Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Emily, Again

On Monday I took Emily to Dr. Hansen in Creswell, a D.O. who diagnosed her with food allergies five years ago. He read over her printouts from all the blood tests, checked her over, and said he really thinks she has West Nile fever. This was the test result that had come back "equivocal," or slightly positive, as opposed to all the others which were negative. The other doctors we consulted didn't seem to know what to make of this test, but Dr. H. seemed more sure this was it, both from the test results and because he had treated several other WNF patients in the last six months and Emily's symptoms are similar to theirs.

West Nile is spread by mosquitoes, and there is no cure for it. Some people get the virus and never know they had it, others get a mild fever, others get encephalitis and get really sick. The worst victims have the worst long-term effects, of course, but even those with a mild fever can have fatigue, difficulty concentrating, confusion, lack of coordination, and other effects even a year later.

Dr. Hansen is big on natural cures and said the best thing to zap a virus is a high fever, so we are supposed to induce one in Emily every day for a week via a "mild fever bath," which sounds like a nice soak in a bubble bath but is far more miserable.

We've done it twice now. I fill up the tub and she gets into her swimsuit and into the water. I have to monitor the temperature of both the water (104-108 degrees) and of Emily. Her temp is supposed to go to 103 and stay there for 15 minutes. But since she starts off at 97 or less when she's well, we only go to 101, and even there she gets lightheaded and weak and gasps for air and gets a headache and nearly faints. I have to stay right there and make sure she doesn't pass out completely and slip in the water and drown. Afterwards she's too weak to get out of the tub by herself.

So yeah, not the funnest project in the world but our last best hope. Dr. Hansen mentioned that we might feel like Naaman dipping in the Jordan and that's exactly how I feel. I do tend to trust him, though, because I'm desperate and because he didn't try to push any products on us and didn't tell us we had to keep coming back. "I really think this will help. Give me a call and tell me what happens."

I am sure there are skeptics reading this who think we must be nuts. Maybe we are. And then there's this to think about:

Quote of the Day;
"Naaman's servants went to him and said, 'My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, "Wash and be cleansed"!' So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy."
--2 Kings 5: 13, 14


  1. And like Naaman, she'll be getting dipped seven times

  2. I'll be praying for her--and you.

  3. The 13 year old brother of our son's best friend recently seizured at school. He went into a coma for 2 days and has had some memory loss but they're uncertain if it's long-term or temporary. He had a battery of tests done and they diagnosed him with Viral Encepholitus (sp?) which is nothing to mess with! He had similiar symptoms ut with a few differences. Twice the doctors told his parnets they weren't sure he would make it because there was so much swelling in his brain. As a parent, there is nothing more frustrating than seeing your child sick. We would gladly take on their infirmities and spare them from pain. Thank the Lord Jesus that He has done just that for us! I

  4. Boy, my heart hurts for Emily and for Mom. When my three year old reminds me of the time I took her to get shots and held down her arms, I want to burst into tears and tell her how much I DIDN'T want to do that to her!! So I can only guess at your anxiety.

    I will pray that God and medicine together will heal Emily as you step out in faith. Keep us posted.

  5. Ethel Toffelmeyer11/15/2007 1:28 PM

    Dorcas, I love your writing, and by reading your blog I almost feel like I'm part of the family. My heart goes out to you and Emily, and I hope and pray that the treatment will be successful.

  6. Uggg not fun! Poor Emily.

  7. Encephalitis! Ouch! I didn't you know you could get that in the States. I got a Japanese Encephalitis vaccination before I went to India.

    As for good ol' Naaman, he was trusting in what God had told him to do. :-)

  8. Just want you to know that you and Emily will be carried on the wings of prayer. God Bless

  9. I hope Emily's doing better; you must almost be finished with the fever baths.

    I just wanted to let you know, I bought "Upstairs" for my grandma for xmas, and also a copy for myself because Grandma borrowed "Ordinary Days" from me a few months ago and has never returned I think we each need to have our own! When I told my mom about the purchases her eyes lit up, because she knew she would be able to borrow my copy as soon as I finish it. See, you are helping 3 generations of Harwood women stay connected! Keep up the great work. :)

  10. I am praying! Hope so much that this will work for her!