God taught me this lesson years ago that the same old, same old is a blessing. When my oldest daughter, Madison, was about seven, she got sick with a fever. I took her to the doctor. I was told she had a cold. Lots of liquids, rest, and Motrin or Tylenol was the prescription in which I was sent home.
Days later she still was not any better. I took her back in to be told that she must have the flu. The flu test had come back negative, but the flu was going around that December. The doctor told me that the flu should go away in 4-5 days. On day five, Madison had not gotten better, but had gotten worse. Her fever, which initially had been in the low hundreds, was skyrocketing up to 106 degrees often throughout the day. As a mother, this just did not feel right to me. There was something in my spirit that felt there was something else going on here.
When day 5 arrived after her flu diagnosis, we were again in the doctor’s office. She was not better. She was worse. She was running extremely high fevers especially at night. However, every time I took her into the doctor’s office, her temperature would be around 100 degrees. It’s like taking your car into the mechanic, and it doesn’t duplicate the discrepancy you have been having. There was a part of me that wondered if the two doctors in the practice thought I was making it up. There was a bigger part of me though that really didn’t care. My daughter was sick.
They did a blood test that day and said that she had the antibodies for Epstein Barr which is one form of Mononucleosis. Mono was the new diagnosis. Already, she was approaching week three of being sick so the doctor thought possibly just 2 weeks more of the Mono. Usually during the day, she would run 102-103 degrees. I was actually happy to see those numbers, because mostly at night she would skyrocket to 105.7, 104.9, 105.6. Tylenol and Motrin would bring the fever down only a degree. Cold sponge baths in the middle of the night were exhausting for me and for Madison. Carl had also been out of town a lot of this time so I was going it alone.
I stayed the course in caring for her, but my mind was working. No one else was getting sick. Carl and I had both had Mono in our teenage years and neither remembered such high fevers. Something nagged at my spirit. I took her back to the doctor after one rough night only to be told everything was fine and go home. Time went by. She seemed to be a little better, but she was very week. The school agreed to take her back for a half day for a week or two to not wear her out. Unfortunately, on the weekend after her first week back, she relapsed.
We were now in mid-January. This had been going on for almost 5 weeks. That Saturday Madison said, “Mom, I think I am getting my fever again.” My heart sank. She began to shake uncontrollably. I said, “Here it comes.” I knew this pattern. She would shake uncontrollably almost like a woman in transition in labor. Within 15-30 minutes, her fever would be up in the 105 range. I chalked it up to too much activity. She had relapsed.
This time was different though. She could not keep any food down. Two days went by with no food. Everything I gave her came up. I called the doctor on day two and told her of our relapse, the still high fevers, and the throwing up. I asked her if this was normal for mono to relapse and to have these symptoms. She told me no and if she were not any better by the next day to bring her in. As I got off the phone with her, she said to me, “I hope I don’t see you tomorrow.” I can’t explain the serious way she said those words to me, but I knew it was not good.
I sobbed that afternoon to my friend, Lei Ann, on the phone. You know the cry when you are not hardly making any sound, and you might have stopped breathing too. The ugly cry. I gave Madison a bath that night. She was wasting away. Her eyes were sunken in and black. As I bathed her, I had to keep from crying as you could now see her tail bone showing itself on her rear end. During that bath, I thought to myself, She is dying in front of my eyes. I feel helpless.
That night produced more fever, and I took her in the next day. To my relief actually, they admitted her to the hospital. I finally felt that one way or another, someone was going to find out what was wrong with my baby. She ran her normal fever that night. The nursing staff went into hyper drive in the middle of the night. The nurse said, “This is one sick girl.” Duh, I wanted to say to her. Her fever was finally witnessed by someone other than our family, and I couldn’t help but be glad. They were finally seeing what I had known for weeks. This was one sick girl.
Madison finally getting to eat. We ordered everything on the menu for her to get some meat on her bones!
In the end after days of pokes and prods, we found out she had a bladder infection and a kidney infection which had caused scarring on one kidney since it had gone on so long. Mega doses of antibiotics were given. The ravenous girl was allowed to eat. Sweet people and friends from church brought me snacks since I was 6 months pregnant with our third child, and I didn’t want to leave her side. She got healthy enough to leave. I remember us walking out of that hospital hand-in-hand with Madison in the middle, and Carl and I on either side of her. It was a bright and sunny Texas day. I remembering tearing up and saying aloud, “Thank You Lord”. We were walking out of that hospital with a child who was better and would continue to get better. Some parents would not be able to do the same.
Dad, Madison, and Mom, 6 months pregnant with our third child, Lauren. Madison was on the road to recovery.
One thing I learned from that experience is that you have got to be the advocate for your child. The doctors are more educated that me in medicine, but nothing can take away my mother’s intuition. If a diagnosis doesn’t seem right, you need to fight for your child. Doctors see common problems and identify common viruses or diseases. Doctors are human too, and they can get it wrong sometimes. To the doctors credit in this instance, extreme kidney pain is a symptom of a kidney infection. She had no pain. They had even pushed and prodded on her. She was a rare case, because she doesn’t experience any pain when she has this type of infection and so has to be watched more closely.
Most of all, I learned that the same old, same old is a blessing. The kids are healthy. We have a roof over our heads. We have cars and food. My husband has a job and is a great provider. We sit down and watch TV at night. The kids play in the yard. Some people desire to have drama and excitement in their lives. I don’t want that much drama. Ever since the day I walked out hand-in-hand with my daughter and husband, I have seen the ordinary, ho-hum of daily life as a blessing. I will even say that there is rarely a time when someone asks me how things are going, and I say, “Same old, same old” or “Nothing new” that I don’t think either to praise God or about our incident with Madison. Some people might desire drama, but I want just the same old, same old. It is truly a gift from God.
“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His Mercy endures forever.”
1 Chronicles 16:34