We were told when the kids were in the hospital that adults do not commonly get Lacrosse. It is generally a disease that effects children under 16. Generally. The Lacrosse virus is very sporadic and generally only one member in a family is randomly effected. It is not a disease that effects multiple family member because it is not contagious person to person. Generally.
I have had some of you chasing me down on Facebook asking where I was, commenting on my blog that they have hoped all is well in my odd absence. I really do appreciate your concern. Life has been crazy lately. Let me explain where I’ve been.
The past few weeks my father has been running a low grade fever. Now being the stubborn, middle aged farmer he is, the doctor was continually put off. He had more important things to do. My mom was concerned he had mold poisoning. When the kids were in Akron he was in one of the silos working on it. The fever and cold like symptoms followed shortly thereafter. The only way my mom finally convinced him to go to the doctor was she was there waiting for an x-ray (a whole other story) and urgent care didn’t have a line to be seen. The doctor said he had a sinus infection, prescribed some antibiotics, Mom had her x-ray and home they went.
The next morning Dad was feeling worse instead of better. He went to the barn and milked. After milking he went home while and laid down to nap. Mom had an appointment with an orthopedic doctor as a follow up to her x-ray and was gone a for awhile over lunch. Dad woke up, realized he slept for almost 6 hours and headed over to the farm.
When he walked in to the milking parlor he looked miserable. I was talking to him and he just seemed off. Something was obviously wrong. Tom came in and after seeing him was worried he was having a stroke. He was trying to get Dad to sing The Happy Birthday song, Dad thinking he was just being sarcastic just laughed. After sitting there for awhile my dad went up to the house to see my grandpa. Upon coming back he was having a hard time completing sentences and getting the right words he wanted to say. Thank goodness we finally got him to go back home. Mom was home from her appointment and they left for the emergency room.
Once they got to the ER, the doctors began asking some background questions. Immediately the kids were brought up and a spinal tap was ordered. The next problem came when they realized Dad had lower back surgery and a significant amount of scar tissue. It took them three attempts to get fluid before it worked. Ouch. His results were back shortly and sure enough it was viral meningitis.
While this was all going on Dad was slowly slipping farther and farther away. By the time he was admitted and in a room he was pretty well mentally gone thanks to the encephalitis. The first few days at the hospital were rough. He was very uncomfortable. They were trying to keep him comfortable and resting with IV drugs being administered every so often. This was not helping him rest very well at all. Due to the encephalitis he also had become very hard to handle when he was awake. Although not really responsive or coherent he would fight the nurses and doctors when they would examine him.
Saturday night Dad had a rough evening, he kept coughing and acting like he was choking. No one was overly concerned because he would calm right down. My mom mentioned it to the doctors in the morning, after a brief exam he could find nothing wrong. This happened again Sunday night. My mom became a little more firm about something needing to be done. His nurse called in a second nurse, then a doctor was called in. He was immediately moved to the ICU. Dad had aspirated in to his lungs.
Sometimes the ICU is viewed as a bad thing or a step back. In Dad’s case we’ve been assured by a few nurses that this is probably where he should have came immediately. Once in ICU he was sedated and placed on a ventilator. This is all to help him rest more effectively. All the infectious disease doctors have said the best way to heal encephalitis is rest, rest and more rest. They are going to try every morning to take the ventilator off. He was breathing on his own before the ventilator and is currently breathing over the ventilator as well. So there is no real worry he can’t breathe on his own, this is all just making it easier on his body. However, they won’t remove the ventilator until he is responsive and follow commands. It is a scary thing to see someone hooked to a vent, but Dad is much more peaceful right now.
They have assured us that the aspiration is small. Dad was also on antibiotics before he aspirated so hopefully this helps with keeping pneumonia under control.
Please keep my parents in your prayers and thoughts. When the kids were sick Tom and I had each other for support. Mom’s main support system is laying in bed, critically ill. The nice thing right now is Dad is currently in a local hospital. We have been able to go see him around milking and chores fairly easily. There is so much to do right now at the farm! We are really blessed to have 2 great kids working for us right now. This craziness can end anytime now!
So I haven’t ran away from the blogging world! I also have some great stuff planned for future blogs if I ever have the time. Ever wonder what happens when a cow becomes critically ill? Why dairy cows are skinnier than beef cows? Please be patient with me, I will keep everyone posted on my dad and hopefully, hopefully we just may get back to farm life one of these days!!!