Sunday, October 31, 2010

The House of Plague and Pestilence

These last few weeks have been a blur. No, not the sort of blur I live my life in usually - if only it had been.

This was a blur, a haze, a waking dream, or nightmare, of illness and sleep deprivation.

It's been something no amount of coffee could fix. It's been that bad.

This house has continued to be the house of plague and pestilence.

Charlie has been sick for 3 weeks now, most of it with cold like symptoms resulting in a clingy whiny 2 year old. Made worse that he was unable to sleep at night as he would jerk violently awake every time he tried to take a breathe through his nose but ended up making a horrible snorting type noise that left him gasping for breathe.

Charlie being unable to sleep = mummy being unable to sleep.

But I could live with that. Temporarily.

Then I got sick too. That wasn't so good.

Then I got better. Then I got sick again.

Then Del got sick.

Charlie continued to be sick.

Life still had to go on. Though not quite as efficiently as usual.

Del and I are recovering, it seems to be a very slow process getting any semblance of energy back, no matter how many cups of coffee and sugar hits I have.

So whilst we recovered we watched Charlie get worse. And worse.

He developed a cough, one worthy of a pack a day smoker. The doctor (who I really didn't like) couldn't detect anything wrong in Charlie's lungs (???) but she did hear a heart murmur. Great. Something else to check out later. She patted him on the head (more like yanked him by the arm) and sent us on our way.

Over the next few days Charlie continued to worsen. High high fevers that wouldn't come down even with medication and he was having trouble breathing through his blocked nose.

It the midst of high fevers I noticed that scariest thing yet.

Well, two things.

1. The glands under his ears were so swollen they were disfiguring his face. (They measured an inch wide and two inches long!)

2. A RASH!

OMG! A rash. And fevers. Swollen glands. Irritability. Trouble breathing. OMG!

Time to give myself a stern talking to. Calm down now. I'm sure it's nothing. I'm just over reacting. Deep breath. Where's the phone? Doctor, I need to see you NOW.

The doctor (a different doctor who I much preferred) umm'd and ahh'd for a while, and was completely baffled.

It could be just a nasty virus.

It might even be glandular fever.

It has similar symptoms to Kawasaki Disease (OMG. Please no).

So off we drove calmly, oh alright, not so calmly to the Children's Hospital in the city, me continuing to talk myself into not freaking out. Thankfully when the triage nurse took one look at Charlie she prioritised us and we got straight in. Being prioritised is good as you get straight in, but it sure doesn't help the stress levels and shoots to pieces the 'stay calm, it's nothing' mantra I'd been using.

Lets skip straight to the diagnosis part, shall we? I know it's the part I wanted to hear immediately.

The diagnosis was... are you ready.....

..... they didn't know.

Good old health system. The best they could say was that it could be a nasty virus or it could be glandular fever.

And worst of all..... THERE WAS NOTHING THEY COULD DO.

Nothing they could do to help my darling boy, as he lay lethargic in my arms, his little body burning with fever as he struggled to breathe.But I was thankful that I knew he would recover.

After discussion we decided not to do the blood test that would confirm if it was glandular fever, as Charlie was so ill and it would be a traumatic thing to hold him down to take blood.

Traumatic for him and for me too I would imagine.

And even if they confirm it is glandular fever there is nothing that can be done for it. Just time and rest.

Two days after returning home, Charlie has definitely perked up. The fever has gone, the nose is clear, the glands are going down and he seems to be a little more like himself. In a subdued, clingy and sad to see sort of way.

I think he still has a way to go till he's back to his old self, it was the most horrible thing to see him so ill, but it's also terrible to see him so... so... I don't even know how to say it.... so not like himself I guess. I'm more thankful than I've ever been that he is over the worst of this virus, but the recovery could takes weeks or months till he regains his old level of high octane fueled energy again, and that's how we'll know if it is glandular fever.

Kaiden and Corey took him on his first ever expedition 'trick or treating' tonight for Halloween that isn't actually Halloween (a whole other post on this topic is coming I think!). I wasn't sure if him going out was even a good idea but it's something that all three of them had planned for weeks now, so I agreed to a brief outing. And although by all accounts he seemed to enjoy it all, he wasn't his usual self and all he wanted was cuddles with me when he returned.

It's definitely one day at a time around here right now.

I really didn't set out to write a long post about Charlie's illness, I had intended to mention more to explain the lack of activity around here over the last few weeks, but it morphed into a full blown, second by second account instead.

I'm not writing this for sympathy, or to make something big and terrible out of something small and not that bad.

I think I needed to just get it all out, purge all the worry that had built up inside me, whilst on the outside I had to keep it all together and stay strong blah blah blah. The happy face belied the worry and stress, the self blame and sleep deprivation, I have 3 children who need me, I can't crumble. But boy, does that take it's toll.

I'm ready now for a big long, uninterrupted sleep. Rest and recuperation.

But unfortunately I seem to have developed insomnia.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so sorry for your little one. I can't imagine how terrible the "I don't know" diagnosis is. I really hope he gets better soon. I will definitely be saying prayers for you and your family tonight during my Samhain ritual. Have a Blessed Beltane with your family.