Monday, August 15, 2011

August 15, 2011 - And Then...

Two Fridays ago, August 5th, our family departed for a weekend safari to the Masai Mara.  The plan was simple: drive to our camp at the Mara, meet up with our friends The Burt Family,  go on some game drives to see the Great Migration, leave the kids at camp with Rose for a hot air balloon ride (a present for my 30th and 31st birthdays) on Saturday morning, have a great time, come home on Sunday.  Nice plan, right?  Unfortunately...that is not at all how the weekend went, or the entire week that followed as a matter of fact.  Here's a summary of what happened:

Halfway through our drive to the Mara, Noah began to be sick.  Fever, vomiting.  We thought it might be car sickness, but he continued to get worse.

AND THEN...

Early Saturday morning - when it was still pitch black out! - Kristoffer and I attempted to go on our hot air balloon ride.  We had a one hour drive to get to the balloon site - saw two black rhinos at least! - and watched as they tried to get the balloon up in the air.  It was way too windy in that particular spot, though, and our balloon ride was cancelled because it was unsafe to take off.  I was so disappointed that I cried.

AND THEN...

We had a good game drive to get back to camp after the balloon disappointment, but right after we ate breakfast we packed up to drive back to Nairobi (less than 24 hours after our arrival).  I had talked to Dr. Nesbitt and he was worried about Noah's fever.

AND THEN...

The short cut we were told to take to drive home faster ended up taking about one hour longer than the way we had originally come.

AND THEN...

The car's engine overheated and stalled us for another hour as Kristoffer put about 15 liters of water in it (there was no coolant! this was a Landcruiser we had rented for safari).

AND THEN...

Noah developed a rash all over his entire body.  Continued to have a high fever.  Continued vomiting.  Longest car ride ever.

AND THEN...

We finally got back to Nairobi - about 6 hours later - and Noah was instantly admitted to the Gertrude's Children Hospital, where he had also been admitted as a newborn with a virus as well.  He was given IV fluids and his blood tests showed a very high white blood cell count (double, actually) so he was started on IV antibiotics.  Rash got worse.  It was believed to be a virus in addition to the bacterial infection.

AND THEN...

On Sunday, Grace was miserable.  We thought she was just unhappy with me and Noah being in the hospital and all of the attention he was getting, but she turned out to have a high fever as well and "the rash" slowly developed all over her body as well.  They couldn't treat her in the ward where Noah was admitted because she wasn't also admitted, so she ended up going through the emergency room.  Once her fever came down she was better but in addition to the fever/rash virus, she was also diagnosed with a urinary tract infection and was also put on antibiotics.

AND THEN...

Every time Kristoffer went to start our car, the battery was dead so he kept having to get a jump. Also, I started to have pain in my right knee whenever I bent it.

AND THEN...

Finally, after a great night on Monday when his fever finally broke (48 hours on the dot after starting IV fluids and antibiotics), Noah was discharged and we were home after lunch on Tuesday.  Grace was also feeling much better by this time.

AND THEN...

I started to feel unwell.  Had a terrible headache, increasing pain in my right knee, new pain to move my neck, and general discomfort.

AND THEN...

Around midnight I became really nervous about my neck pain (thinking: meningitis! no!) and inability to tolerate any light.  I've had migraines before and this was just as bad as or worse than they were.  Kristoffer took me to the emergency room, with both kids in the car, and drove to pick up Rose at her home so that she could stay with the kids and he could go back to me in the emergency room.

AND THEN...

The emergency room was awful.  There was only one other person there, and they still were insanely slow.  They gave me something for the pain, but would not give me IV fluids, even though I asked.  My blood work came back with a possible sign of infection so they gave me antibiotics and pain meds and sent me home.

AND THEN...

I was so sick that I could barely sleep. I was mostly just moaning.

AND THEN...

I started vomiting.  Couldn't even keep down one sip of water or one bite of banana.  Called my cardiologist/general practitioner and he said to come in.

AND THEN...

He immediately admitted me to the hospital (this time Nairobi Hospital where he practices, not Aga Khan as usual) for observation, pain medication, and most of all IV fluids - I was seriously dehydrated.  I was diagnosed with "viral meningismus", which is basically all of the symptoms of meningitis (so my fears were not that far off!) but without the actual inflammation of the brain or spinal cord (THANK GOD). I felt much better after the first bag of fluids and continued to get well quickly - the medicine they had given me in the ER had just made me so much sicker with the vomiting AND I did not have a bacterial infection so shouldn't have been on antibiotics in the first place.

AND THEN...

I went home late morning on Thursday feeling exhausted by the whole week, but not sick anymore.

It took all day Friday before I felt somewhat myself again.  Grace was so happy because Friday morning was the first day she woke up and I was home and well all week.  She and Noah recovered quickly and were doing great - it was amazng to have all of us home.

Saturday was my birthday - thank you to my wonderful husband for his sweet blog and for everything he did to keep us all afloat last week.  I had a lovely, happy day (which included a 2 1/2 hour spa treatment) and have never been more grateful for my family to be healthy again!

That was more than enough drama for awhile.  Let's have a calm, quiet, boring week now please!
LMW

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