It’s been a rough few days, my friends.
Apollo has been sleeping with Jubilee for the last few weeks. She enjoys it and he is now in the routine of going to bed when the younger kids do. He hasn’t done this since his first heart surgery on March 7, 2012. He was always a lousy sleeper, but it was then that his fear of sleep started and we could no longer just “put the kids to bed”.
Anyway, this has been a pretty sweet deal. Except for the fact that he gets tube fed “all night” long, which really means that anywhere from four to six am (depending on when we start the pump) I am awakened by his pump alarm going off. This means walking down the hall, into the girls’ room, stopping the pump, flushing his extension, unhooking his extension, and turning off the pump. All without, hopefully, waking him. Or the girls.
But this is a whole lot better than the first three nights home from New Zealand when he was still in my and Chuck’s bed. That entailed having a pump with a bright LCD screen shining on my face going click-click-click-whrrr-whrr-whrr every fifteen or twenty seconds. All. Night. Long. Yes, much better that he is down the hall with Jubilee who sleeps peacefully through the noise.
Judah, Tilly, and Enoch have been up in Canada since Thursday night, attending Missions Fest with my in-laws. This is great, except that I’ve been home with sick kids and no teens to help (Iris is working) and Chuck has worked the last two Saturdays. This means I have been trying to keep two fires going in our wood stoves (one upstairs and one downstairs) since I didn’t have anyone home with the appropriate Fire Making Skills. And then there was the moment I realized we were completely out of toilet paper. Seriously, not even one lonely square was left in our house. And I had to face the daunting decision between remaining home, paperless, or loading up seven kids, and driving into town to buy some more.
Then Thursday night Apollo developed a cough and fever. Two things that we can’t ignore because of his complicated health history (including his double aortic arch and a previous bout of RSV). I thought for sure I would have to head to the doctor with him on Friday. Much to my surprise, though, he awoke happy and fever-free. He still had a cough but was managing very well. Saturday night, however, his cough came back with a vengeance. He also had a fever of 101. He was in good spirits though, so we put him to bed with Jubilee like (our new) normal. I checked on him several times while Chuck and I watched a movie. I headed to bed first, and when Chuck came, he arrived lugging a coughing, feverish Apollo and his IV pole and pump. He coughed and coughed through the night, jerking, thrashing, and mumbling as only a feverish child can do. In the morning his temp was over 102.7 and he was working to breathe. While Chuck and I were getting ready to take him to the ER (it’s Sunday here, so our doctor’s office is closed) he has several coughing fits where he lost color in his face because he couldn’t catch his breath.
Now, we would never have taken another of our children to the doctor with Apollo’s symptoms, but we have to be very cautious with him. The silver lining, I suppose, to a child like Apollo is he is generally taken right back once the hospital pulls up his chart on their computer. To make a long story short, he was given a chest x-ray checking for pneumonia and tested for RSV and flu (even though he’s had his flu shot, the ER doc said the flu vaccine it is “51% effective” this year). All three, thank God, came out negative. Apollo was given medicine for his fever and steroids to help his breathing and we were sent, uneventfully, home. Just a normal, nasty cold for a boy who rarely does “normal”.
Later this evening, Apollo said to me, “Next time, when I’m at the hospital and no one is hurting me, or doing bad things, I’m going to finish watching the movie” referring to the movie he had been watching in the ER.
And so we’re home. And I am so very, very relieved that he has a very normal (if nasty) cold. Here’s to a better, healthier, more restful week!
I just wanted to say that you guys (you, chuck, and oh well all of your family) have always been a real treat to know. I think you folks are a real special bunch. I pray that The Lord keeps empowering you though your day.
In other words… “I really wanted to see the ending and you ruined it…” LOL!
Praying he contiunes to improve! What a good big sister!
Oh how I remember those night with Esther and her feeding pump – it was so incredibly wrong to have a child who peacefully slept through the night every night, but a feeding pump that would wake me up every 4 hours with the most awful alarm in the world. So glad that you were able to come back home with him. Every time we are facing taking Esther to the ER, I’m like thinking I should pack a bag for staying at the hospital for days…I refrain hoping/praying that we get to come back home. It has been over 2 years since we had an unexpected hospital stay, but that feeling comes back every time! Praying for a quick recovery!
Did your week semi remind you when the oldest in the house was 1o? I know you dont make your kids raise your kids, but there is such a silver lining when they turn 12 in helping out. 🙂 I was talking to someone about having lots of kids and they said the harddest part was when the oldest set were still young. 🙂 Glad Apollo is doing better. Poor little guy. I know you dont really do movies, but just for a treat (do to Apollos comment) maybe consider taking your crew to see Frozen? It was very well done and appropriate. All my crew loved it. It should be coming out to the 3 dollar show soon. 🙂
Trying to decide when to go to the emergency department is one of the most difficult aspects of parenting, I think. I also think you made the appropriate choice. Way to go. Glad it’s just a cold.
So sorry to hear Apollo has not been well. Hopefully he’s on the mend! I would have been happy to give you few rolls of toilet paper…just give me a call if you ever find yourself in a similar situation again. My stockpile doesn’t rival that of the extreme couponers you hear about, but I usually have plenty of tp among other essentials on hand and happy to share if needed!
Thanks, Kris. It didn’t even occur to me to give you a call…probably because even though we’re geographically close, the forest between us makes my house feel isolated. I’ll remember that for next time!