Sunday, 8 May 2011

It's Time for Medicine


Twice every day there is one thing that must always happen in our home. The house can burn down, the dog can run away, the washing can pile up but Cameron must have his medicine, morning and night, without fail. It keeps him alive. Cameron takes anti seizure medication for his epilepsy.

The dramas associated with making sure Cameron has his medicine are unbelievable. Firstly, they taste horrible and as a baby Cameron's medicines came in liquid form. The smell turned my stomach, one in particular smelt really toxic.

When Cameron's meds were liquid we used to syringe them into his mouth. As his awareness grew and his taste buds came to life he decided he really didn't like this twice daily ritual. He would clamp his mouth shut and refuse to open. He would cry and cry. He would spit it out.

There was one fateful night that Michael and I will never forget. The fight to get Cameron to take his medicine was getting harder and harder and this particular night we ended up with Cameron on the lounge room floor and us forcing syringes into his mouth to get this life saving, foul smelling and no doubt foul tasting, liquid into his mouth. Cameron, Michael and I were all in tears. We couldn't do it anymore. There were so many syringes and medications, it was horrible. He's never taken just one medication.

We realized we had to get creative so we started mixing his medicines in with other food. We would have success with something for a while and then the hunt would be on again for another food disguise. We used custard, jam, ice cream, yoghurt, nutella, apple puree and anything else we could think of. Sometimes we would look at the meal in front of us and choose a food to mix the medicine into, such as cream or mashed potato. When we were in hospital we would always ask for pureed apple for his medicines.

This worked fine for a while and then the battle grounds were drawn again. Cameron was a good eater so we decided it was time to try tablets instead of liquid medications. Some people were horrified, he's too young, he'll choke, we had disagreements with hospital staff when we were hospitalized but sometimes parents know best and we knew our son.

We didn't leap straight to swallowing, we would crush the tablets and then mix them into the foods we had previously been using for the liquids. It worked a treat and peace was resumed. We had our routines every day for how we stored our meds, organized our meds, remembered our meds and consumed our meds.

By about 4yrs of age Cameron was swallowing his tablets and life was so much better as long as he opened his mouth. So then we had to find things for him to consume after the tablet to push them down and entice him to open his mouth. Sometimes it was a mouthful of his meal, sometimes it was whatever our eyes landed on in the pantry or fridge. We would find something that he really liked, such as yoghurt, and we would save that just for after his medicine, so it was a treat and he would open his mouth.

Finally he was able to take a drink with tablets in his mouth and that made life a lot easier. But Cameron always has another challenge up his sleeve for us. He learnt how to hold a mouth full of medicine, drink a full cup of liquid and still have the tablets sitting in his mouth. It is quite a skill. He will let them slowly disolve and then you have to make sure he doesn't spit them out while you're brush his teeth or make sure he doesn't let them ooze out the side of his mouth. I don't know how he does it, they must taste disgusting.

Everyday in our house you will hear the question, 'Have you given Cam his meds?' but that my friends is another blog entry all in itself.

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