than a sick child. When our youngest child was nearly three, the Asian flu reached epidemic proportions in the US. We all had it, one after the other, and this child's body morphed it into an ear infection, followed rapidly by pneumonia, empyema and then a collapsed lung. The doctors missed the beginnings of pneumonia; I think it was because she was on antibiotics for the ear infection and that was just enough to mask the developing lung problems, plus she cried like a banshee while the doc was trying to listen to her chest.
All of us had the flu, and someone in the family had been ill for at least two weeks. I sorely needed a break. Mr. kenju was travelling, so I hired a baby sitter to come in for 3 hours, so I could go food shopping and just get some time away from the house. When I returned a little over two hours later, the baby was spiking a temp of 105*. (Where were cell phones when I could have really used one?!) I called the doctors' office and had to leave a message. When the doc called back, I never realized until after the end of the call that it was not OUR Doc. Brown, the pediatrician, but another Dr. Brown (whose specialty I have forgotten). He didn't remember us as his patients, but I guess he didn't want to admit that, so he told me to bathe her in tepid water and if the fever didn't respond, to call back.
While I was trying to bathe her in the tub, she was swatting at imaginary flies and other beasties, scaring me half out of my wits. The fever abated a little, but not enough. However, in my decision not to be a pest and worry-wart with the doc, I didn't call back until about 5 am, when I was able to speak to our doctor, who told me to take her immediately to the hospital, and he would meet me there. After an xray, it was shown that she had pneumonia in one lung, and she was bedded down and IV's of broad-spectrum antibiotics were administered.
To make a long story short, she was in that hospital for 28 days. The last photo was taken the day she was coming home. She is shown with her last hospital roommate, a very sweet little girl named Enda, who had sickle-cell anemia. I often wondered what happened to Enda, and whether she was able to beat the grim statistics and live. We hope so, Enda, wherever you are.
P.S. the only thing worse than this is burying a child. I hope we never have to find out how much worse.