Monday, May 26, 2008

Somewhere over the rainbow....

On Saturday morning Jacksen woke up vomiting and had a fever that hovered around 102-103 all day. He wasn't interested in eating and spent the whole day resting on the couch and slurping popcicles to cool him off since he didn't want yucky medicine (who can blame him).

Yesterday the fever had lowered a bit to 101 and I thought maybe we were headed in the right direction until about 2pm when Jacksen came up to me and said "mom, my neck hurts when I do this" and looked up at the ceiling while grabbing his neck.

My mommy alarm bells went off and I asked him if it hurt when he looked at his toes, nope. Whew, I do my best to balance my concern with rationality.

Over the course of the next 3 hours the neck pain progressed. First it hurt looking up, then looking to the right, then to the left, and finally looking down. It came to the point he would hardly move his head at all. Great.

So, still keeping my calm I call Craig who was shortly going to be off work and told him that we needed to take Jack into the ER and have him looked at. He came home and away we went.

We got there and went right back to the triage room (where they decide if you are an ER case or an urgent care case) where we told the nurse what was going on. She looked at Jack quizzically, handed another nurse some paperwork and said "ER".

While we were walking back to the room we heard the weather alert going off. We knew there was suppose to be bad storms but didn't know when. We get into the room and the medics do the usual, weight (134.5 lbs my peanut) blood pressure, pulse ox. We hear the weather alert again and hear the word "tornado............ county" and the nurse sends the medic out to see where that tornado is.

By now Jacksen is crying. When Alex died hospitals became to him a place where people die. A place of pain and mysery and death. He's improved since then to the point where he can enter a hospital with someone else as the patient and be ok but this time, being the patient himself was overwhelmingly scary for him. I sat on the bed with him while we waited for the doctor and Craig turned the tv on so we could watch the weather. After a few minutes Nate started crying so I told Craig to take him out to the lobby and Shay and I would stay with Jack and try to keep him calm.

We waited and Jack and I talked. I was not going to lie to him but promised him that as far as I knew they weren't going to do anything that hurt and if they were I would tell him before it happened and would not let it be a surprise. The thought of a spinal tap was in the back of my mind with his stiff neck and a fever and I prayed that it wouldn't come to that.

Soon the doctor came in and started looking him over. He mentioned that his lymph nodes were very swollen in his neck. I told him that he had a tick bite 2 weeks ago as I was pretty sure in my mind what we were dealing with. I have a great knack for diagnosing things before the doctor and I'm pretty accurate, it's scary sometimes really. The doctor says his ears look pretty red and he wants a strep test. If he had the bullseye Lyme rash it would be easier (kids don't always get the rash).

He tells me that he's not to the point of wanting to test for Meningitis (whew!) and that he wants to get that strep test and the ears look iffy. Since the treatment for the ears and Lyme is the same, we are going to forego taking blood from my terrified little boy for the Lyme test (which isn't very accurate anyway) and treat the ears which will treat the Lyme with it. Sounds good to me.

He leaves and I run out and tell Craig to come back into the room, as I walk out of Jack's room I hear "tornado on the ground....." on the weather radio. I ask the nurse where the tornado is and she tells me "by Dallas". My 3 oldest children are currently helping my mom in the barn a few miles east of there, in the direction this thing is moving. Suddenly we hear over the speakers "Attention all personnel, visitors, and patients..... This is a Code black" And doors start closing and hospital staff starts running around. We go back to our room and wait for the strep test.

We go back to the room and I try calling my mom. First her house phone, then her cell phone. No answer on either..... that can only mean 2 things. Either the power is out and cell service is down, or they are in the barn and have no idea a tornado is barreling toward them. I try not tha panic and after a few minutes Nate starts fussing again so I volunteer to take him out this time figuring in the lobby he can move around and won't be so fussy. We get out there and are quickly told that we can't be in the lobby, we have to be in the center circle where there are no windows (and..... well nothing!) GREAT! I let Nate crawl up and down a hall off the circle where there are no windows and soon that isn't even working. People are coming out of doors and halls now and then to look at the weather. The tv is currently unavailable because it's right next to the window and the sky looks an eerie green. I keep hearing people talking about how this storm just killed a bunch of people in MN (we are 2 counties in from the MN border) and has dropped many tornados and baseball sized hail.

As much as I hate storms I am strangely calm. I know I'm in one of the safest buildings in the county, I am in familiar surroundings (it's the hospital where I work) and the safe stairwell in the center of the building is only steps from where I stand. I know Jack and Craig are in a safe room, probably one of the safest. I shouldn't be calm because 3 of my children may be directly in harms way, 3 of my children could as I stand there be fighting for their lives in that barn. I pray as I try to keep nate happy and a strange calmness just overcomes me.

Soon Craig and Jack emerge and we get Jack's prescription for amoxicillin punched into the insty-med machine. While we wait our ER nurse comes out and says "your mom just called and says NOT to leave". I thank her and grab the phone at currently unmanned information desk and dial her number. She tells me it's awful there, the tornado hasn't hit yet and they are in the house and aware of it. I tell them to get in the basement and she tells me to stay where I am, if we head home now we are going to drive right into it.

Our medication finishes and we stand there and discuss what to do. It doesn't look too bad out where we are, just some rain and that hazy creepy sky and some lightening here and there. After a few minutes Nate starts fussing again, alerting us that he was starving and wouldn't wait any longer and we decided we would leave the hospital and go get something to eat. When we got to Burger king we would decide what to do.

The weather wasn't looking too bad so we decided that to be home would make us feel better than to be somewhere else at this point so we decided to get our food and drive home, willing to change our plans if needed. Our drive home is uneventful. We get nearly home and see a double rainbow, who's end looks to be at our house as the man on the radio tells use that the tornado warning is over.

Scary night indeed. But proof that prayers do get answered and God is always looking out for us if we put our faith in him 100%.

Jack is feeling much better today, after only 2 doses of medicine. He wanted to go for a bikeride today but we didn't get far before his legs started hurting. We remember from Shay that this can go on for many months but Jack's case really seems to be very mild compared to Shay's so we hope for a very fast recovery.

Make sure you check for ticks EVERY DAY and if you get bitten seek treatment at the first sign of illness. Symptoms can be delayed for a MONTH after the bite!

No comments: