Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Song for the Dumped

Jack had his 9 month visit to the doctor yesterday. As a first order of business, the doctor said he sounded much better, and put an end to the Nebulizer treatments. Although there's no indication that Jack will need it again, I believe we'll keep it handy, just in case.

In other doctor news, Jack has fallen off the pace. He weighs 22 pounds, 12 ounces, and is now in the 85% percentile in all size categories. Perhaps he's just gearing up for a growth spurt. Everything else is normal. We're supposed to start weaning him off the bottle, and so a whole new wonderland of food is going to join his daily menu. Stacy bought some turkey that looks like little hot dogs -- don't tell Jack, but that stuff stinks.

Every morning when I drop Jack off at daycare, he smiles at Xavier, the other little boy that shows up that early, and happily goes to whichever teacher is in the room when I leave. Usually, he's excited to get to playing. This morning, he actually got upset when I handed him over and kissed him good bye. It made me happy and sad all at the same time.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Enjoy the Silence

A brief update for anyone following the Hambone v. Nebulizer saga.

Jack had an x-ray on Thursday to rule out pneumonia as a possible problem, and it did just that. He has some sort of doctor-speak problem caused by a minor infection, and the Nebulizer should knock it out in relatively short order. As it is now, he doesn't cough very often, and I haven't noticed any of the wheezing lately.

We're taking a drive up to Appleton today, to give Jack a chance to hang out with Grandma while we take in a movie. I expect we'll all be happy with that.

Oh, I almost forgot. I got one of those fancy new cell phones with a camera, and I've set up a website where I can send random pictures I feel like taking. It also supports comment threads, because you never know when a blurry picture of Bigfoot may require discussion. Unfortunately, many of the pictures are blurry -- cameraphones just aren't that fancy yet.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Ziggy Stardust

Stacy and I are pretty laid-back parents when it comes to medical matters. Sniffles and weird poop don't phase us. Jack is a happy little boy that eats well and tears around all over the house, and that's enough for us.

A little over a month ago, Jack developed a cough. He still ate well, played well, slept well (unless a big cough woke him up), and so we called the doctor to see if it was anything to be concerned about. Not at all, he said. Apparently, there had been something going around which could account for some light coughing for anywhere from three to six weeks, and as long as no other symptoms manifested themselves, it was a minor thing. Well, then, that was that.

On Monday, Jack's cough began to get a little rougher, and the coughing more frequent. Since it is cold season, we got him some infant cold medicine to help handle the coughing, and it helped him to sleep through the night again. He had a pretty rough time at day care yesterday, though, since the cough was preventing him from sleeping, and so he'd get cranky and yell, which would cause more coughing. By the time Stacy arrived, he was pretty worked up -- and Jack knows how to express his displeasure in no uncertain terms.

So Stacy called the doctor and he worked in an appointment for Jack. He noticed that Jack's breathing has gotten a little raspy, and determined that it needed to be dealt with. I expected that antibiotics would be prescribed, and they were; but that's not all. Jack also gets to use a Nebulizer for fourteen days.

What's a Nebulizer? Oh, the miracles of modern technology. I'm not talking about the miracles of modern medical technology -- I'm talking about communications. The miracle by which a layperson such as myself, with close to zero knowledge about medical equipment, gets to expound at length on a piece of medical equipment in front of a worldwide audience. It reminds me of a quote I come across periodically,

“We have gone from a world of concentrated knowledge and wisdom to one of distributed ignorance. And we know and understand less while being increasingly capable.”

Prof. Peter Cochrane, formerly of BT Labs

So, now that we've established that I have little idea what I'm talking about, I think I'll descibe the Nebulizer. It's an air compressor with an attachment which contains a little reservoir, and an open-ended tube above it. The compressor blows warm air through the reservoir, which is filled with a dosage of medicine, and generates a vapor which escapes each end of the tube and Jack breathes in. It's a pretty snazzy little doo-dad, when you get right down to it. It doesn't need to be fed through a mask or held in his mouth -- we've actually been holding it in front of him as he eats Cheerios, and he breathes as he normally would. It takes about ten minutes to exhaust each dose. The doctor prescribed this for Jack four times daily for the next fourteen days. He says it'll knock that congestion clean out.

Here's the funny part. Nebulizers aren't available for rental, at least in our neck of the woods, so we got to buy one. It's pending insurance approval, so I can't guarantee that we'll be paying for it, but I have a feeling that if I took the insurance company out to dinner, we wouldn't both be reaching for the check at the end. I imagine he'd find himself in the restroom when the check arrived. Those big dividends don't come from paying a lot of claims, you know.

So, in fourteen days, I'll have a Nebulizer available for rental in the Milwaukee area. Reasonable rates, friendly service, senior discount.