Monday, December 22, 2008

If I Had a Wish, That It Could Be...

... A Happy Happy Birthday to (Caleb) from me!

We're all exhausted from a long day, but just wanted to take the chance to say Happy Birthday to Caleb. One year! I didn't think we would make it :)

Happy Birthday little man!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Day Two

It's day two of our experiment with gDiapers and all I can say is "Wow!"
His diaper rash is almost gone and there is no extra redness. Fantastic!

EDIT: Let me explain a little about gDiapers. Don't think I'm crazy-- you'll have to see them to really understand. They are a "hybrid" diaper-- a mixture between disposable diapers and cloth diapers. There is a diaper cover, called a little g, a waterproof liner and a disposable core. The disposable core is perfume and chlorine free, which is why I think it helps Caleb's diaper rash. However, it is pretty cool because you can either throw the disposable core away (it decomposes in 50 days vs the 500 years it takes for a disposable diaper) or you can flush it or you can-- now this is kinda gross-- compost it (see, I told you it was gross). So apparently they are all environmentally friendly, but really, we're just using it because Caleb is rash free for the first time in almost five months. I don't know why they are better, but they are! I totally suggest them for anyone who is looking for a solution to diaper rash. They might seem complicated, but they aren't! Even Pete can do it and he doesn't complain about changing the diaper any more than he did with disposables. :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

In Our Prayers

One of my friends from high school just lost a baby to Trisomy 18. Please keep her and her family in your prayers. She has been keeping a blog about the experience. You can check it out.

It's About Time

Needless to say, I have been a slacker about posting recently. Pete has been so busy studying that by the time I have access to the computer, I am just about ready to go to bed. So I give in-- I'm posting without pictures via the laptop. Someday I will hijack "my" computer back and post some pictures.

First things first-- Caleb's hospital admission.

Two weeks ago we were getting ready to head out to church when Pete was changing Caleb's diaper. Normally Pete ignores anything that might be wrong with Caleb (I hear "He's fine" about a thousand times a day) so when he called me into Caleb's room to look at the diaper rash I knew something must be up. Since Caleb has very very very sensitive skin he is unfortunately prone to rashes. This means that our poor little monster is pretty much constantly covered in a diaper rash. His most recent diaper rash was being treated for yeast and he was getting an anti-fungal cream applied twice a day. We figured the cream would do the trick and all would be well.

However, when I went in to see Caleb it was evident that the rash had made a turn for the worse. Approximately five square inches of Caleb's abdomen was red, distended and warm. One of the pimple-like lesions from the rash was raised and it didn't look so hot. We decided to take Caleb into the ER-- thinking we would get some cream for the rash and be back in time for our third hour meetings.

Upon arrival at CHOP (I swear, if we go there one more time they are going to keep him) we were quickly told that he had an abscess and cellulitis. Neither one is a particularly life-threatening problem, but they both needed to be watched carefully and treated with IV anti-biotics. They were also debating whether or not to lance the abscess.

So for the next four hours we watched Caleb fight every nurse in the ER who tried to give him an IV-- the kid is determined, I'll give him that. After two failed IV's (he sweat them out-- don't ask me...) six tries and finally the IV team (the IV team is called in to give IV's to patients-- usually drug addicts-- who's veins will not cooperate with IV's) they finally got an IV to work. We were transferred out of the ER to our room and Caleb was quarantined.

Why quarantined? Caleb developed the abscess and cellulitis from a bacteria called MRSA-- Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus. Sounds scary huh? Fortunately, Pete had worked with a program in Pittsburgh that helped to stop the transfer of MRSA from person to person so we were already familliar with it. Everyone has millions of bacteria--called flora--living on their skin. The skin acts as a strong enough barrier to prevent us all from dying of a thousand different bacterial infections. However, sometimes we get cuts or cracks in our skin and that bacteria can then bypass our barrier and enter our systems.

The problem with MRSA is that it is a "super bug." It is resistant to the typical antibiotics and it must be treated with some strong medicine. Most people have a bit of MRSA on their skin at any given time. It used to be completely confined to the hospital setting, but it is now out and about in the community. Unfortunately with Caleb's diaper rash as bad as it was, some of that normally harmless MRSA entered his system through the cracks in his skin from the diaper rash.

Thus the need to be quarantined (to prevent spreading the MRSA any more) and stay in the hospital. Over the next two days Caleb was given two more IV's (yes, he ripped those out as well) and his cellulitis healed up well. The abscess was drained -- that was probably the grossest thing I have ever seen-- and he now has a nice little scar from where the infection started. They sent us home with Caleb on oral antibiotics and he is back to his monster ways.

Our diaper changing routine now consists of:
*Applying anti-fungal nystatin twice a day
*Applying anti-biotic bactroban twice a day
*Applying hydrocortizone cream three times a day
*Applying Butt Paste at every diaper change.
*No diaper at naps or bedtime

Since I cannot possibly apply all that cream before Caleb runs away diaper-less, we apply one of the medications at each diaper change and somehow manage to get it all in. I'm also doing more laundry than ever to keep up with all the wet sheets.

We're going to try a new type of diaper to see if that helps to cut back on the diaper rash. They are called gDiapers. Has anyone else tried these? They are pretty expensive (about 50 cents a pop) but if they work, I'll be thrilled. I'm hesitant to spend the money though if they are going to be a bust. Any tips would be appreciated.

We'll know in a month or so if he is still a carrier for MRSA-- in which case, wash your hands! All in all, we've learned (1) Caleb is not so great with IV's (2)Clindamyicin smells like rotten eggs and (3)Caleb sure knows how to keep things interesting.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


I have been thinking a lot lately about what makes a person poor. Up to a few weeks ago I believed it was a lack of opportunities and most importantly, money. I am growing to believe, however, that it is a state of mind. In this country we have tons of social programs that offer free food, heat, water, electricity, and education to name a few. Yet, everyday in America people wake up in cold, dark houses with nothing to eat. Why, when the aid is clearly there, do they remain poor? I know people who live on a similar income to mine, yet always seem to be on their last dollar with nothing to show for it.

While I think these programs are good, I think they treat the symptoms of the disease without actually fixing the root cause. I think poverty is a mental trauma that leaves deep scars that are never fully erased. I have cleaned out the basements of middle class people who lived through the great depression only to find boxes full of buttons and thread taken from clothes. Their poverty left lasting effects on the way they lived.

The saying is that you can take a man out of a ghetto but you can't take the ghetto out of the man.

I don't want to sound like the famous Phil Grahmm and "mental recessions," but I am coming to believe that poverty in this country has a large psycological component to it

Monday, December 1, 2008

All Is Well

Just a quick post here to let all those wondering know that Caleb is home and on the road to recovery. He was admitted to the hospital for a MRSA infection, but he responded well to the IV antibiotics and the doctors felt comfortable sending him home with us promising to watch the infection to make sure it doesn't get worse.

Thanks to everyone for all your support, I'll post more about the whole ordeal later-- for now, we're going to enjoy a good night sleep in our own beds.

A huge thanks to Amanda D for making us lunch and dinner today! Pete wouldn't have survived without you.