In my last post (about the recent illnesses in our family) I referenced a post I wrote back in April 2010 about illnesses that had befallen Eleanor and Tim early in our year in Tanzania. My very next post was about finally getting a diagnosis for those illnesses, and how much relief that brought.
Almost a week of battling high fevers, lethargy, low appetites, and persistent coughs – being treated for the flu – Eleanor was on the mend and Oliver was in the hospital, being treated for pneumonia and RSV. He was sick. A chest x-ray int he ER showed lungs filled with mucus, and his O2 saturation level was in the low to mid-80s (100 is ideal, 98 is good). He had all the classic symptoms of the flu, but tested negative. He had none of the classic symptoms of RSV, but tested positive.
He was admitted that night and has been there since.
But he’s on the mend, and tonight spent much of the evening his old playful self. He even asked to put on his pants and shoes when he found them, which I took as a pretty clear sign that he’s ready to go home. His IV has been removed and the supplemental oxygen taken away while he’s awake. Our doctor is hopeful that tomorrow he’ll be able to finally come home. (As I understand it, we’re the lucky ones. Many children his age are in the hospital for a week, and about 30% of kids younger than him [really 6 months old or younger] end up in the NICU).
This whole ordeal has actually not been as hard on me as I thought it would be; I knew something was wrong and I let myself listen to those messages (even if it meant looking like an “overly concerned” parent). When we came to the ER and got the diagnosis I was really just relieved- to finally have (what I felt was) a sufficient answer for his behavior and prolonged symptoms. I never doubted that he would get better, I just wanted it to happen as quickly as possible.
I feel fortunate that we caught the condition early (relatively), I am grateful that I work for people who understand what it’s like to have a sick kid and have let work deadlines be set aside so that my full attention can go to Oliver. And I am hugely grateful that my mom was able and willing – after having one day at home following a two and a half week long trip- to turn right around and come back down here to help us. She didn’t blink an eye (and maybe hadn’t really even had a chance to unpack). I feel extremely fortunate to have people like this in my life. Thanks mom.
So, next time illness strikes our family, I’m betting that I’ll write about it in pretty vague terms; I’ll describe general symptoms and behaviors and describe the feeling that something is not right. Then, if history is any indication, a few days later I’ll again write about illness, but this time I’ll call it by it’s name.
A few images from our last several days….
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