No P virus

I am a little reticent about pulling my family into my blog. Not nearly reticent enough, however, according to my family.

I happen to think that a little personal revelation gives balance and perspective to my online rants and eye winks. Those rants and eye winks have diminished greatly since last Fall’s election because I’ve been attending to two year’s worth of neglected home and family projects as well as taking on new challenges. The biggest of all the challenges has been grandparenthood.

The Tan Man has a new little brother “Jakie-Jake”. The Tan Man even chose Jake’s first name. Like all babies the new brother is cute as a button and when placed in a grandparent’s arms immediately brings down the heart rate.

Ten days ago he also raised our heart rates by picking up something called acronymically the RSV virus. I find it easier to remember if I think of it as the “no P” virus (as in RSVP).

Like all viruses it disobeys God’s commandment not to evolve so that it is constantly finding new ways to bedevil folks. In Jakie Jake’s case it probably would have killed him if I’d been left in charge of him two friday’s back. He was turning blue but he’d just been to a Doctor who hadn’t quite realized how hard the virus would hit the little fellow. Hindsight allows me to see the reality I wasn’t able to see when I was holding him in my arms poking him with his bottled milk trying to get fluids into him per the doctor’s orders. I’d jab his mouth with its rubber nipple and he would open his eyes wide, look at me and then shut them again. He was not taking in his fluids. He was not pink. He was swaddled but not fighting it and not waving his arms like the little signal corpsman he usually is.

Smarter heads took him to the emergency room and within moments of admission he was being triaged and given oxygen to combat the apnea that would likely have done him in. He’s out of the hospital now but its been a hectic week. Even now its 4AM and I’ve been up a couple hours. I haven’t had so little sleep since my active war with the Duluth School District last fall and that was strictly a matter of conscience not life and death.

By the way, the RSV virus is running rampant in Duluth these days. When we brought Jacob into the hospital for a second overnight stay there were three babies with it in the same wing and a couple more in the emergency room waiting for admission. One online article my daughter googled told her that 2% of RSV infected babies get hospital admissions. The disease can be a killer. you can read more about it and its prevention here.

I still find time to consume information even if my public comments and postings have become spotty. I was sent this thought provoking column about the possibility of a surprising and well deserved Pulitzer nomination for the scruffy and disreputable National Enquirer. I would highly recommend it to the publisher of the Duluth News Tribune.