Sunday, February 7, 2010

Not So Easy

Life has been not so easy this weekend, but I can't really complain because there have been many joys even amidst various trials.

Katie is still sick with gastroenteritis (stomach virus). While she seemed to be recovering a couple of days ago, last night her symptoms were back in full force. Her intestines are obviously very irritated, and I was worried for awhile last night that we would not be able to keep even fluid down. She does not have a fever: last night she measured 98.2 and this morning 97.6. Her pediatric office said a fever might return right about now, but so far so good.

She isn't particularly lethargic and thankfully exhibits none of the signs of dehydration. In fact, she is downstairs playing with Amie and seems to be having a grand time.

The biggest challenge, for me, has been coaxing her to take the right fluids and to eat the white, bland diet prescribed to her. Katie doesn't particularly crave juice (and normally, that's great---because juice can be so full of extra sugar that I'd rather she have her 2% milk or water), but in this case, she MUST have juice if solids don't sit well in her intestinal tract. So we have been doing the "take two sips of juice and then a sip of water" routine every few minutes. She is listening and being good about it, but it takes quite a bit of gentle coaxing, logical reasoning, and patience---when really inside my mind, my tendency is to feel panicked about her being the slightest bit ill, especially with an ailment that can lead so quickly to dehydration without vigilance.

As I mentioned before, we don't eat much bland, white food. Even getting her to eat white bread made into toast has been met with extremely limited success. We have also been trying to avoid heavy meats (she has had some boiled chicken), but this is a child who loves spicy tacos and flavorful turkey sausage. Thankfully Katie loves fruit...although some of her favorites like pineapple and oranges are not options right now (too much acid). We've been eating applesauce and pears, which she enjoys. She loves whole grain crackers, and she is not very impressed by the saltines (although I love them). She does not really want to try the cream of chicken soup I bought. Some of her favorite vegetables are also off-limits right now. And Katie has always had (from the moment we started rice cereal it seemed) about what she wants to eat and how much she wants to eat it. The more she senses my urgency in wanting her to eat something, the more she looks askance at it. That has been the single biggest challenge of motherhood for me: trusting that she will not starve herself and knowing when to be kind but firm in offering her food without making a dozen different dishes. It has been easy to lose patience at times, but I continue to learn that showing emotion about it only makes her eat less. So now with a restricted diet, too,'s been rough going (but mostly just in my own head as I fret and fret and fret). She hasn't eaten much today, but I figure the reprieve from many solids will give her intestines a chance to rest, anyway.

We have been trying to give her pedialyte, of course. She can detect the unflavored version in water and will have nothing to do with it---it is way too sugary, even I think so. The grape flavor is also not to her liking. Thank GOODNESS Bill found apple flavored pedialyte last night. I have been mixing it with apple juice, and she doesn't seem to be able to tell. My child is very difficult to fool---with respect to anything. Even when I talk extremely obliquely on the phone with Amie about how things are going, Katie will talk in the background about how she doesn't want to go see the doctor about this. ;-)

I am so thankful that Katie slept well last night and after 8:00 PM, she was able to keep all fluids on board. I can hear everything sloshing in her guts when we cuddle, but she has not vomited again today---now we're back to loose bowels, which today seem to be firming up sligtly. I am really hoping she feels better again soon... Tomorrow will be Day 7, and her pediatrician said that was the approximate outer limit. Please, please, please be better. There is nothing harder in life, I think, than to see my child feeling ill. I would rather it be me a thousand times over than her.

Since she seemed to be feeling better yesterday, we went to visit my brother and his fiancee in Culver City. We had a lovely visit and I enjoyed myself, but I do feel bad because I wonder if the exertion of the trip contributed to Katie's relapse.

Today we stayed in our pajamas all day and have mainy been working on our fluids, nibbles of solid foods, and cuddling. We watched Cinderella together and played house with her dollhouse. I have been working on laundry, and Amie came over so I could take my last final for my last real estate course (escrows). Now I am ready to devote time fully to study/review for the license exam in San Diego. I am very excited that this goal has almost been met. I considered pushing off my final to another day, but I thought I should get it done. Next week I am hoping to have a more mild week, focused on Valentine's Day prep and fun with Katie, who I hope will feel better.

So this weekend has been filled on the one hand with: taxes, final exams, illness, loads of daily laundry (related to illness), and worry

But on the other hand: family time and supportive members, cozy rain, the bookstore, airplanes up close as they landed at LAX yesterday, cuddling, homemade bread, and the promise that not all weekends will be as stressful as this one.

Katie and I also watched Groundhog Day together over the course of two evenings, so yay for that, too!