Wednesday, March 03, 2010

An outline of the last sick months

I guess I should have said "six months", but I think you'll understand.

The day we met Mariah and Elisha, they were sick. Four days later, while we were still in Addis Ababa, I got sick.

Here's a rundown what has happened from that time until now:

9/14 - Elisha is placed in our arms with a virus or cold of some kind and a digestive problem
9/14 - Mariah is weak and listless from a history of malnourishment and seems to be fading
9/18 - Mariah is diagnosed with an ear infection, stomach flu and a respiratory infection
9/18 - Elisha is diagnosed with a respiratory infection
9/18 - Eli gets food poisoning from an Addis Ababa restaurant. Debilitating symptoms last for five days until departure for America
9/24 - Eli (the day after returning home) finds out he caught a rhinovirus on the plane ride home. It lasts 3 weeks
9/25 - Mariah makes an emergency trip to our doctor to deal with her continuing fever and respiratory problems
9/30 - Mariah's first trip to the pediatrician confirms what the doctor said a few days before. It's discovered she also needs to redo all of her vaccinations and be tested for exposure to TB.

10/1 - Elisha's first trip to the pediatrician. Almost recovered from his cold, he is tested for digestive problems.
10/13 - Anne-Marie develops the same virus Eli has from the plane. It lasts 2 weeks
10/14 - Elisha is diagnosed with two serious digestive tract infections. Two different antibiotics are prescribed.
10/17 - Eli gets the flu. Bedridden, but advice nurse says it's untreatable. It lasts 3 days.
10/31 - Mariah tests positive for exposure to TB. Continuing treatment is required.

11/1 - For the first time since coming home, no one in the family is sick. We return to church.
11/14 - Both kids wake up with colds. Elisha recovers in a week.
11/25 - Mariah is brought to the doctor because she cannot recover from the virus. No treatment is available, but we buy a vaporizer to help her breathe at night.

12/3 - Eli and Anne-Marie both develop viruses. Eli recovers after 2 weeks; Anne-Marie struggles to recover.
12/15 - Anne-Marie is recovering from the virus when she catches the flu. She is bedridden for 3 days.
12/25 - We are thankful to all be well as we celebrate Christmas.

1/10 - Anne-Marie catches a virus. After a week and a half, she believes she has recovered.
1/17 - Anne-Marie feels better but cannot regain her appetite. She has occasional dizziness.
1/18 - Elisha begins to struggle with a stomach virus.
1/20 - Mariah wakes up with a cold. It lasts a week.
1/22 - Elisha wakes up with a cold. It lasts a week.
1/23 - Anne-Marie, while on vacation, begins to feel worse. Her energy level drops.

2/1 - Anne-Marie, desperate to regain her energy and appetite, sees the doctor. She is diagnosed with a deep sinus infection and receives antibiotics.
2/3 - Eli gets a cold, but fights it off in 3 days.
2/5 - Anne-Marie, while treating her sinus problems with the prescribed antibiotics, still becomes very ill for 5 days.
2/8 - Elisha's stomach virus continues and is joined by a fever.
2/9 - Elisha's pediatrician diagnoses him with a double ear infection and bronchialitis. Antibiotics help him recover in a week and a half.
2/13 - Mariah's cold returns. She recovers in two weeks.
2/15 - Anne-Marie, still not able to recover, calls the doctor. The doctor prescribes stronger antibiotics for another 10 days.
2/16 - Eli's cold comes back along with a fever. He recovers in one week.
2/25 - Elisha's lab results reveal that his stomach virus was not a recurrence of the bacterial infection he had in Ethiopia.
2/26 - Anne-Marie wakes up with a fever. She discovers she has strep throat. She is still recovering.

3/1 - Anne-Marie's doctor officially diagnoses her with strep throat and prescribes a third round of antibiotics.
3/2 - Elisha wakes up with a cold.
3/2 - Mariah develops a rash on her legs.
3/3 - Mariah's rash worsens. We believe it to be impetigo. The advice nurse urges us to come to the clinic.
3/4 - Mariah goes to see the doctor.
3/5 - Who knows?

I've been hesitant to post a lot of this on the blog for a few reasons. First, because I doubt a lot of times that people want to read about the bad stuff. Second, because I don't want to sound like I'm ungrateful for what we have and all the joy the kids have brought into our lives. Third, because many times I didn't have the physical energy to even blog.

So, here it is. A line-by-line documentation of one of the toughest seasons in our life. Or at least one aspect of it. If you don't like reading it, I won't blame you for a second.

I know this all sounds negative. No. Forget "sounds negative" it IS negative. But I can't help but think about how much energy we'll feel like we have when we are functioning as a healthy family of four.


  1. Danielle Carlson3/03/2010 7:28 PM

    we are there with you Eli and Anne Marie, the last months one person in the family has been on antibiotics every week for something. We have had asthma attacks, had to use our nebulizer and get refills for it and had to get pain meds. So while you guys have had it a lot more rough I am def sympathizing with you right now

  2. We've been praying for you guys! Hope to hear you are all healthy SOON!