The trip ended up being absolutely awful, but not for the reasons I expected. On Sunday, my son has, what was, apparently, a febrile seizure (this is so difficult for me to write about--all I want to do is forget it ever happened). It happened at my father's partner's home, about 1/2 hour after we'd arrived to visit on the second day. It was terrifying. I have never been so afriad in my life. I was numb when it was happening, unable to comprehend that this was really happening. I just kept holding him, repeating my mantra, "It's ok, mama's here", thinking, this is weird, when will this be over?, in a detatched sort of way. We spent the day in a strange city in the ER (after arriving by ambulance) having tests--spinal tap, x-rays, CT scan, blood work. All negative. I remeber my sister's febrile seizures (suddenly it dawns on my that we have a family history--a horrible thing to contemplate, I never even thought things like this could happen to my child), my mother yelling, "Leah, she's dead, Oh God, Leah, She's dead" (thankfully, she wasn't), but I don't recall feeling then the panicky dread in the pit of my stomach that I feel even now while typing these words. After a long nap in the ER, ds's fever is down from 103 to 99 and they want to move us up to the pedi ward "for observation". It sounds good to me, until we get to the pedi ward and an unsmiling nurse straps an alarm on my son without even introducing herself and inform me that he must sleep in this strange cage they call a crib (metal bars up and over and all around--it truly looks like somehitng that belong in a kennel). By this point ds is feeling fine and wanting to run around and explore while tethered to an IV pole. My wonderful friend got the resident and helped my check out AMA. So, everything seems fine, though I am a wreck. Ds is happily running around abuelito's house by 7pm. My father-in-law (who lives 45 minutes outside of Chicago and with whom we were staying) drove us my my parents home (another 3 hours south) so ds could be checked out by the family practice doc who has been very good to my family. He finds nothing, and says, "virus, let it runs its course" and generally gives me some pretty reassuring and practical tips about fever and the possibility of more febrile seizures in the future. Ds still is happily seeming himself, despite a low-grade fever. Then, on Tuesday night we get some random information form my father-in-law--the Dr to whom my son was assigned (and whom we never even saw), calls him to say that ds was postive for meningitis. I panicked, despite the fact that ds wasn't even sick at this point. After 12 hours of hell and more fear, we finally get the lab results read by a specialist who discovers that they have been falsly interpreted and that, just as we can see, ds is fine. Then, 12 hours after that, ds gets stomach flu (lucky it wasn't more after all that time in the ER and in the MD's waiting room!) He is still recovering from that. We finally arrived home on Friday. What was supposed to be a 3 day trip, turned into nearly a week. Then this morning, while playing with dh, ds tumbled off on the bottom step and hit his head. He cried much harder than ever before and held his breath so long, he passed out momentarily. It was like a flashback for me. I was shaking uncontrollably. But, all was ok, though we did err on the side of caution and went to the ER to get him check out.
So, what began as a need to go through some grief had turned into the need to get through some terror and I will definately be calling a therapist on Monday. On a postive note, the radiation has shrunken my friend's tumor and he was very strong. I have hopes to see him again, though I am unable, at this point, to even think about returning to the house where my father died and where ds had what I hope will be his one and only seizure. I am stupidly associating my friend with the whole event and have trouble even calling him now. Wow, sorry this was so long. I don't think this thread belongs here anymore, but I hope its ok.