Hell Week

That pretty much sums up the last week. I went back to work (six classes! Eep!) and one of those classes involves night class. Ew. I’ll make it through only because I have one of those tear-off chains counting down the days until it is over (in my head but I should make one for reals). To make matters worse, Caleb got unbelievable sick over the weekend. Really sick.

He had a blood draw from his arm (he is anemic) and vaccinations on Friday (I have no idea if it is related to that but from here on out things will be done differently in that department, you can believe that). Saturday he had diarrhea and a vomiting spell. That night his fever reached 103.7. We called the after hours nurse and she told us to treat it with Tylenol or ibuprofen. Sunday he woke up feverish, vomiting, and also with diarrhea. His temp wavered that day but around 5pm we took his temp (rectally) and it was in the 105’s. We called the on call nurse, she called the doctor and then called us back to tell us to take Caleb to the ER in downtown Seattle (because they have Ped’s in the ER). In the ER, Caleb’s temp read 106.2. FACK.

I don’t really want to go in depth into how it felt because it was a blur. I had a couple breakdowns. I never in my life want to have to look down at my son screaming, in pain, begging for our help. He was so hot the doctor couldn’t touch his belly. He had a needle in his arm and then one in his hand because the arm wouldn’t work. He screamed like I have never heard him scream that night. He had an antibiotic shot because he had a bit of rash and they were concerned about staph, two mouthfuls of medicine, and chest x-rays. They then mentioned the need to collect urine with a catheter. Scurrrrrrrt (that’s the sound of brakes, by the way). Hell no. After everything he had been through, there was no way I was letting them do that. I think the nurse saw the crazy in my eyes because after I adamantly told her we would catch it with a cup, she came back with one and then a bag to collect his urine. It took a while but thankfully he peed. I am so thankful we saved him that little bit of pain that night. (Had he not been peeing I absolutely would have let them do anything to see what is wrong, but he was peeing, although not a not, he was peeing).

He was on fire and it took quite a while for his temp to go down. At one point the doctor began prepping us for him to seize. Look, I know febrile seizures come with high temps and I could tell they were certain he was going to seize. It doesn’t matter what I know about seizures, all I knew was this: I would still freak out. No research on this earth prepares you when your child is in pain. In fact, I know I could get crazy really quick when it comes to Caleb after that whole episode. Nothing else in this world mattered to me but him in that moment. I’m not really sure how Tyler dealt with it because on the surface he was definitely the strongest one in that room.

After a few hours of snuggles, Caleb’s fever went down, his x-rays were normal, urine was normal, but his blood was a bit abnormal. When we were discharged that evening the nurse told me she had never seen a temp that high. Me either. I hope it is the last time. Monday he went to the doctor and had two antibiotic shots and a check up. Since then, Caleb has had fevers up and down. We finally got the call Tuesday that his blood was normal. A huge sigh of relief. The antibiotics more than likely took care of whatever the abnormality was. His appetite came back all of the way on Thursday but he is still unbelievably tired. Our friend (who is a blessing) watched him on Friday and he slept most of the morning but was totally fine.  Seeing him run around the house like normal, attacking the dogs and playing has been one of the best parts of this week. In fact, today he got to splash in the puddles at the park and that really made his day!

So what have I learned from this? Being a parent is harder than I thought. Caleb has been sick but never like this. I have never been so scared in my life. I also know that there are a lot of people who really love and care about him. The outpouring of support, kind words, and thoughts we received from our friends and family was really amazing. It’s true that you see who the real people are in your life in times of crisis and that is absolutely something I have learned from his experience. This is the first week of class for me and I had to miss work (which is rarely acceptable) and you wouldn’t believe how awesome my students have been and how supportive my supervisors are. I’ve also learned how important it is just to be honest. When I told my supervisors I couldn’t come in and filled them in on what was happening I told them the real reason I couldn’t come in was because “I just want to snuggle with him all day”. They actually responded and said “you take care of your boy”.

As it stands, we still don’t know what was wrong with Caleb. I am still scared of him getting a high fever and I check his head constantly. I have no clue how much longer it will take for him to be fully back to normal because he is still very sleepy (for about 4 days he slept horrible and barely napped so you can imagine how behind he got in sleep). He has also been very clingy, which we absolutely understand. He went through a lot and if cuddling is all it takes to make him happy- we are more than willing to oblige.

I am so happy hell week is over!

7 thoughts on “Hell Week

  1. So so glad that Caleb is feeling better. Are you saying you think it might have been related to the vaccinations? Also, good luck making it through what sounds like “hell quarter” – but anything will seem easy after Caleb’s awful week.

  2. At first we did think it was a reaction to the vaccines. I know they are rare but it still scared us and we will have to spread the next MMR out into 3 separate shots (rather than all in one, which I sort of think is a better idea anyway). Ty said he was acting sick the night before the vaccines but the after hours nurse told us we should consider spacing his vaccines out just in case it was a reaction.
    We are sooo happy he is back to normal too! I never thought I would be so happy for commotion.

  3. (Touchy subject) But I kind of agree with spacing out the vaccines, we always just passed on one if they said it was not a big deal to wait until the next time. It can be hard for some of those little bodies to take that all in.

    Happy to hear he is doing much better, I would have totally freaked out. Good job Ty!

    I also think that is awesome of your boss to understand you just needed to be home.

  4. We passed when Caleb was an infant and did “catch up” vaccines because I was worried it would be too much. I agree it’s a touchy subject (I do not believe vaccines cause autism) though I think there are more benefits to vaccinating than not. He has ALWAYS had fevers every single shot so he’s not one of those kids who doesn’t notice them. My mom said I always had fevers from vaccines so it makes sense but man, this just seemed too coincidental.

  5. You have every right to freak out! That must have been so hard. So glad he’s doing better. I hope you guys never have to go through that again. And good for you for saying no to the catheter. I would’ve done the same.

    Ahhh vaccines…our doctor’s office screwed up in giving Leon one a day too early and said that he needed to have it again at the next appointment. I said no, and they looked at me like I was crazy. We do try and space Leon’s out as much as possible.

    Oh and kudos to your boss for being so understanding. I have one that is as well, and it really makes life that much easier.

  6. Rough. But “hell week” couldn’t have been that bad when you and Ty have such a beautiful little angel in your life (ummm that angel being me in case it wasn’t clear). J/K.

    But in all seriousness, poor Caleb. Having sick children, esp infants / toddlers, would be hard to watch b/c I’d imagine you feel somewhat powerless and want to do more, but can’t. Glad he is doing better!

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