Disease Boy

Alex has finally recovered from the worst illness of his short life.

It all started on Thursday, May 15, when his temperature started to climb. As always for Alex, this illness was rapidly followed by vomiting. (Actually, he had thrown up a little bit the previous day, but we didn’t see anything unusual in that.)

Friday was no better, with 39 to 40 degree fevers barely responding to paracetamol and periodic barfing. We were struggling to keep him hydrated – food was right out of the question. He was listless and delerious, his pulse was racing, and he was just not himself.

By the Saturday morning, Alex seemed a little better. He was alert and cheerful. He took a walk with his dad, even ate some bread. But he declined again that evening, lapsing into a daze.

He remained very unwell throughout Sunday , May 18. His grandparents Sutherland came over to see him (and give Martin and me a bit of respite). But even the social stimulation didn’t make him feel better. By that evening, Alex was so much worse, and his fever was so uncontrolled, that we called the out of hours doctor’s office. He ended up in the emergency room of the Sick Kids hospital for observation. They gave him some ibuprofen as well as the paracetamol (the two drugs don’t conflict.) It brought the fever down (he was running about in the nude in the examination room at one point, dragging a pull toy and laughing madly).

Then he relapsed again. He was fevered and delerious throughout Monday, lying limp in my arms most of the day. (I stayed home from work to nurse him.)

On Tuesday morning, he staged another partial recovery, but was back to half a degree of fever by the end of the day.

This was a problem, because we were booked for a five-day trip to Rome from the 21st. It was a close thing, whether we took him to the airport on Wednesday morning, or to the doctor’s for a note for the travel insurance. We decided on the airport, and very nearly regretted it when he threw up at the departure gate.

The day’s travel was actually easier because Alex was so sick. We kept him hydrated, and he slept a lot. The only difficulty was his alarm at takeoff and landing, which was severe. We got to the hotel at about 9, and all collapsed in bed. Alex and Martin slept for over 12 hours, well into Thursday morning. (I got up and sat in the sun in the Piazza del Populo).

The story from then on was one of slow, steady recovery. His appetite returned gradually (encouraged by a newfound liking for pizza), his energy levels climbed, and by Friday he was our mischevous, flirtatious boy again.

Saturday, our final day in Rome, was a delight after all that illness.

(Alex’ illness unfortunately corresponded with a severe backache on Martin’s part, which kept him home from work for two days and made the entire time very painful.)