AUGUST 24, 2015
Times like these I have learned that sometimes I have to thank God for it just being a virus. A friend of ours has a son with the exact same medical issues that my son Matthew has. He spiked a very high fever and he was rushed to the hospital. You see, fever in babies with tubes sticking out of their bodies often means INFECTION. And infection in their small, often tired, bodies means SICK… very very sick. After a few hours of testing, her sons tests came back negative with no infection.
She asked for advice because I told her that Matthew has been through the same situation. High fever but all labs and blood cultures show negative on infection. I told her after 9 days in the hospital, Matthew was found to be fighting off the common cold. NINE DAYS FOR A COLD! THAT is how sensitive our sons immune systems are… Nine days in the PICU fighting off a common cold. It was scary. Matthew’s fever was so high he had a seizure. Unfortunately this other little boy was going through the same thing. His mama came into our support group, in obvious fear for her baby boy. She was asking if anyone has gone through this or of anyone has any idea what it could be. I told her that Matthew has been through the same thing and we compared symptoms. I checked on her over the next few days and sure enough… her son seems to have had the same thing…a common cold.
She so distraught about a cold. I remember the time when I was distraught over a cold. I remember feeling exactly the same way that she is feeling right now. Complete shock at what the common cold can do to our baby boys. I mean, when you think of a cold, you think sniffles and sneezing and maybe even a little cough. After about 5-7 days you are over it and life goes on. But that isn’t the story for our boys. Our kidney warriors have very weak immune systems. Their tiny bodies have been fighting big ugly diseases, sicknesses, surgeries and infections since before they were born. Their tiny little bodies sometimes don’t find the strength to fight off such a little virus like the common cold. But when that virus enters their body without any defense blocking them… they wreak havoc in our boys bodies.
I spoke to a mama once who’s baby girl dies from complications from a common cold. COM-PLI-CA-TIONS…from the CO-MM-ON C-O-LD!!! (that was me emphasizing those three words) COMPLICATIONS from the COMMON COLD. It just seems so surreal sometimes. I remember when Matthew first came home from the NICU. It was the last week of November. And the flu season was in full effect. We were told over and over again to keep him inside. RSV season was in full effect. Preemies die because of RSV!! I was in such a panic. I kept him and his twin sister home for months and months on end. I took them out on two occasions… I took them to church. BOTH times Matthew got sick. BOTH times Matthew ended up in the hospital. After that…. I didn’t take him out of the house until it was about two months PAST the flu and RSV season. I wanted to make DOUBLE sure that he couldn’t get sick.
My bubble was my safe haven. I like my bubble. It just seems so crazy to me that our boys can die from a common cold. Weird how life works… But, at least because of our bubble I am able to say, “Thank you for just being a virus.”