In case you haven’t heard me say it a thousand times, this year has been tough for us Thompsons. Robbie’s back surgery was the big black X on the calendar that marked the end of tough times. A few weeks after the surgery Robbie could walk without having to use a cane (thank God because he missed the cane as a fashion accessory moment) and things were looking up. His best friend rented a house on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire and we were so ready to get on the water with the boys and hang out with good friends for a few days.
We were at the lake house for approximately 15 hours before I had to pack up Bennett and Finn and drive home. A couple of hours after we got to the lake house Bennett seemed off. He had a slight temperature at dinnertime and by midnight I knew it was one of his bad fevers. Since May he’s been having high fevers that last almost a week. The first time it happened I took him to urgent care with a temperature of 105. It was Mothers Day and the pediatrician on call told me that they would only monitor him until he’d had the fever for six days (we were on day five). Working on that information (which is wrong by the way), I didn’t take him in the next two times it happened for five days in a row because I didn’t want to put him through all the poking and prodding and waiting around just to be told to come back in a couple of days.
But this time felt different, so I took him to the urgent care. Urgent care sent me to South Shore ER, South Shore ER sent me to Boston Children’s Hospital and at 5am, their emergency room admitted Bennett to a hospital bed. He showed one of the signs present in Kawasaki disease, (a “high and persistent fever that is not very responsive to normal treatment with acetaminophen or ibuprofen”). Most of the key indications were not present – rashes, edema or “strawberry tongue”, swollen hands and feet… But Kawasaki disease is a specialty of the Boston Children’s hospital, and we stayed three long nights searching for symptoms that weren’t there. Bennett was hooked up to a drip and had people coming in every hour to take his blood pressure, check his IV, take his temperature… He had a catheter to take a urine sample, three sets of blood draws, saline and sugar IVs and 698 interruptions to what little sleep he was getting, to take vitals.
We didn’t find anything. We still have no idea what keeps happening to our little boy. But at least he’s home, where there are no beeping machines to keep him awake, no IV to hurt his little arm and no tubes to get tangled up in. His body tells a story of a three night hospital stay. He has four needle stick bruises on his arms and hands and I feel like I’m hurting him when I pick him up. And we have to give him antibiotics for six more days. I remember the taste of Amoxicillin from my childhood. Giving it to Bennett three times a day is killing me. He hates it and it’s making him throw up. I’m trying to get as much food into him as possible so he’s not taking it on an empty stomach but it still makes him sick. Six more days. IT’S. KILLING. ME.