Every great once in a while you look at the newspaper when you take it out of the box and you are surprised. This morning was one of those mornings. I pulled in to the farm drive at the lovely hour of 3:45 am and stopped at the paper box to get Grandpa’s Daily Record. He is a die-hard reader. We live in a rural community, not much happens and the fact that this man scours the paper daily like he does amazes me.
After parking the truck I scanned the headlines. The front page story popped right out at me. “Holmes, Wayne Health Department ID Encephalitis Case” , part of the article can be found online at the-daily-record.com but you have to be a paid subscriber to read the whole article. Well, well I thought someone has caught on! Then I read the article…
“There is an area near Shreve we are really concerned about,” said Holmes County Health Commissioner Dr. D.J. McFadden (Source: The Daily Record, Reporter Christine Pratt). Would you like to hear how “concerned” they are, from the actual person living this nightmare? We had 1, I repeat 1 phone call that lasted maybe 2 minutes. I was basically told they were calling to follow up because they had to. Yes, this is the concern I, who just spent almost 2 weeks in the hospital with my children, wanted to hear. Because they had to. There is a high level of concern…
The article goes on to say there will be no spraying because it is not effective. We should all just wear long sleeves, mosquito repellant should be used and say a few extra prayers before leaving your house (ok, I may have added that last part). I will say one thing, I’m glad the article was done, if nothing else, to bring awareness. Holmes county is the number 1 county in the state for cases of Lacrosse and our health department is so concerned that to help in preventing cases all they are doing is telling you to wear bug spray and long sleeves. There is a high level of concern…
So after reading this article I was a tad livid. I posted a nice little rant to my personal Facebook page and was not surprised to find I was not the only one who found this frustrating. Later today I will be contacting several state representatives. I figure if I wait until I get to the hospital to sit with my dad it will give me something to do. You know, his conversation skills aren’t real great right now while in a medically induced coma. Because he was bitten by a mosquito that didn’t get the memo you don’t bite people wearing bug spray.
Maybe people who work Holmes and Wayne county health departments should come visit him. Take a gander at the condition he’s in. Maybe they would like to look at the picture my husband snapped while our daughter was hooked to a ventilator from having an intense seizure that lasted 40 minutes before it could be stopped. Maybe they could have witnessed her being so scared she vomited after witnessing her one brother have a seizure not an hour after she returned home from a weeks stay at Akron Children’s. They should talk to Taylor to find out what great fun it is to lay in a crib in the ICU while you run a 104 degree temperature. Emma could tell them what it’s like to not put the right name with the right face when your little friends come to your 5th birthday party. Both Emma and Taylor could list all the fun side effects their anti-seizure medicine causes: upset stomach, irritability, anxiousness, insomnia. I could tell them how terrifying to watch a 7 month old baby lay limp while running a terrifyingly high temperature and be told as long as he is hydrated not to worry, then when he is on the mend have your 4 year old seize, once she is better and you’re home from the hospital ready to decompress, you then get to watch your 3 year old seize.
Oh wait the health department is concerned, they told you to wear bug spray and long sleeves. That’s right, it’s all under control.
Below are links where you can read about Emma, Taylor, Henry and my dad’s illnesses.
An update on my dad: They are trying to wean him off of the heavy sedation on to a lighter one in hopes that it will help him be responsive when he wakes up. This was very rough on him (and all involved) yesterday until they found the right cocktail to bring him down gradually. As of now he is still fairly unresponsive and won’t follow commands. Until he can follow commands he has to remain on the ventilator. They have started a feeding tube to provide nutrition. This morning he is having a second CAT scan to see if there are any clues as to why he is still not responding. Please continue your prayers and support for him, my mom and our entire family as we go thru this. I would hate to see anyone else go thru this awful nightmare.
A fund has been set up to help defray the kids medical expenses. It can be found at: http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/mcdonnell-family-medical-expense-fund/209427
Also thank you to Christina Pratt for writing the article and shedding some light on this issue. People need to be aware of what’s going on. If you live in the Lakeville/Big Prairie/Shreve area PLEASE be careful.