This week started out with me feeling like superwoman. At the top of the list was that I started out with most of my chores caught up… WITHOUT having had to spend my entire weekend doing it. So Monday, I was able to go out and put in two hard hours in garden by our pond doing some much-needed thinning. Tuesday, still feeling like a rockstar, I dropped Patrick at school, then sat down to work on modifying a few more onesies to protect but give access to his tubes at night. Then the phone rang, and it was Intermountain Donor Services wondering if Patrick and I were available for a last-minute TV interview about organ donation. (When I have more time, that deserves it’s own entry.) So away we ran, and made it home on time for a nap and a few chores and, even though the laundry still needed to be done, we were pretty on-task. I even had two loaves of sourdough bread brewing on the counter that I was tending to.
The only hiccup was that Patrick woke up from his nap a bit grumpy and clingy, so I spent more time watching Signing Time than I usually would have.
Still, Wednesday I thought I could make up the little bit of lost ground. After making a few needed phone calls, Patrick and I headed out to the bank and the grocery store. I promised him that as a reward, we’d buy an extra bag of bread and pack a picnic lunch. We’d go feed the ducks and have a picnic.
He was so excited and kept signing “feed” and shouting “duck.” So I hurried through my errands so we’d have time.
But I kept thinking I should call my mom, and in the end, she called me just as I was finishing shopping. My brother needed some help at home and she wanted to know if I’d watch his kids.
I imagined I’d go pack them up and take them home with me so they could have the whole afternoon, but my brother and mom preferred we stay at the park across from their house, and so I obliged. (And, in case you’re wondering, watching two three-year-olds and a one-year-old while tied to one of the three-year-olds is quite the feat. One will want to go down the slide while another tries chasing a ball into the street and the other will have an owie.. But you can’t tend to any of it without making the one who’s tied to you come along. Patrick is a good sport, you know that?)
We’d probably been there just under an hour when Patrick seemed to trip and fall, but I didn’t think he’d taken a step, and that just seemed wrong. So I picked him up to hold and comfort him… (which made watching the other two easier.. well, that and the fact that my sister arrived just then to help.) But he just wasn’t consolable.
Then I noticed him stretching his legs and arching his back. His breathing was shallow. And I saw the goosebumps on his arms. And I knew.
I went to my car and got a thermometer and, sure enough, 102. So my sister said she could take care of things and sent us on our way.
And just like that, we walked out of one life and into another.
Patrick’s fever was 103 when we got to the ER. He was rushed back to a room and admitted under their septic shock protocol, meaning that they were in a hurry to fix his heart rate and fever, so he got lots and lots of attention.
He got a chest x-ray and a viral panel and blood cultures, though of course his line wouldn’t draw like they wanted without some unclotting first. (Darn line has become positional.) And it took some time and effort, but by 7 p.m. he was admitted to the hospital.
He wasn’t doing very well at that point. Even with both motrin and tylenol, his fever was over 103. He was beyond uncomfortable. We said a prayer together, which calmed him down, as it often does. Then Brian gave him a priesthood blessing, and he cheered up, even though his fever didn’t go away.
He had a pretty good night, but by morning, his fevers came back. The doctors came by and said that both of his lumens as well as a culture drawn from a vein in his foot were positive for a bacterial infection.
That means that he was septic. And it took most of the morning, a lot of antibiotics, and a good, long, deep nap to turn that around.
And because little boys need their mommies at times like that, that means that both of us spent today in bed. (I’ve got the kink in my neck and the knot in my side and the bruise on my arm where his head rests to prove it.) We napped, watched Signing Time, and filled my pockets with matchbox cars over and over and over again.
I am exhausted, though I’ve barely done a thing. And you want a confession, I’m lonely. We’ve done this so many times that I think it’s old news to most friends and family.
And I know that when we get home at least half a dozen people will tell me that if I’d just called them and asked them to help, they would have been right there. But I can’t quite figure out how that conversation would go. And I don’t know what to ask people for. My needs are really basic right now. It takes effort to eat, to sleep, to go for a walk, to take a shower. I am at my wits end trying to entertain Patrick. Especially since last week’s cold means Patrick is restricted to his room until labs prove he’s not contagious. And because until he’s been fever free a bit longer, he has to stay connected to monitors.
And so, I don’t know how to answer that “what can we do for you?” question. And therefore, I stick to Facebook updates and am really making an effort here to update my blog in moment instead of after the fact.
We hope that by tomorrow Patrick will still be fever free, that we’ll know the species of bug we’re treating, that his viral panel will clear him to go for walks, that he’ll get enough rest to play some more big-kid style games… And we hope that we’ll maybe be able to talk about going home with antibiotics by the weekend.
Only time will tell, though. Right now, it’s too early for me to be making conjectures.
So maybe I’ll go snuggle up next to my little boy and go to sleep. Other than the dent he’s wearing into the crook of my arm, that is one very pleasant part about being stuck in bed with a sick three-year-old.