Carter slept through the night last night, so I was hopeful this morning that he'd turned a corner and would be a happier baby today. No such luck. I got a call mid-morning that he'd been miserable, pulling at his ear and rubbing it on the high chair. He's still constantly wanting to be held, arching his back, crying out of the blue, and not being the happy, smiling baby he usually is. By the time I got that call I was practically distraught. It has started to feel like it felt dealing with Jacob six months ago, when he was at his worst and there seemed to be no end in sight. There were no easy answers and every guess at the cause seemed more outrageous (and scary) than the last.
When I got back from lunch I got a call back from the doctor's office, after calling them again and saying that after Tuesday's appointment things only got worse. Luckily our doctor was in today and they had an opening this afternoon. So I left work, picked up Carter, and headed over. I handed over another $25 co-pay (that's $100 total this week after his routine follow-up at the pulmonary specialist--ugh), and we went in. Luckily, he gave her a pretty good idea of what we've been dealing with--a lot of whining, crying, arching, etc. She said that it was good that nothing was very obviously wrong, but it was clear that he wasn't himself. She's seen enough of his goofy grin to know! So, she sent us for blood work. Among the tests is the one that looks for a telltale Celiac disease sign. Ugh. God forbid that comes back positive, because I simply don't know what kind of gluten-free diet I would feed a baby who can't eat rice. It seems odd that the symptoms would come on that suddenly, but sometimes traumatic life events can trigger it (though the issue is always there, sometimes a specific event officially triggers it...like in Jacob's case, perhaps a new brother and the start of Kindergarten, perhaps?). While it doesn't seem like Carter has too much stress, keep in mind that he had a terrible stomach bug last week and then he was very upset after we left him to go to Toronto last weekend. I suppose those issues could have done it. He's generally been a bit constipated like Jacob has been in recent months, and his discomfort could be his stomach. Jacob never had telltale symptoms either besides those two issues, so I suppose it makes sense. But I still really hope that's not the case. Selfishly I'd like to have one kid that I can take to normal restaurants or allow to buy school lunch or send to birthday parties without sending along a backup cupcake and special pizza. I know it would probably be easier for Jacob if his brother has to eat the same thing he does, but you know...I thought Jacob would appreciate having a brother, too, and we know how that went. It's hard enough to think about what to feed Carter now when 75% of our dinners don't work for him, let alone when my simple stand-bys (mini-bagels, chicken nuggets, Cheerios) won't work for him either.
It could still be his teeth, but the fact that painkillers aren't doing the trick there makes it a little more unlikely. I did buy him a molar-specific teething toy tonight, so we'll see if that helps. He chewed on his toothbrush for a while the other night. But in general any sort of distraction seems to help temporarily, but after a bit it's like he remembers he's uncomfortable and he gets upset again. He does not want to be put down for any reason, but sometimes he's still arching and battling while he's being held. It is so perplexing.
The whole thing is very unnerving. I just want my healthy, happy baby back.