Friday, March 16, 2012

Viral Battleground

No one wants to come to our house.


And if you wanted to come, I would say no and keep you from walking inside.

It all started a couple of weeks ago when Eliza and I threw up in the middle of the night. We thought it was some sort of 24 hour stomach flu until Eliza threw up again a couple of days later. Since then, she has felt progressively worse and has developed a number of symptoms that seemed like the common cold. She would sneeze and cough, but acted like her happy usual self.

Then, on Tuesday, she started waking up in the middle of the night, feverish and coughing so hard that we could tell it was hard for her to breathe. We noticed her lips had turned a slight shade of purple, and I realized it was time to immediately take her to the doctor. When Nathan spoke to her, she responded in Portuguese--not normal (he has been teaching her Portuguese since she was born, but she never speaks in it subconsciously).  First thing on Wednesday, she was seen. I stayed home with Ezra and Elliott, while Nathan took her in for a visit with a family practitioner, as the pediatrician was unavailable. 

According to Nathan, Eliza was quickly examined and the physician said Eliza was over whatever she had. The doctor said her lungs sounded good and everything looked normal (and then prescribed three medications just in case we wanted an antibiotic for the sickness she was supposedly "over"). That night though, the same routine happened: Eliza woke up soaking wet, crying, and coughing so hard she vomited. Nathan was up all night with her and she did not eat at all on Thursday. She would intermittently nap and fell asleep sitting straight up. She was afraid to lay down because she had thrown up once while sleeping and it scared her--of course that would be traumatic for a two year old. She could only be comforted by "Daddy-ah."
After three days of not eating enough or sleeping at all, I decided to take Eliza back in to any doctor that could see us. This time I was going to take her, and I was not allowing someone to just glance over her without any thought. We needed a second opinion because I was convinced she had RSV. She had every symptom and the other doctor telling Nathan she was "fine" was not cutting it.

All of the doctors were booked, so we waited as a "walk-in" patient and prayed we would be seen by a different doctor. Eliza was running around, acting perfectly normal, but coughing up a storm. When I told the receptionist she hadn't eaten or slept in three days, she gave me a look as if to say, "I don't believe you." Eliza looked fine, but in reality she was just loopy from exhaustion.
We were taken back and met the nicest doctor, who actually went to BYU (a fellow alumni, woohoo!). Eliza was weighed and was down 3 pounds in just two days. When you weigh only 32 pounds, losing three of them is a big deal. He then listened to all of my concerns and then checked Eliza's ears first. He could immediately tell she had a double ear infection. He went to her chart and read the other doctor's note from Wednesday, which said: "Ears are clean and normal." Apparently, her infection is pretty severe, so there is no way her ears were just fine on Wednesday. I then told him her other symptoms and he could tell I was worried. I requested an RSV and flu test (the other doctor didn't even suggest this). Instead of making me wait for the results at the clinic, he told me he would call me as soon as the test was complete and would have whatever prescriptions we needed waiting for us at the pharmacy. Nice man.

He called twenty minutes later and confirmed the RSV. Yes, I am amazing thanks to Google. Any mother with common sense and/or an Internet connection would have been able to diagnose this case. She will have breathing treatments at home, along with steroid shots, an inhaler, and a range of antibiotics. Hopefully, she feels better soon.

But wait...there's more.

Did I mention that Cheryl, my mother-in-law, has a horrible case of the flu? And pneumonia? She has been in bed since Sunday and has been unable to eat, walk, work, live, function. I can't believe she hasn't gone to the doctor, but she knew there wasn't really anything for the flu other than Tylenol and Advil. Now that it has moved to her lungs (and she's lost 8 pounds), she plans on going to the doctor first thing in the morning.

Oh, and Nathan and I both have the beginning stages of strep throat.

All of these things being said, I am so happy that Ezra and Elliott are thriving. They have been happy the last two days and have even slept well during the night. I consider it a true blessing that they do not have RSV or flu symptoms after being so thoroughly exposed to both viruses. I continue to pray that they are protected and kept safe from any harm.

Nathan and I are definitely learning from this experience. We have grown closer as a family as we survive yet another "panic mode" week, and I cannot believe we are handling everything so well considering the circumstances. We know things could always be worse, so we are grateful for the challenges we have. After seeing what Cheryl has gone through the past several days, I will not complain about having a sore threat and headache.

Instead, I will count my blessings and give thanks for modern medicine, caring doctors, supportive spouses, loving friends, and two healthy babies.


  1. So, holy crap. This sickness is serious! We're praying for everyone there to get better and stay healthy. I'm so glad the boys have been unaffected. They are too cute. I've got a theory that their delicious chubbiness is protecting them. ;)

  2. Oh wow, what a mess!! You guys are totally full of germs over there! I am so impressed the boys are still healthy. You've given them an awesome immune system! I hope everyone feels better soon! I didn't know everyone was so terribly sick, otherwise maybe I would have stopped Ben from sending that inappropriate (although hilarious) text last night. :)

  3. Lady, I'm telling you that I bet the boys aren't sick because of your breast milk. Ella has been sick a few times this winter and Hazel hasn't had anything more than a cold and I credit it to nursing. Way to go mama. Hope everyone in your house starts to feel better soon! That picture of Eliza and Nathan sleeping sitting up made me want to cry just a little.


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