For not blogging, I mean. I am so far behind I am not sure if I want to catch up, (we've had so much going on I don't even know if we took many pictures over the holidays) or just start where we are. Today I will start where we are since some of you need an update.
Currently, I feel like a walking zombie. I can't even remember a night in the last week that I've gotten more than 2 or three hours of sleep. The reason for the sleepless nights? Our poor, sweet boys have both got RSV right now, and as of last night, Micah also has pneumonia.
It all started when Joshie got sick last week. My mom and I took him in the the doctor and he was diagnosed with pneumonia. Shortly after, Hallie was diagnosed with bronchiolitis, which we weren't aware of at the time was another name for RSV. Everyone else soon followed. All 6 kids have RSV. The blessing is that my mom and I can at least help each other out a bit and hang out together some. (middle-of-the-night texting, swapping for showers and hospital visits, sharing what we are learning about fevers, breathing treatments, etc. It's been a wild ride.) But it's so sad to see all the sick, miserable toddlers!
Micah was officially diagnosed with RSV Sunday. He started to get a little cold Thursday. By Friday he had stopped drinking liquids. Wes and I were up all night long Saturday when Micah's fever rose to 105.7 and stayed there most of the night. It finally got under 102 around 9 o'clock Sunday morning. (We learned that first night that a fever over 102 is dangerous because 1 in 25 kids will have a seizure) We were trying to think of possible illnesses he could have, and suddenly he smelled very eerily familiar. I remembered that smell, but from where.......then I remembered I smelled that smell last year when Micah had RSV. Weird that I would remember the smell huh?
Anyway, we took him in and sure enough, RSV. Kolton has it too. It's been a wild roller coaster ride since then of thinking they're better, then they're worse. We've been back and forth to the docs and hospital 6 or 7 times, and we are going in today as well. Micah now has pneumonia, and his oxygen is dipping quite a bit when he sleeps (he starts to turn blue) so we are going to go in and get an oxygen machine for the poor guy. He coughed nonstop for 50 minutes on Wednesday night, which is why the did the chest x-ray that showed the pneumonia.
Kolton on the other hand, improves a lot with each day. He got the high fever for only one or two nights, and it hovered just under 105. He has a nasty sounding cough, but it gets noticeably better with each day. Not a surprise since Wes and his buddy Kenny gave the boys a blessing last week and they blessed Kolton recover very quickly. Poor Micah did not get blessed with that because Wes felt prompted to only say that to Kolton. The doc thinks it will be somewhere in the neighborhood of a month. It's very frustrating because he improves and we think he's starting to recover, and then suddenly he's much worse to the point of scary. We have been hovering on the edge of him being admitted to the hospital the whole time, which I think is worse than him being there because I never know when to be really concerned, and he's not being monitored as carefully at home. But at the same time, I am glad to have him home, where he's comfortable. I've learned lots about this virus and all that it entails. I know all about breathing treatments (which we are currently administering at home every 4 hours around the clock), retractions, how to hear a wheeze, how to bring down a stubborn fever, how to know if your child is dehydrated, how to check his oxygen, etc. Every day I learn more, which does make me feel a little more competent while caring for this incredibly ill little boy.
It's also been nice to see how hard doctors will work to keep children out of the hospital. We've had at-home breathing treatments, an oximinator (a machine that measures oxygen levels), and even an oxygen tank here for helping our sick little boy.
This whole experience has been a scary, tiring, frustrating nightmare. But it has also been a great learning experience. Some of the things I have learned from this are:
1. Have faith in the Lord. There is no scarier time to have faith than when you feel like someone's life depends on it. It's so hard to believe and know in your heart things will work out according to God's will. But it's true, and something I've gotten more practice at lately.
2. I am reminded of what a blessing it is to have a Priesthood holder in our home. We've had many, many blessings through this whole ordeal. We have truly been blessed to have the Priesthood, and the gospel, in our home. I am so proud of Wes for being a truly worthy priesthood holder. (also thanks to my dad and Kenny for your worthiness and help, we sure love and appreciate you!)
3. My love for my husband has grown tremendously. We've always been close, in love through thick and thin, and there for each other. But through all this we've developed such an amazing synergy together. We've communicated better, listened better, served better, and had complete and total faith in the other person. Also, it's been really nice to see both of us notice when the other person needs a break. There haven't been too many opportunities for one, but we've truly taken and given what's been there. My love for my husband has grown tremendously during this time of family crisis. This has been my favorite blessing of this trial. I just feel like we are stronger than ever. He truly is my best friend and love, and I want to be in his arms forever.
4. The power of prayer. This is also something I have always known about. I have had countless experiences in my life where I've had answers of guidance through prayer that was so strong I could never doubt it. This was no exception. I was truly guided by the Lord who showed me how to give my sweet, sick children the best care possible during their times of need. I knew when to go to the docs, the hospital, or stay home. The new thing I learned and felt this time was the prayers of others. I know there have been times in my life that others have prayed for us, but I don't remember feeling that. I have truly felt each prayer - it's given me strength, hope, comfort, and guidance. For that I am truly blessed. In turn, my love for good family and friends has grown as well.
5. How important it is to be home with my kids. This one is a good reminder for me. I love being home and wouldn't want to be anywhere else. But I do wish sometimes I could contribute financially to our family, so we could get out of debt faster. But this has taught me that the sacrifices we make so I can stay home are worth more than any amount of money. The blessing of being there for my kids/husband is worth more to me than anything. We have recently had to make some scary financial decisions, one of which was having Wes cut back a day of work, which I was feeling very guilty about. We were so blessed to have made that decision in faith, and we were really blessed to be able to have him home more to help out during this time. And he was so happy to be home with us while we needed him here so much. I have seen countless times in our marriage that the Lord will provide. Sometimes it doesn't seem possible, but if we follow him in faith we are always blessed. I felt so happy to have felt such a strong conformation in this important decision.
6. This may sound silly to some, but it's been so amazing to see the love our dog has for our family. Chance has truly been there every second. He's been well-behaved and patient with all of us, not holding it against us if we forget to feed him until late at night, or don't have time for a game of fetch or a tummy rub. He has slept with the boys, played with them, made it his job to make sure everyone is okay and well in any and every way possible for a dog. He truly is an incredible dog and has been such a joy to have in our family! We love him so much! He's my special little buddy.
We feel so blessed to have such an amazing circle of family and friends. We will update soon, and hopefully this will be the last of many crazy, time-consuming surprise events we've had over the past several months. Anyway, I could go on, but I won't. I just want to express my love for each of you and our appreciation for your support and your prayers.