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Monday, August 08, 2005

Sick Kids

I hate when my kids are sick. It gives me huge pangs of anxiety. Unfortunately my husband is the same way. So when one of our kids gets sick the two of us snap at each other and alternate saying things like, "How sick do you think he is?" or "Well, really, how sick could he be?" or "It's not like he has some horrible life threatening illness, right?" And then we cross ourselves, knock on wood and throw some salt over our shoulder, just for good measure for even daring to think such a thing.

My 10 yr old has been sick for a week and a half now. His symptoms are odd and varied. It began with pains in his legs and hips. The first few days we chalked it up to pulled muscles. After all, who wouldn't be sore with all that never ending baseball playing.

But it didn't feel better as I would have expected in a few days. If anything, he began to feel worse. I was especially troubled when he began limping. Then he started having headaches. The headaches were bad enough that he was crying and holding his head in his hands. Tylenol and Advil took the edge off of the pain for him, but it was never completely gone.

I brought him to the doctor last week and he had a panel of bloodwork done as well as xrays. The xrays were normal, but we have not yet received all the results of the bloodwork.

I keep looking at the other kids, half hoping- half wishing that they would get sick also because then it would mean it was something that he caught from somewhere and he would probably just get better on his own. I need some reassurance that he doesn't have some sort of degenerative- muscle- eating- brain- and- central- nervous- system- attacking- snotty- attitude- inducing bacteria. Oh wait, the snotty attitude is always there, scratch that symptom.

There have been moments of levity. Like when he was crying and bemoaning his fate and suddenly screamed, pointing to one of his brothers, "Why can't he be sick?!? Why does this always happen to me?!?" Yes, that is the sort empathetic behavior we encourage at our house. When I laughed he became even more irate, because how dare I laugh when he is sick.

Another moment came when he asked me if he was bit by something and is sick because he needs a shot of anti venom. I questioned what it was that could possibly have bitten him. I was met with exasperation and told, "If I knew that, I would know what would make me better." And I discovered that being really sick and having migraine headaches doesn't prevent a person from rolling their eyes.

When my 9 yr old told me Saturday afternoon that he was feeling tired I harassed him endlessly asking him if he felt sick. He finally yelled at me to leave him alone. "It's almost like you want me to be sick," he said accusingly. How do I tell him that yes, in fact I would like that.

I can handle coughs, colds, even vomiting and upset stomachs. Those are "normal" and while I cleaning up vomit makes me dry heave, it doesn't fill me with oppressive chest crushing anxiety.

And so I sit here now, waiting for the rest of test results to come in, peddling Advil and Tylenol like a drug dealer, hoping he suddenly just begins to feel better on his own, and knocking on all the wood I can find.

Including wood laminate, just to be on the safe side.

Updated to add: I just got off the phone with the doctor and his bloodwork came back positive for Lyme Disease. (Insert me using lots of swear words here). It is enough to make me want to pack it all in and move to the city where we would only have to deal with crime, pollution, and crazy street people. I realize in the scheme of things it isn't so awful, but I'd prefer my kids to just stay healthy, thankyouverymuch.


Blogger Ashley said...

I hope the test results come back okay, good luck with everything

11:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know exactly how you feel.

I am always googling symptoms.
That will drive you nuts!

Just stay on top of the doctors if you have that funny feeling.

Good luck

12:13 PM  
Blogger Meg said...

Chris, that sucks, but I'm sure it'll be turn out to be nothing. We went through a period of panic over Sophia's reflux because the doctor indicated that it could be neurological - talk about being scared shitless!

And to give you some cheer, here's what Brent said the card said:
"That bread sure smells like a yeast infection!"

Disgusting? Yes. Hilarious after 2 glasses of wine and some cold medicine? Yes.

12:48 PM  
Blogger Sleeping Mommy said...

I know it's hard not knowing what is wrong.

I'll be thinking about you guys.

12:50 PM  
Blogger momma of 2 said...

Hope he is feeling better soon, and everything comes back okay. It's so hard when you don't know what is wrong and everyone else is fine. (yep, I have wished others to get sick too, just so I knew that it was a bug!)

1:02 PM  
Blogger Melessa said...

I hope everything is OK too.

1:11 PM  
Blogger Qalballah said...

It'll probably be just a virus or something. Any kid who still has an attitude can't be that ill...

I pray he gets better really soon. Amen.

1:58 PM  
Anonymous tammie said...

Hopefully, it's not anything that can't be cured with a "shot of venom" or some sort of "super healing" medicine that you kid would like to have (and I'm sure that the bragging rights on this would be huge!). Maybe you should go out in the yard and look for a slab of kryptonite?
I'm not religified, but prayers out to your family that this is something is treatable. Now go dispense the drugs, sister!

2:07 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

God I hate ticks.
Wish we could put the Frontline that we use on dogs on kids.

3:04 PM  
Blogger KL said...

Hope he's feeling better soon. At least you know now...not knowing will drive you bonkers imagining the absolute worst. Good Luck...and hugs to him!!

3:24 PM  
Blogger Meg said...

HUGS TO YOU! Hopefully, you can get some good treatment. And swear away - that's what we're here for...


3:52 PM  
Anonymous kim said...

I am glad you took him in and know what it is, now, so that you can start treating it. Praying he responds quickly to treatment and recovers soon! We were in woodsy CT recently and the whole "tick thing" made me very nervous.

4:41 PM  
Blogger halloweenlover said...

Oh no, Chris. How upsetting. I am terrified of ticks and lyme disease too, and as soon as you started writing the symptoms it is what I thought of. That stinks. I hope that the treatment makes him feel better asap.

And hoping you get some rest and relaxation too.

5:05 PM  
Anonymous Jordana said...

That totally stinks. I know recovery from Lyme disease takes a while, but I hope the worst of it passes soon.

5:37 PM  
Blogger impromptu-mom said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:47 PM  
Blogger impromptu-mom said...

Ticks stink and are big time scary in my book!

I don't know what the zoning laws are in your community, but if you are able to have chickens, you might cinsider getting some Guinea Hens. They will eat ticks by the ton. Lots of other nasty bugs too. plus, it will give your highclass neighbors something to talk about! lol!

Hope everything works out all right.

7:50 PM  
Blogger ~m2~ said...

from someone who has been diagnosed with lyme disease in the past, it may only take one really, really good round of antibiotics to knock it out of him; maybe two.

i am sorry you are going through this and can identify with it totally, save for the "i have seven kids" part. i only have three but have empathy pains for every. single. thing. they. have.

peace be to you and yours.

8:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Chris!
I am so glad to read an update!
I too hope for his speedy recovery (yours too!).
My boys rolled down the grassy hills the other day - again and again, and I dreaded having to look for ticks or worrying about Lyme disease - but I can't keep 'em locked up ALL summer ;-)

Peace to you and yours!

8:59 PM  
Anonymous Stillheidi said...

Ticks suck! My son had lyme's disease...One round of antibiotic and he was good to go...I hope you have the same easy experience!

9:21 PM  
Blogger buffi said...

Man, that really stinks. But to me, having an answer is such a relief. At least now you can work on fixing him. I'll keep him (and you!) in my prayers.

9:55 PM  
Blogger Keira said...

*found you from dotmoms great post ;)

Ticks do suck. I'm just recovering from Rocky Mt Spotted Fever. I felt so awful. Hope your son is feeling better soon. I'm glad they were able to give you a definitive answer and move towards treatment quickly.

10:23 PM  
Blogger Annalise said...

I'm glad you know what's up, and can start treatment. Make him read "What Katy Did" meanwhile, so that he can cultivate a suitable angelic martyred disposition in the face of illness. (Tried that with my kids, they just made puking noises, but you may have better luck).

6:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you going to stand in front of that woman who acted like you were nuts to suggest antibiotics when you saw that bullseye rash and yell "I told you so" at her?

I know I would!

Is it the same child who had the rash?

Good luck!

I hear that young ones have a much better chance at speedy recovery than older people.

Hope he feels better soon.

7:41 AM  
Blogger rugdesigner said...

Healing wishes to your son and strength to you. I hope everyone is feeling much better soon!

9:59 AM  
Anonymous rachel said...

hope he's feeling much better soonest.


migraines suck, and having sick kids sucks even more than being sick yourself.

11:00 AM  
Blogger Darren said...

Oh, no! That's terrible! Poor kid.

You're not safe in the city, Chris. I've pulled several ticks off Harvey after taking him to Central Park.

11:05 AM  
Blogger Lenise said...

Thank goodness it's curable and you caught it fairly quickly. My mom kept hoping that my juvenile rheumatoid arthritis was Lyme disease, so it could be fixed. No such luck...

Y'all will be fine, because you are able (somehow!) to keep an eye on each of those rugrats enough to know when something's really wrong. Good job!

11:33 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

I had Lymes as a kid and the medicine was easy to take and I got 100% pretty fast. I had to keep off my knee entirely for a month but since I've run competitively, and even got a scholarship for hockey - no permanent damage

12:23 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

I had Lymes as a kid and the medicine was easy to take and I got 100% pretty fast. I had to keep off my knee entirely for a month but since I've run competitively, and even got a scholarship for hockey - no permanent damage

12:23 PM  
Blogger thatgirl said...

Oh Chris, as I was reading this I was thinking "I hope his doctor thinks to do blood work for Lyme Disease." While it's reassuring to at least know that it's SOMETHING, I'm so sorry that he contracted it.


3:21 PM  
Anonymous Jane_of_art said...

Well better to know, and at least there are meds. I remember whenmy daughter was myseriously ill. Waking up every few hours all night, I call the ped he say's probably a nervous break down b/c i was pregnant at the knwo she was an only child nad this baby was threatening her. Nxt. day inthe office the oteh rped. notices daughter had soiled herself a little, very od for her at 6 yrs. old, but acts like it is nothing bc she is not exhibiting pain. Then at 3am we go to the Children's hosp. er where the resident vows to figure out was is wrong. Of ourse by this time with head aches, no discernble cold or virus, and fecal incontinence they're thinking brain tumor...okay maybe need to rule out brain tumor but he subsequent cat scan revealed dear daughter had a sinus infection. That c-scan probably wa steh worst moment in my life so far. At 7mo. pregnant I couldn't go in and had to watch my daughter's brain appear on a screen like sliced salami. We went home with an antibiotic an ddaughter proceeded to crap explosively all over the bathroom. What a relif a crap attack was! Hang in there.

4:52 PM  
Blogger aka_Meritt said...

Sorry to hear the tests were positive... I was crossing my fingers it was nothing.

Good to see/know that so many posted they had it as a kid and it got better!!!! Good Luck to your little guy too!

11:03 PM  
Anonymous Chi said...

Ding Dang Ticks...atleast it's treatable and if your son is anything like my daughter (drama queen) he should milk this for all its worth even way after the symptoms are gone...Good luck!

12:13 PM  
Blogger Jody said...

Hope your little man is feeling better now.

Glad you guys got on it quickly.

12:19 PM  
Anonymous Lizzie said...

Ugh! Glad you were able to get an answer as to what it is...I know what you mean about wishing the other kids would get sick, too...and hope your little guy is feeling better, real soon!

10:40 AM  
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I have a Cold Sore site/blog. It pretty much covers Cold Sore related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)

11:44 AM  
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10:29 AM  
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5:44 AM  
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It has all cold sore/herpes stuff.


5:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Essential oils, roots and herbs can be used in a variety of ways to promote healthy living and physical symptom of stress. They are used to create natural remedies for treating ailments common to both people and animals, to add flavor to food, to make perfumes and to create environmentally friendly cleaning products.

You do not have to own a garden to tap into the benefits of plants, roots and herbs. A few herb pots located by a sunny window are enough to get you started. Then, all you need are some essential oils and you are ready to go.

For therapeutic purposes, only the purest oils will do. It is possible to be fooled into thinking that you are purchasing a pure oil. Often, a lesser quality blend of several oils is used to mimic the properties of the pure oil. Blended oils are acceptable for fragrance purposes such as for perfuming a room, but pure oils are a "must" for medicinal purposes.

A reasonable guide to the purity of an essential oil is its price. Pure essential oils are generally more expensive. Common oils such as lavender and geranium are much cheaper than frankincense and carnation oil. It is advisable to become familiar with essential oil prices and then rely on this knowledge when purchasing oils from unfamiliar sources. Keep in-mind that you will generally get what you pay for. A price list from a reputable dealer is a valuable resource when purchasing essentials oils.

Usually, pure essential oils cannot be applied directly to the skin and must be mixed in a base oil to reduce their strength. Base oils such as almond oil or wheatgerm oil are commonly used for this purpose. Base oils are generally derived from seeds, nuts or vegetables and allow you to create essential oil remedies that can be massaged into the skin.

So, what do you need to get started with essential oils and natural remedies?

Without a doubt, Lavender is one of the most useful and desirable oils. Not only does it work wonders on cuts, bruises and burns, it also aids sleep and helps with relaxation.

The Tea Tree and Eucalyptus oils are useful for treating a variety of respiratory ailments. These are excellent for the treatment of colds and coughs. They can be massaged into the chest or burned in an oil burner to help clear the airways and prevent congestion. Tea Tree oil is a natural antiseptic and can be dabbed on cuts, bites and stings. It is often used to treat spots and pimples and when diluted with water, acts as a mouth gargle (keep in-mind it should never be swallowed).

Another basic antiseptic is Geranium oil. With its distinctive perfume and pain relieving properties, it is a necessary inclusion when starting out.

Peppermint oil should also be purchased as it treats digestive complaints and may be used in preparations for freshening breath.

For fragrant perfumes and establishing ambience in a room, buy some Patchouli and Ylang-ylang oils. Often combined in scented candles and air fresheners, a few drops of each in an oil burner creates a wonderfully perfumed home. Orange oil mixed with Cinnamon oil is a lovely winter alternative that evokes seasonal, holiday smells. Besides their perfume qualities, all four of these oils have other properties. Patchouli treats eczema and dandruff. Ylang-ylang is reputed to relieve stress, palpitations and high blood pressure. Orange is used in natural remedies for depression and nervous tension and Cinnamon is excellent for warts and viral infections.

The herbs, Thyme and Rosemary can be grown in pots and used when needed. To create essential oils from herbs, stew some large amounts in pure water, collect the steam and cool it. The oil will rise to the top of the drained water and can be collected with an eyedropper. Alternatively, a "flower still" can be purchased to make the job easier. Thyme and Rosemary are both antiseptics and can be used in skin care preparations. They are also delicious when used in cooking.

Lemon oil and fresh lemons will purify water and, when mixed with honey, are effective remedies for colds and flu. Lemon and white vinegar are highly efficient cleaning agents that can be used for domestic cleaning tasks without damaging the environment. Use white vinegar as a natural disinfectant or mix it with water to clean windows and wooden floors. It is also handy to keep a bottle of white vinegar in your car if you swim in the ocean. It will bring instant relief from jellyfish stings.

Citronella oil is perfect in summer to keep the insects at bay. Another natural repellent is Garlic. Fleas will not bite a dog that has been eating garlic, so a few garlic capsules in the dog food are a cheap solution to your pet's flea problem. A soft collar soaked in Citronella will also do the job.

Garlic also helps to promote a healthy immune system when the weather turns cold and viruses begin to circulate. In fact, most of the oils and herbs listed above are effective in helping to prevent many common winter illnesses.

Whether you are looking for remedies or nature friendly products to use around the house, the oils and herbs suggested above should help get you started. You will be ready to make some healthy changes in your way of life!

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12:27 PM  
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9:02 AM  
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3:59 AM  
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8:15 PM  
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9:05 AM  
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1:49 PM  
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12:18 PM  
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6:21 PM  

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