This wasn’t much fun the second time either


Brady was in the emergency room for the second time in his young life, once again for a seizure brought on by a rapid spike in temperature. Last time this happened it was absolutely terrifying. Susan and I spent a horrific 30 minutes driving to the hospital with basically no information aside from ‘he had a seizure.’ This time was sort of the same deal, but with us sitting there thinking ‘man, basically I hope this is the same thing.’

It was. He had a second febrile seizure and the doctors were not particularly concerned. His primary care doctor didn’t even think it necessary to see him the day after the event, they’re so unconcerned, so I’m trying hard to follow their lead.

He and I spent the day together while he recuperated and it was fun, though he did manage to scare me about as badly as I’ve ever been scared. He went down for his nap still with a mild fever. I went up to check on him after 2 hours and he was laying there staring off into space with a blank look. He didn’t react to me entering the room or me saying his name several times, causing me to panic and rush over to him, at which point he sleepily looked up at me and said ‘what, Dad?’

What indeed. This child rearing stuff is tough!

Scare with Laura

We went to my Sister-in-law’s wedding two weekends ago. On the way home from Maine Susan noticed that Laura was hot. By Monday morning she was at 103 and home from daycare. By Tuesday she was off to the doctor’s and home with a diagnosis of an ear/sinus infection and a prescription for antibiotics. By Thursday she was back to the doctor with a 103 fever that wasn’t reacting to the antibiotics, a stomach ravaged (probably) by said antibiotic, and no appetite. From there she was headed straight to the emergency room when the doctor discovered a skin rash which Susan and I hadn’t even noticed* which can be a signifier for blood infection/sepsis.


So that’s the scariest parts. The truth is the whole thing was unreal. The whole time, Laura just seemed like a kid with a bad cold to us, and every doctor who examined her said some version of the same thing: this rash makes us nervous as do some of these other issues, but bottom line is, she seems ok based on appearance and how she’s behaving, and everything we’re doing is by way of being cautious.

Being cautious still meant 5 hours in the ER, people doing awful things to my daughter which made her howl piteously, and no small amount of anxiety, but compared to a few episodes we had with Brady this was easier to live through. She left the hospital after an injection of a different antibiotic and a prescription for a third one.

She’s still not entirely done with this episode. She has to go back for more bloodwork Wednesday, and one of the tests they did (a blood culture) won’t have results until the end of the week. If you saw her today you would think nothing was wrong with her though, the fever is gone, and her appetite is mostly back to normal. Her stomach is still tetchy is her only remaining ailment.

The doctors aren’t really sure what this was. It could all be the ear infection and a reaction to the initial meds, or it could be more than one bacterial infection at once (sinus and digestive being the best bets) or bacterial plus viral. If all the bloodwork comes back clean by the end of the week, we’re more or less done – we’ll never know exactly what happened, but she’ll be clear of whatever it was. This is the outcome I’m hoping for.

By coincidence I’m reading Mantel’s “Bring Up the Bodies,” which follows the reign of Henry VIII, wherein infants die of ailments many and sundry, most not understood by anyone. Thank god my daughter wasn’t born a few hundred years ago – she might have been one of them 😦

* in defense of Susan and me, this “rash” consisted of 5-6 tiny dull pencil point sized skin blemishes. I had actually noticed one and thought it a bug bite. I certainly wouldn’t have called it a rash. Now I know.

Get flu shot; get flu

So I ended up with the flu this year. At least, that’s the best explanation I have for what I have been going through. It started last Thursday, when both Brady and I came down with a bad stomach bug. Susan had been sick earlier in the week, so at first we thought, welp we’re getting what she had. But after a couple of days my stomach got better. Meantime though, by Saturday Brady was running a 101 fever and by Sunday he had a nasty wet cough. Meantime, Sunday I developed a scratchy throat, and by Monday felt poorly but thought I just had a cold. I stayed home and lounged on the couch figuring I would be better by the following day. Instead, I was worse – I went to work but came home miserable at lunch. Wednesday I had an all day function I *had* to be at, and so I went in, but again by lunch I was deadly ill – coughing, stuffed head, bad headache. I begged off the function at lunchtime and again headed home. Thursday was more of the same. Today, I am finally starting to feel better. Most of the congestion has eased, the cough is less painful and frequent, and my eyes aren’t watering constantly. WTH it was, I don’t know. I did get a mild temperature for a couple of days, but it was like 100 tops, very mild. Was it the flu? Just a particularly bad strain of the common cold? I guess I’ll never know.

Following up on New Year’s resolutions

A quick followup on my New Year’s resolutions. So far I’m on track. Not buying any games has been easy – my gaming rig died on January 5th, and I just got its replacement up and (mostly) running this weekend. It’s hard to be tempted by the endless parade of Steam, Gamersgate, GoG and other vendors’ daily and weekly deals if you have nothing to play them on ;-). I’ll follow up again at the end of March.

No problems with the beer embargo either – I finished the month with nary a sip, then celebrated on the first day of February with some delicious Dales. Unfortunately the effect on my weight is hard to quantify. Prior to Laura’s birth I had been using an elliptical trainer as many days a week as I could manage while Susan put Brady to bed. That didn’t work anymore (I have to help with bedtime duties) so I bought a compact elliptical trainer to use at work during lunch, but the piece of crap broke after 2 weeks of use, meaning for half the month I was mostly failing to get enough physical activity in. Still, my weight has steadily hovered in the under 175 area, leaving me to conclude that removing the beer helped. My plan going forward is to return to a pattern I used to follow – no beer on the weekdays, but open season Friday and Saturdays. Meantime I’m weighing spending considerably more for a higher end compact step trainer. My kitty continues to grow – it’s at $150 now. I still haven’t decided what I’ll spend it on. I’m dropping the weekly contribution to $20 now that I will be drinking a few beers on the weekend.

Today’s the day

Susan had her weekly midwifes’ appointment Monday and they told her if the baby didn’t arrive by Monday night we should head to the hospital. That’s where we are now. Susan’s water has just been manually broken and we’re onto the home stretch. I’ll post again once the baby is born.

Lack ‘o lip balm…

…makes me neither happy nor sad. I mentioned how I was going to experiment with not using it after literally decades of daily use. So far, so good – I’ve only resorted to using it twice since I stopped, each time because of a salty snack-induced case of lip chappage. One of those led to a mild recurrence of the skin irritation issue which caused me to stop using the stuff in the first place, which has only helped reinforce my newfound aversion. We’ll see how things go as we enter into the cold months, but so far, so good. If you’re on the fence, I can attest that once you get past the first week, it’s easy and seems to have no downside.

So I don’t think 165# is going to happen

I’ve been on a weight loss/fitness kick for months now, and when I last wrote about it I mentioned that I was aiming at 165 pounds. I’m pretty sure that’s not going to happen at this point. Several factors are contributing to that, but the most significant one is, I am starting to think, my age. I didn’t have much trouble getting down to 170 once I adjusted my eating and activity levels accordingly, but I’ve been stuck at 167-170 for weeks now. I think my body’s telling me that this is now my normal healthy weight.

It’s true that I’ve been a bit less assiduous about the evening exercise routine, and it’s also true that I’ve returned to occasionally drinking that third beer on the weekends, but at the same time, even on 5 day stretches where I exercise every night, have only 1 or 2 beers, and eat appropriately, the lowest I’ve gotten is 167. I’m not getting any lower without further restrictions, and it’s not clear there’s any value to it. I think I’ve found my natural weight for my age.

This means going forward my goal is ‘keep it under 170.’ We’ll see how I do.

Followup on Brady’s health

Two doctor’s visits and 5 days later…he’s ok. His fever stuck with him over the weekend, which left him cranky and a bit spacey. This in turned caused a lack of sleep, ie the dreaded unhappy kid feedback loop. Still, Brady’s about as easygoing as a little ~2 year old can get, and a cranky Brady has so far been pretty easy to deal with. Worse was his development of a full body rash Monday morning. I first detected it starting Sunday after his afternoon nap, and by Monday it was much further along – far enough that his daycare provider called and we had him back to the Doctor yesterday afternoon. They took him off the Amoxicillin and, provided the rash faded, will chalk it up to a not uncommon alergic reaction to the drug. Last night he was breaking out in hives, but by this morning aside from some faint markings on his chest it was all cleared up, his fever appeared to be fully gone, and all, we hope, is now well and back to normal.

The two minute mile

So this happened 😦


Before I go further, everyone should know we think he will be ok, but yes, that’s my son in a hospital bed yesterday. This started with a phone call at work around noon:

‘This is David Hamilton”

“David, it’s Caroline. I’m sorry to just blurt this out, but Brady’s had a seizure and lost consciousness, and we’ve called an ambulance”

!!!!!! what…the…fuck!!!!!!

Before you could say boo I was out the door and running to the college’s football field, about a half mile from my office, which is where Brady was and where the ambulance was headed. They beat me to it, and I arrived winded to the sound of the siren receding and Caroline, the director of his daycare, waiting for me in the middle of the road.

A summary of the next 40 minutes is Susan and I connecting in a panicked frenzy, me running right back up the hill to campus to get her, and us scooting off to the hospital with almost no facts in hand. Fortunately when we got there he was conscious if spacey and dazed, laying calmly in bed with one of his daycare caregivers, who fortunately had been able to go with him in the ambulance.

The preliminary diagnosis is that he had a seizure in reaction to the rapid onset of a fever. It’s called a febrile seizure and is not uncommon in kids under 6 and not threatening so long as they’re caught quickly, don’t cause choking, and you bring their temperature down quickly [edit so I don’t promulgate bad info to search visitors: according to our doctor, temperature stabilization is what is key, and quick is bad – you basically want to reduce quick changes in the child’s temperature in either direction. Older pediatric care books (which included ours) which advise cold showers are wrong. Consult with your own physician before taking any action]. We spent several hours in the emergency room with him yesterday while he stayed hooked up to a variety of apparatus. His temperature came down from 103, he took a long nap, Susan and I fretted and worried, and ultimately we had him home by around 4 or 5 last night. We have to give him medication every three hours to make sure the fever stays down, so last night was a bit rough. Today he’s still running a fever and not feeling so great, but he’s no longer as spacey and more or less happy and close to his normal self.

We have an appointment with his general practitioner late this afternoon where we’ll find out more, but hopefully above is everything there is to know about this and we won’t see anything like this again. On balance I’d say Susan and I took the brunt of this – the kid got to ride in an ambulance, something he’s fascinated with to begin with, and had something of an adventure he’s still chattering about. Meanwhile Susan and I went through a mini-hell, which later spiraled into a family argument over whether it made sense to keep our plans to head up to Maine this weekend. None of this was fun, but I’m tentatively happy that the worst of this seems to be in the past now (fingers crossed!).