Monday, 8 September 2008

Jedi's Story Part II

Well, what a nice day. Ok so the sun isn't actually shining brightly, but at least the rain has stopped, for now. I managed to do some chores outside this morning without drowning, and it was rather pleasant to be enjoying being out in the garden again.
My garden is rather overgrown......

And I appear to have my own wheat supply growing by the house, just in case.....

But that's all beside the point because I was going to tell you more of Jedi's story.

The Jedi has had many health problems for a very long time. It first started when she was about 7 months old. I had been living in Devon but when Jedi was born we decided to move back to Somerset to be closer to our families. The previous occupants of our new house had done a marvellous job of hiding a multitude of sins on the days of our viewings, because we had fallen in love with the house, only to find when we moved in, that it was disgusting! They had had many cats and obviously weren't to fussy about where they did their business. We had to pull up most of the carpets because of cat urine, and even found cat poo in the bedrooms. The previous owners hadn't even bothered to clean, they had just taken their stuff and left! How they had managed to mask the smell I just don't know, we had to leave the windows open and disinfect everything.

Shortly after we moved in Jedi became very ill. We took her to the doctor and he said she had a virus (don't they always?) and that it was probably due to the cats and the condition the house had been in. Jedi was very ill for about a week and lost rather a lot if weight. I had a set of portraits done of her about two weeks after she recovered and she was still painfully thin, poor baby.

Since that time Jedi has been allergic to cats and has suffered from reacurrent chest infections. The winter of 2001 Jedi completely missed Christmas. She came down with Bronchitis about two weeks before Christmas, and then developed an ear infection on top. She was very poorly and the doctors had to try a few different antibiotics to try and combat the infections. She spent three weeks in bed and couldn't remember anything about Christmas at all. She didn't recover until into the New Year.

Every time Jedi caught a cold, which didn't take much doing, she would have awful coughs that she couldn't shake. She had many boughts of Bronchitis and Bronchillitis. Whenever she caught one of these colds I would make regular trips to my local surgery to have her chest examined in the hope of catching any infections early. At the end of 2005 she had one of these colds. I had made an appointment for her to be checked out. When the day came she seemed to have improved and I nearly cancelled the apointment, but I thought I'd better take her, just to be on the safe side.

Jedi fell asleep in the car on the way to the doctors, she always sleeps a lot when she's ill so I took no notice. When we arrived she didn't wake up, so I carried her in. We were called in to see the Practise Nurse and she still didn't wake up. In fact we couldn't wake her up. The doctor was called in, he pinched her and pricked her, but she still didn't wake. An ambulance was called. Jedi did come round in the surgery, eventually, but it was like she was stoned. She was very spaced out and didn't know where she was or what was happening. We were whisked off to hospital in Taunton where it was found she had Pneumonia. There was fluid on her left lung.

Jedi also had quite a severe allergy to artificial food colourings. When we first realised it when she was around two she used to have extreme tantrums, banging her head on the floor and ripping her fingernails. These tantrums used to last for anything up to 2 hours. When she was a little older she once described the feeling as being 'itchy on the inside'. When Jedi had Pneumonia she obviously needed to have antibiotics. The only thing the hospital could offer her were the wonderful kids liquid antibiotics that are usually bright yellow, you know the ones. I had a blazing row with one of the doctors. There was no way on earth I was going to give my little girl, who was lying in bed with an oxygen mask on, the evil 'itchy' stuff. The last thing she needed was that stuff coursing through her body. The hospital couldn't offer her anything else, which amazed me. So I had to make the toughest descision of my life. I had the doctor insisting that she needed the antibiotics now and that my only other option was to wait until morning and go to my local pharmacy for an alternative!

Jedi came home that night, but I didn't sleep. I stayed awake all night, watching her and making sure she was breathing ok. The next morning we ended up having to get adult capsules of the antibiotics and breaking them open and mixing the powder with yoghurt. How are they allowed to even make medicines with such evil ingredients?

Anyway, Jedi recovered from that episode but has continued to have problems. She has been to hospital a few other times with asthma attacks. I wouldn't say she is necassarily asthmatic, it's just when she gets a cough she gets very wheezy. When we moved up to Wales in November last year she had yet another chest infection that she couldn't shift. She ended up having 3 courses of anitbiotics for that. She had yet another rough winter.

I have a cousin who lives not far from us who is a Chiropractor, she told me she may be able to help. I was very dubious, I couldn't see how she could help something that was on the inside, Jedi's problem was nothing to do with bones but her lungs. I was wrong. My cousin discovered that Jedi's ribcage wasn't quite right and that she had some ribs out of line. She believes it is due to the way Jedi didn't complete the whole compression and release of a natural birth (see previous post). The said ribs were causing a pocket to form on Jedi's left lung, which was retaining fluid and causing the repeat infections.

Jedi has had 3 sessions with my cousin since the beginning of this year. Her lung capacity according to her peak flow meter has improved by 80%, she has had one cough (which she got over in a few days) and no longer needs to use her inhaler. She is a different child. Healthier and happier. She did so well at sports day this year, a couple of years ago it never would have happened. I guess this winter will be the real test but I just wish that I had known 10 years ago what could have been done for her and then I could have spared her the misery and discomfort of all those infections.


mrsnesbitt said...

Hindsight and all that, don't give yourself grief, as long as she is feeling the benefits now it will be a vast improvement!

The sun is shining here I too am making the most of it...I am going to change the bed! Wow! Do I know how to love! LOL!

auntiegwen said...

I'm glad she's feeling better, you always feel so helpless when your wee people are poorly x

blogthatmama said...

I'm glad you're OK in Wales. At least you've got Jedi sorted out now that must be a massive relief for you and her too.

Frankies' Cornish Farmyard Ramblings said...

Love reading your blog, and how well you appear to have dealt with Jedi's health issues. All problems with children are very hard to deal with. Our 17 year old daughter is mild dyslexic which has masked lots of issues over the years, not always a pleasure to be with but, she's mine and I love her. On a different note I hope I didn't offend you by sticking my beak on your blog, told you I am no good at this sort of thing either you deleted it or hopefully I did. I want to create a nice little list of blogs I like, any ideas? Lane explained how to upload photos and I can now do this, all instructions gratefully received.
Love Frankie

Berthddu Suit said...

I didn't delete it Frankie!! You were the only one there and now you have gone!! There are two ways of creating the list, either on the reading list on your dashboard, or by adding the tool on your blog. The first displays on your profile, the secong on your blog. I have both!!

Jo Beaufoix said...

Wow, poor little Jedi and poor you. So glad your cousin discovered what she did.
Miss E has always been prone to throat and ear infections and tonsillitis. She is allergic to amoxycillin so she has to have erythromicin which is pretty vile. After numerous tests we were told she just had very 'reactive glands' and would hopefully grow out of it which she seems to be doing. It was a tough time though, so I can't imagine what it must have been like with Jedi as the chest is a scary thing. One of my brothers has a terrible cat allergy and has been told every time he comes into contact with one he is risking his life. Scary isn't it?

I hope she continues to thrive and improve.

Brett said...

What a fantastic post, really interesting i find that as i get older i open my mind to more and more of these alternate treatment.

Berthddu Suit said...

Thank you all for your lovely comments.

Jo - sorry to hear about Miss E, I was the same as a child but it has improved as I got older, so fingers crossed. The cat allergy has also improved, but is the reason that we got Bengals, for some reason they are just not so allergenic. Apparantly it is their saliva people react to not the fur, which is interesting!

Brett - Yes, I was very dubious that my cousin could do anything at all for Jedi, but what has been achieved is outstanding and highly recommended.