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Giving and Receiving

In the spirit of this week of giving thanks, this post is about giving and receiving but it's not what you are thinking.

Last Friday/Saturday, Sam started getting sick.  It sounded like your basic, run of the mill head cold you get in October and wrestle with til April.  On Sunday, I was summoned by my Wasband that he had gotten worse and maybe a trip to the hospital was in order.

I went over to his house where Sam was, to assess the situation.  He had no fever, a wicked cough and a sore throat but that was about it.  Without a fever, I figured it was just a man- cold.  I teased him a little, got him some cold medicine, zinc, vitamin C, apple cider vinegar, ibuprofen for his joint pain and later in the day, took him some homemade chicken soup for them.  (Note: my Wasband is completely capable of taking care of a cold but he had been out of town for a few days and hadn't had a chance to go grocery shopping which is why I offered the soup.)

Sam said, "I really feel like something is wrong."
" just sucks you have a bad cold."

He had a temporary job this past Monday so I made him go.  He worked 14 hours! Woke up and went back the next day for another 10 hour shift.

Sam never complained about how bad he was feeling.  We just kept living life.

This morning I was summoned again that Sam was getting sicker.

He came home and I ran him to the urgent care but still, I was certain it was a bad cold even though he kept saying he thought he had pneumonia.

The poor kid has pneumonia!!  What the heck? It's not just any pneumonia.  That would be far too easy! The real name is Mycoplasma Pneumoniae.  It is a unique bacteria that is highly contagious.  Incubation is 1-4 weeks before symptoms start but you are contagious during that time!  It's a bacteria that outbreaks about every 3-4 years.  Most people will never know they have it and worse case, get a cold.  The majority of the time, people never get pneumonia from it, just the basic cold symptoms.

Sam on the other hand has a shotty immune system so he gets to deal with the finer, complications of this bacteria.  It is very dangerous for him because his marrow is so suppressed right now.  He has nothing in the way of white cells or neutrophils to fight this.  He has several venous malformations in his lungs that already compromise his breathing and most recently, has developed a nodule in his lung as well.  The bacteria is a rotten one to get because it has no cell walls which makes it resistant to antibiotics. It's one of the smallest bacteria that lives and reproduces on its own and one of the few that can live without oxygen. Small germs like viruses can only live and reproduce inside another cell. If it isn't controlled quickly, it spreads to other parts of the body like the ears, nervous system, GI tract and heart, affecting the lining of the area around the heart and brain which causes encephalitis.

Sheesh...of all things!  So far, the only other place they know it has spread to are his ears.  Poor kid has a pretty nasty ear infection and throat infection.

I feel terrible because of all the people he may have shared this with not knowing he was even sick!  In this case, it's embarrassing to be the giver but honestly, it stinks to be the receiver too!

When my kids were little, I would get so angry when friends would bring their kids over to play and they have a gross, green runny nose!  Or they would say, "She threw up last night but she's fine now." NO!! Why?  My kids get the 24 hour stomach flu and they puke for days and days! It got to the point when I would have a list of acceptable excuses why we couldn't have play dates or any interaction, really.

So, I'm embarrassed that we are 'those' people!  Ugh.  The Wasband has a house full of company too! I'm sure everyone will be fine because they are robust, healthy people. the doctor assured me that everyone won't even get a cold.  I worry about Spencer with lungs that barely function, white cells that do not function, not to mention his heart that beats to its own drum and of course Shelbie.  So, far, they have all been just fine.  Not even a sniffle.  By now, it's too late to confine him to a room and pull out my bleaching regime.

What a rotten deal and what's worse, is now Sam has entered the twilight zone where he doesn't get fevers that signal his body is fighting something.  That is what I have always relied on to know when to panic.  Without a fever, its nothing to me.  I don't even know how you take care of people who don't mount an immune response.  Deep sigh...

We are going to treat it with a Z-pak in hopes that this gets rid of it.  If he isn't getting better in the next 48 hours, he will find himself in a beautiful suite at the hospital...probably in Utah.  At that point, the next step would likely be IV steroids, antibiotics and plasma transfusions.

Well, at least we avoided the hospital on Thanksgiving.  That's some kind of something to rejoice in!



  1. I don't know how their bodies would respond, but when we were younger, my Mom would raise our body temperature to give us an artificial fever to help us fight whatever we were fighting off, in the style of "how do you boil a frog?". Webdidnt have to stay in the water long, just enough to get pink legs and butt, and get out


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