It’s that time of year.  The cold weather means staying indoors, easily transmitting all the nasty little cootie bugs that the kids like to bring home from school with them.  And believe me, my kids are germ magnets, so there is lots of happy germ breeding in the winter months.

Colds are common, but not a huge deal to me.  A sniffle or two here and there, usually nothing too serious.  Except that Noah, my little Stridor Prince, likes to turn cold viruses into scary, bouts of croup.  Every.  Single.  Time.

Do you see where this post is going?

Poor Noah has croup.  Again.  Only this time, he decided to show symptoms in the day time, during regular business hours for the pediatrician and the pharmacy.  The kids is losing his touch, what can I say?

We called the doctor’s office and they were even able to prescribe him oral steroids without an office visit.  Awesome.

I should mention that our regular doctor is on maternity leave, so covering her is a doctor I not so lovingly dubbed Dr Dumbass, several years ago when we had the first displeasure of meeting him.

To make a long story short, we took Bella in for a wellness check when she was about four months old and was being exclusively breastfed.  He decided that she wasn’t growing fast and chubby enough, so instead of suggesting ways to try and increase my milk supply or just be generally helpful, he informed me that breast milk isn’t always enough and some babies just need to be on formula.

Really?  Breast milk isn’t enough?  Instead, I need artificial milk…….?  I won’t turn this post into a crazy breastfeeding rant, but when a pediatrician is too lazy and/or ignorant to encourage and support breastfeeding, they are doing a great disservice to both the parents and the children that they have taken an oath to protect.

Okay.  Rant over.

Anyway, Dr Dumbass prescribed Noah’s oral steroids so we could nip the croup before it got serious.  His directions were one lump dose of the medication, whereas when we go to urgent care or the ER for croup, they always have us split the dose, half in the morning and half at night.  After Noah’s lump dose yesterday morning, he ended up getting sick.  Now, it could have had nothing to do with the lump dose of the steroids, but since we’re talking about Dr Dumbass and since he was seemingly completely fine beforehand, I blame the doctor.  The side effects did mention upset stomach, and Noah’s stomach was certainly not happy.

Happily, Noah seemed to recover pretty quickly, acting like his normal self within an hour or two.  He has a slight cough and a little bit of a runny nose, but the bark is gone, so I am hoping that the croup has left the building.

Not long after going to bed last night, Bella was at our door.

I hate it when the kids come to the door in the middle of the night, it’s never good.

Sure enough, she had thrown up.

Now, I know I have mentioned before how freaked out and anxious I get when anyone even says they have a tummy ache.  We have had great success with using 100% grape juice as a stomach bug preventative, especially for Bella who seems prone to the nasty virus.  I hate to admit it, but we have been lax with it for the last week or so, and lo and behold, now she is sick.  Coincidence?  Maybe.  I like to believe it works though.  Now that we are out of it and I am scared to death of it spreading to other members of the family.  o.O

I have read that apple cider vinegar can be used in place of grape juice, about a tsp-tbsp with 8oz of water.  In my panic mode, you can bet I was choking down some good old ACV within an hour of her leaving our room.  After liberally spraying everything I could imagine she may have touched or breathed on with her cooties.

Winter is kind of a sucky time for a germaphobe mama.


Self Diagnosis

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You know those crazy people who avoid going to the doctor at all costs and anytime they have anything wrong with them at all, they simply Google the heck up out of it, self diagnosing themselves and making a plan of action based on their short internet research that they think somehow qualifies them to do so?

Yeah.  I’m one of those crazies.

See, sometimes I am pretty good at it.  I can look up symptoms, do the research and if need be, even tell my doctor, the one I avoid at all costs, what I think I am ailed with.  Sometimes it completely backfires and my hypochondriac tendencies come through, convincing me that I am dying from a rare tropical disease that I must have picked up from the mysteriously tan senior citizen that obviously just returned from a cruise to an exotic locale, infected with xyz and therefore infecting me.   No really, my brain works like that.

So what crazy self diagnosis have I come up with now?  Well, I’m pretty sure this one is right on the money.  It all started back in May when the boys got pink eye.  (Funny side note here.  I titled that post “You can’t get pinkeye from someone farting on your pillow.  Probably.”  Do you know, that is one of my most popular posts that bring people in via search engines?  Everybody is dying to know if the old myth is true.  Funny.  Also, if that’s how you got here and you are wondering that very thing, the answer is no.  Fecal material introduced to your eye can, however, cause pinkeye.  You’re welcome, and no, that’s not how I got pinkeye.  It’s also caused by bacteria and by viral infections like the common cold.  That is what is most common.  The more you know…)

The boys got it, and a few weeks later, I got it.  It was bad.  And gross.  I used the eye drops, wore my glasses, pitched my old contacts and case and even pitched all of my makeup.  I used Lysol religiously and cleaned sheets, towels and pillow cases like nobody’s business.  About 10 days later, after the infection was completely cleared up, I put in a fresh pair of contacts.  By the end of the day, I had what appeared to be pinkeye.  Again.

What the what?!

Repeated my original plan of action.  Meanwhile, no one else in the house was ever infected.  Also, I noticed it was different this time.  My eyes weren’t crusting over, but they were very heavily tearing.  Also, I still had discharge, but it was white, not neon green.  Tmi?  Well, you’ve read too much to go back now, haven’t you?

Wore my glasses for what felt like forever, mostly because I hate to wear my glasses.  Just two days ago, I put a fresh pair of contacts in.  Again, my eye became irritated, only this time, it hurts.  Like crazy.  Like, I woke up last night at 1 am, and was unable to sleep all night because of the gritty, painful sensation in my eye.

Call me crazy, but that motivated me to call the doctor.  But first, Google.  What I believe I have is GPC or Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis.  It can happen from several different irritants, and perhaps it is linked to the original case of bacterial conjunctivitis aka pinkeye.  What happens, is the eye lid becomes irritated and forms these little bumps that is essentially a rash on the inside of your eyelid that spends it’s time scraping the bejeezus out of your cornea.  That would explain the crazy pain.  Wearing contacts can aggravate it further, which would explain why I keep getting “pinkeye” over and over again despite my OCD cleaning and disinfecting.

So now what?  Well, I am calling the doctor as soon as the office opens.  There are drops that can help, and in the meanwhile, I will need to wear my glasses for several weeks until the GPC heals.  Afterwards, I should be able to wear contacts again, but most definitely for shorter periods of time to reduce the chances of this lovely condition ever returning.

Like how I already have myself diagnosed, treatment plan in place?  I’m not a doctor, I just play one in my head.  I could be wrong.  I guess.  All I know is that I would like my eyeball to not hurt.  And be all red and icky.  Yes, that would be nice.  So, very reluctantly I will be going to an actual doctor today who will hopefully make it all better.  I will update later today because I know you will be worried sick about me.  Well, you might be curious anyway.

Here’s hoping your day is filled with far less eye pain than mine!  Lucky duck.