Wednesday, October 28, 2009
A week ago, I wrote about Staring into the Face of the Swine Flu, did you read that? If you didn't, then you can click on the link there (if you want, ya know, no pressure. I'm going to do a quick review half a sentence from now anyways), or if you did, then you know that my entire family came down with the H1N1 virus about 2 weeks ago, my 10 month old suffering with it the very worst (ok it wasn't even half of a sentence, was it?). Well it turns out that I jumped the gun just a little, when hitting "publish" and posting that article. The ending line for that article had said "7 days after our symptoms started, we survived the Swine Flu", and while that still stands to be true, we all survived the Swine Flu, poor baby Charlie's strain turned on him, not that they were ever on the same side, and developed into pneumonia.
I spent day after day with him in the doctors office. Night after night, sitting on his bedroom floor staring up into his crib, crying while he slept. I held him close to me and whispered "Mommy loves you" into his ears while he got multiple injections of antibiotics in his legs. His drool was dried up, his eyes were dull instead of brilliant, and his chest rattled with every breath. It got to a point where I was sure that he would be hospitalized.
And then one morning he woke up and he smiled? Not a pretend "I'm ok Mom, really" smile, but, a smile. That day at the doctors office, I couldn't get him to keep still, where usually he'd want nothing other than to cling to my chest while sitting in my lap. He was climbing all over the hundreds of things that he had been observing for the past week, but didn't have the energy to reach out for. He was better! He got his final injection of antibiotics that afternoon, and the doctor's cheerful melody of "You can go home Charlie, and lets not see you again tomorrow".
The real proof was when he sat stroller to stroller with his friend Alex in our driveway. He slowly raised his foot (which as you can see, is deliciously chubby and much too fat to fit into any shoe that I've ever found), and started what would end up being one heck of a squishy little baby footed foot war (Alex gave up, Charlie won). The sigh of relief that slipped out with my exhale was loud enough to be hard halfway across the world, and maybe even in all the way up Heaven.
I'd like to say that my worries have completely settled and disappeared, but you know they haven't. Charlie's eating habits and digestion track still haven't returned to normal, which could either be a new food allergy (we're thinking sweet potato, maybe?) that developed while his body was in turmoil, a bacteria overgrowth, or- God knows what. But now he smiles again. And laughs. And he can breathe. No more coughing, no more throwing up, no more high fevers or helpless tears. We still fire up the humidifier in his bedroom, and we still do percussion pats on his back when we start to hear a little bit of a flemmy choke, but for the most part, things have gone back to normal.
This is the hardest part about being a Mother. Feeling the misery of the misery that your child feels.
Not only did Charlie survive the swine flu, but he survived the pneumonia that it left in its wake.