Faith’s Hospital Blues

2 10 2005

This past week has marked a difficult time in my tenure as a parent. My daughter was diagnosed with meningitis and had to be hospitalized. I don’t like hospitals or doctors, they tend to make think about my mortality and the fact that at any moment for any number of reasons I could die. That becomes a thousand times more discomforting when my four year old daughter is the target of that worry. Tuesday night was a ban night for her with all of the vomiting and headache and the like. So as good parents go Amy took Faith to the Doctor on Wednesday morning, while I went to work. I get to work about 9am, with a call from the doctor saying Faith needed to go to the hospital to be checked for Meningitis, I was on my way out of work to the hospital by 10:15am. Yes that was a short day even though it felt like a full 8 hours for the worry.
My trip to the hospital was unique for me I had gone to the wrong hospital… Twice. Yes twice, Amy had taken Faith to Primary Children’s Hosp, for most of my life this hospital was in a certain place where I was (in my current state of mind) familiar with, apparently they moved some years ago. I mean it’s not like I spend my free time hanging out at the hospital for kicks. After parking on the far side from the emergency room where there was available parking and working my way through the medical labyrinth I had the unique opportunity to look the fool to a very confused clerk my mistake was realized. The “twice” is due in part to a wrong turn from the half assed directions from said clerk. And in a startling revelation “I knew exactly where I needed to go, I knew because I had been there before for my daughter when she was two and found out the halfway that she is allergic to penicillin.” Now you do have to remember I was panicking about my daughter’s condition.
After another several hours sitting in an emergency room getting to witness the agony of Faith’s spinal tap, I was ready to be done with the emergency room. Then the resident practiceoner told me that the test came back positive for meningitis. This was the middle of the beginning of two and a half long days in a small room watching my little girl get plugged into several machines. This was the worst Matrix remake I have ever witnessed. I was amazed at how many times I kept thinking about that movie while there. Wednesday and Thursday were terrible having to watch Faith look so worn and lifeless knowing how vibrant she spends most of her days. As a parent it is the most painful experience to see you child in pain and discomfort not knowing what misery was ahead. There are two types of meningitis Viral and Bactirial/Fungul.
Viral is what most people get and if you have the choice go with viral. The virus is like a bad cold of flu that takes several days to get over in the normal way of drinking lots of fluid and getting plenty of rest as I discovered on the internet only about 30% of people have symptoms bad enough to see a doctor. Most just dismiss it as being a cold or flu.
Bacterial /fungal is the worse way to go. The treatment is 21 days of strong antibiotics taken by I/V and everyone you’ve come in contact with will have to take antibiotics as well as having the health department get involved.
With the time available in the hospital to ask doctors, nurses and looking up on the internet, it works like this: Your brain and nervous system are surrounded by a fluid to separate the skull and vertebrae from contact and causing pressure. Meningitis is an infection of that fluid, and since that fluid circulates to and from a pool at the bottom of your spine the only way to get a sample is via a spinal tap.
The test is an impatient person’s worst nightmare; the spinal fluid has to be cultivated in two batches. One to test for the virus and the second to test for bacteria. The virus test is long several hours we didn’t find out Faith was sick with the virus until Thursday morning after a hard night of not sleeping until 4am for me. I let Amy sleep until I couldn’t stay awake anymore then she took over watch duty while I slept until 9am.
Though she tested positive for the virus and it’s unlikely that someone get infected by both it is precautionary to wait for the results of the bacterial test that takes 48 hours to run.
By Thursday night Faith was almost back to her normal self as I said before is vibrant and after two days in bed she wanted out. This resulted in her understanding of when she pushes the nurse call button a nice young woman in a mask comes in to see what they can do for her. And my daughter used this new found power to torment and torture at lease three nurses by my count. In any normal situation Faith has the cuteness factor to manipulate the masses. Now with cute, sick and a button to summon minions, the taste of power has corrupted her.
Friday started with the good news of no plague started by my kin, we get to go home without having to be quarantined for meningitis bacterial infection. My little girl felt special one last time by the wheel chair ride out, and then was less than enthused about not getting to take the wheel chair home.

With the hospital stay behind us I take a great sigh that the situation is over and ended without a more stressful ending. And then another sigh in dread of the medical bills to follow for the next 3 to 6 months, but my family is healthy and safe and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

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One response

6 10 2005
Baron Samedi

I was so very relieved to hear that Faith was going to be okay. Once again you and your family have provided another deterrent for anyone thinking about children to reconsider. I cannot imagine the fear and feeling of helplessness that takes hold when ones child is ill. On the upside I have leaned more than I ever dreamed to about the joys of bacterial and fungal meningitis! Should you find the need to black bag and curb the mentioned clerk I would be honored!
Now! Since you have obviously been humping the leg of one “Bill Nye the Science guy…perhaps you could tell me what is causing this itching, burning, and irritation on and around my buttocks? It all started that night the call girl came over!!

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