Cerebral Palsy, Health, Michigan, Our Daughter, Our Son, Parenthood, Toronto, Winter

Early Winter Blues

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Feeling better.

Both kids were sick the week before Christmas. I think the cold virus had been creeping in for about two weeks prior. Lula had trouble going to bed for the night and Seb was congested enough that eating was difficult. But it was the week before Santa came and we celebrated Jesus’ Birthday that was the real kicker. Both kids ended up in the ER on separate mornings, in separate hospitals. Let the good times roll.

Why the ER? With an infant and a child with a history of pneumonia on top of his other complex needs, both needed a chest x-ray to rule out pneumonia. Lula was first. Oh to see my baby girl stuffed into the medieval-like contraption to take her chest x-ray. Her little hands reaching above her head, up over the sides, holding tight, fingers curled over the edge. Her sweet face poking through the half moon cut out. Her chubby tummy pushed against the plexiglass. Her curious look quickly turning to confusion and a flood of tears as the technician turned her away from me. He feet dangling as her body balanced upright on a mini-bicycle seat. Later, shielding her from the germs and sickness lingering in hospitals, holding her close to my chest in the carrier, she slept. The doctor said she had minor ear infections and possibly a slight case of pneumonia as well. We went home with a strong antibiotic which her body essentially rejected through vomiting. My poor, sweet girl.

Sebastian’s turn would come the next morning, though I didn’t know it then. Ali took him to the usual place. They spent the morning there; they sent him home after clear x-rays (he’s a pro at the medieval contraption), blood tests and hydration with Pedialite. It was Saturday, the first day of school holidays. We were supposed to leave early enough to make it to a family Christmas party that afternoon. Didn’t happen.

We decided to drive to Mi Sat evening, hoping the kids would sleep most of the way. Seb was miserable. On the way a doctor from the hospital called; the xray tech took another look and in fact Lula did not have pneumonia. We took her off the meds. She was better by Christmas, a small cough barely lingered. We hibernated at my mom’s for most of the week.

Unfortunately Seb took longer to recover. And an overnight trip to Holland sent him back a couple of days. When I took Lula to the Dr. I had asked what I should watch for in Seb, she said he’d be ok; he had some reserve. Unfortunately, I knew that wasn’t true. He does not have reserve so a common cold or the flu hits him hard. Last year we made it until March before the great sickness. I hope that doesn’t mean we will be in for another bout this winter.

Today was our first day out since we arrived back in Toronto nearly a week ago. We made it to a much needed PT session and a short eye-gaze trial for a communication device for Seb. Winter is hard. And cold. Loading a wheelchair, walker and two kids into the car is about as challenging as navigating all of them into the appointment. Just as I was lamenting winter and how it had only just begun, we were greeted by a family from school. Over the course of the morning we saw several other friends and I was reminded why we do live here.

Community.

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