After getting the ball rolling here on my blog, I certainly didn't intend to disappear from posting. I also have been remiss in posting to/reading messages on Facebook. In addition, I've been doing the barest of email reading. If you haven't heard from me, chances are I don't even know you tried to reach me.
The last day my middle child, my oldest daughter, my Magpie, attended school was October 25, 2013. I've been rather focused on her, and more than a tad freaked-out. (If you take "overwhelmed" and mix it in with "incalculably worried", you get "more than a tad freaked-out.")
When her illness started, she was pale, feverish, with recurring headaches, a bit of a sore throat, and fatigued. Of course, after a couple days, we headed to the pediatrician for a thorough exam, a throat swab... and a diagnosis of "a virus." My girl spent the two weeks following this diagnosis sleeping countless hours each day, not eating enough, pale as a ghost, and miserable. There were three more physical examinations, eighteen different tests run on my daughter's blood, a chest x-ray...
During the third pediatric office visit, when the physician was writing orders for the last round of blood tests, I pressed to have Maggie tested for Lyme Disease.
Despite our not having been aware of Maggie having been bitten by a tick since April, the symptoms matched. When she was bitten in April, the tick was actually crushed by the waistband of her jeans before it could drink her blood and swell. But, this summer was a very bad one as far as ticks were concerned, and not just at our place on the river. One morning, I was sitting on the patio flagstones working on some painting project, and on the ground next to me was a tick, completely full and bloated to the size of a pebble.
I thought about that tick, lying on the ground in my teeny backyard, about Magpie's waist-length, thick, curly hair, and about how a tick might latch on, fill up, fall off, unnoticed over the course of a weekend at the river. Of course, my kids shower there, but there are always seven to twelve people at the river house and only one bathroom; showers are taken quickly.
24 days after the onset of her illness, Maggie's blood work came back positive for Lyme Disease. The delay in her diagnosis, and more importantly her treatment, puts her at risk for other health issues, as well as prolonging the symptoms of Lyme Disease beyond a "typical" span.
At this point, Maggie's been taking medication for 21 days, and is still suffering from crushing fatigue, headaches, joint pain, light-headedness, and malaise. Besides feeling badly physically, she's frustrated, sad, and lonely.
Maggie is currently receiving homebound instruction through our school district; the teacher is a fifth-grade teacher (actually from Maggie's middle school, which is a huge help) who comes in the evenings and on weekends. My girl hasn't attended regular school in five weeks; I don't know when she'll be able to go back.
I'm not sure how to express the anxiety- sometimes it rides the surface of the day like a thick blanket, and other times, it skims the background like the music piped in stores. The anxiety, sadness, frustration, and fear has left me too brain-fried to work on my new classes or my writing. I have been working on a number of jewelry pieces (more on that soon) while I'm keeping Maggie company. (being home for so long is hard for her.)
We had a great week when, as a lead in to The 50th Anniversary of Dr. Who, BBC America aired a multi-day marathon of old Dr. Who episodes. Maggie is a huge Dr. Who fan (a Whovian), so I set up a bed for her in front of the large TV. She watched as she was able and slept as she needed. The Thanksgiving holiday break helped since Gryphon was home. He pulled out all the old-school Nintendo DS and GameBoy Advance Pokemon games, and enrolled her his trip down memory lane.
I'll keep you posted; keep Magpie in your prayers?