This is Eli

A blog about Eli. A blog about survival – and by that, I mean life!

It’s been a bitter and divisive year.

The cards have fallen. The votes are in. You may be celebrating or mourning today, and that’s beside the point.

Let’s all wash our hands of this brutal election season and move forward.

Then, literally – wash your hands. More!

Eli is my platform; his health is at the heart of just about every move my family makes.

Here’s my point: My son caught a cold. The virus jacked up the bacteria that live in his lungs. He started to cough. He’s on his third antibiotic in 50 days. It’s no one’s fault; that’s just how it works with him sometimes.

On the Friday before Halloween, the night of his preschool’s fall festival, I looked and him and realized the spunk had exited his eyes, which were gooey. So was his nose.

That night, he wore his Hamilton costume (of course he did), and he was very tired, slogging from room to room to play games and win candy. And when his level of enthusiasm in the face of candy drops — it’s serious.

A half day before I’d thought “We kicked it.”

I was wrong.

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The last time he went from almost-better to gooey, hacking and subdued, in January, Eli landed in the hospital for five days pumping a trifecta of antibiotics through an IV.

At the time, I was impressed that, even in that state, he dug deep and rallied; it took a team of four to hold him down and collect a pee sample. He bitterly recalled the incident for months afterward.

“They took pee pee from me!” he’d yell on occasion, grabbing his diapered crotch for emphasis.

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Take my pee pee? Prepare to die.

Eli has good care; I called an on-call pediatric pulmonologist at OU Children’s in Oklahoma City Saturday Oct 29, who picked up right away and switched him to Cefdinir, his latest antibiotic.  The lung doc said to call if he gets worse. Eli started getting better. His goo-eyes got bright again. This medicine appears to be working, but his health can turn at any moment.

He’s been doing three  breathing treatments and an hour to an hour and a half on his vest per day for 50 days now. It’s a lot of work to keep Eli well, but we are willing to put in the elbow grease. He is worth it.

Hand washing is a basic tenant of good hygiene, but when you wash your hands, rest assured you are also doing something kind for people like my son.

He doesn’t look sick, but his body can turn on him on a dime.

Regular soap and water, scrub scrub scrub, “Happy Birthday” in your head twice, and you’ve done a proper and appreciated kindness for the chronically ill, whose diseases are often invisible.

I thank you for your consideration.

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