Saturday, September 29, 2007

Highs and Lows

"Mama, Mama, Mama... I want Mama."

I turn on the light, bend over, reach down and -- before my hand touches her skin -- feel the heat.

"Oh, Honey-- you're burning up," I whisper.

But she doesn't respond-- she just keeps rolling back and forth, eyes closed tight, moaning.

"It's all right, Sweetie-- Mama's right here, Mama's right here," I tell her, while gently stroking her forehead, cheeks, and belly-- my right hand pausing on her chest.

Beneath that hand, her heart beats frighteningly fast.

Jumping up quickly, I stumble over a sippy cup on my way to the medicine cabinet.

I grab the thermometer and a bottle of Children's Tylenol-- and then spend several long seconds searching frantically for a dose cup.

The cup, the cup... now where's that damn cup?

Moments later, I discover that Evan has a fever of 102.2.

It takes a while to coax her into drinking the thick cherry liquid-- something she normally doesn't mind doing.

But not tonight.

"I don't want to, Mama," she says, and then through tears, "I just... want... Mama. "

Early the next morning, we're sitting in an exam room at her pediatrician's office.

As the doctor listens intently to her back and chest, I hold Evan's hand-- inhaling and exhaling right along with her.

"I want to do a chest x-ray," the doctor tells me, "I don't like what I'm hearing on the right side-- she probably has pneumonia-- I just need to find out what kind so we can determine how to treat it."


Soon my little girl is standing on a low platform with her shirt off, shivering, while holding her arms high above her head-- a tiny lead apron wrapped around her hips.

Twenty minutes later we're standing next to Evan's doctor, looking at an image of my girl's lungs.

"Well, she definitely has pneumonia."

Noting my fearful expression, the doctor continues in a reassuring tone:

"But it's a kind that we can treat at home with antibiotics-- just make sure she rests. And keep giving her Tylenol for the fever-- it could take two to three days for the fever to resolve. She'll be fine... really."

Then, yet another fear begins to take hold.

"My 11-year old son has had a wet cough for a little over a week-- no fever, but he does have Type 1 diabetes, should I-"

"Contact his clinic and have him treated-- " the doc says quickly, "you don't want to take any chances with this. Oh- and how long have you had that cough?"

"Uh, well-- a little over two weeks, but- "

"It might be wise to go in yourself and get checked."

That was Thursday morning.

By Thursday night, Joseph and I had already taken our first dose of azithromycin.

In the meantime, Evan's fever has been relentless.

The worst?

Friday at 5:30 AM-- when it spiked to 104.8.

We were this close to taking her to the ER, but then her fever broke two hours later...

Only to climb back up to 102 by lunch time.

And while Evan has had these insanely high fevers, Joseph has struggled with low blood sugars-- this morning, afternoon and evening, he was:

54, 49 and 67.


Monday, September 24, 2007

A Post!

I'm almost giddy at the prospect.


So, why the long silence?

Well, there's been a ton going on-- some of it I can share now, some I can't talk about yet.

But I will soon.

Anyhow, a couple of weeks ago, Ryan -- who is almost never sick -- had a pretty bad case of "That Dreaded Vomiting Thing."

Thankfully, he recovered quickly (albeit seven pounds lighter)-- and (hurray!) neither the kids nor I came down with it.

But then -- right on the heels of said recovery -- I got "That Nasty Respiratory Thing."

Aches, pains, fever, wet cough-- you get the picture.

Still have the damn thing.

Evan, too.

And now, Joseph.


Friday night, he was in the 300s and spilling ketones.

Same thing yesterday, while playing "fall ball."

Double sigh...

So, what else has been going on?

Let's see, before all the illness hit there was lots -- and I mean LOTS -- of wrangling with the nurse at Joseph's new school (oh, the post that is coming... ) resulting in an ungodly amount of stress and:

Meetings with the nurse and Joseph's teachers, and an impromptu one-on-one with Joseph's endo;

Phone conversations with all of the above and the principal;

A number of insanely late nights on the laptop fleshing out the protocols for Joseph's care at school that were outlined in his 504 plan, but now apparently must be spelled out in ever more excruciating detail if I want my son to, say, NOT run in the 200s all day, every damn day of the school year.

Again-- oh, the post that is coming...

(No wonder I got sick.)


Moving on...

As August came to a close, we discovered the reason Evan no longer enjoyed bike rides...

She wanted to pedal, too.

(Thus, our Burley has been officially retired.)

Yet another highlight-- I mentioned that Joseph is playing fall baseball.

Well people, my boy's pitching is still something to see.


And finally, as we were driving home early last week, me hacking and sneezing away -- one hand on the wheel, the other groping desperately for a tissue -- Joseph called out from the back seat:

"Mom, I really hope I don't get sick."

"Why's that, Bud?"

"Because I don't want to miss one day."

"One day? One day of what?"

"Of school," he said, laughing and shaking his head-- as if the answer were just that obvious.

Doesn't want to miss a day.

Of middle school.

Now it's my turn to shake my head and laugh.