We had a scary bout with the flu last week. We had stayed home from church on Sunday (Jan 30th) because The Girl had diarrhea and I wasn't feeling so hot. On Monday and Tuesday The Boy was running a fever, but it broke sometime Tuesday night and he was fever free and acting like his normal 5 yo self all day Wednesday.
Thursday he woke up about 5am to go to the bathroom and said his legs hurt. I thought he was having a charlie horse or growing pains and encouraged him to stretch it out. He went to the bathroom and returned back to bed.
I had kept him home from school Monday and Tuesday and since he was acting normal and was fever free for almost 36 hours I decided to send him to school on Thursday. He complained a couple of times about the back of his legs hurting, but I assumed it was just cramping from the growing pains/charlie horse he'd had earlier in the morning. I took The Boy to school that day and he walked into school no problem and no complaints.
However, when my friend dropped him off that afternoon, she walked him up to the door because she said his legs were bothering him and he said it hurt to walk. He was walking on his tiptoes. I wasn't quite sure what to make of it. He came in and laid down on the couch and talked to me for a couple of minutes. A few minutes passed in silence and I looked over and he had fallen asleep. He slept for about an hour and half and when he woke up his face was pink and he was irritable.
(I snapped this picture of him thinking it was cute he had fallen asleep on the couch.)
I had a few errands to run and asked him to go to the bathroom so we could leave. He refused to walk, sobbing, telling me his legs didn't work. So he crawled to the bathroom. And I had to go into the bathroom when he was done to help him pull up his pants because he couldn't hold his body weight on his legs and pull his pants up. At this point I'm freaked out. I'd just finished watching reruns of "House" and I was sure he had some crazy disease.
I loaded the kids in the car - carrying The Boy because he just couldn't do it. I sent text messages to all the men on my side of the family because they are all in some facet of the health care profession. They all said he should be seen by a doctor, so we ixnayed the post office and headed straight to the after hours care at our medical group. And of course the 405N is a parking lot because it's 5pm and so it takes us about 45 minutes to get there.
I had to carry The Boy into the medical group and I'm sure we were quite the sight. I got on the waiting list and we proceeded to wait. We ended up waiting there for over an hour before we were seen. He had to use the bathroom once, but luckily we got a wheel chair to get him there and back.
When the nurse called us back - they still didn't have a room, but saw us in the triage area. By that time he had a fever of 102.7. She got us a room pretty quickly. When the doctor came in - he was useless. I'm sorry, but that's about the only way I can describe him. I could tell something was wrong by the terrible look on his face when he could see that The Boy couldn't bear any weight on his rubbery legs. He immediately sent us to the ER in the hospital next door.
I'm thinking - GREAT! We've just waited over an hour to be seen here and we don't have any answers or help for the poor Boy and now we're going to wait in the ER. Oh, did I mention that Will is in Wisconsin on business, so I'm doing this all by myself?
By now it's 7:38 and we're checking into the ER. The Talbert Medical group nurse drops us off and takes her wheel chair with her. At about 8:15 we get triaged by the nurse and she is really concerned because The Boy can't walk. She gets him a wheel chair and his fever is still over 102. She says she'll get us seen as soon as she can and sends us back out into the waiting room. I'm getting really concerned because there are a lot of FREAKY and SICK people in the waiting room. Of course, The Girl wants to visit with them all and one SICK lady proceeds to blow raspberries on her tummy. That's when I almost lose it.
However, my sister in law has just called and said she'll come and get The Girl. Will has called and said his brothers are on their way to give The Boy a blessing. I start to relax and not be so anxious. They all arrive about 20 minutes later - while we're still in the waiting area. My sister in law takes The Girl and leaves and not long after they call The Boy back - where of course we wait again.
The PA sees us and still doesn't get that I'm not just there because he has a fever!!!! HE CAN'T WALK. No one seems to get it. I'm a mom. I've done vomiting, diarrhea and fevers. They don't bring me to the ER. She says she's going to take a urine sample, do a nasal swab for the flu, give him Motrin and Tylenol for the fever. She keeps to referring to the "calf pain". I want to scream - IT'S NOT CALF PAIN!!!! HE CAN'T WALK!!! But I contain myself - if I'm ever in and ER again I won't be so complacent.
It's not until the nurse shows up to get a urine sample and my brother-in-laws have to carry him to the bathroom and help him get the sample that a light starts to come on. When he gets back she does the nasal swab and then tries to give him the Motrin and Tylenol - which he promptly vomits all over her. It was awesome and I felt slightly vindicated.
This entire time we still aren't on a bed - he is just sitting on a chair in the hall with a portable cloth partition separating us from another man. As we listen to his nurse talk to him, we come to find out that he's crazy. He's hearing voices and seeing things. He's been off his anti-psychotics for a few days now. GREAT! He keeps peeking through the partition - offering advice. He told us he was a massage therapist and that we should just massage his calves. However, when we were in the waiting room he had put on a mask declaring that he is a chef and he can't catch TB or he'll be ruined. He tells us he has asthma too and that maybe the steroids in the inhaler caused the pain - just like happened to him once. He also kept making these farting noises with his mouth and standing up suddenly and pacing. It was awesome.
The nurse comes back and says she's moving us to bed! Holla! But since the ER is so busy, only two of us can stay. By now, Aunt H has arrived - so there are four of us with JT. Also, my phone has died, so no one can get in touch with me. My brother-in-laws move the partition - now that the crazy man has been discharged - to get some privacy and give The Boy a blessing. Aunt H says she'll stay with me and my brother-in-law leaves me his phone. Phew!
We move back to the bed and as I half carry The Boy as he jiggles down the hallway back there, the nurse tells every person working in the ER to watch him try to walk. They all nod and hmm-mmm. Arggh! We get him back tot he bed and he falls asleep. Time starts to lose all meaning, but the flu swab comes back positive for Influenza B and the entire ER staff cheers! The PA - who I haven't seen since the beginning - shows up and says everyone is cheering because sometimes when kids get Influenza B they also get benign acute childhood myositis - which is a big long name for severe calf pain causing difficulty in walking.
They wake him up and give him an anti-nausea medication, Motrin and Tylenol again and a little bit of juice - he falls in and out of sleep. They let the meds work it's magic for a little while and then take his temp again - which is down to 98.9. Wahoo! The nurse comes back and says they are waiting for the Tamiflu in liquid form from the the pharmacy. About 30 minutes later it comes and we are being discharged at 11:45PM. The nurse gets us the discharge packet with all the info and the prescriptions for Tamiflu and anti-nausea medicine. Then she kindly finds The Boy a wheelchair and grabs him a warm blanket and wheels us out to the car.
So, about 7 hours after our adventures began, we on our way to pick up The Girl and go home. The Boy was walking again around Saturday night and feeling much better. The Tamiflu doesn't make you non-contagious like an antibiotic does for other infections, but it does shorten the course of the flu from 7-10 days to 3-5 days.
The lead nurse told me that the CDC had called them earlier in the week and told them that they were seeing cases of Influenza B popping up and to be ready for it. So glad that The Boy could oblige. The best part? Our insurance changed from the HMO we've had for the last 6 years to a PPO - so getting the bill will be another great adventure!
I feel so blessed to have wonderful family that helped us through the entire ordeal.
The Girl loved being with her Aunt V. She even got some special jammies
that she loves and calls "Aunt V Jammies".