Sunday, August 21, 2011

Same Disease Different Child

I know the Lord gives us trial so we can learn from them I just wonder what I missed the first time around that would cause this to happen to another child of mine. I would love input from everyone who reads this so that I can learn everything I can in hopes that I can save our family from more heart ache.

Ben came home from the first day of school and said that he didn't feel good. His head hurt and so did his stomach. Well, I figured he was nervous because this year he has 2 teachers and he is the kind of kid who clings onto 1. So I told him that everything would be ok and Facebooked his teacher from last year to see if she could tell me anything about his teachers. She assured that they were great and that he'd love the class. So I sent him to school the next day. Same thing. This time he had a worse headache. So I gave him a Tylenol. It seemed to help and when he went to bed he still had it. Wednesday morning he went to school feeling fine but came home crying. I gave him 2 Tylenols and had him lay down. They didn't even touch his headache. At quarter to 6 I had to go over to the school to do Back to School night with the PTA because I told them I'd do the membership drive. I gave him a dose of childrens liquid tylenol and told him that his Dad would be home in a half an hour, left him in Sophie's care and took my cell phone so they could call me if it got worse. Well, Joel and I had a co-ed softball game at 7:30 and when I got there Ben was there with Joel and he said he was doing better. Everything went well until 2 in the morning when he started throwing up. Up until then I was just hoping it was something else. ANYTHING else. Shayne threw up so much that her stomach muscles hurt for a week. Right then I knew. So I stayed up with him and when his stomach settled down I tried to give him some Tylenol for the headache and he threw it up.
Shayne's meningitis was viral and there was nothing they could do in the hospital except hydrate her and give her morphine. Shayne was so dehydrated that it took 11 bags of fluid to rehydrate her. Ben wasn't that bad yet and my mind raced on weather or not to take him to the ER. He wasn't near as bad as Shayne and her bill came to $9,000. We do not have medical insurance. I called Andy to come help Joel give him a blessing around 7am and he was here in a matter of minutes. Thank You Andy. As the morning rolled around I got everyone off to school, Joel went to work and I called JoEllen to see if she could pick David up at the ER if I needed her to. Of course she said yes and I went to pray. I told Heavenly Father that Ben needed some rest and that I was going to give him a Lortab to hopefully help this happen and that if he threw it up then I would know to take him to the hospital. So I gave it to him and it stayed down for about a half an hour which would be enough time for it to start to work but then he threw up. So, I got all ready to go and Ben had fallen asleep. Finally. So I didn't know what to do. He was getting some rest but he did throw up. So I waited. David and I went into my room to watch a movie so we wouldn't wake him up and we fell asleep. When Ben woke up I found that Joel was asleep on the bed with us. Ben had the worse headache yet so we left. I called JoEllen on the way and she pulled up right as we did.

The nurse in the Er thought that we were one of "those" kind of parents that think that just because one kid had it now every kid has it. I wanted to ring her neck. Especially when the spinal tap came back positive. The Dr. was really nice and didn't even think twice about doing it. Although he didn't let me stay and help like the last Dr did. This one made us leave and wait out in the waiting room. Joel was, of course, fine with that but I was a little mad to have to leave Ben. But they put him completely out so he wouldn't have needed me anyway.

While we were waiting for results Michael brought us Cafe Rio. Thanks so much Dad! I hadn't even noticed that I hadn't taken my medication that morning or eaten anything so I really needed some good food. After they found out that it was indeed meningitis they had a shuttle come pick him up and move him to the other hospital to the Pediatric Unit. That was new for us.

Joel went with him and I ran to Target to buy him a Teddy Bear. This kid LOVES bears. Then I joined them in his room. It was an isolated room like Shayne's but they didn't make everyone wear the smock and gloves, just the mask. By that time it was around 6pm. Everything went well after that. They gave him some good pain killers and had him all hooked up to everything. Joel stayed around for awhile then went back home to check on things and to get a change of clothes for me and Ben and my medication. Jan had brought dinner for the kids. Thanks Jan. I am truly blessed to have such great family members live so close. Joel came back around 9 with Josh. They stayed for an hour and then we went to sleep.

The nurses were great. They told Ben the next day that if he ate a good breakfast then they would let him play the Wii. He was excited for that. Although he told me he was afraid to eat because he didn't want to throw up again. He ate a little and she brought in this portable machine that had 2 sets of controllers and 20 games preloaded into it. It was AWESOME! He loved that it was mostly new games that he didn't have and that he didn't have to share. He played for about 3 hours straight. JoEllen came over to see how we were doing and brought her ipad for me to use. Which was great because I don't play the wii very well and I was sick of reading. Thanks JoEllen. Ben played until the nurses came back into give him more medicine and then he relaxed, watched TV and ate lunch. Elaine brought us a subway sandwich and some cantaloupe which was delicious. Thanks Mom. Around 3 he was up for games again and Kyson, Kobe and Zack all came to visit. They took turns playing the Wii with him. He loved it.

Then Shayne came and brought my kids and Madi. It was a party. Ben loved every second of it. Everyone took turns playing against him. When they all left around 5 the nurse came back in to give him another round of antibiotics and he finally slowed down enough to feel that he had over done it. So more pain meds and that night he slept so hard he snored. The night before he was up every hour and a half to use the bathroom (the IV was turned up to high) and then it took a half an hour to get back to sleep so neither of us got much sleep. The next morning Dr. Chamberlain came back to check on the labs and told us that the results to see if it is Viral or Bacterial were not back yet but that because Ben was given a 3rd round of antibiotic at 4:30am, while he was still sleep, that it would cover him for 24 hours and they would have the results within 11 or 12 hours and if it was bacterial then he would be covered until they could get him on a prescription antibiotic. So we were released around 11. We are home and he still has to miss school for the next week to let his body recover.

I went and bought him a new Wii game and he will be fine. I just don't know what lesson I was supposed to learn that I missed. I am extremely grateful to my family and neighbors who helped me out. Especially Kyson, Kobe and Zack who cheered Ben up by coming to visit. Grateful for my health and try to stay healthy. So incredibly grateful for Howard (Dr. Chamberlain) and his knowledge and friendship that I've been blessed with for around 17 years. Love my kids and Joel so much that I cry each time I even think about how blessed I am to have them.

I just feel like I missed something. If you have any ideas please let me know. I know that I am suppressing emotions this time around. I still haven't gotten over this happening to Shayne and I've decided to just not show any feelings at all otherwise I would fall apart and that wouldn't be good for anyone. So, if I seem cold for awhile when I talk about this it's because I feel I have to for now. It would probably be better if I just didn't talk about it. I can't let myself cry or I won't stop. I will however double up on my antidepressants and go on. Thank you all for all you do and have done for my family. Your friendship and love. I am eternally grateful.


Dan and Katie said...

Maybe it's not necessarily something you didn't learn, or even need to learn. Maybe these trials are just experiences that are given to you so you can use them as a tool to bless others. Maybe Heavenly Father knew that although these would be very trying times for the Beckstrand family- He knew that the Beckstrand family would pull through stronger than ever, and that there are some other families who will look to them for strength when they encounter trials like these. Maybe you are being taught a lesson- but maybe you are being prepped to be an even bigger instrument in the Lords hands. Much love and prayers to you and your family!

Greg and Mel said...

I agree with the fact that you may need these experiences to help others in the future. About a year ago, I was asked to give a talk in sacrament meeting about the trials we are given and how we are supposed to learn from them. I am still trying to figure that out in my own life, but know that someday, I will know exactly why I went through the things I did. I'm sorry that this happened to you guys again, especially without insurance. We aren't insured either, so I know how awful that can be. I'm glad that Ben is ok and home, that is the biggest blessing of all :) Love you much, let me know if you need anything!


Kris said...

I'm so sorry that you've been blessed with this learning experience not only once, but TWICE! You always bring back such good memories to my mind of when we were both in the 9th ward. I have no doubt that somehow you will come through this with amazing grace and strength even though right now you may not be able to see how. Good luck with everything and know you're in our prayers!

Lauri said...

I work with a lot of families who have multiple children with severe disabilities. I know they ask themselves the same question all the time. But I am always amazed the confidence they portray with the later children they are helping. They know the system better than they did the first time. Life educates us with the tools we need to help others. Even if its our own children. You do have a wonderful family.

Sarah Miller said...

Penny, I wish I could be at least half the person that you are. You have been through some amazing trials and pulled through like a champ. You are a strong, spiritual giant that is a shining example to all of those around you. I don't think you realize how much I look at your family as model examples of what I strive to be and to teach my family. Anything that I thought of Katie pretty much summed up. And like others have said, these experiences have taught me something valuable. When we got the phone call that Ben was in the hospital I can't express the sinking feeling I got. (sorry tearing up here) I didn't realize just how much these Primary kids mean to me. Your kids are loved soooo much by all of the primary leaders. I feel bad that it took a scary experience like this to remind me of my responsibility to teach and love each and every child in the Primary. Thank you for your examples. And I know what you mean by you just can't let the emotions show cause it leads to more than what we can handle. We've had some experiences in the last year that have taught me that. :) Please know that we love you and your family and thank you for the opportunity to pray so fervently and sincerely for your amazing son.