Monday, April 28, 2008

Ezra takes a Pilgrimage to his birthplace

Earlier this week, baby E's 'oh its no big deal' runny nose and cough got worse, and after a few sleepless nights and calls to the doctor, we got him in for an office visit Friday morning. He was diagnosed with an 'asthma-like' condition, and an ear infection and prescribed a host of medications. After carefully following treatments that day and evening, we had a particularly rough night with a crying, stuffy baby. In the morning, we landed in the emergency room after his respiratory rate reached 58 breaths per minute.

Four hours and multiple treatments later, Ezra was admitted to Cottage Hospital, the place of his birth. Cottage is just as I remember--incredibly friendly, thorough and competent staff and undergoing construction. I'm sure Ezra will make other pilgrimages in his lifetime, and I certainly hope they are more enjoyable than this one. Although the pediatric nurses and doctor's were great, that doesn't mean much to a 15 1/2 month old who is being poked and prodded for his own well being. Ezra was a total trooper and spent most of his two and a half days in the hospital on my lap--which of course I absolutely loved and was glad I could be there with him day and night--I really can't imagine a child his age undergoing this experience without mom or dad by his side. Dad spent hours with Ezra as well, giving me a chance to go home and sleep for a few hours (as that doesn't happen much at the hospital), and giving Ezra extra security that we were both there for him.

So after its all said and done, Ezra has been labeled with a Reactive Airway Disorder, which is like asthma, but not. According to Dr. Brown (not of the Morter Health System, but of Cottage Hospital Pediatrics), Asthma is hard to diagnose in infants and is more commonly diagnosed between 3 and 7 years of age. As I understand it, Reactive Airway Disorder is a technical condition that explains how some unknown factor (irritation, sensitivity, allergin, or stress) triggers the chest muscles to constrict, making it hard to breathe. The irritation causes inflammation, which leads to coughing and mucus production, which further exacerbates the difficulty in breathing. The difference between Asthma and Reactive Airway Disorder is that Asthma is a recurring condition and RAD could be a one time condition. Only time will tell what Ezra truly has.

Other theories are that he had a virus, and it went untreated and this led to the asthmatic conditions. All possible. In addition, Ezra has a mild case of Pneumonia in his right lung.

I suppose this blog is now my medical journal of sorts. I pray this will not be a recurring theme as our baby boy is usually a healthy active thing!

And now a few cheers to the Cottage Hospital Pediatric staff; nurse Gail was our favorite. She was genuinely warm, caring and thorough as a nurse. It is obvious that she loves people and is there to assist others in the healing process, both as a nurse and as a presence of joyfulness in the face of overwhelming conditions--and any parent who's child is in the hospital has long passed the whelmed stage and is ready for a balance to their overwhelmed state; Gail makes that at least within the realm of possibilities. Our day nurse on the day of discharge was named Michelle--we only had her for a few hours, but she was great with Ezra, and was open and friendly. The night nurse Carla had a perfect balance of helpful, knowledgable and non invasive. Ezra let her hold him more than the others, so she got major points for straight up baby connection. Deedi, our first nurse on Saturday was a traveling nurse and she had a professionalism about her that was just the energy we needed on our first night. She monitored Ezra carefully, made thorough assessments, and helped ease our minds that Ezra was under very good care. She lacked the degree of warmth exuded by some of the other nurses, but we didn't mind in the face of her thoroughness. I didn't even mention the respiratory specialists who came every four hours--they were all great, both in the ER and on the pediatric ward. I believe Amanda, and the male respiratory care giver from Bakersfield, who's name was something like Alexis, were the most informative.

If you've read this far, you're a glutton of some sort! Goodnight!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Recycled US Tires

Design Within Reach, with all of its nifty designs, just sent out an email with hand crafted rubber baskets, a set of three a mere $350. The write up starts in about the 300 million tires Americans throw in the landfill each year, and designers are coming up with a small solution to the big problem--creating household wares. I thought, hey, these are pretty snazzy. Then, I read that they are made in EGYPT! So, these used American tires are shipped to Egypt, go through a manufacturing process, and then are shipped back to the US. Does this seem slightly sick and wrong?

Happy Friday!