Going batty (part 5) – the finale

The prior posts – part 1, part 2part 3, and part 4 – all explain how I got to this point.

It’s over. For now.

We got our final shots last Friday, so now we’re just dealing with the aftermath of it all. The biggest physical issue we ran into was the entire family being taken down (in various ways) by DEATHCOLD that set in while our immune systems were compromised by the immune globulin we got with our first rabies vaccine shots. After battling fevers, runny noses, and hacking coughs that had us all ready to bathe in hand sanitizer, we seem to have come out the other side none the worse for wear. Honestly, the hardest part of the shots for the kids wasn’t so much getting the shots as it was the trauma of removing the band-aids that covered where the shots were administered. (I’m not kidding, y’all.)

The issues with the house aren’t 100% resolved, but we’re getting there. I have to take down the duct tape that’s all around the fireplace facade/door, but I’m not planning to leave things as they are. With my reasoned brain in motion, I’m assuming that the one-way door installed by the wildlife company has given the bats only a way OUT, not a way IN to the chimney. Furthermore, seeing as how bats are mammals and likely require feeding on a regular basis, any bats still remaining in the chimney should have died by now (but no smell has been present, and it’s unlikely they’d die without a smell being obvious). Finally, the duct tape around the fireplace door would’ve prevented their movement into the house; either they would’ve been stopped cold by it or they would’ve been stuck to it like flies on flypaper. In any case, I would assume that bats would’ve then left or died (and again, no smell).

So, we’ll take off the duct tape and I’ve already contacted a stonework company to come over and give us an estimate for sealing up the gaps around the fireplace door. I’m hoping they can provide us with a better solution than the duct tape, and they seemed to indicate that this is right up their alley. It was a complete bit of luck that I happened to see a van of theirs in the parking lot for ds’ day care the other day, on my way out of Dunkin’ Donuts, and I took a mental note of the name and URL so I could look them up. They responded right away, so I’m being hopeful that this will work out and not cost us an arm and a leg. I’ve already gotten shots in both arms and both legs and I’d like to keep them.

I’m sincerely hoping this is the end of this saga. It’s been weeks since I didn’t have even a trace of fear being by myself in our den at night. A tweep of my BIL told me how cool he thought bats were and how he grew up with them nearby. I guess the city girl in me just doesn’t want them anywhere nearby. It’s like Carrie Bradshaw and that damn squirrel at Aidan’s cabin; nature’s fine as long as I can see it from my preferred distance.

Going batty (part 4)

The prior posts – part 1, part 2, and part 3 – all explain how I got to this point. With any luck, part 5 will be the final chapter of this multi-week saga.

One step forward, one step back: just as ds is finally on the up-swing (in day care two days in a row, completely fever-free), dd goes down for the count with a late-day fever. Oh joy.

We got our third round of shots yesterday morning, with the same general timing problem as we saw at the last go-around. The joy of having a patient-centered medical home is that the care is coordinated across all the doctors YOU see…but when you get to coordinating across a family, the timing can get a little wonky. But hey – at least we didn’t have to truck around to multiple offices!

When it came time for the kids’ shots, dd wouldn’t stop covering her arm and struggling against me. As annoying as it was when the Nurse Practitioner walked out to double-check that the dosage in the syringe was accurate, it gave me an opportunity to have a heart-to-heart with dd about why the shot wasn’t optional.

As she wriggled and writhed to try to get out of my arms, I told her – gently but firmly – that we don’t yet have a treatment for rabies. And if one of us were to get sick from the bat, the doctors would only be able to help control the pain but wouldn’t be able to cure it. She asked me point blank if you would die from it, to which I responded – “Yes”. Really, what else is there to say? How much can you sugarcoat the possibility of death with a 6-1/2 year old?

I tried to give it a slight softer edge by explaining that what we were going through was far better than the alternative, and she calmed down a little. Of course, when the NP went to give her the shot, she still tried to get away from me – but I held her tightly enough that she was able to get dosed. Over the course of the next 15 minutes, on two separate floors, we managed to get the rest of us three all shot up with the rabies vax…and on we went with just another school & work day.

Well, at least everything was normal until dd took a nap before friends came over to play and have dinner. She was a bit groggier than usual, but I figured that was just from being tired. At one point, she came over and cuddled with me, complaining that she was freezing cold. DH then suggested that I take her temperature, and as I saw the thermometer’s reading climb, I knew that we were in for it. The NP told us this morning that there’s a cold going around, something that is accompanied by coughing, fever, nausea…basically everything that ds had earlier in the week. We now don’t know whether dd will end up with a similar fate, although she’s already exhibited two of the three symptoms mentioned by the NP.

And so, here we are, still not quite fully repaired (in body, as well as spirit) nearly two weeks later. Let’s hope that things are calmer by the time we get that fourth and final round of shots.

Going batty (part 3)

This is the continuation of our batty saga…you can go back to read part 1 and part 2 if you need to get caught up. (Or go forward to part 4 or part 5.)

Our second set of shots was yesterday morning. As I explained during my last post, the “rabies course” is a 4-part series of shots. Day 0 was last Friday, so Monday was Day 3. We still have two more shots left in the course – Day 7 (this coming Friday) and Day 14 (next Friday).

In the interim, ds got sick. The immune globulin shot(s) (HRIG) are chock-ful of antibodies, but – ironically – the introduction of the antibodies can actually lower your immune response. I assume it has something to do with someone else’s antibodies calling the shots in your immune system. Anyway, while dh, dd and I all came through this okay, ds started acting a bit droopy Sunday afternoon. I gave him a cuddle and realized that he was quite a bit warm. His temp registered a little north of 101F, so not only was I keeping him inside for the remainder of the afternoon, I was pulling him from going to daycare the next day. He was so exhausted and unwell at bedtime that the poor little guy conked out within about 5 minutes of my putting him in bed. Truly, there are few things worse than having a sick kiddo. You just feel so helpless…

When we woke up on Monday morning, ds’ fever had broken. He seemed perkier – even bringing a small banana toy with us to the doctor’s office to be his “banana phone”. As we explained to one of the people in the waiting room for the Internal Medicine folks, we figure it’s the next generation after the iPhone.

The wait at the doctor’s office screwed us up quite a bit. There was a scheduling mishap in the Internal Medicine area, and though we’d been told by them that we could book at Pediatrics and they’d “match” the schedule so that we could do everything in one go, they expected us at the same time as when we went into Pediatrics. I explained to the nurse that it’s unlikely I’d leave my 6yo and 3yo with the Pediatrics folks on one floor while I went to Internal Medicine on another, and she got the idea that perhaps they should stagger our appointments by about 20-30mins. BRILLIANT!

In other words, if you ever run into this type of scenario (which I never hope any of you ever do), and if you have a family (which is fine, except for the whole rabies thing), I recommend you make sure that your doctors’ offices/receptionists/scheduling peeps understand how to build a block schedule so that you’re not waiting twice in one day for a shot that takes 20 seconds to administer. Just a suggestion.

My day was a blur – I was constantly behind at work, thanks to the time lost to the doctors’ offices – and I was disheartened to hear that ds was running a temp just under 102F early this afternoon. So, he’s home again today with dh and we’ll see if he can kick this nastiness in time to make it back to school on Wednesday. I suppose we’re lucky that only one of us got downed by the HRIG’s side effect, but even one is too many in a household where there’s too much going on at work and home.

I can’t wait for this rabies course to be over and done. I’m slowly starting to get comfortable in the house again at night, although I do my nighttime planks with considerable fear that something will come flying out from the fireplace and land on my back. The likelihood is so incredibly small, and yet now the phobia has been planted. Every little noise in the house at night seems like it must be something that I don’t want in our home. I’m trying not to become the most anxious person in the world, but it seems like it at times.

I should probably just say “This, too, shall pass” (plus a few rounds of OM) and see if that resettles me back into feeling safe in my own house. Perhaps it’s just part and parcel of living in an exurban area that’s got lots of green space; critters and things are likely to be in the vicinity. But the city girl that I am still can’t quite fathom the idea that I had bats in my house. i suppose the small bandaid I sported last night on my shoulder was my reality check.