Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Various Gross Family Maladies

In our Sunday school class this past week, as we shared prayer requests and concerns with each other before praying together, my friends laughed as I updated them on some of our family's various health issues. We typically list the requests on the board and then volunteer to pray for one another aloud. I love our class. There is a great combination of encouragement, challenging one another, and laughter. My title comes from our class. It was what was written on the board for our family. We all had a good laugh about it and decided it was good that he included the word family, otherwise it would have said "various gross maladies"-ha! 

It's that time of year. Yep, it's cold and flu season. You might have already suffered through it this winter, or maybe you're still living in fear, or perhaps you've gotten the vaccine and feel confident that you won't be hit this time around. Being an optimist, I usually begin each flu season hopeful that we'll avoid it this time. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's rewind a bit to the week before Christmas. But first a little disclaimer: I recognize that there are many out there with far worse health issues than my little crew and do not mean to make too much of our various sicknesses, I just figured it might give you all a good laugh. Currently, it makes me want to either laugh or cry, but I'm assuming in time I'll look back at this post and laugh.

The week before Christmas my oldest, Jon, comes to me with a sore thumb. Yes, this story begins with a sore thumb, but hang with me, it gets better. Jon is a nail-biter and often gets sore cuticles, so I told him to let me know if it got worse. The next day Sam, who is 6, comes to me and says his thumb is sore. See, two sore thumbs, I told you it would get better! His looked more red than Jon's, so we put a bandaid with some neosporin on it. The next day when checking Sam's thumb, I asked Jon to show me his again. Yikes. His thumb had gotten worse. He had what looked like a pocket of puss next to his thumb nail, so I sterilized a pin and popped the blister, then put a bandaid with some neosporin on it. The next day both boys thumbs were looking better. I was feeling pretty good about my nursing abilities. (my degree is in Elementary Education, but most teachers and all moms pick up a little medical training along the way, right?)

The timeline gets a little blurry at this point. We had family staying with us on and off for 8 days, but in that time Sam's thumb did the same thing as Jon's with the puss, so I performed the same procedure on his thumb. A day or two later, Jon's thumb is starting to look worse again, so I turn to my trusty friend, WebMD. Although WebMD often scares me into action, this time I read the tips about cleaning the infected fingernail area by soaking it in warm water for 10-20 minutes and decided to try that route.

While both boys were soaking their thumbs, their little brother, Will, was fussy and whiny and had not slept through the night in over a week. He would wake up crying and be inconsolable. Finally, on the Saturday after Christmas I finally get him to tell me that his ear hurts. I call the doctor on call, who thankfully was our doctor, and he trusted me enough to call in a prescription for amoxicillin. (Will had LOTS of ear infections when he was a baby and was very close to getting tubes and then didn't have one for a year!)

New Year's Eve arrives, and we were heading up to the Cleveland area to spend a few days with family and having our last Christmas celebration. That morning, Jon complains that his throat hurts, but we don't think too much of it. By that evening, he was super lethargic and wanted only to lay on the couch. He had a fever and didn't want to eat anything. By the next night, Maggie and Sam both had fevers as well. Maggie seemed to perk right back up the next day, but Sam was wiped out. We came home on Thursday and when both boys either slept or were passed out on the couch most of the day, it was decided that they needed to see the doctor.

This past Friday, as we waited for the doctor to see us, I snapped these shots. The boys were so pathetic. They just laid on the table half-asleep while we waited. When she came in, I told her my suspicion of strep throat and she nodded and proceeded to check them out. "Their throats aren't too bad, hmm..." Then she happened to see Sam's thumb, "What is going on with your thumb, buddy?" Then I told her to check out Jon's, his was worse. "Oh, my!" she said, "they both need to be on antibiotics for those thumbs, yikes!" She went on to tell me that the fevers and sore throats could be strep or a virus, but she wanted to get them on something for their thumbs quickly. Oops!

Maggie didn't want to be left out of this story. Sunday the boys were both doing much better, but Maggie had been coughing, so Pete kept her home from church. She was really fussy, but never had a fever again. At that brings us to yesterday.
(Notice her dark circles-although she never got as bad as her brothers, he wasn't quite right for sure)
Yesterday, I went to change Will's diaper--yes, he's three and still in diapers, I do plan to potty train him someday, but for now, in his words, "I like my diapers!"--and noticed that he had bumps all over his tummy and a few on his legs. I quickly called Pete and then my friend, and go-to-Pediatric-Nurse-Practioner, Bethanie, and asked her advice. Bethanie echoed what Pete had suggested, that he was probably having a reaction to his antibiotics. Apparently having an allergic reaction to a drug is not limited to the first time you have it or the first day or so of taking it. Today we visited the pediatrician again and found out that both ears are still infected and he is having an allergic reaction, probably to the amoxicillin, so he's been switched to Zithromax. 

And with that, we've had a random virus, two infected ears, two infected thumbs and an allergic reaction to amoxicillin in the past two weeks. At least we haven't missed much since everything is shut down due to the "polar vortex." Hope this finds you with less visits to the doctor for your family and more snuggling and keeping warm inspite of the cold!


Becky said...

What a crazy couple of weeks! Hope you all are back on your feet soon. I remember a time a couple of years ago when it was like that for us - and I hope it's a once in a life time experience :)

Shawna said...

I had a reaction to ammoxicillin just this past year! I broke out in hives too and it was horrible. I've taken it countless times over the years and they told me the same thing..that you can develop an allergy any time...so comforting, right?!?