I’m hanging out at Jensen Tire & Auto at the moment and thinking about the day that was yesterday.
Let me set the stage a bit. On Thursday, I got a text from Jana that Liam was battling a 102 degree fever. He was making a bed wherever Jana and Duncan where in the house and then laying down to rest. He did this in a couple of rooms, and did this outside as well when Jana went to check on the garden. When I came home, he came down to the garage to greet me. He looked different, and that’s when Jana told me about his swollen glands in his neck.
She also told me about how Duncan was taking care of Liam throughout the day, which I posted video of here.
Liam was sick, but we didn’t realize the extent of it at the time. He rested throughout the evening, and went to bed without any issues. We did notice we could hear him breathing from his room. We went to bed hoping he could sleep peacefully.
Friday, about 1:00 AM, Liam wakes up and he’s in discomfort. He still has a slight fever, but his glands are still swollen. He’s breathing is hard and he’s complaining about a sore throat. He doesn’t want to drink anything because it hurts to swallow. As he puts it, “My brain hurts!” (Ask him where his brain hurts he opens his mouth and points inside.)
We get him some medicine and bring him in bed with us to help him go back to sleep. He does, but his breathing is so loud that neither Jana or I can sleep. About an hour later I take him back to his bed. He’s in discomfort, but we’re hoping he’ll stay asleep.
I can’t get back to bed, and I can hear Liam breathing harder and louder from his room. Two hours later (4:00 AM) I hear Liam start to cry from his room. I go in to check on him, and I see some blood on his pillow and bed sheet. I panic a bit, but try to keep me cool. Liam is crying and I’m trying to check him out. I call Jana into his room with me. His mouth is covered in dry blood. We try and comfort him, and eventually he lays back down to sleep.
Jana and I are wide awake at this point. After talking, we call the doctor’s office and talk to a nurse (5:00 AM). The nurse doesn’t think we need to do anything before the doctor’s office opens. We’re now trying to figure out the schedule for the day.
I stay up while Jana tries to get some rest. At 8:00 AM the doctor’s office opens and Jana calls right away. The earliest appointment is 10:00 AM. After discussing options, Jana and the boys drop me off at work. Liam is a constant state of sickness, sleepiness and sadness.
At work, I’m wondering what’s wrong with Liam. While that’s going on, I’m trying to produce a couple of different Double Your Impact videos. Unfortunately, I’m at a point where I am waiting on others to finish their part in the production before I can finish. Projects I was hoping to have progress on this week. The individuals apologized, and I can understand their situations because it’s sneaky busy at CCC right now as the campaign and fall launch of ministries draws near. Still, I know it adds to my workload for next week. I’ll have some late nights. It’s life, I just need to make the best of it.
Jana calls me around noon to tell me the doctor doesn’t know what’s wrong with Liam. It could be tonsilitis, it could be a number of things. I feel comforted…not. (When Jana gave me the update I also had the thought I should have just taken some cash and lit it on fire.) The doctor recommends we take Liam to see an ENT specialist. An appointment is scheduled for 4:00 PM.
(Post within a post. Back home now sans car. Will explain…)
It’s after 5:00 PM and I haven’t heard from Jana. I’m a bit worried, but then she calls and says she’s on her way. When she picks me up I see Liam in the backseat still looking like 3S (sick, sleepy and sad). When I get in the car she informs me that Liam has mono. I’m wondering, “What does this mean?” (And not in the double rainbow sense.)
On the way home, Jana and I talk through the logistics of the next few weeks since Liam will be confined to the house. Immediately, my work schedule is thrown in the air. I had thought I could work late next week, but I’ll need to be home or run errands in the evening. I call Nick (my boss) and touch base briefly about the situation. Projects that were already delayed may be delayed more now.
We get home and Liam is the same he has been since 1:00 AM. Dad and Diane had been watching Duncan, so we come in and Duncan is wondering about Liam. (Sweet boy.) I set Liam down, and he decides to make a bed nearby when I set him. The top of the stairs. He’s there for most of the evening.
I go out later to run two errands, and I take Duncan with me. The second place we go to is Target where I hope to get some juice for Liam. Park the car and turn it off…and the car doesn’t turn off. The key won’t budge. I can turn it forward, but I can’t turn it back to turn it off. For fifteen minutes I mess with it in the Target parking lot. Duncan sits patiently in the back. I’m thinking the timing of another car issue is perfect, and by perfect I mean horrible.
I drive home considering my options. I park in the driveway and mess with the key some more. Jana calls one of our neighbors who works at a car dealership. He comes over and tries to help with the car. Nothing works, so we have to pull one of the wires off the battery to shut the car off. He tells me I can take it to Jensen Tire & Auto in the morning and they should be able to fix it.
I come back inside, and the boys are down. Jana and I sit in the kitchen trying to process everything. Besides the day’s issues, there are other projects (not mentioned here)we’re in the midst of working on at the moment. We go back to our bedroom and talk more. The general feeling we have is helpless. It’s tough to watch your child in the state Liam is in and be able to do nothing about it.
I’m thinking about two other things as well. First is the car. With it needing to be fixed it is more money out of pocket. I mentally battle my doubts of God not providing. It’s been a hard year coming on the heels of the expenses of Jana’s fractured leg. Other expenses have come up throughout the year. Like fixing the car earlier in the month, which cost over $650.
Second I’m thinking about everything going on in life and how I can stay on top of it all. On Thursday, I had started a blog post talking about life at the moment for me. There’s a lot of things going on, and yet I’ve felt like I’ve been spinning my wheels. I had hoped for a return to routine and schedule after a July that saw none of it. At staff development, on Thursday, Lead Pastor Mark had talked about planning and prioritizing as the busy time of the ministry year draws near. It was a timely thing to hear for me and I had just about finished a blog post talking about prioritizing things in my life. That’s all kaput for the moment.
I tweeted with a missionary friend in Bolivia who was having her own bad Friday. (One of her uncles had passed away.) We were ironically exchanging Christian cliches to each other, but also knowing things would work out.
Jana and I went to bed, and once again we heard Liam’s breathing from our room. Occasionally, he’d cry and whine. He came into our room at 1:30 AM. He made a bed for himself on the floor on my side of the bed. It was hard to sleep for Jana and I as we heard him breath. He’d cry occasionally, ask for a drink, and then move to another place in our room to try and rest. A restless night for all of us, except Duncan.
Liam was up early, which was okay because I was able to get ready and take the car over to Jensen Tire & Auto right after it opened. (The car wouldn’t start after I hooked the battery back up, and I was wondering what next would happen. After a few minutes, it did finally start.)
I was at Jensen until I got word on the car. It needs $350 in repairs, but I’ll get the car this afternoon. (In case you’re wondering, that’s $1,000 this month on the car alone.) I walked home from Jensen. (It’s about eight blocks from the house.) On the way I stopped at Hy-Vee and picked up a few things, including a Toy Story 3 shirt for Liam. (Was the $7 purchase necessary after spending $1,000 on the car this month? It’s debatable, but I wanted to get something for Liam since he’s “3S”.)
I came home, and Liam was in his room sleeping on the floor. I went in there, with his shirt, and he opened his eyes a bit. I showed him the new Toy Story 3 shirt and he smiled. Without speaking, he then got up, took off the shirt he was wearing, put on the new Toy Story 3 shirt, and went back to bed.
So now what? Well, we’re not entirely sure. Liam is pretty much confined to the house for at least two weeks. Will any of us get it? Jana had mono in high school so she is in the clear, and I may have had it before. In 2000, I was laid low by what was diagnosed as tonsilitis, but I didn’t have a blood test done. (The doctor helped out us missionaries for a good price, but not always the right diagnosis from this clinic.) Regardless if I did or didn’t have it, I’ve been with Jana nine years now so I’m prone to getting the virus from her at any time. Just depends on whether or not it becomes active within me if I do have it. Duncan is still full of energy. Duncan and I will be safe in how we interact with Liam, but in reality we’ve already been exposed to the virus from Jana and Liam.
Friday was not a good day. Liam has his moments of energy and lucidness, but for the most part he is resting. Duncan is his carefree self and checking up on his brother. Jana and I are taking it one day at a time, almost one hour at a time. We were praying this morning and I was praying that despite the rough 24 hours we still have a better situation than many in the world. I said that not to deny what I was thinking and feeling, but to put things in context. Liam is sick, but he’s in an environment where he can get better. Our car is broken, but it can be fixed. God has provided for us before, and we await to see what He does next. He’s faithful. I saw that first hand when Jana fractured her leg. This will be no different.
Here’s video of Liam enjoying a doctor recommended popsicle to treat his mono today. If the video doesn’t appear, click here to see it.