Can of worms.

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by gcvmom, Jan 10, 2012.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I really hope I haven't messed things up for difficult child 1.

    He boogered up his elbow somehow over the past three weeks or so. Went to after-hours clinic because it swelled up like an orange on New Year's Eve. PA said it was bursitis (no xrays), to go home and ice it, take ibuprofen and rest it. Well ibuprofen is a no-no for people with Crohn's, so PA said an alternative would be an enteric coated aspirin (also a no-no according to the GI). Poor kid was so uncomfortable and so swollen I decided to risk it and gave him Advil gel caps for a couple days in a row.

    Wednesday I had to pick him up early because he had diarrhea and missed half his classes. The cramping was bad enough to keep him home Thursday and Friday. We thought it was due to some Tony's Pizza he ate Tuesday night. He's sensitive to cumin, and some brands have this in the sauce, and then I thought I remembered that he'd had problems with that brand in the past.

    The swelling in the elbow FINALLY started going down by the end of the week, but seemed slow to me, so we went in to the pediatrician on Friday. He took xrays to be sure there was nothing else going on (was surprised it was still that swollen -- plus now the forearm was starting to swell which I thought was weird). Bone and joint looked fine so just confirmed it was soft tissue injury. We asked about his GI issues, and doctor just said it could be a virus, that a lot of stuff was going around (no fever, though and no other symptoms).

    He went back to school yesterday, but I had to pick him up by mid-morning again -- still diarrhea and cramping. And today he awake early but laying in bed clearly not feeling well, so I kept him home again. He did not eat much all day, and that actually seemed to help. He had immodium in the morning and then I probably did another stupid thing and gave him Pepto in the afternoon (it has aspirin-type product in it) and again this evening because he was hurting again. And nothing he's eaten is anything we can think would bother him!

    And the elbow? Still looks funny on the tip, though better. But the forearm is still swollen, hot, and turning colors from the bruising -- and there looks like a new bruise a few inches from his wrist.

    What the heck is going on? I'm wondering if he's hitting his arm while he's sleeping on window sill which is right above his bed...

    And I'm worried I started a Crohn's flare with the pain medications I've been giving him...

    He's missed so much class time and finals are in two weeks!!! And he's missed lacrosse (though I'm not so worried about that -- tryouts are next week but he's pretty much got a confirmed spot and coach already said he's not cutting anyone this year... and it doesn't hurt that I'm on the board of directors, :rofl: )

    He's got a GI appointment coming up on Monday, and we went for labs today, so I guess we'll get some help with the gut problems soon... It's all just weird.

    The last time he had problems like this with his gut was a year ago and we found out was because of something he'd done to himself (some of you may remember THAT bit of craziness). So I flat out asked him this morning if he'd done anything to hurt himself again. He just laughed and said no mom, I'm not stupid like that anymore!

    I've learned the hard way to never assume everything's ok and to take nothing for granted.
  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Since you're not sure how the elbow was injured, is it possible the forearm was in the bone? I dunno. He shouldn't have swelling if the injury was that long ago. Something is up with this. It shouldn't still be this symptomatic. Does he remember HOW he injured it? Does doctor know about the new discoloration and hot to touch symptoms?

    He should be improving, even with a soft issue injury, not getting worse. Bruising only happens a day or so after an injury, not weeks later. Maybe it's not an injury, but something else that is going on......because frankly that just doesn't make much sense.

    Hope the poor kid starts feeling better soon.

  3. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Could it be a spider bite? The elbow swelling and bruising sounds very similar to when I got a spider bite years ago. The GI stuff sounds like an allergic reaction from those mess he shouldn't have....and possible exacerbated by nerves/anxiety? Hugs mom, I hope he feels better today.
  4. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Lisa - he's got no clear recollection of getting hit or hitting it on anything, though now that I think about it, he did go to practice on 1/3 and against my orders to just hang out and watch/listen and maybe run a little, he participated in the scrimmage. It's possible he got hit at some point that day and just doesn't remember -- he's notorious for his bad short-term memory.

    He has no signs of a bite or any kind of cut or scrape on his skin, Jo.
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I realize you know a LOT more about the gut issues than I do, but would a medication like donnatol be helpful? It is the only thing I have ever tried that helps wth the IBS. Also, is he on any kind of DMARD for the Crrohns? Here the docs talked about that when they thought I had it. I don't, I have other issues, but I do remember that. Also, would it maybe be time to discuss a biologic for the Crohns? Those are the injectables like Enbrel. They are seriously heavy duty medications and if they can be avoided they should, but this is eating a big portion of his life.

    As for the elbow and future sports injuries, do topical medications work better since they don't go through the digestive system? I got samples of voltaren gel and it is amazing. I break out in a rash if I take any oral NSAIDs so the doctor thought maybe this would help and not cause problems. It was amazing but I cannot afford it (not covered because it is expensive as all new medications are). You can also get ibuprofen compounded into a gel, but that is not paid by insurance because it is compounded. The other thing that might help is arnica gel. It is homeopathic and shouldn't impact his gut but can help heal bruises, sprains, and soft tissue injuries.

    The other thing to get are LIDODERM patches. They are AMAZING. Insurance should cover them and he can wear them for up to 12 hrs. If he is putting them on his knee or elbow or another bendy place, an ace bandage is a big help in holding them in place. They can be cut to whatever shape is needed. Most docs don't think about them but once I have had a doctor try them, they rx them to everyone they see pretty much. I made my mom call her doctor about them and he said okay, then she gave him one to try (he is about 400 pounds and of course his joints are in a lot of pain) and he was shocked that he hadn't given them to everyone before that. My aunt came to visit and banged her knee (which needed to be replaced anyway) and I had her call her doctor and get an okay and she was amazed and then made her doctor try them and now this guy gives them to all his patients who have joint/muscle problems. They truly are that good. Think of emla cream that lasted 12 hrs and covered a 4 inch by 6 inch area - that is what they are. I also use them for splinter removal. Bro had a 2 inch one that was super deep and he didn't have insurance, so we put a patch on for an hour and then were able to remove the splinter and clean the wound with-o him flinching or feeling how bad it was. Every first aid kid should have them for that type of problem, in my opinion.

    Given that difficult child can't have so many pain medications, if he can have codeine then I would talk to his doctor about an rx for 15 or 20 lortab (yes, they can constipate but they don't tear your gut up the ay nsaids do) and keep them locked up for this kind of major pain. I would also keep some of the lidoderm patches on hand at all time.

    Did you know you can buy ace type bandages by the case online? Every year or two I buy 50 of them for J to use because she is always falling/tripping/banging her knees on something. MUCH MUCH cheaper than buying 1 or 2 at a time.
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    codeine and constipation...

    the side effect can be avoided: drink, drink, drink, and get enough fiber - drinking is the biggest one.
  7. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    He still feels like cr@p this morning so we're headed to the pediatrician. I called the lab to have Tuesday's results faxed over to them, even though they're not the office that ordered the labwork. Maybe that will show something. This is the third consecutive day this week and he missed 2.5 days last week. Good thing he sees the GI on Monday!
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I know codeine can cause that, but it doesn't cause nearly the other problems in the gut that NSAIDS can cause. It is also easier to deal wth codeine side effects than NSAID ones. At least this has been true for most people I know.
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I agree. We had a family friend on VERY high codeine for many years (serious chronic pain from an injury)... and he never had to deal with this side effect... but he said the pain clinic warned him... drink, drink, drink, especially right when you take the codeine. A sip of water doesn't do it... take a full 8 to 12 oz glass of water or juice (not milk).
  10. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Well, labs are normal! But he's lost 9 pounds since last week because he's just not eating. Pain is diffuse and about a 3-4, but worse on left side, so makes sense that his colon would be irritated based on the diarrhea he's been having.

    pediatrician said to give him immodium round the clock today, feed him bananas, 7up, lots of liquids, toast, anything else he can tolerate and hopefully things will settle down. Really messes with my anxiety when we are dealing with day after day of this type of problem. :(