Monday, July 27, 2015

When Your Child is Ill - Part One

June 30, 2015 things began changing our summer of attachment and family time.

Olivia, Braeden, Macy and I drove to Chicago for Olivia's regular check up.  Liam was in summer school and I had a sitter coming for the hour or so after school when we may not be home yet.  At Olivia's check up, all looked great as usual.  Her labs and numbers are always immaculate and she is almost always my healthiest kid.  During that check up they mentioned wanting to give her a pneumococcal vaccine.  They also mentioned the HPV vaccine and in my head I was reviewing some of the scary stories of reactions I've heard of from that vaccine.  They had decided to wait on the HPV vaccine due to a new one coming out which covered even more strains, and I breathed an inside sigh of relief that I wouldn't have to make that decision today.  A pneumococcal vaccine was nothing.  It was something many elderly and those with more risk get all. the. time.  It was safe.

Or so I thought.

Believe me when I say I've never been an "anti-vaccine" parent.  I've really never put a lot of thought into vaccines at all until recently as I've heard more and more in the news regarding scary, troubling stories.  But even then I didn't put much into it.  Maybe I should have.  Hindsight is a wonderful thing, right?  If only we could use our hindsight to go back and change some of our decisions, but alas it isn't so.

That night after having gotten the vaccine in her left arm, her arm was hurting.  That's normal, no big deal.

The next day her arm was even more sore and it was hard to move.  Olivia had no fever, no redness, no swelling so I still wasn't worried.  By that evening the pain was worse, she could barely move her arm without flinching, and she was running a slight temp.  I had emailed her Dr from Chicago who amazingly was responding quickly.  She told me what to watch for and that if the fever continued I should probably take her to the ER to be checked out for a skin infection.  It continued.  We went to the ER.  

The Dr sent us home.  She talked about understanding our caution and let us know that what she saw raised no concerns at this time: there was no swelling, no real fever, no redness, and her lymph nodes were ok.  BUT she was careful to point out that if any of these changed, if she had a fever over 102, if there was redness, OR if there was swelling, to PLEASE COME BACK.

Olivia went to bed after returning home.  At 6:30am on July 2, I went to check on her.   She was running a fever of 103, her arm was swollen and the area red.  Great.  Back to the ER we went.  THIS time however we had a Dr who was not so conscientious.  Who looked at us as a "medicaid family".  (Olivia is on medicaid since being adopted through foster care.  If you don't know what that means to SOME medical professionals, be glad, be very very glad.  I guarantee if she was on my insurance the next few hours would have gone COMPLETELY differently.)  This Dr basically told us over and over that they would run some tests (I had still been emailing with her Dr in Chicago and told them to contact her and she had asked them to run some tests) but that he felt this was a "normal reaction."  He kept reminding me that when kids get a shot it's normal to run a temp or have redness or have swelling.  She was given Tylenol and her fever came down to 100.  She was still in lots of pain and the nurses had mentioned about possibly getting her some Motrin as well.  But it never came.  Tests were coming back negative, and the doctor was talking about releasing us.  Olivia's temp began rising again and was 101.  The nurses again mentioned getting her some Motrin, but came back saying that we were going to be released and the Dr said we could give Motrin at home due to costs.  He had also mentioned costs related to her being there longer versus being released.  Oh yes.  It's all about costs.  So we went home and I gave her Motrin.  

The Tylenol was still in effect, and within the hour her fever was back up to 103 on both meds.  

After more emails with her Dr in Chicago, we decided it was best to bring her to the ER there in Chicago.  So I got a place for Braeden to go, a friend was going to come over when Liam returned from summer school and keep him, and the girls and I were on our way to Chicago.

Even though she was in pain, she was still able to be silly with her sister...

After some amazing nurse and doctor visits, more tests, IV fluids, pain meds including morphine, and me trying to find a place to park where I wouldn't be towed, Olivia was admitted to the hospital.  Not long after I came home, knowing she was in great care, to pick up Liam, bring clothes to Braeden who was going to stay with good friends, and spend the night at home with Liam, Macy, and the pets.

The next morning, July 3, I dropped Liam off with friends he was going to stay with (I have the BEST friends!), and Macy and I were off to the hospital.


After running many tests it was determined that she had cellulitis in her arm.  They also thought "something" else was going on, possibly a virus, but they weren't sure.  They ran a LOT of different tests but nothing was coming up except the cellulitis.  They discussed a possible lumbar puncture but ended up not doing that.  Olivia was still having fevers, horrible headaches, was having trouble walking (which I chalked up to being in bed), and could barely move her arm at all still.

Friends stopped up to visit which was a great break.  Even though we were really there such a short time, it felt like an eternity. :)


I went home again that night, and back the next morning, July 4.



That day the Drs discussed that she would be allowed to go home today.  Her fevers were finally under control.  She was on antibiotics that were working for her arm.  (At one point they changed to a stronger antibiotic but she began itching everywhere as a side effect so they went back to the first one.)  And her pain seemed to be manageable on the Norco she was going home with for pain. 

We. Were. Outta. There.


The rest of the day July 4 was ok.  Still having some headaches, still had trouble walking, but no fever and Olivia was glad to be home.  July 5 was still iffy.  No fever but headaches, trouble walking, not eating much, pretty much in bed except to use the bathroom.  Then came July 6 and we were on the road to recovery. 

The kids and I got outside to play with some friends who came over. Olivia had NO headaches, NO fevers, and was eating normally again finally.  She was still very unsteady while walking, but again I chalked it up to being in bed for a few days.

I. Was. Wrong.

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About Me

I am a single mom to four amazing kids; each of whom just happen to have been adopted. The first three were adopted through foster care, and we just completed an international adoption from Haiti. Our family has grown through adoption and I am all the more blessed to know each of my children. I worship a mighty God, teach Special Ed, love bargains, and am inspired by Pinterest... come along with us for the ride!


Olivia - 14

Olivia - 14

Braeden - 11

Braeden - 11

Liam - 9

Liam - 9

Macy - 5

Macy - 5

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What you should know about HIV

-HIV can NOT be spread through casual/household contact. HIV is not spread through hugging, kissing, shaking hands, sharing toys, sneezing, coughing, sharing food, sharing drinks, bathing, swimming or any other casual way. It has been proven that HIV and AIDS can only be spread through sexual contact, birth, breastfeeding and blood to blood contact (such as sharing needles). - HIV is now considered a chronic but manageable disease. With treatment, people who are HIV+ can live indefinitely without developing AIDS and can live long and full lives. - People who are HIV+ deserve to be treated with love, respect, support and acceptance as all people do. Additional information on transmission of HIV can be found on the Center for Disease Control website: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/resources

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Orphan Crisis

• 147 million orphans in the world
• 50 million orphans in Africa 
• Every 14 seconds a child is orphaned by AIDS
• 16,000,000 have been orphaned by AIDS
• Every week, AIDS claims as many lives as American fatalities in the Vietnam War
• 854 million people do not have enough to eat
• Malnutrition is associated with the deaths of 5 million children under the age of five
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Hence the title of my blog

Little Did I Know

Little did I know that the road would be so rocky
Little did I know that the trip would take so long
Little did I know that my heart could hurt so much
Little did I know that God is never wrong

Little did I know that love could be so powerful
Little did I know that a dream so far could go
Little did I know that God would place the right ones
Little did I know that my heart, so large, could grow

Little did I know that a dream has it’s own timing
Little did I know that this day would finally come
Little did I know that four souls would be sent to guide me
Little did I know that they would choose to call me mom

But God knew all along and He had a plan to follow
God knew all along that my dream would soon come true
God knew all along that we five should be together
God knew all along that I’d share it all with you