Apr 24, 2010

A Hard Month

Spring has come early here on our farm and we have been especially busy because of it. We spent the last weekend in March participating in the Agri-Business fair to try to drum up business for our property maintenance company Night and Day Property Services. The fair was a success and we handed out well over 500 business cards to interested parties, and we've begun to do some jobs generated from the venture.

We acquired a new dog for our farm. He is a Great Dane, Saint Bernard, English mastiff mix so he's going to be a big boy when he's full grown. He's super cute and friendly and his coloring is that of a Harlequin Great Dane. We named him Argos from Homer's epic poem The Odyssey. In the story the main character Odysseus is sent to fight at Troy in a war he sees as pointless and his enemy Poseidon the God of the sea refuses to let him return home to his wife and child after the battle is won. He spends countless years out at sea trying to return home and goes through many adventures with his faithful crew. By the time he does finally arrive back home no one recognizes him except his faithful dog Argos. It's more or less a tribute to our literary addiction that we have in our household.

We've also acquired two wonderful Lion-head bunnies. Our male is of a red color and he has broken in his background. Our female is a blue eyed white and she is of show quality and we are still deciding if we want to enter her in this years Houlton Agricultural Fair. We are planning on breeding them late July and keeping some of the litter for line breeding purposes. With a good breeding plan and a little luck we should have some bunnies for sale by Easter next year.

Easter for us this year was a very trying time. My oldest son Vincent came home the weekend of the fair not feeling good and as a result I had to stay home with him. The cold was a bad one and he had 3 days of a high fever but then it broke and he came out of it all right. A couple of days later my middle son Victor started feeling bad and the next day my daughter Garnet. The two little ones spiked fevers as high as 104 and after 3 trips to the er Garnet was hospitalized followed by Victor 2 days after that.

With in 24 hours of my sons hospitalization Garnet developed Acute Kidney Failure and Victor was still in really bad shape. It was raining and the cloud cover was so low that life star could not fly so Garnet and Victor were both driven by ambulance to Maine Medical Barbra Bush Children's Hospital over 6 hours away. Garnet received last rites before transporting because we weren't sure she was going to make the trip. Along the way the ambulance got a flat tire and we had to wait for another ambulance to pick us up. Despite the odds we reached the hospital at 8pm that night almost 8 hours after we left Caribou and Garnet was still alive. She was rushed into ICU and received dialysis along with a slew of other treatments including blood transfusions. Victor and I went up the the Pediatrics ward where he began his recovery and where I stayed until almost a week later when Garnet was released from ICU and put into a double room with us.

They were both diagnosed with pneumonia. The strain of bacteria that caused it is called Streptococcal Pneumonia #19A. In Victor it caused a very bad case of classic lung pneumonia that required four tubes to be inserted into his lungs so that the fluids could drain. He had to have a pic line put in so he could receive his antibiotics and get daily blood draws. In garnet the bacteria caused Pneumococcal HUS not to be confused with classic HUS. It caused kidney failure and septicemia and did not go into her lungs at all. Her HUS was so rare there have only been 46 cases in the U. S. this year. The childhood vaccine Prevnar is supposed to protect against this disease but sadly it doesn't protect against this type. However, the FDA has signed a new Prevnar vaccine into use this past week and it does protect against this and 5 other additional kinds. If you have a child under 5 it may not be a bad idea to ask your pediatrician about it. It's a day late a dollar short for my family but future children will not have to worry about this bacteria.

Garnet and Victor spent another two weeks in the hospital trying to recover from this and yesterday we were finally released. Victor still has his pic line in and is receiving IV antibiotics for the next 3 weeks from the visiting nurse daily. The nurse is also monitoring Garnet's blood pressure and kidney function although she is now no longer receiving dialysis. It will be a long recovery here at home but I am truly grateful for my kids triumphant return home. I truly believe as do the Doctors who worked on Garnet that it was by Gods grace she made it to the hospital in Portland alive. We Thank God for our family and Thank everyone who knew our troubles and were praying for us.

So it's been a long month for all of us here. I'm hoping next month will go smoother and that it will be a productive month for the farm. We've got lots to catch up on and do so it should be eventful. I hope you all had a much better Easter than mine and that we find all of you healthy and blessed. Until next time,

Thank You and God Bless.


  1. Wow! What a month you have had. I am so glad to hear that God kept you all safe in His hands. I can't imagine what you have been through. Blessings from the farm, Kat

  2. I have been checking in on your "Snowbound Farm" site ever since that very scary Friday night at MMC~ with hope, and prayers for you and your beautiful children. ( I was the volunteer from TIP, and did my best to offer a little support...) It's a call that I've had a very hard time putting out of my mind~ and it's so good to hear that you are doing well. I was so impressed with your courage and strength. Victor was such a brave little fellow. One of the hardest things about this work that I do is often not knowing how things go~ as our place is to be there in the immediate hours following a trauma...I wanted to tell you that you've been in my heart. Jane

  3. Thank You Jane, Your support that Friday was very welcome and appreciated. I'm glad I seemed courageous to you but honestly I'm just practical. Folding in on myself was not going to help the situation and I needed to be strong for my son who was aware of everything going on. He probably would have been a whole lot more scared if he saw his Mom loose it no matter how scared I was for my daughter. I'm glad to know you've been checking up on us. I am eternally grateful to your program TIP and to all the Dr.s, Nurses, and Staff in general down at MMC. Everyone was so supportive and helpful. You all made a bad situation as bearable as possible for me and my family. Again Thank You, and God Bless.