Zev Family Newsletter: March 2003

February was kind of slow here at the Zev household, so March made up for it. The big news was that Benjamin contracted an infection that sent him to the hospital for 10 days of IV antibiotics. It was very stressful time, but he is better now, and we expect no permanent effects. Here is the short (!) story. There is also a long story. If you want *all* the details, go to http://www.jmzconsulting.com/zev/news/news0303-long.html.

Saturday, 3/8/03, Benjamin ran a fever and in the evening his eye seemed a little puffy. So, around 8 we called the pediatrician. He said that it was probably nothing, and that we should bring him in the next morning (Sunday) to be seen.

The next morning, Benjamin’s eye was swollen shut. Jackie brought Benjamin in to the pediatrician’s office when it opened. The pediatrician took one look at Benjamin and said he was sending him to the hospital for IV antibiotics and a CT scan. He said Benjamin would have to stay overnight.

After examining Benjamin and looking at the CT scan, the hospital pediatrician said that he had a massive sinus infection involving the entire sinus region. The infection had probably spread to the area around the eye and made it swell up. She said she was concerned that there was also an abscess and had called in an ophthalmologist and also a pediatric ENT. The ophthalmologist thought that there was not a clear indication of an abscess, and we should wait and see how he responded to antibiotics. Since the treatment for an abscess involves surgery, we were glad to have this advice. He also said that one night was not going to be enough – three or four was more likely.

As the days went by, Benjamin improved each day, but the improvement was slow. Marc and Jackie took turns spending the night with Benjamin in the hospital. It became clear this was not going to clear up in three or four nights. By Thursday, it became clear that Benjamin would be in the hospital through the weekend, and we cancelled his birthday party, which had been scheduled for Sunday.

The good news was that by this time, Benjamin felt fine, he just needed to be hooked up for IV antibiotics 3 times a day. He made good use of the hospital’s cable TV connection to watch lots of shows that we don’t get at home.

Benjamin’s birthday is 3/17, and he was still in the hospital. Grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins crowded into the room, sang Happy Birthday to Benjamin, ate the Bionicle cake that Marc made, and watched Benjamin open presents.

Wednesday was the end of the 10th day of IV antibiotics, and Benjamin was (finally!) sent home. Ironically, this was the second time in his life that he had come home from the hospital on the 19th of March! The first time was 6 years earlier when Benjamin was two days old. We’re hoping that he will not repeat the event 6 years from now!

Benjamin, who had felt fine for almost a week, went back to school the next day. The next weekend Jackie and Marc celebrated having 2 healthy kids and 13 years of happy marriage by leaving the kids in Jackie’s parents’ hands and going away for a night.

When we returned, we found that Benjamin had a rash that was probably a reaction to the oral antibiotics that he was taking. (He’s reacted to antibiotics in the past.) The doctor halted the oral antibiotics.

The next weekend, Benjamin participated in his first track meet, and he was a winner! That’s because, as everyone in our household has heard a million times, “if you try your hardest, you’re a winner.” Fast, he is not. However, we’re not concerned about how he compares to the other kids, we would just like to see him improve as the season progresses.

Jonathan missed the meet because he was on a retreat with his religious school class. He really enjoyed it, despite a definite lack of sleep and food. That’s what the following week is for, right?

Jonathan returned before noon on Sunday, and Jackie’s mom took both boys to see “Charlotte’s Web” which was put on by our local community college. They adored it.

The good news: On Monday, 3/31/03, Benjamin saw the doctor and the doctor pronounced him cured. The bad news: Marc saw the doctor and was diagnosed with a minor eye infection.

Oh, and did I mention that Jonathan has a cold or a sinus infection? But with Benjamin’s illness to compare to, Marc’s and Jonathan’s ailments seem trivial.

Hope life is treating you well!

Jackie, Marc, Jonathan and Benjamin