Esmé is sick again.
Honestly this has been non-stop. I know kids get sick all the time, but this is just ridiculous. I try very hard to balance her exposure…she does not attend school right now because we have felt like the germs are just too much for her. But she’s not in a bubble. I take her out. She gets fresh air. She interacts with people. I try to keep strangers hands off her–which is shockingly more difficult than it should be. But I am not a germaphobe, by any stretch of the imagination.
As I mentioned back in February and again in March Ez has been sick with one thing after another since November. I guess I haven’t mentioned it in April or May because I am just keeping my head above water with regard to this. Just thinking about it makes me a little bit crazy.
Why does it make me crazy? Because I am rather certain that there is something systemic going on that is contributing to her getting sick all the time. I know it “has been a rough winter for everyone,” but if I hear that one more time I am going to lose it. A lot of kids get sick, yes. And this winter (at least in our area) was pretty difficult. But Esmé’s white blood cell count has been constantly elevated for over 5 months. It has never (that we’ve seen) dropped below 15,000. With her “a little bit sick” it has been as high as 35,000…and with her sick enough that without a g-tube and a night nurse she’d be hospitalized it has been between 26,000-32,500.
Weird? Yes, that is weird.
Weirder still is that, despite having perfectly “clear” lungs her oxygen levels have been low this whole time too, mostly 90-96, with a rare 88 and 98 in there. (And before you think it, yes, we have used multiple oximeters)
I have my suspicions about what is going on–based on my own research–but it has been very difficult to get the appropriate specialists to pay attention to these concerns. Now, I am not saying that I am certain I am right about this suspicion. Quite the opposite. I have had too much experience with Esmé to make any assumptions, even the most obvious. So instead I try to represent the somewhat absurd possibilities, because that is Esmé’s “giraffe” territory and our doctors often deal in “horses” and, if we are lucky, “zebras.” It means that mostly I look like a crazy person, but sometimes we help uncover the problem that our doctors couldn’t see.
All I want is to have a partner to check out some of these concerns…and come up with a few action items of her own. I mean, I’m not the one with the MD…I’d like to think that we could get some ideas about the problem out of someone with more experience than I have about these things.
Instead I am getting a “pass the buck” routine where I can’t seem to get much more than antibiotics, suggestions to ask someone else, and a “let’s wait and see.”
And, frankly, I am just sick of it.