Just a quick catch-up note tonight, but let me start by saying that though I’ve been very worried about my baby the past couple of days, this story has an optimistic ending.
Here’s how it started:
Saturday, John’s sister, Kitty (who’s here visiting from Yakima) and I had a lovely afternoon wandering in and out of shops on Kavanaugh, followed by a lovely dinner at Brave New Restaurant with my sister and brother-in-law, Cathy and Paul, followed by a nice time at Julia and Rich’s in honor of Katie’s graduation from Hendrix (she’s a fellow English major).
Then things changed drastically.
Though little Silas has been under the weather recently, his pediatrician had assured Liz a couple of weeks ago that it was “just allergies,” so the message from Liz was a heart-stopping shock: Her mother’s intuition kicked in that night and, though he didn’t feel particularly hot she’d taken his temperature then called the medical exchange at 9:30 Saturday night. The nurse she talked to could hear Silas breathing in Liz’s arms and told her to get him to the ER immediately. I called her back about 10, the second I got the message.
Since Brent was out of town with his band, John flew over to stay with Jude and Sylvia, and Liz picked me up; we were at Arkansas Children’s Hospital ER by 10:30.
We left Kitty here with the dogs to fend for herself, though John returned in the middle of the night when Brent got home.
Liz and I spent the night in the ER watching Silas, who had a significant fever for a 6-week-old , struggle to breathe and get stuck four times as nurses tried to get an IV started in his tiny veins. I cried like a baby over the first attempt, but Liz was steely.
She only faltered a sec when the doc said Silas might be septic and would probably need a lumbar punch (spinal tap) in addition to blood and urine cultures and a lung x-ray. Whatever it was was serious, and he was admitted for treatment and observation pretty early after arrival, though we didn’t get in a room until 7 a.m.
The poor limp, tiny boy went down for a chest x-ray – Liz got to go with him for that – which showed streaks in his lungs, which in turn demanded the lumbar punch. Fortunately, the early tests from that procedure, called Gram stains, showed no organisms in the fluid, which tentatively rules out sepsis and meningitis, though the cultures have to grow for five days to be 100 percent sure.
The docs are calling it probably an early viral pneumonia or bronchiolitis. I’m calling it the most scared I’ve ever been in my life.
I’m so proud of my daughter. She is a rock. And little Silas is a tough baby boy. He’s so much better after fluids and antibiotics – today he was smiling and cooing, even with his tiny IV to annoy him. If all goes well, he’ll go home sometime tomorrow.
But my life will never be the same. I’ve known for many years how quickly life can turn upside down, truly I have. But I’ve never known it to this dimension. Or in such tiny dimensions. Or with so much pain and force. My heart is in my grandchildren’s little hands.
Kiss your babies and hold them tight, no matter how old or big they are. Some people no longer have that privilege.
And now I’ll try to sleep. My babies are having a better night.