Saturday, March 12, 2011

Prayers for Caleb

Caleb has been sick lately, a lot.  Certainly there has been a lot of sickness going around, but it seems he's had it worse than most.  In our house with 5 kids, 7 people total, we have all been sick at least a time or two this winter, some worse than others, but it seems like Caleb has hardly been well.  Over the last couple of months he has run countless fevers.  Last month he ran a fever (running 101-103) for nearly a full week.  After 3-4 days of being on Augmentin he finally started getting better, but he never seemed to actually get well.  His cough improved, runny nose diminished, but he stayed tired.  This is pretty much the same pattern he's had for a couple of months - he gets sick, seems to get mostly better, but before he is really well he's sick again.

Of even more concern is the total lack of energy he has had lately - he's not just tired, he's lethargic.  As an example, one day last week he came to me in the evening so exhausted I knew he would never make it to a reasonable bedtime.  I had him lay down thinking I would just let him rest for about an hour so the late nap wouldn't affect his sleep during the night.  However, he ended up sleeping from 6:30pm to 9:30am the next morning.  He used to sleep no more than 10-11 hours a night with no nap during the day.  Lately he's been sleeping much longer at night and frequently taking naps during the day, naps as long as 4-5 hours.  Today it was after noon before he woke up despite having gone to bed at a reasonable time last night.

Then there is the fact he hardly eats lately.  He just has no appetite.  It doesn't matter how much he loves the food, he hardly eats it.  It doesn't matter whether I'm making his favorite foods at home or we go out.  He used to devour a double cheeseburger from McDonald's, now he wouldn't eat half a single one.  He doesn't even eat sweet food much anymore.

Add the complete lack of energy, the loss of appetite, headaches, complaints of his stomach hurting (but never any signs of abdominal illness, i.e. no vomiting or diarrhea) and the frequent fevers and infections and I can't help but be a little worried.  A couple of days ago he woke up with another fever, 103 degrees, with no real explanation as to the cause.  I usually wait until my kids have been sick several days (at least) with no signs of improvement before I take them to the doctor (I prefer to give their immune system a chance to do its job - overuse of antibiotics is dangerous to both individuals and society as a whole, and it's wrong to assume that kids can't get well without antibiotics.)  However, with the concern I've had lately combined with yet another fever I decided to take him on to the doctor.  I figured even if they couldn't figure it out right away it would get the fever documented and hopefully get the ball rolling to figure out what was wrong.

We didn't see our usual doctor, but the doctor we saw instead seemed very knowledgeable... and very concerned.  Even without having ever seen Caleb before to know what "normal" is like for Caleb, he felt Caleb looked sick.  However, the strep test, flu test, and urinalysis all came back negative.  There was no obvious explanation for Caleb's fever and lethargy.  Unfortunately, this leaves the possibility of things far more serious than I really care to think about.  We will follow up with our normal doctor next week.  The doctor we saw last night said we need to be prepared to deal with a lot of testing until we figure out what is affecting Caleb.

When I had Caleb at the doctor's office just last month for illness he was referred to an immunologist for allergy and asthma testing.  He was found to have pretty severe allergies with reactive airway disease and will start shots next week (he is NOT happy about that!).  There is a possibility all his illnesses, fevers, lethargy, etc. are related to his bad allergies.  Perhaps the combination of him being in school and all the wet, cold weather just stressed him further than his body could handle.  (We had originally been homeschooling him, put him in school in the late fall (late Oct/early Nov), and pulled him back out early last month.)  That is what I'm hoping for, that it's nothing more serious than bad allergies tearing down his immune system.  There is also the possibility he has had mono, which would be much preferable to some of the other possibilities.

So please pray all the testing goes well, that we find there to be nothing seriously wrong with Caleb, and that he is able to get over all this soon so he can enjoy life again.

Also, just in case anyone from my family actually reads this, or anyone else that knows my grandparents, please do NOT mention anything about it to them.  My grandmother worries far too much anyway so I have always preferred not to mention anything to her that would give her more reason to worry.

Caleb during the allergy testing.  I gave up working on school work with him, and he didn't even want his Nintendo.  I decided to try to distract him with the camera, but it's heartbreaking to see how pitiful he looks in the pictures!
Look at the discoloration under his eyes.  This is something that has really bothered me over the last couple of months - it's bad enough sometimes I have even edited some of his pictures just to get rid of the color under his eyes  He has also seemed especially pale lately, even more so than he normally is in winter.
Taking a break while the others keep playing.  It was so sweet to see our cat go sit with him!  Neither Ernie nor I have never known a better cat, and since we got it several years before Caleb was born it has been a constant, beloved companion to him since infancy.
I want to see him full of color again, without the discoloration under his eyes (this picture is from about 2 years ago).
I want to see him full of energy again, our "blond tornado" as my husband calls him.
With baseball about to start again I want to see him feeling well enough to enjoy playing.  Last year he lost his first tooth during baseball season - you can see it missing on the bottom.  This year I think he'll lose his first upper tooth just in time for baseball.
I want to see him running even faster this year, and I won't even mind all the dirt!
I want him to climb into my lap because it's his favorite place, not because he is too tired to do anything else.
I want my little angel back to himself, full of happiness, full of excitement, full of energy, and enjoying life to the fullest.


FaerieMama said...

Jennifer, I truly hope they find out what's going on soon. I'm so sorry Caleb isnt feeling well these days!

The Kings said...

I am praying for Caleb...and for you as I know how distressing it is to see your children sick and not have any answers.

Discoloration under a person's eyes is pretty common with allergies. I hope you get to the bottom of all of this soon.


MJ said...

Hi i've been reading your blog as I am interested in adoption.

Alot of what you are describing matches my symptoms when I had mono-fevers that never really seem to go away, lethargy, and lack of appetite. This is something that you should consider testing him for and unfortunately it's just one of those long-winded illnesses.

I hope that your son gets better soon and that it is nothing truly serious and just allergies or something sneaky like mono.

I love your blog and you have a wonderful family.

Davis Family said...

I hope Caleb is feeling well soon! My son had very similar symptoms & we kept taking him to the Dr & they couldn't find anything. He had dark circles under his eyes too (the Dr said this was sinus related). Finally after the 3rd month of hom not being healthy I insisted they at least give him an antibiotic (something I hate to give him usually) & they did & after a week he was back to his old self. I think there was just a bug in his system that was running him down. maybe something to consider.
Praying he is better soon!

Cheri said...

I hope your next post is about how well your son is! I pray all is well.

Anonymous said...

I've been wondering how Caleb is doing. I hope he is ok..

Shirlee McCoy said...

How is Caleb? Did you get the test results back?