It seemed like a harmless little touch of the flu at first: chills alternating with a fever of 102 degrees, severe malaise, weakness, rattling cough, fatigue, just a general feeling of sickness.
We did what we could for our son. Bundled him into bed, made sure he had plenty of fluids and as much rest as possible, to help him beat this thing. We were his parents: when Brandon was sick, we hovered nearby, praying to God to bring him through.
Brandon is our only child. He is six years old, with a shock of dark brown, curly hair, brown, almost black, eyes, a finely chiseled face, a deep cleft in his chin, a long, straight nose: he is his father in miniature. Such a handsome little boy!
Brandon also has disabilities. Dyslexia, ADD, ADHD, and eye problems that cause him to wear glasses, but he does pretty well in school, especially since he's been getting tutored and the extra help after school. We couldn't be more proud of him; he's come a long way!
Well, a few days ago, Brandon started feeling sick at school. The school called for one of us to come pick him up. Seeing Darin (my husband) was at work (he is a pastor), I had to be the one to go to his school to pick Brandon up. Brandon smiled gratefully when he saw me pull up; he climbed into the front seat and immediately fell right to sleep. I had to wake Brandon up when we pulled into the driveway.
For the first day and a half, Brandon didn't seem to be too bad: then he stared having problems, problems such as light-headedness, severe abdominal pains, leg cramps, and difficulty in breathing (dyspnea). We got very concerned, so we rushed him to the local hospital emergency room. By now, Brandon was in tears, he was in so much pain.
Doctors and nurses took his vitals, administered oxygen via nasal cannula, started IV's to try to bring down his raging fever (it was hovering around 104.5 degrees, which is dangerously high for anybody, but especially to a small six-year-old boy like Brandon), hooked him up to a EKG, where his heart rhythm was soon displayed on a small television-like screen, and ran a whole battery of tests on our son, to see what was going on with him.
While Brandon was being treated in the ER, we, his parents, tried to keep our worried minds occupied by talking with other people who were waiting to be seen (or were waiting for loved ones who were behind the ER doors, being seen or treated), looking at tired old magazines, and watching President Barack Husein Obama speaking on television. Nothing worked: all we could think about was Brandon in the ER, wondering what was going on with him and hoping that he was going to be okay.
We waited a good half hour to forty-five minutes before the doctor, an East Indian man dressed in a pink shirt and a white lab coat, as well as dark-blue slacks, approached us. His dark face looked searious as he looked at us. The look on his stern-looking visage frightened us; we were sure that he was going to tell us the terrible news that Brandon had passed away.
That was not the case. However, the news wasn't good. Brandon had MRSA, or methicillin-resistant staphyloccocs aureus, which was, simply put, rare bacterial infection that was very deadly.
Dr. Arjuwahl didn't hold out much hope for our son. He told us that Brandon was going to be moved to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU; he pronounced it as "Pick-You"), where highly specialized medical staff could tend to him at all hours and where his vital life signs could be monitored by high-tech machinery/equipment. He said that he could die, but then again, he could live; time was of the essence here, he told us.
At the news, we cried. We had never even heard of MRSA. We couldn't figure out where or how he had picked up this bug, and we didn't know what to expect when we were given the go-ahead to see him once he had been settled in a bed in the PICU. All we could do now was wait ... and pray for a miracle for Brandon.
~To be continued.~