Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ghost Child

Luke managed to give me a pretty good scare last night. He got sick in the car on the way home yesterday. (Yeah, that was not fun.) And he continued being sick off an on for most of the evening. We suspected he was "holding back" and would likely be sick in bed sometime during the night once he finally fell asleep and lost that "control." And we were right; it happened just after 10 PM. We heard him start crying and ran up the stairs, knowing exactly what had happened. We were even prepped with cleaning materials, fresh jammies, and clean sheets, all waiting and ready to go.

As I opened the door and turned on the bedroom light, a ghost child looked back at me. He had no color in his face at all, save for the purple-gray shadows around his eyes. His lips matched his skin, and they were both as white as they could be. I just about freaked. I've read the term "white to the lips" in various books over the years, but I'd never seen it in person, and I'd really prefer to never see it again. I stripped the bed and watched him for a few minutes, but he was still all white, including his upper body as he changed. He was also about to shiver himself to pieces but had no fever (if anything, his skin was on the cool side). Despite the fact that it was now 10:15 PM or so, I dashed across the hall to my room and did what any self-assured full-grown 33-year-old woman would do: I called my mommy.

I knew my parents would most likely be in bed and asleep, but I called anyway. I felt bad about it, but I called (and yes, they were asleep). Remember, Mom is an RN, so I was really calling my own private nurse line. I basically wanted to know if I needed to run him to the hospital, or if we could/should wait it out until morning and see if he had improved. My biggest concern is that he was somehow losing blood, though I didn't see any other signs (beyond paleness and chills) that I could recognize as a "layman." We talked through his symptoms and decided that, since there were no major red flag indications, he could wait. And over the course of our 10-15 minute conversation, he did start to "pink up." At least I started to clearly see some color delineation between his lips and his face, though he was still really pale compared to normal. Finally, I started to breathe again, and said goodnight.

Thank you, Nurse Nana, for taking my call! I am so sorry I bothered the two of you last night. He did okay at home today, though he was more lethargic than is normal for him after episodes like this. He seems to have a spell like this every 6-9 months; for example - this past Valentine's Day. Other than being tired and not hungry, he is usually fine the next day, but today, he clearly still did not feel well. He perked up pretty good this evening once I finally got a few calories in him (and daddy came home), and he'll be going to school tomorrow unless something happens during the night (knock wood).

Currently feeling: grateful for family medical knowledge, and mothers who accept phone calls in the middle of the night from borderline hysterical daughters regarding relatively minor issues


  1. For the record, we had just gone to bed but were not yet asleep. No matter, call anytime. -- Papa

  2. ((Erin)) Alex sometimes goes really white like that just after loosing his cookies too. No fun to see at all on your baby! Hope Luke is fully recovered very soon.

  3. First, hugs for you and Luke. Sickness is no fun for anyone, patient or caregiver! Second, if this seems to happen from time to time with no fever involved, have you given any thought to this being an allergic reaction? Could be a food, or something he is contact with infrequently? Just a thought - take it with a grain of salt.


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