Scary News

Thursday, December 07, 2006
This morning I received some upsetting news. The newborn son of a good friend was rushed to the hospital a few days ago and they just came home this morning.

My friend, J, had had a rough time after her son was first born. Not that he was any more hassle than other babies; it’s just that she had a bit of trouble coping with all the changes. She told me that it was a lot harder than she expected or than other parents had led her to believe. Now J’s not naïve and certainly knew that it wasn’t going to be a cakewalk but the lack of sleep and seemingly constant crying could test the patience of a saint. He was finally settling down, getting into his “baby” routine and was sleeping longer that two hours a night. After waking from a nap, he began to shake violently and then turn blue. They called the ambulance and were rushed to the hospital.

Over the course of four days, this little 4 month old baby endured numerous x-rays, IVs in the arms, legs and head, rounds of antibiotics, a catheter in his penis (which resulted in screaming so bad his mother had to leave the room in tears), placed on a ventilator, and the threat of a spinal tap (fears of meningitis). It turns out he had a urinary tract infection, which moved into his kidneys. He’s also got a high red blood cell count that won’t go down and a heart murmur.

The antibiotics seem to have cleared up the infection but he and his parents now have to see a specialist for more blood work and have an ECG for the murmur. Additionally, he’s got to go back in the hospital in a week or so for more tests, IVs, and tests to see if there was any permanent damage to his kidneys. Oh yeah, and he’s not only lactose intolerant but apparently allergic to cow milk protein.

According to J, the little guy endured all of this relatively well, except for being restrained by the nurse so they could try to insert the IV needle and, of course, the catheter. Hopefully he is too young to remember any of this but from the sound of J’s email, she’s about to lose it. Unfortunately, I’m can’t give her the big “best girlfriend” hug that she so desperately needs (J lives in BC – I’m in Alberta) and she doesn’t have many close friends around her.

When I was younger, I was so sure that I was going to get married, have kids, a career, the whole package. As the years went by, I realized that I was, in fact, quite selfish and have become very comfortable with that. You might say, I’ve embraced me (my brother is probably resisting the urge to crack a joke right about now…). I’m not saying that I’ll never have kids, who knows what the future will bring but I’m not planning on them, nor do I have any big desire to reproduce. Should I ever meet that special someone, I might change my mind, but I wouldn’t bet money on it. Part of my selfishness centres on my freedom. I enjoy the fact that I can get up and go out whenever I want, take a trip, whatever, and not have to worry about packing up a stroller, diapers, toys, etc. or trying to find a sitter if I want to go to a movie. Don’t know if I’d be willing to give that up. However there’s another aspect to my selfishness – I don’t like being upset. Of course, no one really does and that really isn’t the best way to describe it. Hearing what J and her family are going through right now makes me extremely upset. I couldn’t imagine having the strength to go through that. Truth be told, I cry just taking my cats to the vet for a regular checkup – god forbid something is seriously wrong with them, I couldn’t imagine what I would do. If that was my CHILD…I’d rather not think about it.

Anyway, hopefully J’s little guy will be fine and things will go back to normal. In the meantime, Auntie Karen is nervously chewing her nails and awaiting the next update, crossing everything she can cross and working at sending good thoughts out west.

And THIS has to be the dumbest thing I’ve read all day.


Gardenia said...

I hate this border thing - we are so rapidly losing our freedoms. It's one thing to bring a truck of fruit across, but a lunch bag that you're going to eat? It's insane. Is this how the U.S. is bolstering its economy? As I get near my trip to FL I already am freaking somewhat over going through the airport security - I've had my breasts patted down (underwires), been accused of flying with dangerous weapons - a mini film can opener, rounded on edge - now I heart that all the confiscation of makeup, toiletries, etc. is being auctioned on ebay. hmmmmmm

You are right children are hard work - really hard work. Still I would not be without mine, I love them so much. Right again, watching them suffer is the worst thing - it is just about unbearable. Glad you are evaluating rather than plunging in!

Anonymous said...

thats a lot for a young mom to go through, I would be a wreck, not having kids, its hard for me to understand, but my sis had some serious post-partum issues. so i heard lots about how frustrating life with a new born can be...even one with no health problems.

Jake loves going to the vet, he gets fussed over and treats, mind you he hasn't had any problems to deal with just routine check ups....dogs are sooooo easy..they can be bribed

Tanya said...

Hope everything is fine with the little one!!

And, regarding the border thing, this cracked me up:

"It doesn't make sense that someone can't take their lunch across the border,"

Red said...

I feel the same way as you do, Karen. And I'll tell you more: now that I've found the person whom I think is the one, I feel even less inclined to have kids.

* and I work so bloody hard already, I think introducing a child into the mix would really cramp our lifestyle. Is this selfish? I don't think so. There's plenty of other people who are willing to have children, and it's not like the world's underpopulated.

Our choice is dictated by the fact that a) we like a quiet house; b) we like our sleep (though Cat is skating on thin ice, with his 3am wake-up calls); c) Cat is a perfect miniature representation of how life would change with kids around. And Cat doesn't really need mcuh attention! And he goes to a cattery when we travel. But a child is with you ALWAYS. I love spending time with my niece, but by the time my sister picks her up, I'm usually ecstatic at having some time to myself.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I sincerely hope your friend is able to cope with all of this and that her son will be fine.

I can certainly understand not wanting the burden that kids put upon you. Having kids is certainly not for everybody, just as water-skiing is not for everybody.

That said, really the burden is only the first 10 years or so. After that you get a whole difference set of issues, but I wouldn't trade them for anything. My teenager is pretty much my best friend, which is kinda pathetic, I guess.

Anonymous said...

not pathetic at all barb....a best friend that you can still somewhat boss around...haa haa

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