My sense is that finally, we're breaking through the thick walls of sickness that has engulfed our lives these past 2 weeks. Yes, it's pretty much felt like a dark tunnel these past 2 weeks. We used to pride ourselves about how strong Tesla was, how well she ate, and never got sick. Well, we got it all packaged in one bomb.
I am still a bit congested but have my energy. Dav has been mildly sick throughout, and I think escaped the worse, probably because he slept on the couch while I was in bed with Tesla as she coughed all over my face. Tesla is more and more herself.
However, my earlier post about modern medicine now has a second chapter. Being the first time, and seeing Tesla not move, eat, drink, or do anything really for 5 days was scary. So having access to a hospital to give required drugs was good. And the antibiotics (the very common amoxicillin) worked after 36 hours. We could see her focus more, her breathing was better...she moved! Who knows how far down she would have gone if we had not given the antibiotics. Thing is...shortly after, like 3 days into the treatment, her behavior changed. It's incredibly hard to describe, and only Dav and I saw her like this, but she became animal-like. She started having giant tantrums about 4 times a day for benign, almost random reasons. She went into a tizzy that was off the charts of what we've seen or even imagined a toddler could do. The most common thing was to roar at the top of her lungs 30 ~ 45 minutes, mouth never closing, just breathing in air, and screaming herself hoarse. At times, her arms shaked, flailing out for me, then pushing me away. She stopped using words all together.
We were perplexed but thought maybe that now she had more energy, she was letting her anger out about being miserable for so long.Dav still thinks this is the likely explanation. We faithfully continued the antibiotics, but called the docs about her behavior, and they only said she might be in pain so give her pain relief. Others said they never heard of any reaction so it must be something else. But my gut feeling told me her behavior was so completely different that there was something else, and although I will never know and could be completely wrong, that it was because of the antibiotics.
I searched on the internet and found informal forums where parents shared similar experiences...and some kids later were diagnosed autistic or already autistic kids became regressive. [New Note: there is solid scientific evidence that vaccinations are not related to autism so don't confuse that with this. I am striking the above sentence as it's a strong statement that I read back then and I don't want to mislead anyone since the vaccination debate may have clouded statements.]
Some adults said they experienced high anxiety when taking it. Again, I cannot know cause and effect. Yet parents, who take care of their kids day in day out, know their kids intimitely. And after reading others having my hunch, I just couldn't help using that to affirm my instincts. It makes sense; the antibiotics kill the bad bad bacteria. Yay! But it also kills the good bacteria in the gut. And at times, without the good to fight, some of the bad bacteria can get to the brain.
I am uncomfortable airing all this because I have no idea what is the truth, and this may be nonsense. But, this is my experience and what I really felt. If anyone in the future is in my position, perhaps they will find this post and have assurance that they aren't crazy. What they decide thereafter is up to them. Tesla's behavior was serious, and not just a cranky or even in-pain toddler. We decided to take her off the antibiotics (even though we did get an alternative antibiotic when I told the doc I just couldn't give her amoxicillin anymore). I've always followed orders, and know fully well we may have pneumonia knocking on our door again, but this is our decision. Tesla is slowly back to her normal self. Even though she is still moody, we haven't seen her go ballistic.
This is the most unlikely Thanksgiving post I ever imagined. Tesla woke up with smiles and is chattering away. I feel better. We have a group of friends coming over for a chill pot-luck to eat, hang, and have fun together. Remembering the few hours when I let myself think about the what-if...I now feel immensely grateful for health, love, family, and friends. Thank you to Michelle who brought groceries, sent lovely emails, made sure I was OK, and Rachel who checked in everyday and braved our germy house to bring flowers and hang out. And to my mom who wished she were here to help so I could rest.