Friday, June 27, 2008

Parisian Death Virus

The virus that I picked up in Paris is turning out to be powerful enough that some government entity is going to have to name it. As of last night, it has taken out 7 of the 9 people on our trip, and the numbers continue to grow. Maybe this is the bioterrorism that America has always feared. I'm calling it the Parisian Death Virus.

I first caught the virus on Thursday the 19th, when I went to bed feeling slightly under the weather. Then on Friday I completely fell apart, and my brother Tim started feeling sick also. I rebounded on Saturday while Tim had his worst day of it. On Sunday Darcey and my dad both started making some "I'm sick" noises and I was carrying a roll of toilet paper in the stroller for Darcey's and my runny noses.

Things didn't get better once we left Paris, either. Monday was Darcey's worst day, having a fever on our flight home and spent most of the flight quiet and still. I wasn't complaining. Tuesday apparently the P.D.V. hit my mom, and she stayed in bed all day, which is saying a lot because she rarely gets sick. And when she does get sick, she rarely lets it interrupt her life. She is the epitome of the "suck it up" mentality.

Yesterday was Thursday, and Ryan woke up with a scratchy throat. Darcey seemed to be doing better especially since her sleep schedule is pretty much normal. My P.D.V. is lingering - my sinuses still hurt randomly and I've got a headache that pretty much won't go away. Brad seemed a little congested, but not bad at all, and Noah has been grouchy from lack of sleep, but that's not contagious. It looked like the Parisian Death Virus was running out of steam.

Until 1:00 this morning, that is, when Zack woke up with the worst case of croup I've ever heard. He had the typical barking cough that sounds like the geese we saw around our campsite in Paris, but worse than I've ever heard it. He couldn't catch his breath and he was screaming that he couldn't breathe. You could see the panic in his eyes because every breath that he attempted to suck it was so hard to get. If he hadn't had croup before, I think I might have called 911 because the noises he was making were so scary.

As it was, the fact that he was having such a hard time breathing made me take him to the emergency room. This seemed to serious to try to fix with a humidifier or a steamy shower, he was scaring me. Plus, the best treatment for croup is to go outside in the cool air, but that's because croup is usually in the winter, not in June when the temperature is 95 all day.

I feel so grateful to have access to competent medical care. We got to the ER at Orem Community Hospital and they got him in right away. By then he had calmed down and while his breathing was still very loud, he was getting plenty of oxygen. They ended up giving him steroids and a breathing treatment, and by 3:30 we were on our way home. We got some kind of hang-up call at 4:30, which resulted in Ryan lunging across the bed to try to answer the phone, thinking it was me calling with information, not realizing that I was the giant obstacle in bed that he was lunging into. It is actually a pretty funny picture when it's not 4:30 in the morning.

Zack is fine now, fortunately, and I only have to worry that Darcey will end up with croup also, since she is the only one who it would affect so negatively. (The rest of us have tracheas that are wide enough not to cut off our airflow if swollen.) I'm tired, from being awake for so long in the middle of the night and the relentless illness that I'm sure is hanging on so long because I'm so sleep deprived. I wonder what jet lag would be like if there wasn't the addition of the Parisian Death Virus. Hopefully, we'll survive so that we can travel again and find out.


rachel said...

Wow! I am glad Zack is doing better now! yikes. I hope Darcey weathers this okay.
Actually, I hope you can all get through this, get sleep, and become normal again.
Your title scared me when I first saw it!

Anonymous said...

This is a tricky virus. I was feeling much better Wed/Thur having only an annoying cough. But today Saturday, I actually have a fever. Maybe my 2nd dose of the virus came when Dad so thoughtfully bought me some chocolate croissants this morning. The germs are really hiding in the chocolate.

Love, Mom