Today I’m better.
Yesterday was a nightmare. I had a horrific migraine for the third day in a row. I ended up going down to the walk-in clinic trying to figure out if I had something that was obviously causing the sick/pain so that it could be stopped. If he offered me an injection of botox into my neck under the theory that it would make the pain stop I would have handled the syringe myself – I was that desperate. I have come to the conclusion that I am actually a total wuss about any pain that originates above the neck.

The man who saw me knew absolutely nothing about medications in breastmilk. The first thing he said when I walked in was, “is this your baby?”. When I confirmed it was he interrupted me again with, “And you’re breastfeeding?”
“Yes, but–“
“Then we have to be so careful about what we give you!”
“Well kind of, but really just about anything you can give me for cold, flu or pain is going to breastfeeding safe or have an alternative.”
“You think so?” he said it like a challenge.
“Yes.”
He did a physical and found nothing wrong with me. Nothing. Other than the horrible cough and incredible amounts of pain I seem to be in good health. He had no idea what was wrong with me, or why it’s happened a dozen times in five months, and told me I should go to my regular doctor and get tests done. Hurray.

I told him I had almost a whole script of the codeine leftover from the toothache, since it actually did zip for the tooth, and feel guilty taking things “off label” even though I’ve already tried twice. I asked if I could take it or some combination of something to get rid of my fucking migraine and some of the intense pain in my neck.
“It appears in breastmilk,” he said without checking.
“Just because it appears in breastmilk doesn’t mean it is metabolized by the baby.”
“What?”
“You have to take into account everything from half-life, maternal dose, molecular weight… just because an amount is found in the milk doesn’t automatically mean it even reaches the baby’s bloodstream.”
He blinks. “What?”
“Do you have a copy of Hale’s here, with you?”
“Um, no.” I strongly suspect he has no idea what Hale’s is.
“I’m willing to bet you codeine is fine. Aside, they gave it to me for my toothache a week or two ago and didn’t seem to care that I breastfed.”
He picked something up out of his pocket that looked like a Blackberry and played with it. “It says codeine appears in the milk, and to use caution.” I considered saying something about vicodin and percocet is given to women after cesareans when they’re breastfeeding, and if that is safe… “– you seem to know more about this than I do. If you can take it, it will probably work. Take two, with two ibuprofen and if that doesn’t take away the pain come back tomorrow and talk to me again.”
At least I walked away validated by the fact that a doctor I’d never met in my life just told me I knew more about breastfeeding and prescription medications than he did.

Let this be a lesson to every nursing mother: don’t visit your doctor without bringing a copy of Hale’s with you.

When I got home I tried the cocktail he recommended and while it took almost two hours to take effect, it did get rid of my migraine. I could think again, I could remember stuff, I could move without wanting to scream. I was in heaven. Pain free heaven. I was still congested and coughing but I had no pain! It does shit for a toothache but for this it worked! I could eat, and move, and talk!
Xan had gone to sleep just before it kicked in and had two incredible five-hour stretches, one of which I actually slept during, so I felt a million times better in the morning. Still sick, but the lack of pain makes a huge difference in my “wanting to shoot myself in the head” levels.

In the morning I decided to teach Tempest how to use the computer. Prior to today, she’s never used it before. She has no idea how to use the mouse or keyboard, or even really what they are.
It took her all of twenty seconds to learn how to correctly use the mouse, although she still struggles with the idea that if you ‘run out of room’ to move it you can pick it up in the air, put it back down on the pad a distance away, and suddenly have more space. I contemplated trying to find one of those stationary “ball” mouses that children often use for computers.
A mother on my list was praising the glory of starfall.com, so I walked Tempest through the first few letters and then let her have a chance at it. She freaking adored it, and with her brand new computer-using skills she spent an hour there while I cleaned, organized, put Xan to sleep and even made (AND ATE!) breakfast. She called me over for help every time she couldn’t move the mouse any further because that concept wasn’t sticking, but the letters were. I sat with her for 25 minutes playing the letter games and sounding out words. I’ve never seen her pay attention to anything for that long before.

When Curtis came home she ran out of her room to tell him all about it. “I was on the computer!”
“You were?”
“Yes! I was learning ABC’s!”
“Wow! Was that fun?”
“Yes!! And a chicken ran, and then the number nine, four fingers, a hat and an alligator! Then a rat with jam. THE NUMBER TEN! APPLES! BUH BEES!
She’s been very jazzed about letters the rest of the day. She had a mini-breakdown in the parking lot at the grocery store when we wouldn’t stand in the rain and wind and read all the license plate numbers for her.

I think The Sick™ has all but stopped my 365, so once I edit older photos and take new ones I’ll have a massive gap where I felt like death warmed over. I am so sick of being sick, all the damned time. I never get sick, why the hell am I getting so sick all the time?
The day was a celebration of painlessness until Xan started screeching at around 8pm and hasn’t stopped. He has my cold in a lesser form and while most of the time he doesn’t seem bothered in the least other than an occasional cough that makes his eyebrows glow, today can’t breathe through his nose and won’t nurse, sleep or calm down. Breastmilk and/or saline isn’t working to clear it. I gave him cold drops to try and dry up some of the mucous. I don’t think I ever gave Tempest anything like that, ever – he seems truly out of his mind miserable right now.

Originally I had intended to have my store stocked by now, but The Sick™ got me. I also intended to have a lot more knitting and crocheting done.
But at least my head doesn’t hurt!

Comments

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51 Comments

  • braja says:

    What is Hale’s? Do you have a link to the book?

  • julierocket says:

    Starfall is GREAT! I love Zac the Rat, hahaha.

  • This is sort of random, but it’s helped me as far as neck/shoulder tension goes: last quarter I took a class on Feldenkrais, which is a body awareness education program. (Or something like that… I’m hardly and expert.) It was really cool, and really relaxing, because you learn to quickly recognize when your body is tensing, so you can let go. Also, you learn new ways of moving your body, which can help with muscle tension/pain associated with repeated motion. You can find out more at http://www.feldenkrais.com (I haven’t looked at it very much, so I can’t guarantee it’s helpful, but it’s a thought.) *HUGS*

    ~Monkeyscience/K’Tara

  • newti_chan says:

    Hey! Look at me, I get sucked into everything…

    I get the neck shoulder pain too, it doesn’t give me headaches anymore, but back when it did my massage therapist told me that was where I “held my stress”. It’s also a very common student ailment due to bad posture, or as I call it: hunching! Be it over computers, books, desks whatever… I know you aren’t a student, but are you hunching a lot?
    Or maybe it’s because Xan is just that much fatter than Tempest ever was?
    Also I know it sounds mundane but… ginseng, ginger, garlic?? All the magical G substances that boost your immune system…

  • delababy says:

    I am the same way. Headaches make me crazy. The hubby and I were discussing that we have high but different pain tolerances. I can handle anything sharp, no matter the severity, but anything that stops productivity, like dull aches or headaches leave me whining like a baby. He handles dull pervasive pain, like his bad knees, but is such a baby about cuts and sharp pains.

  • dietcokehed says:

    Do you have a lot of tension in your neck/shoulder area?
    My mom has been getting frequent migraines, along with having some recent neck/shoulder issues. I asked her if the doc thought there might be a connection.
    She says she took a Soma (muscle relaxer) one day, knowing it wasn’t for migraines but knowing it would knock her out for a nap. When she woke up her migraine was gone.
    “That’s probably because it relaxed the muscle causing it,” I said.
    “But it’s not the muscle, it’s the tension,” she answered.
    “And the tension is….in whaaaat?” I ask.
    “In my shoulder,” she answers proudly.
    “In the MUSCLE mom! Tension is in muscles!” She’s blond, not naturally. She’s very smart, but book smart. Common sense is lacking…and these conversations are only getting more frequent with age. *sigh*…..

    • admin says:

      My shoulders and neck have been rock hard with tension for as long as I can remember. Really, I’ve never ever felt them “untensed”.

      • dietcokehed says:

        Maybe that’s what’s causing the migraines? You might want to ask your doc about it. I hear ya on the constant tension. My shoulders and neck are so bad my physical therapist kept saying “Holy shit!” when she cheated one day and worked my upper and not lower back.
        I’m not sure if there’s anything they can do short of massage, and obviously muscle relaxers, which a knock out pills, but it might be worth asking.
        At the very least, make Curtis rub you out…you deserve it dammit!
        Hope things improve for you soon 🙂

  • maylea_moon says:

    I’ll have to get that Hale’s book. I only nursed Rowan for all of 5 days so I’m clueless about medicine and breastfeeding. But you’re right, in Idaho they were giving me Vicodin (after a vaginal delivery and no tearing…i have no idea why…) and I was nursing in the hospital.

  • I tell ya, codeine is civilized. I love Canada because they sell it over the counter (OK, mixed with other drugs, but still)(CIVILIZED!)

    That was a cool thing he told you. You know more than I do – well done doctor! I have hope for him!

    Feel better. Wrap a hot towel around your head. Get some rest. Soup. *pat pat*

  • the_lissa says:

    OMG when I was leaving the hospital the other day, the resident says “I will find you an antiemetic that is safe for breastfeeding.” I said okay. He was still looking it up (and this hospital has baby friendly status- you think he would call the maternity ward or something.) I just left and took gravol at home considering other doctors have given it to me, and it is safe during pg or bf, but an injection would have been nice since I couldn’t keep anything down.

  • God, everytime I see my doctor it’s ‘..and let’s get you in for some tests.’ Thankfully I’ve only gone three times in four years, though. The last time was for a possible UTI, which she gave me a prescription and a lab form ‘for you to come in one day and we’ll check you for diabetes, cholesterol, thyroid…blah blah blah.’ Sheesh, birth one 10lb baby and every doctor thinks something is wrong. (And there isn’t, thankyewvebbymuch.)

    At least she has a copy of Hale’s, so she has that going for her.

  • neuraltube says:

    Does Imitrex not work for you, and/or are you uncomfortable with it? It’s one of those benefits-vs-risks ones, but for me (can’t keep codeine down, can’t care for my kid with a migraine) the benefits are heavier.

    I hear you on the above-the-neck pain. I just can’t think well enough to figure out how to cope at all when I have a bad migraine.

    • neuraltube says:

      …by which I mean, it’s an L3, same as codeine.

    • admin says:

      I’ve done Maxalt (is that it?), which is always the first thing they want to give me. I’ve only had one person suggest imitrex and I honestly can’t recall if I’ve done it before or not. All I know is that of all the migraine meds I HAVE tried, nothing works.

      • neuraltube says:

        Maxalt is in the same family as Imitrex (they are -triptans) but one does not = the other. Imitrex is the one that’s been studied in breastfeeding. Maxalt works OK for me but Imitrex works MUCH better, and Zomig and some of the other -triptans DON’T work on me. So I would think that Imitrex (aka sumatriptan) would be worth trying if you’re willing. The great thing about -triptans is that they don’t leave you super drowsy and tired, and they tend to work within 15 minutes to half an hour. The headache will get worse before it gets better, but then it just… lifts. Aaaaaah! (At least for me.)

        I used to take the injectable form of Imitrex–that was the first form they released. Thankfully the pills work on me, but if you’re desperate enough you could try the self-injecting gun as well, since it’s a more direct jolt it might work even if the pills don’t. I hated pushing the button on that injection gun but it was so worth it at the time–it meant I’d feel better in just a few minutes and wouldn’t lose three days to a stupid headache.

        I hope you find something that works well for you. I totally feel your pain on this one.

      • neuraltube says:

        Also– Of course codeine is fine if it works for you; the major risk to the breastfeeding baby is depressed respiration so you just have to make sure airways are clear etc. I just can’t take it, plus I literally can’t afford to lose the rest of the day to a narcotic fog. That’s why -triptans win for me.

  • erinmdmd says:

    I agree with Tina- I’m havign a bad time with some emotional stuff lately and I’m suddenly getting a migraine after months of none.

    I’m sure you’ve tried it, but chiropractic adjustments for migraines? I’ll get a migraine and everything in my neck and back tenses up. I go get an adjustment and the migriane breaks, almost instantly. I still have a residual headache and achy muscles in ymback for a while, but the “OMG no noise or light or movement or I’ll puke!” pain is gone.

    I really need to get a copy of Hale’s. ::bounces off to look online::

    • altarflame says:

      Ugh – I get a headache everytime I go to the chiropractor! And that’s basically the only time I do. I think of it as an “adjustment headache”. I feel very, very much better in just about every other way, and this has been with two different chiros who use different techniques. Apparently it’s because of some release that is good, but in a longer term way? I don’t really understand it, but I know I can sleep after I’ve been adjusted, and walk further before it hurts, and all of that.

      We recently discovered that if he does a lot of neck traction before or after the actual adjusting, I don’t get the headache, so now each time I’m there I try to tactfully slip in something about how great it is that figured that out, so that he doesn’t forget.

      *quietly slips off and stops hijacking Babs’ threads*

  • oopidsnot says:

    This is so incredibly disgusting, but when Freja had a cold and nothing was helping her congestion, Jon would wrap his mouth around her nose and suck the snot out! He goes to such lengths for her. I don’t think I could have done that.

    • altarflame says:

      I know at least one mom who sucks muccous from her kids’ nose/mouth as necessary, when they’re babies. I give her props, but I’m totally not up for it either. I mean…if I had a newborn who couldn’t breathe in a birth situation or something I’d probably just do it, but other than that it’s pretty hard to imagine.

      • admin says:

        I was just thinking that: birth situation is one thing, their life may depend on it and I could do that without thinking, but a snotty five month old is another thing entirely.

    • admin says:

      Oh man.
      I love my son, but man…

      Curtis aspirated his nose with the bulby thing earlier and said he got a metric tonne of snot out.

      • Since my baby is sick AGAIN (that’s round four since January, for those of you keeping track at home) I have to get the wookalar out again (wookalar is a monster in a Tim Conway movie – the monster chases you and sucks your brains out through your nose – thus in our family the booger sucker is the wookalar). I have shot saline up babby’s nose, which “rinses” the boogers out instead of sucking them out. That works OK too.

    • Babies are pure and unsoiled. Baby boogers are not gross.

    • dietcokehed says:

      Hahaha! 🙂
      My friend did that to her dog…Corky, a chihuahua, had somehow gotten a styrofoam pellet (size of a BB) in her nostril. We tried the digging and couldn’t get it. My friend was worried Corky would inhale and the styrofoam would get into her lung, so she pet her mouth over Corky’s nose and sucked. Ew! But it worked (though nearly went into my friend’s lung!)

      The lengths we go to….

  • altarflame says:

    I think it’s quite possible that your pain and sickness is emotion related. When my parents divorced I puked every single day of the first grade. It got so that they didn’t even bother to call my parents. And I certainly had no traceable medical illness. I just manifest anxiety physically.

    Medicine: They also give breastfeeding c/s mothers TONS AND TONS OF MORPHINE. A massive whop of duo morph during the surgery and then continuing dosages intravenously for a day or two afterwards. I have the junkie kids to prove it.

    Starfall is great! And they provide educators, including homeschooling parents, with free workbooks! Really good ones that my kids love and have taught Aaron to read. Another website Tempest would probably love is http://www.pbskids.org – A and A used to spend whole afternoons on it sometimes. There are more age appropriate sections – like for a 3 year old she’ll have a better time with boobah, Sesame Street or Caillou games and activities, and way less understanding of Cyber Chase or something because that’s geared towards 9-10 year olds. But they have good stuff. And print out coloring pages.

    I miss your pictures!

  • I need to get a copy of Hale’s. I went in on Wednesday for outpatient surgery and ended up being admitted and having another procedure. I was researched and prepared about the general anesthesia, but the meds that they gave me before and after the other procedure were a surprise to me and I didn’t know if they were safe or not. I had my nurse call the hospital pharmacist who said “NO breastfeeding for 72 hours”. I cried and I pumped and dumped while I was in the hospital. When I got hope I had some people do Hale’s lookups for me and all of the medications were safe. I dumped more than 40 oz on breastmilk. Grrr. I wish that the pharmacist would have told me he didn’t know as opposed to giving me bad info. I only had enough milk pumped for a day (my baby was 10 days old) and by baby had to have a day’s worth of formula because of misinformation.

    I’m glad the codeine helped!

  • florassecret says:

    When I first found out that I could have a beer and only a trace amount went through the breastmilk and if you space it with nursing the baby never gets the alcohol. I had a beer tonight and a rum with coke after my shitty long day.

    Um, are you available for a visit next week?
    We have a reliable car again (not great, but at least it will go highway speeds) which is why we have not traveled to your neck of the woods in months.

    Doctors = morons

    • admin says:

      Awesome! Thanks. I bookmarked it for checking out later.

      • florassecret says:

        also, you can go to your local library and get your child to play the games, Jocelyn was Tempet’s age when we started that. She loved to play the games. I do think there is a time limit, more like if a child is waiting let them play if you’ve had more than 20 minutes.
        It’s a great way for older kids to help younger kids too. When we go to the library Jocelyn will see an younger child and say “let me help you” they work on the puzzles or games together.
        I have learning software for preschool – grade 2, we’re not needing it for a while, you could borrow them.

  • dreamalynn says:

    I’m glad that the med cocktail worked, and that the doctor validated your knowledge without getting all het up about proving his superior knowledge. Chalk him up as one of the good guys, I guess. Many sticky health wishes for you and Xan.

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