Thursday, February 4, 2010

Wintertime blues

You know, there comes a time when you are a bit embarrassed saying that everyone is sick once again. When taking Emma to our pediatrician on Monday for an ear infection, I asked her in desperation "why are my kids always sick now???" I mean, we wash our hands and try really hard not to lick doorknobs, keyboards, phones, grocery carts or any other germ magnets. I also forbid my little hooligans from making out with any snotty nosed thang...period. So why has this winter been so rough? Her answer: "You have three kids, and Abby is in school."

Abby woke yesterday morning with a huge swollen thumb with a puss pocket the size of Montana on it. I woke with a 101 degree fever. The two combined don't make for a great morning. In my fever induced stupor, I soaked an earring in alcohol and used it to lance Abby's thumb and drain the puss. It was an invention of necessity in the absence of any other pokey thing around. After I cleaned the wound well, I sent her off to school...only to get a call within 10 minutes from the school nurse saying that she needed to be seen by a doc. Nice. 2 visits to the ped in a week. I told the pediatrician that at this point, it is either embarrassing or comical at how often we see her. Abs got an antibiotic out of the trip and instruction not to pick her hangnails anymore and was sent on her merry way back to the germy cesspool they call "a learning institution".
Harboring a fever of 102 at this point, I was afraid that if I went home, my children would live on barbecue chips and Elmo alone while I was curled up in the fetal position moaning my way to we decided to get Nate's scheduled blood work out of the way instead (at a new lab really close to the house with FREE parking, which makes me oh so happy). Then a trip to my doc revealed that I did in fact have some sort of infection (throat, sinus, ingrown eyebrow hair...who knows) which earned me some antibiotics, making 3 of the 5 Ferrells on the good stuff this week. Score. Let me just say that it is truly amazing what antibiotics do to a body. After going to bed in my moany febrile state, I woke up refreshed and fever free. And since not having a fever like that since high school, it gave me a new found sympathy for my chillens when they have the same. That stuff is tough.Nathan, well Nafey boy seems to always throw curve balls our way. The little guy has been anemic since his hospital stay a few weeks ago, and along with our pediatrician and our mito doc, we have been trying to figure out the cause and treatment for it. After yesterday's bloodwork, it seems that there are a few things going on...he seems to have a bit of "anemia of chronic disease" that was made worse with that rough illness he had a few weeks ago, coupled with a low ferritin level (which is a protein that stores iron). His iron studies are fine, but his ferritin is low, so we are going to add some Ferinsol drops for a few weeks to see if we can help restore some of his ferritin. The other issue is that his retic count is normal. It should be high in a time that he is anemic, meaning that the bone marrow would responding correctly to the body's need for more red blood cells. Since his retic count is normal, his bone marrow isn't doing all it should be during this time. The problem is that it takes a lot of energy for the bone marrow to respond correctly and many mito kids have a hard time with this, with some going into bone marrow failure with disease progression. Thankfully, Nate's anemia is not too bad right now (and it came up a little from 2 weeks ago), so we aren't too worried about this yet, but we will need to keep an eye on it. And hopefully the ferinsol drops will do the trick, and we won't have to worry about this at all.So, crazy week indeed in the Ferrell household. Nate is still sleeping great in his big boy bed and hasn't come out even once (where's that wood I can knock?). Apart from some swollen lymph nodes and really dark circles around his eyes, he is doing really well. It's clear his body is trying to fight something right now and I am really hoping he can. We need a break from illnesses around here.


Anonymous said...

I was praying for you all this morning. I hope the Lord will just bless you all!

wandaconner on February 4, 2010 at 6:05 PM said...

If I drive down there will you take me to the doctor so I will get well . . . please! My meds just ain't doin it!

Anonymous said...

i always have felt that i will have finally arrived when i can't remember the pediatricians phone number by memory-----so far i haven't gotten there! Debbie Hamilton

Nicole, Drew, Jack, Megan, Sophie, and Lucy too on February 5, 2010 at 4:34 PM said...

Oh Amber,
You have had a rough time with illness this year! The first year that Jack was in school was bad for us too. It seemed like someone was always sick at any given time. Jack had mono towards the end of kindy. and that just wiped him out for a good two months, oh the memories... Keep up the hand washing and reinforcing the no licking each other rule, it can't hurt. Knock on wood or something hard, we have not had it so..., nope I am not going to finish that sentence as I fear I will jinx us.
Hang in there mama, hope you all start feeling better soon :)

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