Monday, December 27, 2010

'Tis the Season for the Flu

    The first part of our Christmas day was great and I'll post about it later. Lots of people have been asking what happened with Harris, so I thought I'd post the re-cap. He went to the dr Thursday and we thought he had croup. Still not sure if he did or didn't, but he got a dose of steroids and seemed basically fine Thursday and most of Friday. He woke up Christmas morning with a fever and clearly not feeling well, but was still playing and eating. He was breathing faster than normal, but the dr we had seen said to expect that with croup. After he woke up from his nap Christmas day, everything had changed. He was burning up, very lethargic, and was working to breathe. When we got to the ER, they were WONDERFUL. They immediately got him in a room, had a doctor and respiratory therapist looking at him, and got him going on a breathing treatment. That helped but not nearly enough. He needed more steroids and longer breathing treatments and was diagnosed with the flu. Yes, he had a flu shot but that's not 100% effective. He didn't have any other flu symptoms, just a fever and the breathing. He'd been on breathing treatments as an infant but thankfully he hasn't had any problems since then. Our pediatrician hasn't diagnosed him with asthma, but said he may have these problems when he gets sick and may outgrow it. So we'll see. For now, he's home and doing great. We're just trying to keep him calm........but that's a challenge.
     I cannot possibly say enough good things about Methodist Children's Hospital. They were great from the second we got there. I was by myself, in a hurry, and the parking lot was PACKED. They have a valet at the front so all I had to do was slam on the brakes and get Harris out of the car. Then the staff saw he needed attention so we skipped all paperwork, height, weight, etc, and went straight to an exam room. People were waiting to help by the time we got there. They were quick and thorough but took time to talk to Harris, using words he could understand, so he wouldn't be scared. Even drawing blood and putting in an IV was not the ordeal you would expect. They had a system so he never saw a needle and had people distracting him so he couldn't really tell what was happening. Once we got settled, they found a show for him to watch while he was doing an hour long breathing treatment and brought him a Christmas present to open. It was 12 Hot Wheels cars in a carrying box, so he able to play with them while sitting still for his treatment. The ER staff was so nice to Harris and patient with Tom and me. They had great attitudes, even after giving up their Christmas with their families.  Our experience in the actual hospital was just as good. The nurses were so patient. Harris was a TROOPER and had a great attitude but it definitely helped that everyone treated him respectfully. For example, when he needed to breath out of a tube, the therapist could have just put it over his face and he would have inhaled it and been done, even if it scared him. Instead, she let him feel the tube, demonstrated on herself what was going to happen, and then he did it with no problems. It took longer for her but was so much easier on him. And the gifts just kept coming. Here are just a FEW of the things he was given.

 There was also a football, puzzles, a few more cars, a NERF thing, and a gift sack with candy and little activities. This was SUCH a blessing to us!!! I would never have understood how helpful these things would be if we hadn't been in this situation. Especially in the ER, where we came rushed and unprepared to be someplace for hours, but in the hospital too. Harris was exhausted since you can't sleep well in there, and getting pretty sick of being messed with. The excitement of opening a gift and having new things to play with made his day (and ours) so much better. One nurse brought a gift bag of crayons, Buzz Lightyear playing cards, candy, coloring books, and some other things. Someone had given it to her 8 year old son and he wanted it to go to a sick child on Christmas. Bless his heart. I hope Tom and I can instill that kind of compassion in our kids. We used that candy for rewards all day long. Harris had two pieces of chocolate before noon, which is a personal best for him.
     The staff did absolutely everything in their power to make a bad situation as good as they could. Between that and all the support from our friends and family, we were so touched. Thank you all for checking on us, praying for us, and offering to help in any way you could. It means so much. This was emotionally and physically exhausting, and Harris was only in the hospital for 24 hours!!!! AND my parents and brother were here, so we had plenty of help! I cannot imagine how someone with a chronically ill child functions. But Harris is back in business now. Thank you again :)

Romans 12:12
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

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