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!|
|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.|
|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.|