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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

They say it comes in threes. I'd take that.

First we get an "extended vacation" because our car breaks down while we're in Kansas. No sooner are we back home in Ohio then Sean-Peter contracts e-coli from Lord knows where and lands himself in the hospital. Olivia starts throwing up, and I break my stupid toe. I should write a country song. Thank God we don't have a dog or a pickup truck. Although my mom did tell me we should get rid of our cat. (No surprise there.) (Hi mom!)

Poor, poor Sean-Peter. Have you ever known anyone who suffered from e-coli? It ain't pretty, especially when you don't yet know why your child appears to be expelling half his bowels. Poor, poor Peter. Don't he look pitiful?

We started out at the ER on base, where they tested him for everything under the sun and ruled out what they could. They then transferred him to Dayton Children's Hospital where they continued to run tests and I couldn't have been more impressed with the care. Seriously. If I'd had nurses in the hospital like that when I'd had my babies I never would have wanted to go home.

Sean-Peter went through so much. You know how it is when a child is so sick and pathetic and lethargic and weak and so, so pitiful?

He cried so pathetically when they put in the I.V. which, really, is so much more than a shot. (Have you ever had that tube stuck up your arm?) I soothed him and assured him that the worst was over. Then they taped a sack around his nut sack (ahem) so they could collect some urine to test and when they had to tear that off he screamed and wailed and I said I'm so sorry I was wrong because I was sure that was the worst.

The little guy got his first (and hopefully last) ambulance ride, with the nicest people ever, two confident, take-charge women who must be saints to spend their lives helping hurt and hurting children.

They transferred him from the base ER to Dayton Children's by ambulance "just in case" -- the little guy had been so dehydrated and of course they don't know me, his mom, from Eve, so why take chances?

While sitting back there in the ambulance with those lovely ladies, and a wane little boy so unlike the one I know, one of them attempted to spark some life out of him with some idle questions.

"So, you have an older brother and sister?"

"Uh, huh." So, sooo pathetic. You could barely hear him.

"Are they nice to you?"

Sean-Peter suddenly looks alert and starts shaking his head.

"My brother is mean to me and calls me stupid and a loser." Then he lifts his hand and makes the two-finger loser L sign.


The woman laughs appropriately and I am a bit taken aback at the biggest display of life he has shown all day. She asks me how old his brother is and when I tell her 13, she rolls her eyes appreciatively. But still.

Oh, Conner. We have told him time and time again what a powerful role model he is to his younger brother and sister. They look up to him so much and everything he says affects the dynamic in their relationship. No matter that he thinks he's being funny or that he thinks they're annoying; they are not his peers and being the oldest bears a certain responsibility.

I wasn't surprised by Sean-Peter's response -- just by his animation -- but apparently Conner was. Surprised and hurt. I think it made quite the impression that his brother -- his sick, little brother, thought of him this way in his most vulnerable moment. What, you going to accuse a sick little four-year-old of making this stuff up?

Partly in redemption? But mostly because he really is a kind-hearted soul, Conner helped his sister make a card for their little brother.

"Jellyfishing isn't any fun without you, Peter."

"We love you, Peter.

Hey, Peter, can't wait to see you, it's really boring without you! I miss you and I hope you're feeling better!

You will get better."

I especially like the last part.

The country song didn't go into full effect until yesterday, though, when I managed to break my toe -- running to change out laundry? Answer the phone? I really can't recall. But it was sometime after Olivia threw up but before Public Health called with Sean-Peter's diagnosis: I vividly remember massaging my foot with a bag of frozen peas while attempting to process "your son has e-coli" and intelligently answer her formula questions.

Is anyone else sick?

Is your son in daycare?
When did you go to Kansas?

In all honesty, we'll probably never know exactly how or where Sean-Peter contracted the e-coli. He simply doesn't fit the standard profile (e.g., he won't touch hamburger) nor does he have any connections with any other cases. It is sobering to note that, at the same time Sean-Peter was in the hospital, at least two other small children were there for the same thing -- and they're still there. Public Health called again today with more questions, desperate to rule out any and all correlation between our son and the other cases, and a bit credulous that he was home and doing so well, as the other children are still suffering so much. We are very fortunate.

My broken toe notwithstanding. You all can feel sorry for me now.

And I apologize for this photo in advance, I just couldn't resist.**
Before the whole e-coli, Thang, I started uploading photos for a Trip to Kansas post. I will recommence on that shortly.


Christian Mommy Writer said...

Oh my goodness girl! I was humming a country song for you!

Glad that Sean-Peter is recovering so well and I hope your toe heals quickly. I also pray that Olivia doesn't get sick too.

What an adventure!

Missed you on the blogging scene and glad to see you back.

Take care,

Hannah Reasoner said...

What a traumatic, yet fascinating, turn of events you have had in your house. I do not envy you right now. I feel you on the broken toe, that hurts. And as for the needles and IVs, poor, poor, poor Sean-Peter. That's no fun at any age!

JamericanSpice said...

It really does come in threes huh but I think the blessings comes in droves anyway :)

I hope everyone start to feel better sooner and your poor toe! Ouch!

Poor baby. It is so hard when the babies are sick and you can't carry that burden for them. yes yes yes that IV thing is terrible!

Oder siblings do carry a certain responsibility of being role models and at this point they have the chance to form such amazing bonds...but alas at least you know that when it comes down to the nitty gritty of it all, they do still love each other.
I'm hoping that my kids will at least try??? oh dear I can see them already!

I'm so glad Sean-Peter is doing alot better and is home and your poor toe!

G'ma said...

Loved the toe shot! Hate the pain it is causing you!

The pictures of Sean-Peter are heartbreakers. I pray he remains on the road to recovery.

How does the saying go? "If I didn't have bad luck, I would have no luck at all."

P.S. I have a cat. His name is Eli.

MOMSWEB said...

Good grief! When it rains it pours and you've had a thunderstorm! Hope everyone is getting better. Have a great day in Motherhood!

Anonymous said...

Oh my!! I hope things calm down soon. Glad to hear S-P is feeling a bit better, poor kid!

Tam said...

I am finally back online and WHOO the first post I read is about your poor sweet Son! I am very glad to hear he is doing better! MY thoughts and prayers are with YOU!

Em said...

Oh dear dear dear, what a terrible turn of events. You all must just be getting your bad luck out of the way for the year...or two :) I'm so glad the nurses were good to you guys...makes my profession look good! Oh but your car, and your toe, and poor Olivia...sounds like things can only get better! Wishing you all the best! We'll be thinking about you!

Retriever said...

So sorry to hear all you have been through, and glad Sean Peter is improving. My kid got something similar when still a nursing infant, nearly a year old. We couldn't figure out where he got it, tho I always had dark suspicions that it was from being carried around and sitting in supermarket carriage when I was shopping in preChristmas crowds (all those treats like egg nog and other rich stuff other people are eating, maybe germs on the handle?). He was in hosspital a couple of days to rehydrate (wouldn't even nurse he was so sick) then they let him come home too early, and he lost more weight, and had to go back.. So I know how awful and scarey it is.
A few days later he walked for the first time, completely healthy!

I would use the opportunity to do some serious guilt tripping with your eldest, while he is still alarmed for his younger sib's physical safety as teens are not normally thoughtful (even the good ones) about pesky little brothers. I had an adorable five year old boy in my Sunday School class with three older brothers (Oldest 16) who sighed that they did nothing but beat up and call him names. Nice family, apparently nice brothers, but they don't know when a joke or teasing or bullying go to far. Even great kids.

Retriever said...

Poor Jolyn,
I meant to say on your toe, that I find that whenver I have become exhausted looking after my family, that is when I tend to either get sick (which I never do normally) or be in a near accident or trip or the like...So sorry about the toe. Try to remind yourself that it is God's way of getting your attention, to remind you that you perhaps need some rest and care too. Remember that corny but true demo they always do on the airlines, where the stewardess tells you that when the oxygen masks fall down, the parents should put them on first and THEN help them onto the kids. Have you tried those squishy liquid ice packs that can form softly around a sore joint or toe? Tho frozen peas are good too...

Kelly's Ideas said...

You're poor baby and your poor toe..The pictures just break my heart - I hope he is fully recovered... and your toe.....

Olson Family said...

My heart goes out - said a prayer - hope EVERYONE is on the mend. Hang in there.

Mike and Erin said...

So glad Sean Peter's case seems to be lighter than the others. What a blessing! And poor toe!

The Farmer Files said...

WOW! Hope at night you are able to get your rest for the days ahead.