Wednesday, September 29, 2010


September has been a difficult month. Zoe went through three different illnesses, one after another. First was the blisters in her throat and on her hand. Next was an ear infection (actually, this was Zoe's first ear infection so we feel pretty lucky there). Then last week she developed a rash that we thought was chickenpox but it never fully developed so we took her to the doctor on Monday. Turns out that she has a viral rash, not really sure from what but it is fading now so no worries.

Through all of this, Zoe has been great as always. Her biggest frustrations has been not swimming and missing school. We have tried to get her to school as much as possible but when she is running a fever or really not feeling well, we have to keep her home. When she has made it to school she has been super excited. A new batch of students (Zoe goes to a preschool inside a university so there are lots of early childhood education students) started and they are all falling for her cute ways. When I dropped her off last Friday she had three students immediately come over to play with her. Zoe has always had a really long attention span and the students love the fact that she will play with their activities for a good 30-40 mins when the other kids get bored in a few minutes and walk away. And of course, everyone is a sucker for that smile.

Gavin started teaching a child life class at a university this month. It continues until the end of October. He is really enjoying teaching but the commute is tough (takes him a couple hours each way since it is out of town). I envy him all that time on the commuter's bus....nothing to one asking him for small child to feed... I really miss him on nights when he gets home late. Thankfully, Alan (Gavin's dad) is still here helping us out so at least I have plenty of help with Zoe. With Alan here, I have even had time in the evenings after work where I can go and take a hot bath while Alan and Gavin look after dinner and Zoe. It has been wonderful.

Seating Clinic

We finally saw the seating clinic to assess if the wheelchair stroller we got from another family is appropriate for Zoe. They were quite happy with it and felt that it supported Zoe in all the right places. We just had to do a few minor adjustments. So the stroller will work for now and then in the next few years we will start talking about a wheelchair. Zoe's physiotherapist mentioned that we may want to start thinking about a power wheelchair. So we talked that over with the seating people. We would definitely have to get ramps on the house and a wheelchair accessible van since the power wheelchairs typically weigh about 250 pounds!

For now, we will continue to encourage Zoe to use her walker as much as possible. For longer distances, we typically carry Zoe and drag the walker along for her to use when we get to our destination. A power wheelchair might make more sense when Zoe is older and having trouble keeping up with her friends or moving from classroom to classroom. For now, Zoe has no trouble running after her classmates in her walker.

We also want to hold off because we want Zoe to be motivated to walk. If she finds she can just zoom places by pushing a button, she may sign "chair" constantly and refuse to walk. For now, Zoe loves walking and we want it to stay that way. Also, Zoe continues to run our feet over constantly when she is exited and running somewhere so I can only imagine the damage she would do in such a heavy chair!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Ahhhh, Winter is Coming...

Pain Meds

We had to take Zoe back to the doctor on Saturday because she was becoming very agitated and aggressive in the evenings while repetitively signing "hurts" and pointing at her mouth. It is actually amazing to us that she can point to exactly where her pain is- she digs her finger way in the back of her mouth to point at her throat where the blisters are. Just out of interest we did a pain scale from the hospital for children with special needs that are non-verbal. Zoe scored 37 and anything above 7 is considered the child is in pain. Yikes! So off to the doctor we went. He prescribed morphine and so far Zoe has done pretty well with just two doses of that a day and a couple doses of ibuprofen. The morphine does not seem to make her sleepy so that is good.

First Cold of the Season

Unfortunately, Zoe woke up yesterday with a very stuffy nose and miserable. She has gotten a cold on top of her viral infection in her throat. Needless to say, she was pretty miserable yesterday. She does really well though, even when in a lot of pain. She still spent some time in her walker and loved going outside for a wagon ride and swinging with grandad.

I woke up at 3:30am today and instinctively knew something was amiss. I listened closely to the monitor and I could hear Zoe gasping and choking. I held my breathe and listened (this is what we do before rushing in, we give her a chance to clear herself first). Zoe did clear herself and when I checked on her she was sound asleep again. My heart was racing and I could not get back to sleep until after 5.

So I took a deep breathe and reminded myself that I have to sleep, even when I am worried about her breathing. She is bigger and stronger now and most times she can clear herself.

Sigh....winter is coming so I better remember how to roll over and fall back to sleep afterwards.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Zoe Sick- Minor

Fevers With a Cause

Zoe has been running a fever since last Thursday. We also noticed that she chewed her one finger so much that it had a nasty looking blister on it. Tuesday was day 6 of fevers so we went to the paediatrician to see what was going on. We actually found a simple cause this time! I think the doctor was just as excited as we were that there was an obvious cause and this is not one more case of rumblings in the chest but not being sure if she has pneumonia again. When the doctor looked at Zoe's throat, she could see blisters just like the one on Zoe's finger. Zoe has a viral infection (not hand, foot, and mouth which we are pretty sure Zoe had last year) that causes blisters in the mouth/throat but since she was chewing her fingers so much it caused a blister to form there too. Apparently this is very painful and most kids are on codeine for it. So far Zoe has been doing well on Motrin and Tylenol. She was in a pretty good mood today so I dropped her off at school this morning. Hopefully she will make it through the day. I am hoping being at school will distract her from the pain and she will eat better. I can tell she is in pain because she is chomping away on her hands and when I ask her why she is biting so much, she signs "hurts."