Saturday, June 18, 2011

Everyday, something different

These hives are wearing me out, not to mention Joshua. He is AMAZING, though, through all of this and his strength and acceptance of this is beyond me. Last night he was crying that he hurt and I prayed for him and he said that he knows when we pray for him Jesus touches him, even if all the pain doesn't go away. He still knows that Jesus is there and Jesus is taking the pain away. Melts my heart and my tears just shatter the floor. What faith!!!

It's been 2 days since I last blogged, mainly because we spent all of yesterday at the farm while the kids got a taste of what MN Pioneer life was like in the 1890's-blog post coming soon so watch for that-but Joshua's condition hasn't gotten any better.

If you look through the last 2 posts you will see what his rash looked like day one and day 2. Here we are on day 5 and his rash looks like this:
It breaks my heart to look at him, but I am trying to take pictures every day so I can show his dr come Monday. I don't feel we have the right diagnosis because this rash/these hives change EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. Where they are today and what they look like will fade by morning, only to have new hives/a new rash in different areas or in different patterns. Today they chose to take up most of his trunk and face, and all over his bottom.

His face looks like to took a few punches to the face. The swelling in his face has gone down now but the pattern/design of his rash/hives is still present on his face.

Please continue to pray for Joshua and that his faith will not be altered, which he shows no signs of doing. Pray that his pain will subside, his hives will stop itching and go away, and we will get solid answers as to what is going on in this poor little, adorable boy.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Erythema Multiforme

What is that long nasty sounding word above? THAT is the condition they believe that Joshua has. When we first arrived at the ER on Tuesday night his rash looked like this (see previous blog entry for more info)
On Wednesday Joshua's hives from Tuesday had faded for the most part but a new rash had developed and was causing major swelling in Joshua's hands, feet and face. After more steroids, epinephrine, benadryl and Tylenol, in the ER on Wednesday night, Joshua's rash turned into this
Joshua hands looked like this on Wednesday night when we first arrived, along with the rash directly above, so swollen he couldn't bend his fingers without screaming in pain (and yes it was a painful cry)
And Joshua's face looked like this when we arrived to the ER at Children's Hospital-Mpls on Wednesday night as well
When we left the ER last night, around 11:30pm, his hands looked like this and there was no change in the rash on his tummy
His face looked like this (note new spots under his chin but less puffy around his eyes)
We were sent home after a shot of antibiotics and told to keep Joshua on Tylenol/Motrin, alternating every 3 hours, for pain over the next few days and Benadryl and Zantac for the hives/itching until all rashes have disappeared. We were also told to follow up with his ped. (or any ped. really) within 24hrs and that this follow up was crucial.

This is what Joshua's tummy looks like today as we got ready to head to a 9:00am appointment at his normal clinic.
Joshua's fever is still present, though currently hovering around 100-101, even with a constant awake rotation of Motrin and Tylenol (I am not waking him in the middle of the night). He is still complaining of leg pain, pain in his hands and feet and itchy all over. Added to those symptoms he has also spent a great deal of time crying about stomach pains.

The ped today told us that it appears that Joshua has Erythema Multiforme and that our best plan of action is doing exact what the ER drs said for us to do last night. All the current medications will be used until the pain and rash go away.

They also informed us that this is something that Joshua may or may not have to deal with his entire life. Since we do not know the exact cause (allergic reaction or virus) it is going to be hard to know what to avoid. Also stress may bring on symptoms like this or changes in routine/environment or just plain fear. Lovely news right???

I guess at least they have currently put a name to what he is deal with and we know that we are doing everything we can to make sure that we beat this and get through it. Joshua has been a trooper through this all (through tears, fears and lots of pain) and as long as I keep his legs covered (so he can't be reminded of his bandaids or injections sites) he is walking normally, just slower at times.

Thank you for all of you who have followed our updates on FB and prayed for Joshua. During his bath today, after appointments, he said his legs hurt and I prayed for him and he told me "Thanks mom, Jesus hears my prayers and He touched me and I feel better. Sometimes I still big hurt but Jesus touches me and I feel all better". Oh how I love him!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


My poor baby boy!!! I don't know what in the world is causing these hives, neither do the dr, but these are getting to be so much for this mama to handle. Yesterday morning Joshua woke up crying, itchy, with a fever of 103+ and in a lot of pain. He didn't want to walk and was complaining that his knees hurt. Here are a few pictures of what he looked like after he woke up.I made a phone call to the all of the parents of my kids and asked them to come pick up their kids that I need to take Joshua into the dr. They arrived quickly and within an hour of Joshua waking up he was at the clinic. Here are a few photos of Joshua AFTER a dose of benadryl.These just break my heart. We spent nearly 2 hours in urgent care (during Moo's naptime-you can imagine how well she was behaving...UGH) and they did a strep test, a blood count, and left us to wait for results. After they gave us the results of the strep test (neg) and info that his blood count was slightly elevated they told us that we don't have to use any meds for a pain (despite the fact that Joshua would not walk at all at the clinic) and told us that benadryl was not needed (umm, hello he haves hives and is itching!!) A nurse that I went to school with pulled me aside and told me "mother to mother you need to take him to Children's. UC is not equipt to treat things like this and Children's would be better".
When we got to Children's hospital Joshua was still complaining of pain and his legs were really swollen still (had been since he woke up). The drs at Children's were amazing with their care for him but they have no clue what is causing these. They think that Joshua could be dealing with stress or viruses through hives instead of other symptoms (ie cough, runny nose, other 'virus' symptoms). I don't know if I buy that fully but nothing else is adding up yet. While at Children's Hospital they gave him a steroid to help the swelling in his knees and sent us home on benadryl and zantac to help with the hives. They also want us giving Joshua tylenol and motrin every 3hrs for the next 2-3days for pain. All of this breaks my heart.

Today, Joshua's hives look (that he had yesterday) are looking better but he now has new ones in places he didn't before. He is still complaining that his legs hurt but he is walking, jumping, running and playing like normal.

Please continue to pray for Joshua and that we can get to the bottom of this. I really don't know what I should be doing (if anything more than I am). I do have to praise Jesus in this because Joshua did not have any difficulty breathing this time and his oxygen levels were 99-100% the entire time we were at urgent care or Children's Hospital.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Tame your tongue

As all of us mothers know, being a mom isn't always easy. I am finding that I am being tested every day as I mother my children, currently 3years and 19months, and sometimes enough is enough. I am an avil follower of the Confessions of a Homeschooler blog and lately her blog series on the book The Ministry of Mothering has stirred up a lot of convictions within me and I must is a good study!!!

I am not a perfect mom, but I am trying to do the best for my kids. And normally, I am SO patient with them-I run a daycare too so I have to be patient, but I have found myself becoming less patient, especially on sleepless nights as I deal with my toddler's non-stop, all night nursing sessions that MUST, by her demands, be done in the rocking chair in her room and no where else. If the rocking chair stops-aka I fell asleep-she wakes up crying and we repeat the cycle. Some nights the past few weeks I have been up with her multiple times within an hour of remaining in her room until wee hours of the morning. I am night owl, always have been, and don't climb into bed until midnight and my first daycare kid arrives at 6:30am. I average about 6hrs of sleep a night without the nursing sessions that occur so adding them to the mix make me more tired=less patient.

And as many of you out there, who have gone through age 2-4 with your children, you all have had times where you have had enough with a certain behavior and are exhausted, mentally above all else, by the demands of our toddlers/preschoolers. Currently my 3 year is exhausting!! His constant questions (without a break to even allow me to attempt to answer the question), his "I can do it myself" mentality-followed by sobs "I can't know how", and the constant defiant behavior just to test me to see if I am going to follow through with what I said is tiring. Add to that a 20month old, a 19month old, and a 10month old and I'm tired.

But this past week I had the chance to sit at my computer (uninterrupted) for a bit and go through the blogs that I follow and this week blog from Erica (@ Confessions of a Homeschooler) hit me really hard. You can find this week's study, and her notes, here : Ministry of Motherhood Week 4

The key verses she pinpoints are what hit me the most:

* “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Prov. 15:1

* "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." Eph. 4:29

* But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. James 3:7-9

I am not a screamer or a yeller, but my tone can be do I say it...intense at times. And these key verses really hit me that I need to be careful with how I say things and what I say to my children. I raise my children in a household with a firm foundation in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. My children read their Bibles, sing worship songs, pray and talk to God/Jesus daily with and without being asked. They love Jesus and that is such a blessing to me that I am able to instill this into them. But reading these verses, and looking through links that Erica has on this study, it made me realize that I need to be aware exactly of what I am saying. If I am not helping to build them up, not willing to listen carefully and answer fully, and if I am not willing to take a deep breath before answering the same question for the 30th time in a row, then I am not taming my tongue fully.

My prayer today is that I learn to control, breathe, praying and seek Him before addressing my children always. I pray that I will always remember that they are little and they are learning and if my tone gets in the way or my words are not uplifting, I am not fulfilling my duty as their mother, fully, as God intended. I pray for mercy and strength. May my children always see Jesus in me, even when I am not pleased with their behavior and may they know that I love them through it all-good and bad-no matter what.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Signing Time in Maple Grove

As many of you know, we are Signing Time lovers in this house. Both of my kids knew over 100 signs at a year and Joshua didn't say words until he was 2.5years old. Up until that point his main communication came through ASL. Madelynn is now 19months old and she is able to talk and sign and I love watching both languages unfold for my children!!!

Last year we went to our first Signing Time concert and we were hooked. After this concert we became more hooked on ASL than ever before and I applied to be a Signing Time Academy Instructor and then came my business-Blessed By Signing-shortly there after. Here is a picture from our Signing Time Concert last year (April 30th, 2010)
Well this year we had another concert in Maple Grove and as soon as Joshua heard that Rachel was coming to MN he was SO excited. For weeks he asked me if Rachel was coming today. I think he was beginning to think she would never show up. When the day finally arrived Joshua couldn't stand it. He hardly napped (which made him very sensitive and tired at the concert) and he just couldn't wait to see Rachel again.
As soon as the concert began Joshua was so excited. He signed along with many of the songs and stared at Rachel-totally star struck!! It was so cute. THEN Leah and Hopkins came out and both of my kids were glued. Madelynn had to be restrained, and finally taken out, to keep her from the stage (where she wanted to hug Hopkins-the frog) and she was getting SO restless, but I expected that with an 18month old.

During the concert Rachel asked for kids to come on stage and sign along to the songs she was signing. Joshua wanted to go up there SO bad and was raising his hand like crazy! It was so cute and I was so excited thinking that he would get pick. But he didn't-there was a ton of kids and Joshua was kind of young I think, and he was so crushed. We had many tears shed over it but over all he had a wonderful time and can't wait until Rachel returns again!!