Saturday, March 5, 2011

Bad News, Good News!

An attempt to give a (somewhat) consolidated report on the past few weeks around here...

The Bad News:

For the past three weeks our family has been spreading sickness around.  This is one reason I haven't been blogging as much as I'd like. We have all had varying levels of illness and some of the same symptoms, but some different.  Between sick visits, follow up visits, and previously scheduled appointments and tests, we have been to the doctor a fairly ridiculous amount of times in the past couple of weeks!! The worst was last Wednesday night though.

Madi had a fever the Tuesday evening before so I kept her in from school.  On Wednesday she ran a low grade temp but was fairly healthy during the day.  In the afternoon she complained to the point of tears that her hands and feet were aching and itching like crazy.  I thought she might  have been exaggerating a bit and put in her the bathtub to rinse off.  Afterwards she said her feet and hands still itched.  That night after Jimmy and I  got home from youth group her lips were swollen, and started swelling more at a rapid rate. They got huge.  I am not exaggerating, she looked like a duck.  It was almost comical if it hadn't been so worrisome. Then her face started swelling.  I called the doctor because I was becoming aware she was having an allergic reaction to something.  In the five minutes I was talking to him going over the events of the day her eyes swelled underneath and on top, almost making them shut.  The doctor said to give her Benadryl and go to the ER right away.
Thankfully I had some on hand, and have sort of vowed to always have it on hand after this experience.  We were obviously scared, but trying to stay calm and keep her up and talking, making sure her throat wasn't closing.  The Benadryl took effect immediately and we saw some improvement, but she was still visibly swollen when we got to the ER and waited to be seen.  They gave her priority to the triage nurse but once we knew she was stable we had to wait several hours to be seen by the doctor.

Both the doctor I spoke to on call and the doctor in the ER, as well as her pediatrician when we followed up, think she was actually having an allergic reaction to a virus.  I never knew this, but sometimes the body can have a bad histamine reaction to a virus in the body that causes different reactions; sometimes it is hives or a rash, other times it can be the type of reaction Madi had.

She really hasn't been the same since this happened.  We've been in communication with the doctor and back for another appointment because of fatigue, joint pain, low grade fevers during the day, and spiking fevers at night.  Thankfully we had some labs done Thursday to make sure all is well, but right now the doctor thinks either the reaction really wiped her body out, or she is now fighting a secondary virus that she may have picked up when she tried to go back to school for a few days.

Honestly, I am just grateful she is okay.  And a bit worn out from all of this, combined with everyone else passing around sickness and keeping up with normal responsibilities.  But still, I am thankful! Neither one of our kids had ever had an allergic reaction before, and it was unnerving.

The Good News

I recently went to the Women's Center for my one year follow up on a biopsy I had done last February. I had diagnostic mammograms and an ultrasound.  The tumor and cluster of cysts they found last year are still present but there were no changes, so I did not have to go through another biopsy.  Praise God!!  My mom is a breast cancer survivor and I was shocked last year when my first "routine" mammogram ended with a biopsy, so I am thankful for every good report!

On President's Day (a day before Madi first got sick) Jimmy was still feeling miserable from his bout with this sickness, but it was a beautiful day and there was no school so I took the kids to Disney by myself.  We ended up meeting up with my parents and some friends of ours.  Trev left early with them, but Madi and I stayed for fireworks with a friend.  We had an amazing day that included something huge - Madi used money she had been saving up for awhile now (as well as every last bit of cash I could scrape up) to buy a lanyard and some pins.  I can't even express how much she had anticipated this and how happy she was! Who knew a lanyard could be such an exciting thing?  She has worn it so much since then and just beams telling everyone about her pins.  I get such joy from seeing my kids enjoy simple pleasures in life.

I think I mentioned that I was heading to a Girls Retreat last Friday.  More good news is that we had a blast at the retreat!!!  I love camp.  I love seeing teenagers let their guard down and just be themselves, without all the pressures of their peers, media influences, and social circles.  I love laughing with them, and hopefully helping them see God a little more closely and clearly while life's distractions are temporarily put on the shelf.  I was reminded on this retreat that so many teenagers out there are simply trying to find their way in the world.  I am just grateful for the privilege of guiding them a bit on the journey, building relationships with them, and trying to show them the unconditional love of Jesus.  I hope that in some small way I am helping point them to the One who can love them best.

My gracious mom, who has helped us a lot the past few weeks, watched the kids one evening so Jimmy and I could finally go out on a Valentine's date - we hadn't been able to because of all this sickness, the Girls Retreat, finances, etc... We were super excited to get out, just the two of us, and eat Mexican food!  I am so in love with my husband.  And chips and salsa.  :)

Wednesday, which was one of the days Madi was able to go to school, my mom and I took Trevor to Animal Kingdom spur of the moment. It was a gorgeous day outside!  We had fresh air fun.  We are definitely enjoying and getting our use out of these Monday-Friday seasonal Disney passes we were blessed with at Christmas!!

I've been reminded again these past few weeks that while life can shift from Disney to doctors or happiness to hospitals in a minute, God is constant, faithful, and good.

He is there in the bad news and the good news.

Aware. Thankful.  Blessed.  

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