Atkinson General – Part 2.

Just a shade under a month later!

So I think i still have to catch up on my medical issues and Kaylens – we’ll start with the Hurricane.


where to begin with this one? Her issues, like Karissa’s stem from early infancy, when she was diagnosed with GERD (reflux disease) and was put on medications at 2 weeks old. The meds helped her finally DSC_7188-1 be “happy” enough to not scream 24/7, and we thought we were good. But she also, like Karissa, started in with horrid ear infections at around 2 months old, and by the time she was 7 months old, the ENT said tubes weren’t really NOT an option, so she had those placed a few weeks after that appointment. She still got ear infections a lot, but they were pretty easily handled with some antibiotics. We went back and forth in this way until she was about 2 years old (a few months after kendall was born), and the ear tubes were being pushed out by more infections, and the grossest foulest stuff was just leaking out of her ears every nite. Tubes were removed so her eardrums could heal up, and we found out at that time that her vocal chords were very ripped up (raw) from the continued reflux. Anyways – she has always been a hot mess of ENT issues – from her sinuses getting infected, to ears infected, to croup with every cold she gets.

So when she got yet another fall virus cold (I call it the school special – its just the regular crap kids bring home from school – bad enough to make kids feel kinda gross, but not bad enough to go running to the doctor for) – I didn’t think much of it when she was sinusy/stuffy/complaining about her usual maladies of ear/nose/throat pains! Until after it was “cleared up”. And randomly one day she was showing me something in her mouth (I know – the glamorous life of being a mom – viewing your childs pre-masticated food) and I noticed two large meatball looking things in her mouth. I went to get the little light, tilted her chin back and was horrified when i looked in there – they were GINOURMOUS!!! I had no idea what they were, but i suspected her tonsils. Having a nurse in your house all day can be a good thing because she was able to see in there too and confirm that it did indeed look to be tonsillitis. So back to the ENT we went – except her doctor was completely booked, so we had to see the PA (assistant doctor) – who told us that every single thing we have noticed about kaylen’s “bad days” fits with apnea. 

She could see the tonsils and the adenoid tissues were extremely swollen, and that it was unusual for them to be that large with no “active” infection. she had cleared the school special about 3 weeks before this appointment  and didn’t appear to have any other viral infection going on – so she was stumped as to why they were so large.  But the bottom line from that appointment is that we are meeting with the ENT on January 18th as followup, and more than likely will be discussing a “T and A” procedure (tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy – getting tonsils and adenoids taken out).  The PA put her on amoxicillin to take care of any lingering bacteria that may be harbored in there as a “hidden” cause of the swelling and some Flonase (snorted steroids) to help reduce the inflammation also.

We didn’t get a whole lot of info from the PA about the apnea – it was just kind of tossed out there as the reason sheIMG_2725 is having so many behavioral issues, problems sleeping every nite,  leg cramps, throat pains, etc. The ENT has brought up sleep studies for both Kaylen and Karissa in the past – but due to all of Kendall’s issues, it just hasn’t been high on my priority list to deal with scheduling and carrying out and then fighting insurance to get sleep studies scheduled. Kaylen does fit an apnea profile to a T – and based on the fact that it sounds like a freight train some nites in K2 and K3’s room with both of them snoring – I’m assuming they both have some apnea. Not sure there’s much that can be done about it beyond removing Kaylen’s tonsils/adenoids and hoping Karissa’s dont get big. I just want to have my happy Hurricane Kaylen back! Things got worse AFTER we started the amoxicillin – and she ended up requiring oxygenated nebulizer treatments to keep her croup under control. It was horrid because she kept getting so panicky when her airway felt tight/swollen, so she would cry more, which woudl make it worse and it was tough to stay on top of that swelling. Of course this all happened the week before christmas and Ben was out of town most of that week – so it’s probably no wonder that my heart was never calming down (we’ll get to my issues in a minute!). So tired just thinking about trying to survive those nites!
We did end up completing one course of antibiotics and are on a different antibiotic for round 2 now – and things seem to finally be settling down with her. She still doesn’t sleep well at all, and has ensuing meltdowns all day long because of it – and its still very draining to hear the nonstop complaints of throat/ear/head/leg pains and feel helpless to do much about it beyond dose her up with more ibuprofen – but hopefully the dr has some more good ideas when we meet with him in a few weeks.

ME and my issues.

Probably too broad a topic to cover in just one post, or even one blog, but i’ll try to narrow it down to just the recent physical cardiac issues! If you are on facebook as my friend (which you totally can be! i love friends!) – but you may have heard me whining as of late about my heart hurting, its rhythm wonkiness, being in the ER one Saturday nite – all cause my heart had gotten into some funky pattern of non-rhythmic beating and it was driving me INSANE. (that’s not a good description – it was obviously in a rhythm of some kind because otherwise i would not be here typing – but it FELT like some kind of weird dubstep song rhythm vs a regular – ba-bum, ba-bum, ba-bum.) It started after a bikram class – so of course everyone assumed that it was because the yoga class was too hard, i was working too hard, whathaveyou.

The problem with that theory though is that I have this kind of weird rhythm a LOT. But it usually goes away within a few seconds/minutes/hours. I’ve had it do this as long as I can remember, since early childhood. It seems to correlate with times when “lung stuff” was happening, so I always blamed it on my crappy asthma. No doctor has ever mentioned it – and the times it was the worst – the last trimester of every pregnancy – it would occur during times when it was “normal” to have an elevated HR, higher blood pressures, shortness of breath, chest pains from having your organs crunched up, etc. So while the yoga may have been a part of why my heart was working hard and started doing whatever its doing right now, it wasn’t the yoga’s fault!  It’s never really been more than a fleeting annoyance, and I never thought – i should get this checked out, i might be having heart problems.

I still didn’t think that the night I went to the ER – but I was tired of being hounded by two very dear friends via instant message, and my beautiful cousin Kirstyn who works in a cardiac unit as a nurse that I should probably be checked out. At that point, it had been about 36 hours of the crazy rhythm, and it was starting to get pretty painful because when i have these extra “beats”, it feels like my heart is being forcefully jerked out of place. By the time I went in i was feeling pretty beat up and like I had been training for a marathon. Luckily since we do have enough medical equipment here  to handle pretty much any emergency, I hooked myself up to the pulse ox machine for a few minutes, saw that i was pretty tachycardic and that it got worse with any slight movement, and so I went in. I think I made the right call as within 4 minutes of getting there I was struggling to stay conscious and thoughtphoto (2) I was going to pass out right there in triage. They did an EKG and a chest X-ray pretty quickly, got IV fluids running, had a doctor in pretty quick – it’s kind of a blur. I do remember him telling me that he didn’t think I was having or had had a heart attack (i love when Captain Obvious shows up!) but that he was worried about a pulmonary embolism because of my wicked cough. (In case you haven’t ever been around me in person in the winter, I do tend to sound like Typhoid Mary when I cough, I can clear out entire restaurant areas pretty quick sounding like I’ve brought the ebola plague with me. It’s my special talent.)

So they did some testing for that, while I played around with the rate the IV fluids were running in at – because clearly the nurse didn’t understand that 50cc/hr was not fast enough, I set it to run a LOT faster than that. And then I sat and watched myself on the monitors, and could see that my weird jerkings were correlating with strings of PVC’s (extra beats). PVCs are a rather “benign” finding on heart monitors typically, so I was put much more at ease that I was just having a bad run of PVCs, and when the fluids got on board I would be magically fine. I discussed this with the doctor, who agreed with my assessment since the clotting test came back negative for the PE, and they let me go.

Except they didn’t stop. So then I had to actually call my family doctor (i know – trust me, its shocking that I even have someone I can call a family doctor since my typical MO is to call “dr. urgent care”). I was really glad I went in to talk with him though because he could still feel the PVCs in my pulses, and listened to me saying that it wasn’t having the PVCs that bothered me, it was that they weren’t stopping like they normally do. By the time I saw him I was on day 4 of this nonstop jerking/painful shortness of breath feeling like the crap got kicked out of me stupidity. My plan going in was to ask him to just shock me with the paddles and hope that fixed it. Instead he sent me for an echo and to get hooked up to a cardiac event monitor. Awesomesauce.

They are still happening. They still suck. i still feel like crap. I’ll do a whole post devoted to my awesome new accessory. Cause it needs its own pictures.


and that’s what’s happening here on Atkinson General. As the world turns. in the days of our lives.

Nonstop drama I tell you!

I’ve gotta post about something besides medical stuff now. It makes my brain hurt!


thanks for reading and catching up on us! i will do a proper Christmasy post soon – this one is being backdated!

Leave a comment if you notice anything different about the blog!


love you all~


peace out.


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  1. Holy Update! My Kalynn had the “T & A” procedure at 4 years old – she was also suffering from Apnea, and that was the biggest reason they did it. I don’t recall huge tonsils – but the snoring/apnea was crazy for a little girl. The surgery changed it all on a dime, and 10 years later she’s still sleeping soundly every night. I’m frustrated for you on the wait – three more weeks. Ugh!!!!
    As far as your heart goes, are you in “A-fib” then? My BIL just had the ablation surgery for that a few weeks ago (he’s 38). Went very well. Hopefully they don’t take too long messing around to get you the fix/relief you need long-term. Hope you had a Merry Christmas despite the ‘stuff’, and best wishes to all of you in 2012! I’ll still be lurking faithfully 🙂


  1. […] I just now am realizing that I think I have only briefly touched on Kaylen’s issues here on the blog. You might have picked up a few more if you are on Facebook and hear my complaints […]

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