Monday, April 12, 2010

Not for the faint of heart

First, a brief aside to say thanks to the sleep helpers. I hadn't realized my plea for help was so transparent in that last blog entry. We haven't figured everything out yet about the sleep routine, but feel better anyway with a new week's perspective. It was slightly humorous to me that a couple of you commented on how cute Little was with his loads of baby chubby rolls. Ironic, really. Because this past week we have discovered a serious downside to all that rollage: Last week we noticed a stench coming from deep within one of Little's chins. When we lifted the chubby flaps of skin on his neck, a small red rash became visible. The "ask-a-nurse" phone lady told us to keep it clean and dry, and then see a doctor in 3 days if there was no improvement. Well, the very next day we made an emergency appointment to see the pediatrician because it had gotten a lot worse and was impossible to keep dry. The rash produced sweaty beads of moisture faster than we could wipe it.

The doctor said it was a fungal infection. Ack; what kind of parents are we?! Poor Little had a FUNGUS growing on him--and it was probably there for weeks, the doctor said. It just wasn't visible unless all the extra chubby chins were lifted up. When the doctor prescribed some strong anti-fungal cream, I figured Little would soon be on the mend. But he had a terrible reaction to the cream, and it left his skin raw, blistered, and bright red, with the rash area extending around his entire neck instead of just in one little spot (see photo above)...thus rendering openings in his skin for a SECONDARY BACTERIAL INFECTION to flare up. This bacteria caused a delightful yellow crustiness and oozing puss to filter all through Little's neck.

And the fungus began sending out spores, so he has spots on his shoulders, belly, back, etc. I don't even know what to say except that I FEEL HORRIBLE for letting this whole craziness happen in the first place. Let this be a warning to all parents of fatty babies.

When we took him back to the doctor she prescribed a different cream and an antibiotic, and now almost a week after initial diagnosis we are finally seeing signs of improvement. But it will likely be another week still until he is healed. *sniffle*

The treatments have included thorough bathing three times a day, with drying his neck folds and then applying cream after every bath. He is happy enough to have baths, but screams the most wretched dying dinosaur/crashing plane/nightmare sounds every time we get to the dry & apply portion. I was sobbing after the first few times because I couldn't stand to see him so sad.
So he got a priesthood blessing from Jerry with our neighbor/fellow church member assisting. Little Tam was blessed to be able to cooperate with our efforts, and God gave me the idea to use a toy to distract him while we dried/applied. Also, we try to keep the whole process as "fun" as possible for him, which takes twice as long unfortunately. But it is worth it for me to not have to hear him cry as bad.

The cherry on top of all this sicky business:

  • all three of us are on antibiotics now actually, because Jerry had a sinus infection, ear infection, and had to also start new allergy meds
  • I had something akin to strep?
  • We did not go to the doctor for ourselves right away of course, so we felt so exhausted and sick for days before getting the medication. All in the middle of trying to take care of that Little. Honestly one of the hardest weeks of my life.

But we have had a few amazing growing moments, like when I had a little lightbulb pop on that gave answer to the question, "why God lets bad things happen to good people." (because we had to treat Little's infection even though he couldn't understand and he was probably so bewildered at the thought that we were hurting him--forcing him to stretch his neck, sticking dry-cloth through his rolls under his chin, making him cry, drying the cracked skin, and worse still applying the ointment that stings him). Hard to explain, but it just suddenly became so clear to me in my heart and that is a valuable knowlege to have.


Cami said...

I'm sorry to hear about this because I know what it's like to know you could have prevented something for your child but didn't even think about it! I'm battling my own set of health problems right now so let's just all get better already.

Valerie said...

Being a parent really is a labor of love. Little is very lucky to have such compassionate parents. I'm sorry I missed your phone call, last week. love, Mom

Jenn said...

Little is growing so fast. My nephew use to get a fungal infection just like that between his rolls too! As soon as I saw the pic I thought to myself, I know just what that is. It does have a distinct odor too as I recall.
The same treatment was given for my nephew. Later, my sister just kept an eye in between the folds and would straight away apply a zinc based diaper rash ointment and an anti-fungal cream to the rash as soon as it appeared. Just over-the-counter stuff. That always seemed to work quickly when it was caught early enough.
It's funny the things you learn when you have kids. There's never a dull moment. Well, I hope you all feel better soon, and that Little's rash clears up soon. You are such great parents, and Little seems to be very happy, loved, and well taken care of! Best wishes.

Jocelyn said...

those chunky babies do need a little extra TLC. as Nicholas is starting to develop a few rolls I'm very careful about cleaning and drying in between them at least a few times a day! well on those really warm days anyway!

Spring and Sean Family said...

Oh I am so sorry, I was tearing up reading that. That is the worst thing to see your child in pain, and not be able to help. I hope he improves soon. We send our love and prayers.