Saturday, November 1, 2008

Meanwhile in Another Universe...

(Lukas after his knife fight - the other pirate didn't fare so well)
It has been postulated that ours is only one of an infinite number of universes, and that every decision that a person makes leads you to the universe that we currently occupy. Those other universes, it is theorized, hold our alternate lives, lived out with the decisions that did not happen in this universe. In an odd twist of fate, you have been privy to one of those alternate Austin family universes that did not play out in our universe, but must, if the theory holds true be taking place as you read this post.
Right now, in that alternate plane, we are indeed enjoying our visit to Dallas. We had a wonderful Halloween Night of trick-or-treating, birthday cake, and enjoyable conversation with friends we have not seen in a long time.

What really happened is much less appealing. Much less enjoyable for sure.

I had written my previous post Thursday morning, in anticipation of not having the time on Friday given my packed agenda. However, Thursday mid-morning I received a disturbing call from Mrs. LIAYF. Lukas had taken a turn for the worse, the swelling in his cheek began to grow much larger in the days since I left home. He was being admitted to Seattle Children's Hospital to have immediate surgery to drain what had become a frighteningly large abscess in his lymph node (confirmed by ultrasound and CT scans). The infection was bacterial and not viral after all.

I hopped the first flight out of Dallas Thursday afternoon, making it to Seattle in plenty of time before the surgery which was delayed until 10:30 PM Pacific time. The surgery was successful, and we were able to see him just after midnight, Halloween and (Birth)day. Worse yet, since the doctors were not sure what had caused the infection and Lukas had developed a strange rash on his arms, we were promptly put into a quarantined 8x10 room where we spent the next 36 hours. Luke was on IV antibiotics and we were set for a few days of worry. No sleep (nurses coming in every few hours to check Luke's IV and vitals), no trick-or-treating, no birthday cake. It was a true Halloween horror tale that we will never want to repeat.

The cultures came back this afternoon - a staph infection. We were finally released after the final determination. Lukas, true to form, was amazingly cooperative and stoic about all the poking, prodding, and inability to walk since the IV was in his right foot, and the foot strapped to a board. He spent most of the time in a little red wagon surrounded by toys (including a cute stuffed panda he was given in the ER - courtesy of Allie's Friends Foundation). All the nurses and doctors were genuinely amazed at his demeanor given his 16 month age. We, however, were not. He is a wonderful little boy, in this and every conceivable universe!

As crazy and painful as this holiday turned out to be, we are just blessed to be at home now with our brave little guy. We are also equally blessed to live so near the fabulous Children's Hospital. Despite the absence of cake and Halloween fun, Mrs. LIAYF insists that she got exactly what she wanted for her birthday - her family together and her little boy getting better. Please send us your thoughts and good karma. Lukas needs all he can get to help fight off this tough infection.


Jason Roth said...

Wow...I'm so sorry you all had to go through this. I'm glad to hear Luke is doing better. Best wishes for a full and speedy recovery.

Anonymous said...

What an ordeal. It is very difficult way to discover what tough little trooper you have on your hands there. That is a bigger scare than we have ever had in our nine years.

SciFi Dad said...

Fuck, what an experience. I'm glad Lukas seems to be on the mend. Hopefully he'll be back at 100% soon.

One aside, re: the panda. Last summer, my daughter and I were in an accident (not my fault) and the paramedics had a stuffed animal for her as well (ironically a panda) through a similar service. Every time she saw that panda for weeks after, she always wanted to relive the accident in minute detail. We ended up
"losing" it in the basement one night, and she has since stopped asking about it. Not saying Lukas will be the same, not saying it's necessarily a bad thing for him to remember, but if it starts bugging him, now this story will be in the back of your mind.

James (SeattleDad) said...

@Vegasdad - Thanks for your thoughts. We hope Lukas mends soon too. The upside is since we are officially on "vacation" we'll be here with him all week.

@mtae - Thanks for your kind words. Maybe we'll get the terrible illness karma out of the way for the next few kids! I hope your luck continues to be good!

@scifi - Ouch! So, she has night traumas when she sees pandas?? Hopefully the same will not be true for Lukas. He was in good spirits at the ER, smiling and flirting with the nurses, and picked the panda himself from several other stuffed animal choices. He did not see the "mean" doctors until hours later, so I don't think there is the same association your daughter has.

Martin said...

Oh dear, desperate times.

I'm glad he seems to be on the mend, glad also you have a good hospital nearby.

Get better soon wee man.

Being us... said...

Hope Lukas gets better soon!

James (SeattleDad) said...

Thanks X-box. Yes, we are lucky to have that great facility.

Thanks Mandy! Still running a fever with swelling and tenderness, but otherwise he is in good spirits today.

Anonymous said...

James, sorry to hear about this. My thoughts are with all of you. I'm looking forward to hearing about James' escapades as soon as he's back to 100%. Cheers for having such a great children's hospital so nearby as well.

Anonymous said...

Still sending good thoughts your way. Happy belated birthday to Mrs. LIAYF and good healthy wishes for Lukas.

James (SeattleDad) said...

@Rob - Thanks so much. Lukas is feeling amazingly better the last couple of days, so we are optomistic that he is finally kicking the staph infection.

@Darren - Thanks again. Like I mentioned to Rob, he is doing much better and it's about time. He deserves to be rid of this thing.

Whit said...

Crazy. How scary for you guys. Glad you have some answers and better health.

James (SeattleDad) said...

@Whit - Thanks Whit! Still not out of the woods yet so wish us luck that the antibiotics finally kill that infection.