Oink Oink

On a regular basis I think of all of the things I want to write about and I just seem to have a really hard time sitting down for enough time to just get it done. We have had an eventful fall already. Since Labor day weekend, it has seemed more like winter than fall due to illnesses. I started a nasty little cough that after three weeks turned into pneumonia. When that began to clear up, Jakob was home for three days from school--sick for five days. Just as soon as he got better, Tim started feeling cruddy and that evolved into him missing an entire week of work, and what we determined was spending 20 out of 24 hours in bed for three entire days, not to mention the other 3 days of being so down and out of energy that he didn't leave the house at all. Just as we started to see the light at the end of the tunnel, on Friday (the first day that Tim got out of bed), Jonathan came home from school and went promptly to his room, laid down and went to sleep. This is never a good sign in my house! He woke up with a raging fever of 103.3.

At around 8:00, Amelia felt pretty warm and her temp was up to 103 too. Saturday morning I decided that I should take Amelia to the doctor, because that temp seemed pretty high for a six month old. The doctor on call listened to her lungs and decided she sounded kind of rattly so he prescribed an antibiotic and steroid for the nebulizer. By the time I returned home, Joe had a fever. Tim went into Lincoln later in the evening to pick up the prescription that I forgot and stock up on children's motrin and tylenol.

Sunday morning, Tim and Jakob went to church, came home and later loaded up again with Mathilda and Benjamin to go to Mathilda's volleyball clinic at 3:00 and then planned to run some errands and go to Conquest where they would meet Joshua and his friend Phillip. (Josh had gone with Phil and his dad to the pumpkin patch). At 4:15, Tim and the kids were home. Why? Because Ben had a fever! They jumped back in the car and returned to Lincoln for Conquest. Ten minutes after they left, the phone rang. It was Phillip's mom. "Joshua has a fever" Phil's dad brought him home and I called a friend to deliver a message to Tim (he forgot his cell phone) that Joshua wouldn't be at Conquest. The message was delivered to him as he was walking out the gym doors headed to Walgreens to get more Motrin for Mathilda who at this point had a fever! None of these kids had even a slight symptom at any point during the day! Even Mattie didn't have a fever at 4:30, because we checked in anticipation!!

Now, by Sunday evening, I had administered many doses of fever reducing medicine. The fevers were relentless, so we found ourselves having to piggyback Motrin and Tylenol because one would wear off before we could give it again. I had to make a chart because now with six kids needing medicine and all on a different schedule, I was having a hard time remembering who got what and when!

Monday morning I made a call to the doctor, because Joshua complained of a really sore throat and when I looked at it I saw white spots all over a very red and inflamed throat, so my first thought was that he had strep instead of what we were only assuming was proabaly the swine flu or at very least the flu. One very long swab to the back of Joshua's throat and a smaller but still very long swab up Amelia's nose confirmed: no strep, but definitely H1N1. No need to swab everyone, as there was about a 99% chance that since they all had the same symptoms at the same time, they all have the same thing.

Today is Friday. Everyone is still at home with me except Jakob. Tim stayed home yesterday and today to work from home so he could be available to help me if necessary because my fever started in on Tuesday night. Wednesday was my worst day and so far since then has been tolerable. The chart is pretty full with some of the lines a little more full under names than others. Benjamin seems to have had it the worst. I thought on Wednesday that I would be able to send them all back to school on Thursday, but then they all had fevers again by bedtime. Today, Joshua and Jonathan probably could have gone to school...technically they didn't have fevers yesterday, but they didn't stop coughing either. I figured they've already missed all week, one more day isn't going to hurt if it helps them rest and continue to recover.

Jonathan slept Friday afternoon through Sunday afternoon. Joshua slept Sunday night through Tuesday morning. Mathilda slept Sunday night through Tuesday afternoon. Benjamin slept all day Monday, Tuesday and Thursday...and when I say all day, I mean that he was up for about 10 minutes at a time maybe 3 times all day. Amelia's fevers seemed to have ended on Tuesday. Wednesday and Thursday she was a little crabby and fussy. The nebulizer has been used for three of the kids randomly. I didn't mention Joe...Joe is the wild card. From the start (and his start was Thursday because on that day I had taken him to the doctor with junk in his eyes and he had pink eye and a double ear infection), he has been a crab until he has motrin at which point then he just bounces off the walls, bullies his older siblings, sits on the baby, and doesn't sleep a wink. He has been affected the least I think, but still feels just cruddy enough to be obnoxious.

Today...no one has a fever yet except Benjamin. He is laying down again. We've watched a lot of TV and movies, eated a lot of ice cream, orange juice, chicken noodle soup and 7-UP, and gone through a lot of tissues. The thermometer isn't working very well anymore...I think it is exhausted from reaching upwards of 104 degrees multiple times a day.

The schoolwork is piled high on the table, and at some point today we're going to sit down and see if all of it has actually been completed. The house rules have been broken or at least attempted to be broken...since the TV is in the living room, it is assumed that food should be too...I've got to confess, I've allowed this a couple of times this week, but I have to limit it too! I've done masses of laundry all week because of things being thrown up on or peed in or sweated in., but nothing is folded or put away, and the bedding is all going to have to be done again. I've disinfected lots of things, but it's going to have to be done again for sure. The house isn't being put back together since the floors have been finished, because someone has been sick every moment. We have 10 big trees that need to be planted on top of it all. It has been raining non-stop since Tuesday evening. A trip to the grocery store needs to happen sometime soon. Oh boy, what a list, and that isn't even the tip of the iceberg! AND...the dog has a cold too...swine flu??

On a different note, but related to my last comment, Nick has been dribbling pee on the floor or whatever he's laying on. He doesn't pee, but simply dribbles, like he is incontinent, and leaves a little puddle, sometimes while he's sleeping and sometimes while he's awake. The vet recommeneded we get a urine sample. WHAT? How exactly does that work? What a good fit to our family this dog is...pees on the floor and everything! We'll see how this progresses...we're not terribly excited about spending the money on tests and medicines, but not thrilled about him leaving little puddles of pee everywhere either!

God doesn't give us more than we can handle...wow, does He really think a lot of me!!! :)