Sick, poo, puke, medicine, aspirator

We are all three still sick. I think I might be just a few days from better, and Mark and Amy perhaps next. Amy’s cough sounds deeper today, but it’s still only occasional, along with her stuffy nose. Mark has dorm duty tonight but he was relieved from football duty last night and we’re all staying home from church tomorrow (even though I was supposed to play a dulcimer offertory and play guitar to accompany the dulcimer group which is leading worship).

This evening during Amy’s naked time, she squatted on the old comforter, holding on to the playtable, and very neatly plopped out a poo — very messy to clean up from the comforter, but leaving her bum nearly spotless. We’re just made to squat. It works so well. Anyway, the comforter is now bunched up in a corner waiting to be washed.

Yesterday evening, we got take-out chinese (which was disappointing). In the car on the way home, Amy puked.

I think it was my fault. At lunch, I’ve been giving her bits of nectarine or mashed cooked blueberries mixed with yogurt, which goes down just fine. But yesterday the only fruit in the house was an apple. I felt too lazy to cook it, so I just stuck a few slices in the food processor, thinking that would mash it up well enough. Still raw though — so even though the pieces were tiny they weren’t really mush, and perhaps there’s something about raw apple that just doesn’t digest well in a baby.

She objected strenuously to the vomiting experience. However, she eventually calmed down during and after a bath, and was fine the rest of the evening. And the car seat cleaned up very well, too.

She objected to her medicine the first two dosings. She is supposed to get two droppers three times a day for a week. After that first dosing I was so dismayed at the thought of having that ordeal so often and so long. But around the third dosing or so she discovered that it tasted fine, so now she mostly accepts it and even opens her mouth eagerly for it.

She continues to object to having her nose suctioned. We try to let her be, as much as we can. When we do feel that a good suctioning would benefit her, we at first have to hold down her arms and cradle her head still. However gently and cuddlingly we do that, she still hates it and is not comforted until it’s all over. But while she cries vehemently, the rest of her mostly goes limp — poor little one, I guess she knows it’s no use to try to fight it.

Reminds me of the great William Carlos Williams short story (go read it!) “The Use of Force.” A benefit is sometimes worth the cost of using force, but it is never a solution to use lightly.

Bottle, bottle bottle bottle, bottle

Tonight Amy and I sang the bottle song.

Verse 1, 2, 3, and so on —

Me: Bottle…, bottle bottle bottle, bottle…

Amy: Bah l

We’re more and more sure that she is making some sounds meaningfully, even though most of them are still very distorted.

Among the first almost-words have been “kitty” (kee kee, keesh, and variations) and “bottle.”

Most clear is “uh-oh,” which she makes when she drops something, when someone else drops something, or when she is thinking about dropping something. She also makes this sound at apparently non-meaningful moments, too.

Today I am pretty sure I heard “milk,” along with the sign, which we’ve been demonstrating to her at lunchtime when she drinks her formula from a sippy. Of course she also clenches and unclenches her fists at other times, so we can’t yet be sure she understands the connection of the sign and the spoken word.

Then there’s “Daddy” (da da, da doo, da boo, and variations), which again sometimes seems clearly to signify Daddy, and other times seems to be random vocalizing.

“Mama” only rarely seems to have any connection with me. Sometimes it seems to mean something about food. (And nope, she’s bottle-fed, and Mark feeds her at dinner and sometimes other times, too.)

To the doctor we go

I woke up this morning with a cough — the cough that, when I get it, typically lingers months after the sickness is gone. The one that makes me feel like I have to be careful breathing and moving so as not to set off a coughing fit.

Therefore I called to see if the doctor could see Amy and I today.

The office we went to for her nine-month wellness visit informed me that they could not see me today because I was a new patient, and they were scheduling new patients two weeks out, and that’s why they recommend new folks establish themselves as patients before they get sick — i.e. just going to the doctor and saying hi, I guess.

Except in all the vast literature they sent me when I made Amy’s nine-month appointment there was nothing about this policy.

Yikes; I was miffed and upset, too.

I called another doctors’ office and asked if they would see us, and they did — unfortunately the only times available were right in the middle of Amy’s afternoon nap, but you take what you get.

Nice nurse. Didn’t like the doctor so much, and he terrified Amy (was it him? or just that it was naptime and she has a cold and was in a strange place…). He seemed careless.

I don’t really know what I want from a doctor.

Good manner is very important to me — I want to be listened to and respected, and I want Amy treated gently and respectfully. This guy’s seeming carelessness, and dismissive attitude towards Amy’s upset (“I don’t take it personally,” he said; did he care about *her* feelings?), were not the manner I’m looking for.

The confusing part is how much authority I want from a doctor. On the one hand I want a doctor to examine the situation and pronounce his or her recommended course of action. On the other hand I want my concerns and ideas to be taken into consideration. This guy may have taken consideration too far — he seemed to essentially say, “whatever you want, I’ll give it to you,” which is not quite authoritative enough. I don’t like a doctor to give in to a patient’s fears or demands if what the patient wants is not really the best solution.

Anyway, we came home with antibiotics. Amy hasn’t had any before, and I haven’t had any in a long time, so I won’t worry too much about overuse. Even if I’m not convinced that the doctor was convinced we both had bacterial infections, we might, and this one time won’t hurt us if we don’t. And it just seems better to be precautionary, and not wait until I’m too sick to take care of Amy.

Mark seems to be getting sick, now, too.