Friday, October 10, 2014

Thank God for Antibiotics!

Monday, we celebrate Columbus Day. It always reminds me of a most memorable time when our little family decided to celebrate the holiday by taking a hike up a mountain near Indian Lake in the Adirondack Mountains. Our son, Bobby, was in fourth grade, and we wanted to do something special as a family.

First, we had to drove a couple of hours north from Gloversville to the trailhead. The leaves glowed in full autumn colors until it began to snow--a wet snow that didn't stick--yet, so we decided to climb anyway.

Naturally, the trail was steeper and longer than we anticipated. Up and up we climbed, our sneakers getting wetter and wetter. Coming down wasn't any easier. But we still had fun.

The next few days, Bobby went off to school. Meanwhile, I came down with bronchitis and Bob with pneumonia. The doctor said he could stay home IF he promised to stay in bed and rest. If not, he'd be admitted to the hospital.

Then Bobby's teacher called midday to say he had a low grade fever. He hadn't been sick that morning, but I picked him up from school. Since he had no other apparent symptoms, I let him rest on the couch and watch TV.

Later that afternoon, he suddenly pulled off the sock from his left foot and scratched it furiously. I noticed a sore on his little toe, but I assumed the reddish streak from it to his ankle was from scratching. He said the blister was from our hike, and I scolded him for not telling me about it. I made a mental note to check it again at bedtime.

That's when I realized the streak was infection ascending to his ankle and decided to take him to the doctor first thing in the morning. I had always thought the streak from an infection would be a narrow, red line, but this was a wide swathe more dark pink than red. If I had known then what I learned later, I would have taken him to the emergency room that night.

The next morning, Bobby's temperature was over 103 degrees, and he had a rash on his chest. When he tried to get up to walk down the hall, he was too weak to stand. He was too big for me to carry, so I loaded him onto a blanket and towed him to the stairs, helped him slide from stair to stair on his bottom, towed him to the door, and walked him to the car.

His doctor took one look and said to me, "You have a very sick boy. Take him right to the hospital. In layman's terms, he has blood poisoning. Even though the streak is just above his ankle, internally, it has reached his groin." Then he too scolded Bobby for not telling his mommy about his blister.

Bobby spent three days in the hospital on intravenous IV antibiotics and then a week at home resting with his foot elevated. Realizing that prior to antibiotics, blood poisoning was usually fatal, I thanked God over and over for the discovery of antibiotics!

That Columbus Day turned out to be quite memorable--in ways we did not expect!


  1. Wow, AnnaLee. So sorry you had to go through all that family illness--and at one given time
    --but the memorable part of that weekend was truly how God blessed your family in recovery. Praise God!