When my child was admitted into the hospital for an infected mosquito bite, I held it together over a panicking heart. The first rule in my parenting book: I don’t want my child in pain. The first rule was shattered this week.
Before I get to far into this story I’ll tell you that we are now at home and I do have some sweet and good news to share both regarding my son and my weight loss journey (for the faint of hard: skip to the end)
My son went to the air museum at Selfridge Air National Guard base (home of the 127th wing) on Sunday with his dad and my father-in-law. It was the 1st day of a 3-day vacation with Grandma and Poppa. They had a wonderful time, except for the dang mosquitos. Of course they sprayed themselves with repellent, but my son ended up with a dozen bites on his legs, at least one on the top of his head (in his hair) and several on the back of his neck. After applying the anti-itch my son was doing very well and we didn’t think anything more of it.
Shortly after my son woke on Monday morning his left ankle started to swell. The ankle did have several bites. I began to give him Benadryl and we iced his ankle in intervals all day. Throughout the day several blisters formed around his ankle. His ankle did get better after the dose of Benadryl and the ice, but not enough to satisfy us. Since we had planned to go home the next day, we thought it best to take him up to an urgent care center, thinking he needed some oral antibiotics. So out we went after dinner armed with a leapster, some tag books, my book and a bunch of snacks. 2 1/2 hours later the doctor told us we should go to the hospital. Of course this was very unwelcome news, my son was tired and just wanted to go back to Grandma and Poppa’s house.
They pre-admitted us, so after a ride in the car and a short wait in the ER, we were escorted to an elevator and finally by midnight we found our way to his room. After several visits from all the different personnel, including a doctor that agreed IV antibiotics were necessary, the IV process started. I had been preparing my son, but I forgot one detail, the needle stays in, I still feel very bad about that missing piece of news, but that was not the worst part. The nurse was very nice and I’ll tell you that now he has no bruising at the IV site, only a tiny pin prick is left. I was huddled into the bed with him and by this time my husband (daddy) had arrived with extra provisions (clothes, more snacks, toys (mostly Cars cars), the preferred musical night-light, my laptop…). The nurse spent several minutes pressing on his arm looking for her best option and then she went in. The needle did not find a vein on its dive, she did leave the needle in and as gently as she could on a little almost 5-year-old arm, she searched for that vein. My son was in hysterics, he started choking and then the vomiting started. I couldn’t do anything, but sooth his brow and reassure him that it would get better. I’m not sure how, but he kept his arm perfectly still and finally I saw red getting pulled up the line and I shouted, “she found it!!!!” My announcement did little to calm my son, who now wanted it out. My heart broke again at this point, not sure how I kept it together. It took several long minutes to clean my son up, change his clothes and the sheets. The nurse assured me he would calm as soon as she was gone and she was right. He was still visibly frightened and unfortunately his blanky had gotten nailed and was in the sink and could not provide him comfort. The hospital did offer up the first Madagascar film, which he started to watch and in his way started to relax, with his arm like a board beside him. While he tried his best to relax, I went to work in the little sink to rid his clothes and blanky of vomit. They did give me a little bin and some baby wash (which we had used to give him a sponge bath). After the long process of scrubbing and wringing everything out, which kept me busy, apparently that was pretty important, we all settled for the night. My son in the big hospital bed, half occupied by the sad little arm, a quarter by the rest of him and the last quarter with his stuffed friends and his cars. I was on the very uncomfortable pull out chair and my dear husband was left to a make shift bed on the floor. Once my son was asleep, around 3:30am, my tears released. I’ll admit I sobbed uncontrollably for a while, thank heavens my husband was there to lend me his strength.
The next morning arrived and I got nervous when I saw little improvement in his ankle. The doctor didn’t arrive until after lunch, I think he must have known it would take a bit longer to see some progress. Sure enough a little before lunch the swelling slowly started to go down. I most have done a good job on the blanky because by mid morning the blanky was dry and smelling pretty good. My son was happy to have the blanky back!! During the day my son and husband talked about the IV. My husband had to have an IV a few weeks ago (long story but dehydration was the culprit). My son asked him if he cried and dear husband says, “not really.” My son says, “not even a little bit?” My dear husband says, “ok, well maybe a little bit.” Although my son was relieved, I think he enjoyed the commiserating more. After the doctor’s early evening visit, he informed us that we’d need to stay another night. My son started to cry, “I want to go back to Grandma and Poppa’s house.” I assured him that no matter when we got out of the hospital, he could stay another night at Grandma and Poppa’s, he was happy.
During the day Poppa came for a visit, which helped to brighten my sons day. Even though my oldest was dealing pretty well, I was on the edge of tears all day. Besides being worried about my oldest, I was desperately missing my youngest, who was staying with Grandma and Poppa. The doctor told my son that besides seeing more improvement in his ankle, he also wanted him to be walking on it, well that did it. Suddenly he had ants in his pants, he walked to the bathroom, he walked to the playroom and played. He was attached to an IV pole, but he was playing, it was a hard and happy sight. That night, after we learned we would indeed by staying another night, I convinced my husband to go and stay the night with our youngest and I’d of course be staying. Any thought of leaving had me fighting tears again. My mom came for a visit that 2nd night. She came in like she always does, like a hurricane. I got her to quiet down and then the next thing she said floored me, “you wont believe the day I’ve had.” Well, that’s my mom. On a happy note, my son took her to the play room where they put together a cars puzzle twice, he had a blast. That night he requested I stay with him in the big bed, we snuggled in and got a good night sleep.
Wednesday morning his ankle looked so much better, all but one blister had popped, but there was still a good deal of visible swelling. The doctor finally came by around 10am and told us we could go, plus the last blister popped!! Very exciting news, my son was happy, then I began to prepare him for the IV to come out. He wanted it out, he wanted to go to Grandma and Poppa’s, but he didn’t want the needle to move. I assured him that it would be nothing like how it went in, they just have to pull off all the tape and pull out the needle and that would be it. He was anxious and a little unsure, but forward on. My dear husband arrived in time to provide comedic distraction, while I resumed my position on the bed with my arm around my son. Luckily the IV came out without any ordeal and he enjoyed his wheelchair ride out of the hospital.
Before long we were back at Grandma and Poppa’s and I had my youngest in my arms. The sweetest thing was watching my youngest crawl up on the couch, into my lap and pat my oldest on the head. Finally yesterday we made the 3-hour trip home, feels so good to be home. My oldest also is doing pretty good with his oral antibiotics (5 ml 3 times a day) which was a struggle at first, because it smells like feet. We’ve been working on a system, first he tried fruit snack chasers, then gummy bears and last night he tried marshmallows and that seems to be the winner. I put the foot juice in a cute little glass, line up the little marshmallow and a glass of water. He is under strict instructions to put the little glass down as soon as he takes a hit, because his body shakes all over with the horrid taste, poor little guy. This morning his foot looks fantastic, no sign of swelling left at all. I’m so glad he transitioned well. The nurses and doctors told us horror stories of kids having to come back because they left too soon, the oral antibiotics weren’t strong enough to keep the infection at bay and the area swells right back up. Besides the scabs from the blisters and the remaining bite marks he looks back to normal. Six more days of foot juice and we should be able to put this all behind us.
My Healthy Journey took a hit this week. Although I was on vacation for 1/2 of the last week I kept working out, I was getting my water in and making pretty good food portion/choices. All my efforts took a right turn when my oldest was in the hospital, first my water intake dried up (sure the hospital has water, but it tastes terrible). I didn’t work out on Tuesday because we were in the hospital, I did workout out after we got back to Grandma and Poppa’s on Wednesday but I slept in a little on Thursday and was not able to workout. It was one thing after another until we left and when we got home forget it, it was mass chaos around here. My food intake was minimal for the last few days and my choices were ok. Considering my crazy week, my lack of water, the last couple of days and two missed workouts, I was not expecting much out of the scale, even though I’m weighing myself two days late this week. I almost considered not weighing myself this week. Then I remembered, I’m in this for the long haul, I need to trust the process and I need to know if I lost or gained. Well the bad news ends here, because I lost 1.9 pounds. Wow, not only am I down to a BMI of 28.8, I’m past my first 15% goal, wahooooo. After endless bad news for weeks, a new frig, a hospital stay for dear husband, hospital stay for oldest son, all the gigs dear husband has missed, oh and I started my period the day he got out of the hospital, dear husband got a speeding ticket on the way home and then we got caught in a 12-mile stretch of a lane closure on the highway. This little piece of good news is exactly what I needed. But on to another week, I got in my hardest workout this am, well into my required water for the day and onto more good food choices and another loss next week.
I hope life isn’t pushing you as hard as it has pushed me this week. One thing is for sure, there is nothing like being with your kids and seeing them healthy, playing and enjoy the day. Life can be so simple, it’s certainly pretty great when you are having a very normal day. Don’t forget to enjoy every minute, stop and smell those roses!!