Monday, November 12, 2012

There's No Place Like Home

Well, we're home and Graham is well on his way toward recovery.  And as much as I'd like to leave it at that and go back to sleep in my own bed, I am guessing that some of you may be wondering how we got from sniffles and coughs to IVs and hospitalizations.

It all started with Cael, as most of the drama in my home does.  You may remember a couple of weeks ago when he was sick with sustained fevers that I sought help for from our family doctor.  We got a prescription, Cael took it, and within a couple of days things were back to normal.  But then last Monday, Graham woke up from his nap with a fever.  I gave him Tylenol, but within four hours he had another fever.  And then another.  When nighttime came, I tucked Graham in bed and had logged only a couple of hours myself before I could hear the coughing start.  By Tuesday morning, he looked like he'd been run over by a million Tonka trucks, so I took him to the doctor and retrieved the same medicine I'd fed to Cael to alleviate his symptoms.

And here's where things start to get hazy.  Hazy because I was a bit too frantic to remember, hazy because I was running on so little sleep that my brain couldn't function, and hazy because of all of the chemicals I had to use to clean up the messes being made.  From, ahem, both ends.  Graham's coughing and obvious chest infection made it hard for him to keep down not only his food, but his medicine.  So after a frantic call to the on-call doctor who told me to relax and give it time, we suffered through the early morning hours with almost no sleep, no medicine, and no fluids staying in my sweet boy's tummy.

I was fully prepared to take Graham back to the doctor on Wednesday morning, but he woke looking a little better and even asked to eat breakfast, so I hesitantly put a bowl of dry Fruity Cheerios in front of him that he energetically attacked.  I was so relieved to see some life back in his eyes.

Two hours later, I was regretful that those Cheerios were so colorful.

Everything came back up with Hurricane Sandy-like force, including the second of only five doses of his antibiotic.  When some simple counting revealed that he hadn't eaten (and digested) a meal since Monday morning, I did take him to the doctor, who recommended that we head over to the hospital right away for some IV fluids so that we wouldn't be there until the middle of the night.

If only.

From the moment we arrived in the ER, things went from bad to worse. His throat went from clear to swollen and red, and each of his ears went from clear to infected.  The cough went from a chest infection to walking pneumonia, and the fever went from 101 to 103.9.

And we went upstairs to Pediatrics.

Over the next two days, Graham took us on a roller coaster of health-related ups and downs.  He'd whimper and cry, get sick and writhe in his bed, then within thirty minutes he'd loudly recite the dialogue from "The Incredibles" movie, which the hospital miraculously owned.  But just as Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, Violet and Dash gear up to fight the Underminer, the fever was back and Graham was reaching for his bucket.

Meanwhile, I spent the better part of three days on a couch a few feet from the foot of Graham's bed.  But before I elaborate, take a good, hard look at this sofa bed, because I am certain that it will join the US military's arsenal of tools designed to extract information from terrorists and enemies abroad.

This bed was a Pandora's box of human tortures; the cushions were stuffed using batting with concrete-like support, firm wooden armrests were placed where one's head should gently lie, and a plethora of medical paraphernalia hung from the wall that would periodically fall from their positions above my head as if threatening a concussion should I make a wrong move.

As nice as the nurses were, the ever-present beeping of Graham's IV and pulse-ox monitor combined with the well-intentioned interruptions of the nurses at all hours of the night made it difficult for us to get any reasonable rest.

There were some bright spots, however.  We had visits from many wonderful friends who stopped by with kind words, gifts for Graham (and even Cael) and amazing luck that scheduled my boy's three favorite episodes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse consecutively one morning, which provided an excellent distraction from the blood being taken and tested.

By noon on Friday, the 487 different doctors we'd seen agreed that Graham could continue to improve at home, and I loaded him into the van with his new friend Super Why and his cat, "White Cat", and we drove home.

He fell asleep.  I unsuccessfully tried to crack my back and remove the imprinted pattern of the sofa-weapon from my skin.  And when we got home, Cael punched Graham right in the stomach.

It wasn't the welcome I'd hoped for, but it was a reminder that things would get back to normal soon, and that there's just no place like home.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness- what a scary few days! I'm so glad that he is on the mend. I hope both of you can get some good rest.


Leave your own "ism". Cael and Graham double-dog dare you.