Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Keep Your Germs to Yourself!!

Up until recently I had never heard the term "adenovirus". Anytime I was sick, the doctor either said "Oh, it looks like you have the virus", or "Your blood work shows you have a viral infection". No doctor had ever given me the technical terms for the viruses I had contracted, so I never had a specific virus to detest. It seems that technology has come leaps and bounds in recent years and now the doctors can pin point exactly which virus you have. This is how my hatred of the evil demon adenovirus started...

Only a few months ago, Parker was admitted to the hospital for the first time since his kidney transplant. When we got here, the doctor told us that the viral panel they tested for came back positive for adenovirus. I thought, "Okay it's just a virus, it could be much worse". And I was right, it really could have been much worse. He was sick, but no sicker than I had seen him many times before. Fast forward to present day, and things have done a complete 180. In his three years of life, which I know isn't much, I have never seen him this sick. Today marks day seven of high grade fever. As soon as we get the fever under control, it is already beginning to spike back up. So far it's gotten up to almost 104 degrees, and even with the highest dosage of Tylenol it shows no signs of giving up any time soon! Well, what about Motrin you ask? Unlike most kids, he isn't allowed have Motrin because it can damage your kidneys.  Yeah, sorry, that kidney is far too precious to be taking risks with. He sounds terribly junky, has swollen tonsils that make it impossible for him to drink, is wheezing when he breathes, and has pooped more times in the last 3 days than he had in the entire month before- which explains the dehydration. The dehydration has his sodium, potassium, and phosphorous all messed up, and to top all of that off, his ANC count is extremely low. Yeah, don't worry, I had no clue what an ANC count was up until a few years ago either. Basically, his ANC count determines how is immune system is responding, and right now his immune system is practically non-existent at 0.5, and it's usually at 4.0- 5.0.

I'm usually a very level-headed person. I understand that my son is not in picture perfect health, but I also try not to put him in a bubble. I allow him to live life and we try not to live in fear of germs. Today, however, I'm just frustrated. I'm frustrated because he has to go through this..because he has to fight and be stronger than anyone else does.. because he can't have Motrin, which always worked 1,000 times better when he was a baby... and because someone, somewhere had the audacity to give this virus to my baby. How dare them! Yeah, I know that the last point makes me sound like a lunatic, but just let me be mad for a minute.

 This is the perfect example of why I try to preach to people that a simple virus affects our baby much differently than it will any other kid. This is why I try to explain to people that if you or your child are sick, please stay home. He is far more susceptible to contract these infections, and it takes his body much longer to fight them off. Please be considerate this cold and flu season. Think about others when you are out in town coughing and sneezing all over everything. Remember that children like Parker end up in the hospital for days, if not weeks, over that simple cough and sneeze. If you aren't feeling good, stay home! If your child isn't feeling good, please don't send them to school or daycare! All I am asking is to have respect and compassion for others. Put yourself in other peoples shoes and think about how you would feel if the roles were reversed.

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