child care

The Undiscussed Complications Related to Strep Throat a warning to Parents

This spring has been a long battle for me. I have had some health issue on and off for 5 weeks. Things just started off with a simple spring cold and cough, you know the typical stuff. Then about three good days and was sick again with a sore throat fever and chills. Classic symptoms of Strep Throat and I thought I would wait to see my Dr for a couple of days before running in to get antibiotics. So I did, waiting about 4 days before giving into the swollen glad and body aches that I had on the heals of the sore throat. Note that Strep is almost never seen in adults or teens over 16. It is strange at 45 to hear the clinic P.A.  say yes, it was a real case of strep throat and I was actually quite sick. I never knew that there are complications that regularly occur from this bacterial infection. Most of them you would never ever know about until you Goggled the information.

Over they years I have become a little leery about using to many antibiotics and steroids. I was happy to find that my P.A. did not force the issue of a steroid treatment on my first visit but just causally said he would let me call him back if I felt that I needed them without having another appointment fee. We also discussed that with my age he would expect my case to develop into a sinus infection. OK, great! At that point  he put me on a strong antibiotic to try to keep that from happening and to support the killing of the Streptococcus bacteria. I left the office feeling that this would be the end of all of my aliments. I was wrong!

After the 4 Th day of antibiotic treatment I was feeling really good. Spent some time with Tom outdoors hiking and mushroom hunting enjoying a wonderful day and spent a nice night playing with Christopher. The next morning was totally different.  I woke up to pressure in both ears and a terrible ringing in my right ear. The combination was very disturbing. The ringing lasted several days but over about 24 hours the pressure in my left ear released on its own with a nice Pop! So being a little slow to worry, I  weighted three more days before thinking that I needed the steroids . While these short days passed the symptoms got worse. My hearing was declining fast. The first morning was pressure and ringing but I could hear almost normally. By day 4 I had lost all of the hearing from that ear and the ringing had turned into a buzzing. The pressure was steady and very uncomfortable but not getting better.Things were looking like I was going to have to call and get the steroid medication whether I wanted it or not.

Ear

In the mean time a friend that I have known for about 15 years contacted me and asked me some serious questions about my situation and explained that  her daughter, went deaf in one ear at 17  from a strep infection. Her symptoms acted just like what I had written about in a Facebook post. Well that started me looking up all the information I could on Strep Throat and what her daughter has (idiopathic hearing loss) and what other causes we could find. Not only did I have strep throat just before this but I was also recovering from facial cold sore that I have been fighting with over 20 years.  All these factors added up to trouble. Karen explained that if her daughter had taken a steroids they think that they could have saved her hearing…but they waited to long. The period for treatment is less than a month and the hearing loss becomes permanent.  I also discovered the more common complications while looking up the ones for my problem… the list is LONG and SCARY.

Strep Throat complications included sinus infections, ear infections,enlarged and damage to the kidneys and middle ear problems, Rheumatic fever that damages the heart,to PANDAS- and O.C.D. ( obsessive compulsive disorder). Holy Crap  this is just part of the list. Just think of every kid you have ever known who has had this multiple times. I knew kids growing up that would get it every year or sometimes twice in a year. The risk of complications is real and as a woman who is too old to get strep, I was shocked at the amount of damage a sore throat can cause.

Lucky for me my friend encouraged me to call back to my Dr office and ask to get the steroids ASAP. I did call in for that prescription and began taking them the following morning. The wait was on and I was actually thinking that it would not work. I thought OK, at 45 I would be partly deaf and this was the price I was going to pay. I was wrong and I began to get relief over night.

The second day I picked up the phone and could hear a dial tone. The same one I could not hear the day before and I knew it was working. In about 48 hours the pressure was gone and almost all of my hearing had returned. I still have some issues with ringing but they are better than before. What I have experienced was an emotional roller coaster and has made me more aware of what our kids go through with just a minor cold. I would have never believed that 4 weeks of my life would be lost to a bacterial infection. That what we don’t know can really hurt our health and in this case my hearing. I don’t think it will ever be totally normal but I will take every song bird that I can can hear sing the rest of my life.

So when a child gets diagnosed with a simple case of Strep Throat for their sake take the time to really watch over them closely and make sure that if you see a rash, get complaints about ear pressure or pain, or issues with the stomach that you take it more seriously than before it could make the difference between them hearing your loving words or not hearing at all.

Categories: About me, child care, Healing, health, sickness, Strep Throat | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Snowdays can be Fun Days Too!

Afghan Fort with Christopher and the bunnies in the house

Afghan Fort with Christopher and the bunnies in the house

Do you remember the joy of “Snow Days” as a child.  Some how I had forgotten how much fun my mother made those days. We were all home together and the house was a total mess. We eat hot soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. We  build furniture cushion forts and had all the pets inside the house. When it warmed up to at least 20 degrees we  all headed outside to play in the fresh Boulder, Colorado snow. Shoveling feet of snow off our drive way and helping the neighbors pull cars from the snow banks of snow. Then heading back inside for hot coco and cookies. Taking our snow-covered clothes off and tossing then over the heating registers to dry.

Christopher painting his snow bunny

Christopher painting his snow bunny

The boys in our neighbor hood always were starting snow ball fights that lasted hours and the girls were always trying to get them to stop long enough to go sledding at the local park. We built snow men and my friends dad built a snow woman one year that had all of us laughing. Even my mother thought she was funny…that was rare.  Then if we were lucky it was a cartoon afternoon. In warm sweat shirts  and fuzzy socks with long naps on the couch.

Have times really changed that much? The addition of the computer and X-box has given us more time to play games and surf the internet. But that little voice of my sons still asks when can we go out side, can I have hot coco when we come back inside and if we are having bean soup for lunch? hummm sounds like my own questions coming back to me from a new generation.

I am learning to accept the mess on the floor and colored markers and paper on the table as a sign that all is fine on this snowy day. We make valentines for the family and the glitter is everywhere, the floor, the table, our hands and  even my hair. The next mess in the long line of ones that I will clean up at the end of our day fourth snow day.

Christopher with Home made valintines

Christopher with Home made valentines

Finally at the end of this day of snow, soup and glitter we start a warm bath and add lots of toys. Bubbles float and fly around the bathroom. I ask Christopher “How was your day, did you have fun?”The reply is a warm happy smiling  “YEA!” I smile and acknowledge that I am feeling tired. That this snow day was fun for me too. I spent time with my favorite little person doing the things that he loves most of all. I honored my mother and my childhood friends with time in the snow playing and getting pink cheeks and drinking coco from mugs.

Tonight I will again clean up the messes left from the play dough,  bird seed from the feeders we filled,  the plates and cups from another round of soup and sandwiches and the snow ice cream we eat in front of the T.V. but in the end it is worth the messes. It is worth the glitter every where to think that someday he will look back on these cold snowy days and smile and think of the fun we had together.

snow ice cream in bowl

snow ice cream in bowl

Snow ice cream

1.  4 cups fresh clean snow… no yellow snow!

2.  3/4 cup milk

3.  1/2 cup sugar

4.  1 Tablespoon vanilla

put snow in large bowl add milk, sugar and vanilla. mix until smooth.. taste and add more of sugar or vanilla to taste.

Categories: About me, child care, Christopher, Colorado, family fun, Personal art work, snow, Snow day | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Generation X …trying to doing the right thing

Christophers 3rd birthday with Grandma Wanda and Grandpa Jim and Cody helping with gift

Christopher’s 3rd birthday with Grandma Wanda and Grandpa Jim and Cody helping with gift

       I hate to admit it but I am a Gen-X-er. Not a hippy or yuppy and that puts me and my friends in a strange place. We are the generation that the government informed ,you will not have money from social security, you will not make more money then your parents and you will need a college education if you some how are able to make more money then your folks. Chances are that you will not live in one place more than seven years and you will have to care for your children and those ageing parents of yours at the same time.  The generation of “The Big squeeze” really.

  I guess at 45, I am now really in the middle of my own personal “Big squeeze”. I have found over the years that anything promised to past generations is all but gone for mine. Pensions, unions, Insurance, retirement, job security, homes, have dried up blown away. My generation, the “Me” generation, had fun while the party lasted ( it was a big over blown drug induced ego trip for years) but some how the hangover just never really went away. I am still waiting to say “yea things are going great I have my dreams and security too”. 

    The last few of years of my life have been a lesson on, “do what is right”, not for money, fame or glory. Just do what is right and except the blessings from that lesson. As most of you already know I have a young son who I gave birth to about two months before my 40th birthday  after 17 years of not getting pregnant. It seemed almost impossible to think that I was going to go through the whole process again. Then about the same time my Mother who was about to have her 80 birthday informed the family that she wanted to move out of her home into a senior community. She had grown tired of home ownership and of the up keep. That same christmas my step father in law who was 79 began the slow decline into dementia, then  Alzheimer’s making my mother-in-laws life a daily struggle. This began my step into the life that america predicted almost 25 years ago. I am a worker/care giver who doesn’t receive any pay for most of the things I do.

    So now 4 years later, I still do  “what is right”. I quit my 40 hour a week job to stay home more for my son ( the best for him) and lost half my income to work part-time in the evenings. My family  helped my mother sell her home in the worst of the economic crises, and lost about 40,000$ in the process, to make sure she was happy and well taken care of (the very best for her). I have helped with my mother-in-laws and father-in-laws care( the best I could do for them). The Hospice nurses took over much of grandpa Jim’s care this week, but mom will not leave his side. Leaving me and the other kids to do the shopping, cleaning, bill paying, yard work that has totally over whelming them ( the very best I can do for someone who is dying). These duties are like a job added on to a list of things I already do. I am feeling the “Big Squeeze” of less money and more demands placed in front of me. It is hard to balance childhood and old age with little or no pay.

Christopher with his Grandma 12-11-12

Christopher with his Grandma 12-23-12

     I am sure that at some point I will be a full-time care giver to my mother-in-law also. I am now wondering if I will get any type of retirement benefits at all and will I in the future have enough money to live comfortably on. Care givers rarely get paid for their time and if social security dries up 25 years from now what about me? What happens to those of us who choose to take care of the children and elderly. What kind of future do we have. I hope to have a husband who keeps  a good income into his 60’s but, I maybe the wife of a man who is suffering. It is likely that I will be his caregiver in his time of need. That I will spend the rest of my life  dedicated to the people I love and not the things that the world says I should have.

     It is a future that is full of hard work and frustration and low wages but it is “the right thing to do” for my family. I am not sure why I couldn’t get that abortion and continue to have a banking career that would lead me down the professional path with more money and better benefits. I am not sure why my brothers and I couldn’t make my mother stay in a house she hated so we could have sold it for more money and received more of an inheritance. I am not sure why I can’t say no to my mother in law if she calles me to help turn her husband over in his hospital bed and run to the store for medications and baby powder. I am not sure what I did to end up this type of woman, God just opened the door and I just grew into her.

   All I know is this, when you squeeze grapes  and let them age you get some of the finest wine in the world. Maybe, In my “big squeeze” I will bear the finest gifts for those I love  and that is my aim.  I just hope that others of Generation X know that they are not alone in the struggle to leave behind the “Me” part of our generation. It is not easy and I am not rich in material things but I am happy and content with my change from caring only for “me” to caring for the “we” in my family.

Me, my daughter-in-law Jamie , Christopher and my grand daughter Paige

Me, my daughter-in-law Jamie , Christopher and my grand-daughter Paige

Categories: About me, child care, Family, Generation X, health, old age | Tags: , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

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