Monday, October 22, 2007

My Poor Sick Jenna

Wednesday was the beginning of Fall break and Jenna and her friends had been looking forward to their break from school. There were lots of fun things planned - a trip to the haunted corn maze, a haunted house, a bonfire at James Hazard's house - but on Wednesday evening Jenna came home around 9:00 and went straight to bed. She said she kept getting light-headed and felt like she might be getting sick. The next day she slept late, then met some friends for lunch and an afternoon hanging out at James Carrol's house. I was surprised when she returned home almost immediately and said she was feeling really bad and she went straight to bed. By that evening she was running a 102 degree fever and she slept almost non-stop through Friday evening. We called Barry - our doctor - but his nurse told us that they were seeing a lot of this virus and we could expect the fever to last three days and the cough to hang on for 20 days. By Saturday her fever was getting higher and she was so lethargic that it was starting to get a little scary. We called the Barry again, and he told us to increase the dosage of ibuprofen that we had been giving her. When I saw him at church on Sunday morning, he seemed concerned that her fever hadn't broken yet. He said if she still had a fever on Monday morning he should see her in the office. That night she broke down crying. It hurt so badly to cough but she couldn't stop coughing, she was achey and her fever had now climbed to 105 degrees which really was scary to me. We called the Barry yet again and he told us to alternate Tylenol and ibuprofen and to bring her to the office first thing the next morning. Kim took her in and after an exam and a chest x-ray it was determined that Jenna had pneumonia. She was given a prescription and by Tuesday she was on the road to recovery. Good thing too, because the Barry was going to hospitalize her if the antibiotic hadn't kicked in by then. On one hand it was not a great way to spend fall break, but on the other hand it was nice to have time to be sick without stressing about falling behind in school. It's amazing that you can be so sick and that just a few little pills can make you well so quickly. I Thank God for antibiotics and for good doctors! At first Jenna had trouble keeping the medication down. I asked Barry if we could change the antibiotic, but he said no-that it was exactly what she needed to be on and if she could keep it down for at least an hour her body would have gotten most of the benefit from it. It worked wonders and she was able to return to school for 1/2 days on Thursday and Friday before heading off to Michigan on a college visit and ACT test on Friday afternoon. I remember when my grandmother was asked what was the most important invention of her lifetime, her response was antibiotics. She said when she was young she saw several normally healthy people get viruses and die, but that after the development of antibiotics it was rare to die of pneumonia in this country. After seeing how sick Jenna was, and the complete turnaround once she was on the proper medication, I have a new appreciation for what grandma said.

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