Please Pray for my husband, Jonathan.
Monday, July 4th we were in Pensacola Beach enjoying the start of a great family vacation. Late that afternoon Jon said he was going to the room because he had a headache. This was not normal for him but we did not think much of it. We cooked supper, he even grilled the steaks, but after dinner he had to lay day. He got the chills & shakes and then started running a fever of 103.2. I got scared. We all were worried maybe he had sun poisoning. We gave him some medicine and he feel asleep. He tossed and turned all night.
Tuesday morning when he woke up he still had a fever, it was like it never broke. So weird. I got him some more medicine and ran him a luke warm bath in the large tub. This helped a lot and his fever broke and his head started feeling better. He stayed in the condo till the sun started going down some and then joined us at the pool.
Wednesday morning he said he was feeling better and we went on a 8 hour deep sea fishing trip. When the boat arrived back at the dock Jon started feeling very dizzy. We thought maybe he had overdone it in the sun after what had happened. He was acting really weird and sat in the truck while we got our fish cleaned and packed up. When we arrived at the condo he was jumping from the truck to get upstairs. When I checked his temperature it 103.7. I was freaking out and really worried. That is high for a adult especially. I got him medicine and back in the luke warm bath and call the local emergency room. I was told by the nurse practitioner on call that he sounded like he had sun poisoning and if he started throwing up or had diarrhea to bring him in otherwise there was nothing they could do. (Now this bothers me, badly!) His head was pounding and I felt so bad for him. He laid in the tub for a while then decided to lay in the bed. He was in a horrible cycle of the chills, a high fever, then sweating excessively when it broke all night long.
Thursday morning he wakes up with a bad headache and decided to lay around for a while. He never had a fever Thursday thank goodness but he still had the headache from July 4th. It just would not go away no matter what medicine he took. Later that afternoon after the sun was behind one of the condos he came down to the pool to swim a little with us again.
Friday morning we wake up and he stills has a headache. Poor Guy! It is very overcast outside with chances of thunderstorms that afternoon. We still had not taken our family beach pictures so we decided maybe it would be better to get ready and take them now while it was overcast rather than waiting and it might be storming. We let Jon sleep until a few minutes before we left. He got up and got dressed and then his back started having spasms. He let Anthony pop his back hoping it might help. By the time we got to the beach, which was not far, Jon was shaking all over his body. Poor guy sucked it up took a few family shots and headed to the room while we finished. When we got to the room he had made to the 1/2 bath were he had stripped down. He now had a super high fever again. Back to a luke warm bath and more medicine for him. He continue the cycle all day and night.
Saturday morning we loaded the car. He had a headache but still wanted to help pack up. He did take some breaks because we were scared that his other symptoms would show up again getting in the heat. Luckily they did not. We drove back to Anniston, to my parents house and unloaded the truck. He laid on the couch for a little while and then moved back to the bed. His head was killing him. When I got in bed he told me that if he had a headache in the morning he wanted to go see the doctor. I begged him to let me take him then and he refused.
Sunday morning Tyler woke us up at 6:30 like normal. He went and started playing with his Pop Pop and we started immediately getting ready to go to ER. We arrive a little after 7am. He was processed and they began running test. He got a Cat Scan first to see if he sinuses might be causing the headaches or anything else with his brain. His right sinus was full and his left was 1/2 full but his brain looked great. Now what was causing these headaches and other symptoms. They drew lots of blood and found out his platelet level was extremely low. They also thought he had meningitis. He really needed a spinal tap/lumbar puncture but his platelets were so low they did not feel that they were able to do it. They were admitting us to the hospital to start treatment.
After getting our room and getting settled in they came to get him for a MRI and a chest x-ray. I ran home to grab some of our things since I could not be in the room for the test anyway. I beat him back by about 10 minutes. After getting back to room he got the uncontrollable shakes. They were hoping it was from the dye they gave him during the MRI. They stopped after about 15 minutes but it was not long his fever shot up again. Medicine was given and then he got the sweats. During all this his parents came to his room as well. We were all really scared and worried for his life. He started the chills and shakes really bad again and his skin turned ice cold to your touch. Then came the fever and we were getting rags and laying all over his body trying to cool him down. He was so hot by the time you got them cooled and laid on him you had to start the process over because he was so hot. We all took turns fanning him and generally just trying to help any way we could. I have never seen anyone so sick in my entire life. We he finally broke his fever he sweated so much his clothes were soaked and his bed was dripping wet. They changed all his bedding and we got him some clean clothes.
Later that afternoon his new doctor came in to talk to us about his meningitis and what they were going to try and do for him. Also he called a neurologist and a infections specialist to find out what they had to say. The neurologist decided that he needed the spinal tap then not later even with the risk of his blood not clotting and bleeding on his brain. He showed up a few hours later and performed the procedure. I wanted to cry my eyes out I was so worried. We all prayed with him to help his nerves. He rested the rest of the night and we tried to keep medicine in him to help with the headaches. We were so worried for him. That night someone showed up on the hour every hour to do something. He needed blood drawn and several different medicines and then vitals checked. Neither one of us got a ton of sleep. He did finally fall asleep around 2am and slept really good till about 7am.
Monday morning his headache was gone and he was feeling a little better! I was so happy. The neurologist came in early that morning to let us know that his spinal tap came back clear and he did not have meningitis. He thought he had a viral infection that was acting similar to meningitis. After he left since Jon was feeling better he was able to sit up in his bed a very happily watch Man vs Wild and then Orange County choppers! He was laughing some and it made my heart smile. His dad stopped by a little before lunch to check on him and went and got us some yummy subway and Jon some fishing and Alabama football magazines. So thankful for that! We are also so thankful for them keeping Tyler! I do not know what we would have done. That afternoon the Doctor came in to inform us that they knew what Jon had, thank God! He informed us that Jon had contracted Malaria. To say we were shocked is a understatement. He told us that it was treatable and that the infection disease specialist would be by later in the day to talk to us. He informed us that Jon may have contracted it in Afghanistan but it normally only will lay dormant for 2 at most 3 months. He may have gotten it in Tennessee at our home because he has a few bites on his arms that are being very slow to heal. No one is sure where he got it and will probably never know. Where he was in Afghanistan was very prone to it but he took anti-malaria medicine while deploy. He was suppose to take it for several weeks after getting back and he did not. NOTE: IF YOU ARE IN THE MILITARY TAKE YOUR MALARIA DRUGS! IF YOU ARE A MILITARY SPOUSE MAKE SURE YOUR SOLDIER IS TAKING MALARIA DRUGS THE WHOLE TIME THEY ARE INSTRUCTED TO. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT! I can promise you this soldier has learned that the hard way.
Monday night he started a whole new set of medicines for Malaria. They are yellow and yucky. Later that night his headache returned. The headache medicine he had been taken does not work with the malaria medicine because of problems it can cause to the kidneys so now he was left to take Demerol or Morphine. He opted for Demerol and it made him throw up. Boo! It did however help his head for a little while but wears off way to fast. He did get a little more sleep than night before but they did still come to give him things during the night. He also had to have blood drawn at midnight. Because of his platelet count they are having to draw blood every so many hours. You should see hubby's poor arms and hands. He is VERY bruised. He slept very well after midnight till about 6 in the morning when they brought a new malaria medication.
Tuesday morning around 7:30am he needed to go to the bathroom so I got up to help him get up and when he sat up he got very sick. I ran to get the nurse and she gave him some Zofran for nausea and then morphine for his headache. He slept most of the morning. He really slept most of the day to tell the truth. We met another infection specialist that his doctor had been consulting with and we also met a blood disorder specialist that had been watching his platelets and tested him for a couple of blood disorders to see if he developed them since his platelets were so low. A normal person has around 150,000 platelets and Jon had 14,000 when he was admitted. He is now up to 48,000 as of lunch time today. It is probably higher now also. So glad is on the road to recovery. Jon's parents came by and brought Tyler to see his daddy around 4:30 today. We were so happy to see him! He loved pushing the buttons on the hospital bed. Especially the light switches. Such a little boy and so cute! While they were here Jon had to have more blood withdrawn and his infection specialist came in singing "leaving on a jet plane". We got so excited! Jon is being discharged tonight! We got several prescriptions to fill and he has lots of medicines to take over the next few days. They also gave him pills to take for his headaches!
Please continue to pray for a full recovery and that our plane ride to LA will not make him worse!