Monday, July 15, 2013

12.5 Months Old: Lead Update, Night waking, Health Update

Liam is 12.5 months old and a ball of energy! He is tiring both Steve and I out every day and he is walking like a champ! He has become mommy's little helper, organizing laundry (as only a toddler can, by putting it in and out of the same draw over and over and over) and overall, he is a happy little boy.

Last week he went for his blood lead test as well as his anemia test. Unfortunately, and very scarily,  the blood test came back higher than the finger prick test (finger prick 5.5, blood test 11). The doctor called us on Friday afternoon, concerned, and told us that she was calling in a referral to the State to have them look into our home for possible causes. My heart sank. We had tested everything! There wasn't anything he was touching and all the paint came back negative. The only thing in the room that we thought it could be was this ugly hanging lamp that we quickly took down. The AC had been blowing past it for weeks and maybe it was giving off lead dust... maybe?

So now we wait for the State to do their testing and see what the outcome is. As far as Liam's health, he is on a high iron diet (he came back positive for anemia) as well as high calcium and vitamin C. They are afraid of the lead getting into his bones and so this new diet is suppose to help. He is now also on a high fiber diet because my poor little man is so constipated from the iron supplements.

Nap time has been going great! We have gotten into a morning routine and its been working out pretty well. Get up, watch veggie tales, eat breakfast, play and then nap. Nap is anywhere from 8-9am (since he's usually up at 5:30 or 6am). He has a sippy of milk, I tell him a story (Little Blue Truck) and then say, OK nap time! Night night mommy, night night daddy. I put him in his crib, turn on his glowing sea horse, his sound machine and walk out. Done! He talks to himself for a little bit but then he goes right to sleep. No crying! Repeat for his afternoon nap. He usually goes down just as well for bed and the only thing that we add to that routine is a bath.

Night waking, however, is not going very well. He has been very constipated and was waking up in pain. He was also drinking a ton of milk during the night (6oz). Last night we cut the milk back to 4oz and he slept with us half the night. I am hoping that once he gets on a higher fiber diet, his belly issues will be better and he will sleep much better at night. We have decided to cut out the first night wakening (within reason). He sometimes wakes up at 9/10pm. I am hoping to let him fuss it out a bit and see if he will go back to sleep. Last night we attempted this but he woke up with a pain in his cry that was just not himself. I went up there, cuddled him and he went right back to sleep (only to wake up 2 hours later). It was a long night of crying and cuddling. Hopefully tonight will be better.

Update on my health: I have come to the epiphany that I may have had a mild form of lupus for 8 years! Starting my sophomore year of college in FL (2004/2005), I developed a rash on my side, by my bikini line. It would start out like little red itchy spots and then grow into one giant scaly spot, then heal. It would come and go, like a cold sore would, and so I thought it was just something related to stress or a virus. I went to the dermatologist who said I was allergic to a detergent. I insisted that I wasn't and had a biopsy taken. I was afraid of scabies or shingles. Nothing ever came about the biopsy and she gave me some steroid cream to get rid of it (which helped).

Fast forward to the present. I still would get what I called "my itchies". My roommate knew about them, as well as my mom, my sister and my husband. My husband always told me "Stop scratching! You are making it worse!" but the itch would go right down deep. I never thought to mention my "itches" to the doctor because, again, I didn't think it was important. I was on Facebook, reading an article about lupus affecting the skin and noticed the photos. They look JUST like my itches. Then I read "Subacute cutaneous lupus lesions: The first type looks like red pimples when the rash first comes out; as the rash persists, these pimples become bigger, and scales appear as the rash persists. Patients complain about the rash being very itchy." I was shocked. I looked down at my side and realized that I had had an outbreak of my "itches" at the same time as the swelling.... it all fit. Why did lupus decide to start up in college... who knows. Why did it decide to start attacking my kidneys after 8 years? Again... mystery. I do know that I never did get an outbreak of "itches" when I was pregnant, which they say [pregnancy] can put lupus into remission temporarily.

Physically, how am I doing? I am still very tired but each day is a little better. I do get the shakes, especially when I do not eat and so I need to stay on top of snacking throughout the day. New symptoms that I am having include tingling and muscle spasms, which are all due to the medication.

I just got back from a doctors apt with positive news. My Ana test (antinuclear antibodies) which was positive at the start of all of this has now gone back to negative! This means that so far, they have stopped the attack on my kidneys. Now I just need to get my kidneys back in working order. I do have high blood pressure from all the medication and so I have been put on a blood pressure pill but I have been taken off of the water pill. The last change he made was to increase my cellcept (anti-rejection medication) to 6 pills a day instead of 4.

My diet is still the same (low potassium, low sodium) and so I have asked to see a dietitian. The low sodium is not that hard to follow but I am having a hard time knowing what to eat with the low potassium. I found a great Kidney Diet website called and they have tons of ideas for low sodium, low potassium. 

Emotionally, how am I doing? Each day is getting better. It's still hard to face that I will be making life long changes but I am accepting it. The issue with Liam and the lead is currently a distraction from my own problems but not one I really would like to be dealing with. I am really happy that I have such a support group surrounding me and such an understanding, patient, and loving husband. He really has been wonderful helping me through all of this.