Thursday, April 10, 2008
I bet you thought we were almost through
Yeah, we did, too.
But Atticus proved us wrong yesterday when his fever spiked over 105º and a suspicious red rash began creeping all over his achy, tired little body.
At his healthiest, Atticus--who is a month shy of his eighth birthday--weighs a paltry 58 pounds. He is a very tall, thin, lithe little man who exists mainly on bread, milk and his mother's good intentions. While many a physician would say that Atticus is underweight, the fact is that he is built and proportioned exactly like his father. He is as healthy--maybe healthier--than your average kid, and proves it by being imaginative, active and creative. He's a thinker and a reader, yes--but he's also the first to grab his bike and head out for a brisk ride, or to pull out a soccer ball and kick with his brother.
But this is Atticus at his sickest:
Barely 54 pounds, face flushed, bird-like body covered in a carpet of red, eyes glassy and arms limp. Oh, my heart.
I had suspected that Atticus' healing curve was well behind Jo's, especially since her fever seemed to be dipping faster and lower than his. Her cough, though, was of concern--especially since she experienced a particularly nasty bout of Reactive Airways Disease last spring that took what was most likely a permanent toll on her health. But up until yesterday, Atticus seemed to be on the mend--albeit slowly--and I was looking forward to delivering the news that he wouldn't miss yet another baseball game this week.
He spent the better part of yesterday, though, huddling on the couch. Uninterested in movies, books on CD or drawing his beloved X-wing fighters, he was listless and hollow. I did some catch-up reading in Landmark History of the American People and that sparked him a bit; what boy his age doesn't get a little squirrely when there's talk of Nazis and air raids afoot? After lunch (which he did not eat), I tucked him in for a nap.
Which he took ... for three hours.
He woke up sporting that 105º+ fever and a rash that told me precisely what was going on. I'd seen it before in Logan during his StrepBoy days, though admittedly nowhere near as badly. (Nothing is ever as bad on Logan. He is the ultimate "It's just a flesh wound!" boy.)
A trip to the Walk-In Clinic confirmed it: The flu had given way to strep, which had in turn produced a very nice case of Scarlet Fever, which had then decided hey, let's set up shop here for the long run by brewing up some strep pneumonia.
All in 8 days, people. Eight days is all it took to take my happy, robust boy and turn him into a gaunt, feeble little skeleton. It takes longer to get a letter from my house to my grandmother's.
Atticus is now undergoing an extensive, 10-day round of Zithromax at the highest possible dosage in the hopes of wiping this bug out of his system. While we were there, I paid the extra co-pay and had Jo's oxygen levels tested. Sure enough, she was moving into another nice case of RAD, so we are heading that off with some inhalers, too.
And me, well--I'm just glad that a) it's only 1/2 of my kiddos that are sick and b) that I have health insurance. In the end, they'll be fine--even poor little Atticus will come back to himself given time. All of this will be a distant memory, though not one I'll revisit often or with any fondness.
In the midst of all of this, there was one shining example of God's love and provision that I wanted to share. This morning, before I could call and cancel Oliver's visit with his Bio Mom, the caseworker who was assigned to oversee the visit called me and canceled. She's sick, it turns out. So the onus for the missed visit is on her, not us. Not that it really mattered--I was canceling regardless. But the way God worked it out, it has nothing to do with us at all. Isn't that just like him? :-)