Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Fears Realized

(The Columbia River Valley)

The nurse on-call arrived Friday morning to look at Giovanni's rash.  He was a jovial Texan, and the head of all the nursing staff for the home health office.  He became more somber though as he looked over the red bumps that were spreading all over my son's chest and back.

The nurse shook his head as he told me that the rash wasn't from the new tape and dressing.  The rash was my toddler's body telling everyone that it had had enough.  We knew from the beginning of all this that an allergic reaction to the antibiotics was a risk.  To not give him the antibiotics would have been certain death, so the risk was definitely worth it!  But now the fear that my son's body might start rejecting the antibiotics had become reality.

The nurse made some phone calls to the lab and to the Infectious Disease doctor on his cell, and I quickly called my husband at work.  When the nurse had gathered all the info he needed, he gave it to me straight:  Since the allergic reaction wasn't severe, the Infectious Disease doctor wanted to wait until Wednesday to see what Giovanni's numbers were like and to do another xray.  His sed rate wasn't coming down as quickly as she wanted.  When blood was drawn on Monday, the 26th, his sed rate was at 71 (normal is below 20).  The other indicator was also well above normal (I'm afraid I never wrote down what it was!), 5(?), when it needed to be below 0.8.  We had to keep the Claritin and Benadryl going, but as soon as Giovanni began to show signs of the allergic reaction worsening he was to go the ER immediately.

If the allergy worsened and the numbers were not down, they would have to find another antibiotic.  The hope was that the sed rate would come down by at least another 30 points, but it had taken three weeks for the numbers to go from 100 when he left the hospital to the 71 of the last test, four days previous to all of this. 

I asked the nurse if it was possible for the numbers to be low enough next week to take him off the meds.  He smiled and told me in his Texas drawl, "Ma'am, really us doctors and nurses are only makin' the best guesses we can.  I've seen numbers be high and in a few days they're normal.  I've seen patients get better quicker than any doctor thought was possible.  So, yes ma'am, the unexpected good things still happen all the time."

He knew we were Christians and encouraged me to keep praying.  We did!

I wrote e-mails to friends and to our church small group to let them know what was happening.

I continued to fast and pray, but it wasn't a burden.  I can remember fasts when it felt like drudgery.  Instead I had constant peace, I was never hungry or faint, and I read the Bible with joy.

That night, Giovanni became unusually fussy.  He was breathing all right and the rash hadn't worsened, so Antonio and I let him sleep in our bed so that we would notice any changes right away.  Once we were all snuggled in, we fell asleep peacefully.  I didn't know what would happen, but I firmly trusted the Lord that all would be well no matter what.

I never imagined that the morning of January 31, 2009 would start the way that it did.

© 2009-2015 Emily Woodham

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