My dear Dori (from Nemo) gave this advice to Marlin, "Just keep swimming, swimming!" That's where I'm at right now. I'm in swimming mode. Ashton is sick. Very sick. I took him back to the doctor (thank you Lord for weekend hours) and picked up three more prescriptions. Poor guy. He's not liking doctors a whole lot right now. But I digress before it's time.
Swimming mode - It's kind of like autopilot. You know what needs to be done and you just make it happen. I have not slept more than a 2 to 3 hour stretch all this week. Nights have been the worst on Ashton so far. Last night he was in so much pain that he barely wanted to be touched. Talk about helpless. Watching your child want to be held, but then being so uncomfortable and inconsolable, that's a helpless feeling. I don't know how to describe it. I just think it's a small example of what God went through when he had to stand back and watch Christ endure his torture. I can imagine how much he wanted to hold Jesus in his arms but could not lay a hand on him in his pain. Not an exact analogy, but these situations make that sacrifice come to life even more.
So as of today, it's looking more like Mono. As I said in the previous post, I was floored. Part of me was still skeptical, but after talking with the doctor today, I'm more convinced they are right. I had the doctor explain a little more about how Ashton got this mess. He said Mono is caused by the Epstein Barr Virus. Many of us have been infected with this virus and have not realized it. It shows up as a small fever and general tiredness and goes away after a few days. In the majority of cases, mono symptoms never manifest. It's looking like Ashton is not that lucky. His lymph nodes and tonsils were so swollen that they would eventually close if he didn't get some stronger medicines. Dr. G. said that the youngest patient he's had with mono was 6 months old and that some of the cases end up in the ICU because of the danger of the throat swelling shut. It's scary stuff folks.
I asked him about Sarah and Brenna catching it. He said that it's like strep or any other virus in that regard. It's spread in saliva. Washing hands is a big thing. Brenna is the most likely of the two to get it because Ashton loves to share with her and the have common toys. Lord willing we'll be able to prevent that from happening. Then we talked about my mother-in-law. She's going through chemo right now and I wanted her to be protected from this. I knew that the news was probably not going to be good, but I had to ask how it would affect her. The long and short of it is that my MIL is very susceptible to this and it could cause really nasty illnesses to pop up. Those illnesses would make mono look attractive. So we will not be able to have her over for a few weeks. This part makes it even harder. My in-laws are awesome and they are such a blessing to us. And to me. Grammy is great with the kids and she just steps in and helps with the chores that I can't do while working with Ashton. Plus I love visiting with her. It's going to be tough.
That said, Dr. G. sent us to the hospital to get some blood work to see if this is actually what Ashton has and to check some other blood levels. I'll hear back on most of the tests tomorrow.
Now to the cute part. The Tylenol was kicking in when we arrived to the hospital. I signed Ashton into the lab and we sat down to wait for our turn. A few minutes later we were headed back to the room where they draw blood. I laid him down on the table and talked with him to keep him calm. The two ladies working were phenomenal! They chatted with Ashton and constantly kept readjusting the tension band on his arm because it was bothering him. They tried one arm but could not get blood. Ashton was so brave. He was trying not to cry and I could see the tough look on his face. It made me want to cry for him.
After the failed first attempt, they switched arms. Sticking the needle in was the worst, but he calmed down quickly. Praise the Lord, the blood started flowing. Ashton stared at it. He wanted to know what was happening. I told him that the ladies needed to get the red juice out of his arm. Then I went on to tell him how people would look at the "juice" to see how he was feeling and to help get him better. I asked him if he knew that he had "juice" in his arms and he said with certainty, "Yes." After that he was intrigued. Tears aside, he watched them take the vials of blood requested and didn't fuss when the needle came out.
Once the ladies finished and gauze band aids were applied, I was able to pull him into my arms. One of the nurses asked him if he wanted to get something from the treasure chest. Of course he did. She asked, "Do you want a bear or a football?" He thought about it a few seconds and looked at her and said, "Both!" We laughed and my little man walked out of there with a football and a bear!
Now we're home. I had to cancel my babysitting for next week and may have to do it for another week. I just need to be able to focus on getting Ashton better for the time being. Ashton is in a drug induced peaceful sleep and I'm debating on a nap before the guys get back from church!
Please keep us in your prayers. This past week was tough and Daniel may have to cancel a youth mission trip that was planned for next week. I was going to be the cook and one of the chaperons. But with Ashton being so ill I had to bow out. The doctor said we may need to expect another week or two of this. And we'll just have to keep swimming through until he's past it.
One-Pot Chicken Pesto Pasta by Erica
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