Thursday, January 12, 2012

Scared

I wrote the following post last night:

There's nothing quite as scary as knowing something is wrong with your child, but not knowing what it is.  As I've mentioned, Jacob seemed to have a stomach bug Monday morning, and has been fighting a fever since Sunday.  Fevers seem to go hand-in-hand with viruses that cause stomach bugs, so I can't say I was surprised that the fever was sticking around.  Often I hear about people who talk about their kids being out of commission for a week, and I think, "Man, how do you get through a week with a sick kid and two working parents?"  Well, we're inching ever closer to that week mark, and per yesterday's post, it's been tough.  I worked all day today while Craig stayed home, and I managed to get some good work done.  However, tomorrow could be another tough day.  I'm hoping for half days for both of us at worst, but I know Craig is really feeling the pinch with the Knighthawks' first game coming up on Saturday. 

Anyway, when I called daycare today the director told me that one of the kids in Jacob's class hadn't been in all week, and his turned out to be a surprise case of strep.  If there's one thing I've learned from life at daycare, it's that strep comes in many forms.  In adults it's a sore throat, but in kids, you'd often never know they have it.  Last year Jacob's only symptom was a rash around his mouth.  Another kid at daycare recently had pinkeye, but their strep test came back positive.  Rarely do they complain about sore throats.  Apparently a stomachache is a symptom, which a co-worker of mine validated.  Jacob's been complaining randomly of stomach pains all week, and while part of us thought it might be an escape route, it did seem a little oddly timed sometimes to be faked.  Yet it came and went so quickly that we just couldn't be sure.   

I had already planned on calling the doctor today, but my chat with the director solidified it.  Not to mention that Jacob's nose seemed to be running worse than usual and his cough had picked up.  While I know he's been vaccinated and the odds of this are slim, I thought his cough sounded strangely similar to this commercial about whooping cough I heard the other day.  I don't really think he has whooping cough but as I type this I'm a bundle of nerves because something IS wrong with my baby and I don't know what.

Craig took him to his appointment two hours ago and they're still not home.  In fact, the doctor's office is closing right now and yet I haven't heard anything solid.  Craig has snuck on Facebook a couple of times, but all I know is that his breathing was too low and they were trying to get it up.  I sent him a message (that I'm not sure he's gotten yet) reminding him that we have a nebulizer at home in case we need it.  But even still...not knowing what is wrong with my little boy is making me a little crazy.  And sad.  And guilty for not getting him in there sooner. 

I don't think I've been this freaked out about Jacob's health in at least three years.  Three years ago we were going through the many tests to find out why Jacob was still coughing months after an initial bout with RSV.  We did breathing treatments, horrible tests in the hospital, and in the end it was determined to be caused by reflux, which he's still on medicine for today.  We got the ok to take him off of it, but he has been just sick enough to keep him on it.

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And that's where I cut off.  I'm sure I had more to say, but by that point I was starting to lose my mind with worry.  I did find a text message from Craig from earlier, but all it really told me was that he had strep and he was having breathing problems.  They couldn't get his oxygen level up to the target 95%, and we were thisclose to having to go to the emergency room.  In the end we filled three prescriptions: amoxicillin for the strep, prednisone (a steroid), and albuterol, to use in our nebulizer.  We've giving him treatments every four hours, around the clock, for two days.  Then it's four times a day for two days and three times a day for five days.  Hopefully by then he'll be back to normal.  He seemed considerably better today with just the first few doses of everything under his belt.

roadtrip and wouldn't answer his phone.  It was literally painful and beyond agonizing. 

Eventually I couldn't just sit around, so I headed out to see if they were still at the doctor's office.  They weren't when I got there, but I didn't miss them by much.  At that point Craig finally called and they were on their way to Wegmans to fill the prescriptions.  I met up with them there, we waited until the pharmacy closed, then came home to finally eat some dinner (around 11pm!), do another breathing treatment, and get Jacob in bed.  It was a late night, with a 3am wakeup for another treatment, and an early morning.  Craig got up extra early to go into work early and I let Jacob sleep until 8am before getting us up for yet another treatment.  We switched off home duties at lunch.

My parents are coming tomorrow because Craig's off on a roadtrip and I really can't miss more work.  We have a followup appointment at 8am tomorrow, so I should get some answers then about what caused these problems (the strep, a different infection, bad genes, etc.), and what the implications might be (asthma, future things we have to watch).  It scares me to think what might have happened had this not been caught when it was.  It's been such a crazy week that I can barely begin to wrap my brain around it all.  I'm so relieved that Jacob appears to be doing better.  I'll be even happier when thing whiny, demanding, shrieky randomness that's overtaken him this week goes away, but for now I'll take better breathing by a long shot.  Still, probably the thing I will most take from this experience is the absolute gut-wrenching pain that I felt when I didn't know what was going on.  Oh, and the thing that really set me off?  When I saw all the comments on Facebook from my friends who were praying for him (per a request in my status)...the mere sight of them almost solidified the fact that something was truly wrong, and I lost it for a few minutes.  The helplessness and worry were overwhelming.  More than any other time in his life--even among the problems he had at birth or the issues he had in his first year--I was so desperately worried about the state of his health.  I hope I never have to feel that way again.  Ever.

Even still, keep us in your prayers.  If there's anything I've learned from parenting, it's that you just never know what's next.  I pray he only continues to improve, but suffice it to say that my confidence is a bit shaken.  My faith, however, is intact, and I'll be holding on to that until further notice... 

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