It’s fall. Cold and flu season! This is the time of year when I always feel a little more on-guard. During the spring and summer we relax our crazy mask wearing, hand washing, germ-avoiding practices for what feels like a chance at a “normal” life. Don’t get me wrong, no matter what season we’re in we are still a little cautious, it’s just not in the forefront of
our my mind during those warm, sunny months.
The last few fall and winter seasons since Jody’s surgery have gone really well for him and he managed to escape even the common cold. We were prepared for the worst but the worst never came. It was mind boggling to me that he, the immunocompromised transplant patient, could avoid the coughs, congestion and sore throats that the rest of us were experiencing. I felt relieved that it was me taking on the cold and not him. God wrapped Jody in the invisible bubble of health that I wished for after his transplant and I praise Him for it. Unfortunately though, bubbles don’t last forever and Jody’s has popped.
This November was a rough month for us. One of our daughters caught a cold and was also diagnosed with strep throat. She missed four days of school because of on-going fevers. Jody and I both caught her cold (thankfully not the strep); mine was mild and resolved quickly, Jody couldn’t shake his. After a trip to Hopkins for a nasal swab and evaluation he was diagnosed with Parainfluenza 1 (a fancy name for a strain of the common cold). This required us to make another three-hour (round trip) drive to Hopkins to pick up a rare anti-viral medication (Ribavirin) that we were told wouldn’t be available locally. He was also started on an antibiotic. Jody seemed to be going downhill fast so we were glad to get him treatment and boy did that Ribavirin knock the virus right out of him! I was amazed at his turn-around in less than 24 hours (which was great because we were getting ready to host our daughter’s 6th birthday party). As Jody continued on this antiviral medication, the side effects of nausea and dizziness grew worse, making it hard for him to do things around the house. We counted down the days until he would finish his prescription.
Soon after his course of medications were complete, our daughter developed another fever and missed her sixth day of school (I didn’t mention she missed her first day of kindergarten because of a concussion the night before, poor thing). I worried that her strep might have returned since she had just finished her antibiotics a few days prior. After a trip to the pediatrician’s office we were reassured that it was just a viral infection that needed to run it’s course. Thankfully that was a 24 hour virus and by the next day she was feeling better.
A few days later (or a week, it’s all running together), our oldest daughter developed a fever. A week after that our youngest had another fever. Both girls were coughing and blowing their noses. Soon Jody began experiencing cold-like symptoms again. Thankfully he didn’t deteriorate as before but he definitely couldn’t fight it on his own. This week he made another trip to Hopkins for another swab and more PFT’s. His lung function was down a little and this time his nasal swab tested positive for Parainfluenza 2 (a different strain of the common cold than what he had a few weeks ago). Tomorrow he will start the Ribavirin again and a different antibiotic. This time the doctors ordered medication to help with the nausea but unfortunately he’ll have to deal with the dizziness. There was a brief mention of him possibly needed a course of IV’s in the near future but for now they’ll hold off until they get more culture results.
Through all the stuff going on with Jody and our girls I’ve managed to avoid most of it… until today. I checked my temperature this morning at work (expecting it to be normal), and it read 101 degrees. Beside unusual sweating, I felt fine. This brings our fever count to five over recent weeks and the colds feel on-going. These illness are minor when compared to those our family has faced in the past, but I’m a firm believer that God still cares about our fevers and colds, no matter how miniscule.
Perhaps I’ve become assuming of Jody’s invisible bubble, maybe even expectant of it. Either way, I’m committing to focused prayer for healing and protection over Jody, our daughters, myself and our home.
I’m praying for Jody to get his bubble back!
Please join me.