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Friday, February 16th 2007

8:10 PM

Here we go again!

  • Mood: Trying to find some level of normalcy...
  • Weather: We had a bit of snow, then freezing rain, and lots of wind days ago... it's still around (parking lot here was finally cleared)
  • Gas Prices for My Car: $2.15 ... Praise the Lord!
  • Michael's Happenings: For Valentine's Day dinner, we stayed home eating a low-key dinner I made myself. Michael wanted some leftover pasta from the night before, but David and I were going to eat fish sticks and tator tots, since we had it on hand and I didn't feel like cooking a huge messy dinner. Using new cookie sheets I'd recently bought, I was irked to find that the fish sticks were burning in the oven. After a few minutes, the smoke alarm went off and I yelled for David to start fanning the alarm to shut it up. After his arms got tired, I found a small portable fan and set it up to blow on the alarm. Finally, dinner was done burning - uh, I mean cooking. I served up these little charred lumps and laughingly said, "Dinner's ready!" I laughed, yet apologized for burning our Valentine's Day dinner. As David looked on, half smirking, half not, Michael piped up, "Oh, that's OK. I'm eating the pasta, so I don't care."

It's been another whirlwind month around here.  Some of the events, I'll talk about.

As January was on the way out the door, Michael came down with pneumonia, and pleurisy to boot.  It came as a total shock, since he was already on antibiotics to avoid bronchitis.  He'd gotten sick January 9th (I remember the date since it was a family member's birthday) and we'd treated him with over-the-counter stuff for the symptoms.  After a week, following the package directions, we took him to the pediatrician.  He listened to his cough and breathing, etc. and prescribed something for the symptoms and an antibiotic to get filled and start, if the symptoms didn't become better in 3 days.  Well, they didn't, so we got the antibiotics going (after a little snag with our insurance, which delayed that prescription from being filled for an additional 2 days).  Anyway, with only the last dose left to take on the tenth day, Michael developed chest pains, and later that day, a high fever.  We worried about something else, but it turned out to not be that.  (Michael got Kawasaki Disease when he was 4 months old, and fevers that don't seem to go away always scare me now.)  He saw the pediatrician the next morning, but not before spiking some really scary temps, like 105 and 106.  They did a CBC and said the results would be back the next day.  Just to be certain, we were sent to a pediatric cardiologist the next morning, where they checked him out too.  It brought back a flood of memories for me when they were doing the echocardiograms, etc.  Thankfully, the cardiologist saw everything with his heart looked fine, but noticed something with the lungs and said Michael had pleurisy.  He sent us for a chest x-ray to make sure his lung had not collapsed, which it hadn't.  As we were still there, he phoned the pediatrician to tell him what he'd seen.  The ped told the cardiologist that Michael's CBC results showed his white blood cell count was extremely high, so they both suspected pneumonia.  The chest x-ray confirmed it.  We were given yet another antibiotic for him, which he absolutely hated.  Augmentin must be the worst tasting medicine he'd ever taken so far.  We could only give him the tiniest little bit, like a drop (it was liquid), and then he had to eat a saltine to avoid gagging.  Most of the times, it took a half hour; once it took an hour.  The doctor was worried he wasn't hydrated enough, and so 2 days later, we were told to take him to the ER for IV fluids.  Just a few hours, and we'd be able to go back home.  I asked the pediatrician if he could see patients in the one hospital I knew of in our county (his office was in the next county, but still close to us) and was told "no" he couldn't.  So we took him to an equally close ER, but where our pediatrician could see Michael, should he be admitted.  Hoping that wouldn't be the case, we just grabbed our coats, gloves and Michael's favorite toy and left.  It was mid-afternoon.  By early evening, we knew Michael was not going to go home that night.  He didn't know, but kept saying, "when we get out of here today, can we go get a McChicken sandwich?"  Eventually, it was certain that he was not going home, but was being admitted instead.  We let the ER doctor break the news to him.  David and/or I were both with Michael the entire time though.  He stayed seven days, and David refused to leave him at all.  I went home every couple of days to shower and bring back clean clothes for David to wear after showering in the bathroom in Michael's hospital room (not shared with any other patients).  The hospital graciously supplied meals for parents who chose to stay overnight and all day with their child, so that was one headache we didn't have to deal with.  After about 3 days, my mother came down to help out too.  One of the mealtimes, the hospital's dietary staff even gave my mother a tray of food.  Anyway, we've all been back home almost a week now.  Michael still has the pneumonia, according to the chest x-ray he had this past Tuesday.  He's still on antibiotics, but in a different form and it seems to be easier to give him.  He needs to see his pediatrician again in a month, and get another chest x-ray to see if it's gone by then yet.  I sure hope so!

During the time Michael was hospitalized, David was supposed to have out-patient surgery himself.  They decided to postpone that since they were worried it was too much for him, plus they might have been worried he could have picked up an infection himself, which was an automatic delay of surgery.  So now, David has been rescheduled to have surgery on this coming Thursday.

So, it's been quite an experience these past few weeks.  I'm just glad my mother has been able to be with us, helping out.  She even did some of our laundry while Michael was still in the hospital.  Through it all, I know and keep telling myself, God is still in charge!  I remember a song I learned years ago, based upon Habakkuk 3:17-19.

Well, here are a few photos from one of the last days Michael was in the hospital.  He was definitely beginning to feel better by this point.

  

  

By the way, that mask thing he's wearing was part of his breathing treatments.  The other hose thing (shown prominently in the last photo, on his forehead) was oxygen, set up as a "blow by" since he really didn't like wearing a mask or the fine tubing in his nostrils.  When he didn't have this going, he didn't do too well.  It was turned off one day before discharge.  I think the worst part of all was when they had to run a new IV line in his arm, since the first one (on the inside of his left elbow) didn't work after about 5 days.  He cried a lot when the nurse was trying to get a new IV in him (finally got it done on the back of his right hand).  The board was added as a last ditch effort to avoid the second IV line, but even that didn't help.  That was on the back of his left elbow, but was moved to his right hand when the new IV line was done.  He still has little scabs where the lines were, and lots of tape marks.

3 Paid their dues.

Posted by Robin and Mom:

hi gayle . we hope michael is feeling much better already
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Friday, February 23rd 2007 @ 4:48 PM

Posted by Sagi Istvan:

Hy,
I like your journal :)
" Have a nice day na ja! Miss U "
Bye
P.
Saturday, February 24th 2007 @ 9:42 AM

Posted by PlaidHearts:

Poor Little Guy! I know how hard this has all been on your Mommy heart. Praying all is clear at the next xray.
Saturday, February 24th 2007 @ 11:59 AM