We've Gone Viral! Ok, so maybe not in the blogging world, but at home we've had a really, really weird viral week.
Thursday night was scary. My brother "S" who is in high school here in an American program in Be'er Sheva lost muscle control on the left side of his face. Like all responsible 15 year olds, instead of reporting it to a dorm counselor or other adult, he posted it on FB. Within the hour he was at the hospital and I was on my way down to Be'er Sheva to meet him there.
An Israeli hospital experience is a blog post of it's own, but a hospital visit in Be'er Sheva? I could go on for hours. I could tell about the HUGE, beautiful new building of Soroka Hospital with an impressive staff. Or, I could tell you about the JAM packed waiting room full of Arabs giving us dirty looks. I would LOVE to tell you about the Chabad woman who came in at 1:30am to put out candles for Shabbos for people to light if they had to stay into shabbos.
But this story is about viruses. Suffice it to say, when your 15 year old brother calls to tell you he has no muscle capabilities on one side of his face, you don't really think, you just move. I borrowed my FIL's car, and hightailed it to Be'er Sheva on autopilot. I got there in about 35 minutes, and was waiting with him after 45.
Really, it was uneventful. It was the typical Emergency Room visit, waiting for 7 hours to see a doctor for 7 minutes. It turns out he has a mild case of Bell's Palsy, which thank G-d is a temporary virus. By looking at him you can't really notice it, but after talking to him for a few minutes you start to think, "Is he mad at me? Are my jokes not funny? Did I insult him?", only because his facial expressions are all wrong. He is smiling, but it looks like a superior smirk. He is trying to blink, but ends up rolling his eyes.
All in all, he is ok. He is the calmest, most laid back, "chilled" person I know. He has excellent self-esteem, and only minutes after getting the diagnosis was he cracking jokes at himself. "Wow, who's the Palsy now?"
Besides the discomfort of his eye (people with the virus can't control blinking, so the eye doesn't close on it's own), he is fine. Really, Ma! Fine. Today he even told me he has certain sensations on the right side that he didn't have yesterday. IY"H it will be gone soon. But how weird is that?! What perfectly healthy 15 year old get's Bell's?? The doctors were completely unruffled calling this a "common virus." Um? Ok....
Which leads me to my next virus of the week. Of course, story first! When B was almost 2 years old, he contracted the strangest thing; a terrible virus in the mouth; large boils and blisters both inside and out. I have never in all my years of parenting seen a child in so much pain. He cried endlessly for days. BAW took off work. He wouldn't/couldn't eat, and getting him to drink was a full time job. This went on for 7 days straight. He lost weight, I was losing my mind. We saw 2 different doctors and no one could tell us anything more than it was a "common virus". People around the neighborhood started to hear of our plight, and insisted he drink fresh goat's milk, and that only this would help the sores begin to heal. I am not one for hippy-dippy healing or the like, so I ignored this suggestion for another day or two until we could take his crying no longer.
On the last night of Chanuka we piled everyone into the car and headed out the the farm across the street from RBS. We found an older Sefardi man who took one look at us, and said, "C'mon back!" He led us to the back of his Meshek and put a goat in the the milking bay. BAW held B underneath it, and the man liberally squirted milk straight from the goat into his mouth. He sputtered and cried, and I felt awful. But I was desperate, and worried that we would never see the end of this "common virus".
I kid you not, he went to sleep and woke up 50% better. That next day he started to eat, and by the next day he was almost completely without sores. Call me crazy, but I think it worked. The strangest part of that "common virus" is that it's still here with us today. Believe it or not, every single year at the mid-end of December it rears it's head as severe cold sores on the very same child. And every single year it gets less severe. All I can hope for is that one year it will be gone completely. "Common", huh?
And last but not least are my very favorite good friends, Molluscum Contagiosum. When we first were home to these lovely little pimple like white spots in the diaper area or legs, J was 3 years old. Having never seen them before I took her to the doctor that informed me it was just a...wait for it... "common virus" and could take 6 months to 2YEARS to clear up. We housed that virus for 6 and 1/2 long years. It indeed took up to 2 years per child to pass, but by then, the next one had gotten it, and we would have to wait out another two years.
After six years, I was expecting N, and R was just seeing the last of them. For 6 months I refused to bath N in the big tub, swearing I would not allow another child to come into contact with them. I used different bath towels, I wouldn't let them in the same swimming pool! And for 12 whole months we did not see them. And then, we moved back to Israel, land of the "common virus", and sure enough, I just noticed them on N's backside.
I don't know what it is. You have to believe me, even with my P Post, we are clean people! We disinfect! We are not gross!! And yet, the viruses still come.
So that was our week; A Week in Virus.