Thursday, February 21, 2013

For A Season

The last few days have been very hard. Actually since the day I came home from the Mom's retreat, I have been going nonstop.  William was not doing any better, and Caleb was running a fever.  And our dog Dolly had very swollen anal glands... again, which I felt needed to be taken care of at the vet.  I took William to the doctor that evening and they suspected either pneumonia or strep throat.  They started him on a second antibiotic.  Poor guy-- his cough was nonstop and he looked miserable.  The next morning I took him for a chest x-ray, took Dolly to the vet, and came home to make Caleb and Oliver an appointment with the doctor for later that evening.  Yes-- Oliver was running a temperature again and was cranky and lethargic.  I knew that Caleb had an ear infection and I figured that Oliver's had come back.  Caleb actually had a double ear infection which though surprising was not that big of a deal given that it could easily be managed with antibiotics.  What concerned me way more was Oliver's diagnosis.  The doctor said his lungs sounded like he had pneumonia and she wanted me to take him to the ER where he would most likely be admitted.  When I heard this, my heart dropped.
Before I could take him to the ER I had to drive to the pharmacy across town that was open till 10pm to pick up Caleb's prescription.  Once there I found that  they changed their hours and actually closed at 9pm.  Since it was only 9:05pm I knocked on the door and begged them to fill Caleb's prescription.  With a sigh of relief, they did.  On the way home to drop him off before taking Oliver to ER, I began to have what I believe was a panic attack.  My chest was very tight like it was being crushed by a ton of bricks and my stomach was in knots and I had to purposefully take deep breaths in order to overcome it.
In that moment, I realized that I was carrying the weight of Oliver's sickness on my shoulders.  As if, it was something only I could take care of.  As if, I loved him more than God.  I praise God that at that moment, He drew me to him and I called on Him to carry this burden for me.  Of course He did.
I dropped Caleb off and headed to ER.  John with the kids driving home from BSF and I crossed paths in the pouring rain. 
Four hours, a chest x-ray, and a breathing treatment later I was able to take Oliver home.
The ER doctor sent us home with only a prescription for albuterol to be used with a nebulizer.  I didn't feel like this was enough.
In the morning I called to get Oliver back in to see the doctor.  With an actual x-ray confirming pneumonia that by the grace of God we caught very early-- the doctor gave Oliver a steroid shot and an antibiotic shot and sent us home with prescriptions for more of the same to start the following day.  The key word here is home.  Oliver got to go home.  Praise God.
Oliver is getting better now hour by hour.  He is tolerating his breathing treatments most of the time.  In all honesty, I actually prefer when he is crying during a breathing treatment because then I know he is getting deep breaths of the albuterol. 
The last few days I have gotten very little sleep.  But I am so thankful that Oliver is home and not at the hospital so really, I am not complaining.  The hospital is full of germs and he absolutely hates all things medically related so I know that he would not do well there. 
For now, I feel like we are in a season of sickness.  It seems as if it has been one thing after the other.  Most humbling since this is not a season I would ever wish to go through.  I find myself turning to God for every little thing right now so despite the challenges there is this blessing of intimacy with my loving Father.  I am constantly reminded of his love and the precious gift of life as I look at Oliver's little chest moving up and down with each breath.
Here are pictures from a few days ago.
The kids filled out Valentine cards.  Nolan can almost write his complete name.  I just wish the teachers at his school would spell his name right.  They spell it with an E instead of an A.  Ugh-- at least he seems to know how he needs to spell it.
Alex loved filling out his Valentines too.
Rachel loves to fry bacon.  It is her favorite food!
Galina wanted to go short with her hair.  We were both happy with the end result.  She looks so pretty!
After her haircut, I gave Adam one.  The blades on the Robocut were dull so I used the cutting shears on Adam.  We both thought the spacer was an appropriate length so I began to buzz his hair. Immediately after the first run down his head, I knew it was too short.   Thankfully he was a very good sport about it.  Check out Julia's jersey.  John ordered it months ago for her birthday and it finally came in a few days ago.  She really likes Buster Posey with the Giants.
Alex, Dennis, and Nolan had so much fun going through their Valentine cards.  They spent hours going through all the cards and candy.  Though it has been a week since Valentine's Day, I remember it very well because Dennis had a horrible meltdown.  I'm talking extreme.  Since this is out of character for him, both John and I think it had everything to do with all the sugar from the candy.  Since then he has had very little candy... a piece here and there... and he has been fine.
For the Mom's retreat Julia finished up this hat for me.  I thought it would be cold and overcast at the beach and I would wear it all the time-- but it was just the opposite.  Still, I love it!
The kids have had the week off.  At first I wasn't thrilled about it, but I realize now that with all the Oliver stuff going on, it was a blessing in disguise.
Alex and Nolan ate oranges for their snack. 
Anastasia used glitter puffy paint to draw this lovely picture.
Tonight Caleb made dinner.  Last night Adam made tacos and burritos.  I am very thankful for my kids stepping up to help.  It is a huge blessing. 


  1. So glad Oliver is feeling much better. I will continue to pray for him. I feel like my children have been sick so much this winter too. I guess that is why the Lord brings it to my attention to lean on him and his eye is on the sparrow. Richelle~

  2. CUTE picture of Rachel.
    LOVE the hat that Julia made.

    So sorry you all have been sick.
    So thankful you turned to the Lord in your time of panic.

    I will be praying for you all.


  3. Gracious Father, please keep this lovely lady and her family always in the palm of your hand.

    Christine-I got tears in my eyes reading about Oliver. It brought back vivid memories of our first winter with our son. He got RSV very bad and was on a nebulizer for several weeks. Terrbily scary experience, but, through the grace of God, wonderful bonding time with my son. Although everything he gets still goes into his lungs, this is the first winter we have not had to use the nebulizer at all. I am praying this is a trend.

    God bless and hang in there! The season will pass.

  4. I think Adam is very handsome with the shorter hair.

    I hope you get rested up both physically and emotionall.

    I'm with Rachel on the bacon!

  5. I am praying for health and healing for your entire family and I am praying that you will take every single one of your fears and worried to the Lord. He will handle it all!

  6. Hope Oliver continues to get better and better. Galina's haircut is adorable!

  7. Christine,
    What a week you've had! So glad you're able to see God's hand in all of it.
    It's wonderful to see the older kids stepping up to serve in the kitchen ministry. ;) It is constant need and a blessing to have your training turn into well trained, proficient helpers.
    Adam's hair looks amazing short.
    Rachel fixing bacon made me laugh. What is it about bacon? You hear about it all the time now.
    We just learned about sugar bacon. Bake bacon till half way done, top with brown sugar and finish baking! A nice treat for special occasions.
    Julia's hat she made for you is darling, as is the pic of Adam holding Julia.
    Praying for you all to be well in short order.

  8. What was William's outcome?
    You seem to have more than your share of bugs this winter! Keep yourself healthy! So much and so many to take care of.

    Galina is a real doll! Love, love, love the hat Julia made for you!

    Rest, rest, rest!


  9. Galina's hair looks great! And I really liked Adam's hair this way ;)
    Ohh Christine, I hope everybody gets better soon!

  10. I love reading your updates on your family. :)

    Some unsolicited advice...please get Oliver's labs checked again! Pneumonia is scary and I'm glad they caught it in time.
    I don't want to scare you, but this is the kind of symptoms Anthony had when he was diagnosed with leukemia. It's not likely that Oliver would have that, but he is at higher risk because of the Ds. I'm still puzzled, as I know you are, with his lethargy that he's had in the past.
    Feel free not to post this too! I just wanted to encourage you to have Oliver's blood checked if you get a free moment (haha, right) sometime in the next week.

  11. How's William?
    Hugs, JEB

  12. Sounds like a week that needs to be covered with prayer, some advice about Dennis and the candy: studies have shown that sugar itself is not so much associated with meltdowns, but the food dyes like red and orang and yellow have scientific links to hyperactivity in certain kids. Just a little advice, love reading your blog.

  13. You have such an amazing family and I always am in awe of how your house runs so well, forget that we are all human and get sick. So glad you have so many loving children around you that truly care for each other and you and John! These are the moments those life lessons you have taught them come in handy and they step up! Great job mom and dad!

  14. Hi! When illness hits a household it is hard on everyone especially the little guy who is hurting.I hope everyone continues to improve.Pat


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