Thanksgiving Drama

As I ate my turkey on Thanksgiving Day at Sharon's parents house in Kearney, MO, I looked forward to travelling to Iowa the following day to visit both my immediate family, and my aunt Kak who was visiting from Cleveland. Little did I know as I scooped mounds of mashed potatoes onto my plate that before my Iowa trip would end I would be in store for one of the grandest paradigm shifts nature or God could possibly throw at a person.

Indeed, I see the world in a new way after watching my 16-month-old son Benjamin being wheeled into an ambulance with his tearful mother at his side. This is one of those images that will be burned into my cortex for the rest of my natural life, and maybe beyond.

Kawasaki Disease. After three days of a horrible rash, Sharon and I took Benny to the Fort Madison, IA emergency room on Sunday afternoon. The pediatrician on call, Dr. McClellan, thought it would be a good idea for Benny to be evaluated by the University of Iowa pediatrics department. The University confirmed his suspicion of Kawasaki Disease, and he was admitted for what we thought would be a couple of days. However, the initial treatment did not eliminate the symptoms, particularly Benny's fever. Poor little innocent Benny was stuck in the hospital for an entire week! He was finally discharged on Sunday--a full week.

We are extremely grateful to the U of I pediatrics department, particularly Dr. Woodhead and Dr. Christensen. Also, our heartfelt thanks go out to the residents and nursing staff that took great care, not only of Benny, but of Sharon and I. We both stayed with Benny in his little hospital room the entire week. (Actually, I stayed in a motel the first two nights, because I was also violently ill.)

Probably the worst part of the whole experience was the beginning, when we didn't really know what was going on. However, it was also very uncomfortable watching the staff insert an IV into Benny's arm. In fact, he had to have several IVs, and during one of the session had to be stuck about seven times before they could find a vein. I had to literally lay on top of him as he screamed for twenty minutes straight.

Benny's long term prognosis seems to be excellent, although not much is known about the disease. The greatest danger is that he would experience coronary aneurysms. He will have an echocardiogram in four weeks to confirm that his heart is healthy. Until then, we will continue to pray, and to be thankful for the care we have received thus far.


Sean said…
wow, Eric. sounds traumatic. i pray for the best for Benjamin and your family.

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