E. coli 0157 {Fine Art Photography, St. Anthony Hospital, Effingham, IL}

Both Tharin and I got sick last weekend. We thought it was a simple stomach bug, but I started to get better and Tharin kept getting sicker. I phoned my cousin, a nurse at St. Anthony, to ask her opinion and she told me we should probably bring him to the ER. We were still a little shocked to find out he had E. coli.  Shocked and scared.  The first day, he was still in a good mood, so they told us to go home and just keep an eye on him.  He continued to get worse and by the next day, he was visibly sick.  Not himself, tired, and lethargic.  We brought him back into emergency and they admitted him.  Maybe it doesn't make sense, but being in the hospital made me feel much, much better. It felt safer than being on our own at home which we had been the previous two days.  Since he's so young, there isn't any medicine he can get.  Antibiotics could make him much sicker, so all he got was an IV. Putting the IV in his arm was a horrible ordeal. I don't know how families with seriously ill children deal with it. I really don't. Compared to some children, what he went through was nothing. It makes me very, very thankful for my families health. The entire staff were amazing and very sweet to him.  He was the only child there at the moment so he was a little spoiled. He got a bag of goodies, a homemade blanket, and a pillow buddy, which we named 'Busy Bee'.  If you've ever watched 'Best in Show', then you know the name! His favorite part was being 'served' food.  He thought he was something else when his food was delivered and he got to unwrap everything and remove the top from his plate. He wanted to do it over and over. Daddy was nice enough to oblige him.

 

While I was trying to get a photo of his poor little hand with the IV in it, he gave me an impromptu peace sign.  Not sure if he even knows what it means.  I got to spend the night with him so we had lots of time on our hands to get up to no good!  He went up and down in his hospital bed about a thousand times! He thought it was amazing.  Grandma brought him some new movies to watch and his cousins and Aunt Charlotte came to see him.

Disinfect those hands!!!!

He loved going for walks up and down the hall and even got in trouble from the nurse for running.  He kept forgetting he was attached to the IV!

He got to paint his hand and put his handprint on the wall before we left.  There were all these beautiful colors to choose from and he chose BLACK!!  Yes, black!  They didn't have black, so his second choice was brown. Ugh. So there is now a little brown handprint on the wall named Tharin. :-)

The hospital is redoing the driveway at the entrance, so you have to enter and exit through a gorgeous little healing garden. And what do you think Tharin wanted to do when he left the hospital?  No, he didn't want to go home. He didn't even want to go to Me-me's (grandmas's) house. He wanted to go combine with grandpa, so that's just what we let him do!

We're still not sure where we got it from, and I doubt we'll ever figure it out, but we're going to be a lot more wary of what we eat and much more diligent about washing our hands!! And thank you Dana (my cousin, the super nurse!) for all your advice and help.  Also thanks to everyone who called, emailed, facebooked, texted and all that jazz.  It was greatly appreciated.

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Tytia Habing

I am a self taught, natural light photographer, with sixteen years of shooting experience under my belt. Back in the day, I learned to shoot with film, developed it and printed my own photos in my darkroom. I've since moved to digital, but film holds a very dear spot in my heart that I just can't seem to shake. I was supposed to be a horticulturalist and landscape architect...at least that's what my degree's tell me. I followed that path for some time, along with a few other paths, but photography won my heart. Plants and beautiful mother nature is, and will always be, a great inspiration to me. If at all possible, I prefer to shoot outdoors and somehow incorporate nature into the scene. I'm originally from the Watson, Illinois area, but the majority of my adult life I spent living in the Cayman Islands and only moved home to Illinois with my husband and son a few short years ago. I grew up on a small working farm, with acres and acres of natural areas at my disposal. It gave me a great appreciation for the world around me. I roamed wherever I pleased, built forts in the woods, picked wildflowers in the pasture and caught craw-daddies in the crick. My son is taking over the jobs of fort building and craw-daddy hunting, but I'll never give up the picking of wildflowers.