwen's nose.

Since 80% of these infections are viral anyway, and will resolve on their own, it generally isn't worth the future dislike of doctors.

Ways you can help? (This is assuming hacking wet cough, not dry little cough)

1) Encourage gwen to cough things up if they want to come up -- this will help clear her lungs.
2) Daily hot steamy showers to loosen things up in her lungs, and make it easier to expel things. Alternately, put some steaming water in a bowl and have her breathe it in with a towel over her head. Steam - good.
3) Humidified could help too.
4) Salt water gargle, if she can gargle at that age.
5) Have her sit up a bit while sleeping (extra pillow if this is safe for her age), this will help with the night coughing a bit.
6) Comfort her after the coughing spells, they suck at that age.

{I had chronic bronchitis, (ie. nasty cough for a quarter of the year + ) from about six on, and this was what my parents were told}

Amberism said...

Anna has had a nasty cough for weeks. I did take her to the doctor, and he had the same reccommendations that dillen above gave - basically hot showers, an extra pillow, and a humidifier (I think it was a cold humidifier? Now I can't remember). Anyway, it is probably viral and will eventually resolve on its own.

The night-time coughing sucks though. And when Anna had croup, that was damn scary (I don't know how people deal with croup on a regular basis, I know people who do though!). I know how much it sucks to have sick kidlets!

The only other thing I've been told is to stay away from cough medicine, although I've noticed lately the only thing available is herbal so I can't imagine that is too bad.


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