Things have been slowly but steadily improving with T and I... we still have a long ways to go, but we have been moving forward.
I have also been making progress financially, getting old medical bills and things paid off, setting up payment plans for others, I had a budget plan in place that would have had me completely debt free by July of next year which is a major accomplishment for me as I have been in debt for 10 years... not with credit cards, just with unpaid medical expenses and one really stupid mistake when I was 18 involving me getting a cell phone and allowing my brother and a friend to get lines under my plan... Believe me, hard lesson learned there!
Anyway, things were really starting to look up... Then BAM!
It started when I got a phone call at work from my sons school about 2 1/2 weeks ago telling me that my 8yr old son had brought 3 pocket knives to school and given them to another 3rd grader.... I almost had a heart attack right there. A long story short, it wasnt true. Another student had accused my son to try and keep himself out of trouble. That situation got taken care of, but thanks to my company's retarded attendance policy, me leaving work that day to talk with my sons principal and the police put me in a bad situation and according to them I am not allowed to miss anymore time at all til after Christmas... Yea, right.. thats gonna happen...
Almost as if to prove my point, exactly one week later on Tues I received another phone call from my sons school telling me that I needed to come pick up my son right away. I arrive to find E shaking from head to toe and a fever of 103. Now what do I do? I cant stay home with my sick child for fear of losing my job, I cant take my sick child to daycare... My only other option is to leave my son with T which means that T will not get sleep because he works 3rd shift... (My kids are a touchy subject with us as Im sure they are for anyone in a relationship where there are children that are not biologically their own. T and I are still trying to work out roles and responsibilities when it comes to them, and its a hard road... This situation of course did not help, but we both knew there was no other option.) So, I leave E with T, and head back to work for my final 3 hours then rush home to pick up my son and make his doctors appt..
Whew! Made it with about 2 minutes to spare, and I have to carry my son in my arms up the elevator because he cant walk. At the appt. I am told E just has a virus and to let it run its course...hmm, ok...
I have to work the next day, and we have already covered how my employer will handle that... so once again I have to leave E with T.
When I return home, my son is still running 103 temp, and is now crying in pain and tells me his knee hurts. I try to take a look at it, but as soon as I go to move his leg he screams in pain. To the ER we go! At the ER they x-ray his knee, draw his blood for regular lab work and blood cultures... they tell me his wbc is very low, that he has arthritis in his knee, and that the rest is a virus and to let it run its course, but to follow up with family doctor the next day about his knee. Sigh.
That brings us to Thursday, and for the 3rd day in a row I have to drag my poor son to a doctors office of one sort or another... But at least I am on my first day of vacation now, so I dont have to worry about displeasing my employer by taking care of my sick child....
At the doctors office I am informed that there is nothing wrong with E's knee, that what the ER doc saw was simply a growth plate.. BUT, the rest of E's blood work has come back and his monocyte levels are extremely high and doctor is fairly certain my son has Mono... WTF? How does an 8yr old get Mono? So, we are sent to the lab again to do one more blood test just to confirm the mono diagnosis... On the plus side, E is cleared for vaca travel the next day as he is now past the contagious stage, which makes him VERY happy as it is all he has talked about for the past month and he was sure he wasn't going to get to go because he was sick.
Late that afternoon I get a phone call from the office... The lab work has confirmed that it is NOT mono... Its just a virus, let it run its course, have a great vacation, the fever should break anytime...
That night his temp hit 104.4
Friday morning, 1 hour before we are supposed to hit the road... E's temp is down to 99.9, so T and I discuss it and we decided to go after all. The doctor told us his fever should break in 2-3 days and we are at the beginning of day 4... We are sure that the high spike the night before was just the fever peaking before the break.
The first leg of our vacation is to travel to a car ferry then take the ferry across Lake Michigan over to Wisconsin where we are going to stay with T's family.
I bet you can't guess what happened right in the middle of the Lake... Yep,... 102.3.
I give E some Tylenol and T takes him to a quiet room on the boat while I try to keep my 6yr old daughter entertained... Thankfully we had left the baby at home for this trip!
By the time we dock then take the 20 min car ride from there to T's uncles house E is doing much better and I start to relax a little... Silly me!
Once we had arrived I made E lay down in the bed turned on some cartoons for him, gave him a dose of Motrin and just kept an eye on him. He was doing well one minute, then about 10 minutes later he is calling for me. I go to him and once again he is burning up, he is crying and screaming that his knee hurts, he is begging me to take him to the hospital and when I look at his knee I can see that it is now swollen. For the 4th day in a row, guess where we now go? We are of course out of state and have no doctors we are familiar with, but we take him to a nearby hospital which just so happens to be one of the top 100 in the nation. The process there was very similar to the one 2 nights previous, x-rays, blood work, blood cultures... and the verdict comes back the same. Its a virus, go home, let it run its course and its probably just an unknown injury to the knee. The only difference was that his wbc count was even lower then it had been before.
We go back to T's uncles house and for the rest of the night and all day Saturday E stays in bed and I alternate the Tylenol and Motrin to keep his fever down and the pain in his knee under control. I let up a little Sat night just to see where the fever stood, but it shot right back up to 103, so I continued to keep him medicated the rest of the night and into Sun morning.
Early Sunday afternoon I receive a phone call from the ER in Wis... They proceed to tell me that I need to bring E back in right away so they can put him on IV antibiotics. One of his blood cultures came back positive and he has a Staph infection in his blood.
Wait! What happened to the virus that I was letting run its course?! I want that diagnosis back!
So on Sunday back to the ER we go where they hook my son up to an IV and draw more blood work. Then we are told they wont admit him, but we have to go see their pediatrician the next day before we do anymore travelling. Our original plans had been to head back on the boat Monday afternoon, but we cancelled those reservations and made ones for Tuesday instead.
On Monday we go to this new doctor who proceeds to tell us that he thinks the Staph diagnosis was wrong, but in all honesty they have no idea what is wrong with my son because his range of symptoms and blood work are all over the place pointing to everything and nothing all at the same time. He decides the safest thing to do is put E-man on an antibiotic that coincides with the IV treatment he got and follow up with our family doctor as soon as we get home.
By Tuesday morning E is doing much, much better and seems to be himself again as we get on the boat and head home. I make an appt for him for his follow up on Wens which also happens to be my last day of vacation. I figure, this will work out perfectly! E is obviously doing better, the antibiotics are doing their job, he will get the all clear and be able to go back to school, and I will be able to go back to work right on time! Heh...
Wens morning I get a phone call... The doctor is sick and they have to reschedule for Thurs.
That phone call sent T over the edge. The stress of the last week just built up in him and that phone call was the final straw. He threw his phone across the room, yelled about nothing ever going right, threw a few other things then left the house... I have never in all my time with him seen him come even close to any type of violent behavior, and it scared me. I was glad he had left because he obviously needed to cool down... but 7 hours later when he still wasnt home.... He did finally come home, but I got the silent treatment all night.
That brings us to today... I was able to schedule E's appointment around my lunch hour so there was no missed work time, and as expected he was given the all clear, I just have to take him in next week for one final blood draw just to make sure his system is clear....
I am so thankful that after everything he went thru my poor little guy is going to be ok... Its just been a very long stressful couple of weeks, and quite frankly I am terrified of all the medical bills that will start pouring in... 2 out of state ER visits, an out of state doctors office visit, 1 ER visit at home, 3 doctors visits...and all within 1 week.... not to mention the lab work next week. I do have health insurance thru my employer, but they dont exactly have the greatest of plans, the deductibles are very high, and I have no state aide because I am considering non compliant for protecting my youngest daughter....(but thats a whole other story)
I just really have no idea what I'm going to do...
I think I need a vacation.....