Monday, January 28, 2013

When Active Kids Get Sick!

Keeping our family healthy year-round is a daily task, which I take very seriously. I believe that the key to a healthy immune system is first and foremost what you feed your body. That is why I spend so much of my day in the kitchen, cooking wholesome meals! Is it time-consuming? Yes, but it's worth it to me to offer up my family nutritious and tasty meals. I try, with about 90% success, not to use processed foods. Just real, whole foods cooked with love and care because in my book, food is medicine!

Another integral part of staying healthy in our house, as I'm sure you can guess, is getting outside! Staying active, alert, happy and breathing in the fresh air does wonders for keeping all systems in top form!

My little rock climber!

Luckily, our little peanut has enjoyed the first (almost) two years of her life free of many of the bugs and viruses that plague most toddlers her age (knock on wood), so when, 9 days ago, she became really sick, it rocked our world.

It started out pretty non-descript. Runny nose, slight fever. No big deal. So out we went, making sure to steer clear of playgrounds where other unsuspecting kids could come in contact with her, but fortunately any patch of green can become a playground for a kid with a push cart!

sick toddler playing
Have cart, will travel!

Then, the rash came, head-to-toe. We went to the doctor and were told it wasn't contagious, so back out we went with the runny nose, slight fever and rash, to splish and splash in the puddles!

playing in puddles
My little puddle-jumper

Then the fever spiked and the vomiting started, then diarrhea and a roller-coaster of fevers. We found ourselves at the doctor's office every other day for 6 days.

Never underestimate the fascination of a lone sticker

Finally at Day 7, we were sent on a expedition for clues; chest x-rays, CBC, blood cultures, oh my! I was physically and mentally worn, so I could hardly imagine how my poor little peanut was feeling. I, who normally is pretty calm and assured in the care-taking arena, was on the verge of a break down, but there was no time for that, we had to solve this mysterious riddle.

Our little trooper resting

9:45 pm the doctor called with the results of the blood tests. "I've got a call in to an Infectious Disease Specialist. We need you to be back in the office with the baby by 8:30 am so we can do a urinalysis..." My rock, my husband who let me fall asleep at 8:30 pm with the baby, woke me up to tell me the news. Infectious Disease Specialist????? What does THAT mean????? My heart nearly broke free from my chest. I didn't sleep at all that night.

Bright and early the next morning, I buzzed around the house getting things ready to head out the door. As soon as the baby awoke, we rushed out the door and head-on into morning LA rush hour traffic. Oy. We sat in that doctor's office for 5 hours before my stubborn offspring decided to give us a little tinkle! 5 hours of sterile glove balloons, tongue depressor drumsticks, scale long jumps and tantrum after tantrum after tantrum! All the while trying to absorb the latest news that if this fever lasted more than 24 hours longer, she would probably end up in the hospital being treated for an rare auto-immune disease neither of us had ever heard of!

As it would happen, that night, her fever broke! Thank goodness! We had been on complete lock down for more than 5 days. All she kept saying was "Mommy go hiking! Mountain! Go!" It was rainy and cold outside and there was no way I was going to take her out with a weakened immune system, but we were both so incredibly bored and rambunctious, so to the car we went! A perfect solution and I am happy to report, she is out of the woods and on the mend!

toddler playing in car
Peek-A_Boo!

Having a little one so sick and feeling powerless to do something only makes me strive harder to prevent it from happening in the first place. I feel so grateful and blessed for the health and happiness of our family and I look forward to playing an integral part in maintaining it!

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