deja vu

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.

deja vu.

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….

First night in the hospital.

The next morning.

A message from his big sister.

Monday morning: starting to feel better, wanting to play and explore.

Monday night, trying to find a ride home.

6 thoughts on “deja vu

  1. I’m glad he is better. Way to go being strong Mama! I can’t imagine seeing any of my little ones hooked up to an IV or oxygen like that. Too small to be in that big bed!


  2. My deepest thanks to you all for your support (for me) and warm wishes for a speedy recovery (for Oliver). I’m happy to report that he is (pretty much) feeling (save the effects of this pesky teething) back to his old self. For anyone who has had a sick child you’ll know just how precious the sight of that first real smile and the sound of that first real laughter following an illness can be. It’s a beautiful thing.
    Eleanor, too, seems to have bounced back, save an occasional lingering cough which we can expect for weeks. Tim, on the other hand, has not been so fortunate; although a new round of antibiotics seems to have put a little more pep in his step too. Today I came home from the grocery store and he had swept and mopped the floor. “I had to feel useful again,” he said. Love you, dear.


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