2.11.2006

not your average bug


This? Is rotavirus. You're thinking ewwwww right now, huh? I don't blame you.

If you've been keeping up with this self-indulgent corner of the blog world, you know that Lemony Villa has not been a fun place to visit, let alone live, for about a month now. There have been doctor's visits and blood tests. PEE IN THE CUP!! visits. Things deposited in Tupperware and cultured visits.

Ewwwwwwww, you say, I don't need to know these things. Believe me, I hear ya.

After much deliberation and consultation with lab-type people, the pediatrician we've been lucky enough to not see much of over the years finally came up with a diagnosis...and there it is, the little bastard, right there for your viewing pleasure. Hey, be grateful you only have to look at it. We've had to live with it, and trust me, it's even uglier when you can't see it because it's hiding in your intenstines.

Shudder.

I did a bit of reading once we had the diagnosis. I wanted to know how we caught it, how I could make the sickest of the sick more comfortable, and how to avoid getting it again. I also wanted to see how other parents coped with this, because when I say this is the sickest I have ever seen my family in fifteen years I'm not kidding, and Mr. Lemony and I were just a wee bit stressed out.

What I learned was staggering. Like this:

The proportion of deaths in children [less than or equal to] 5 years of age attributable to diarrhea demonstrated a declining trend with increasing income level; the median proportion for low-income countries was 21%; for low-middle income countries, 17%; for high-middle income countries, 9%; and for high-income countries, 1%.

And this:

An estimated 1,205 children die from rotavirus disease each day, and 82% of these deaths occur in children in the poorest countries.

So but for a stroke of fate, my kids are in the 1% and not the 21%. Because we have access to clean water, Pedialyte pops, hot running water and chlorine-based disinfectants, not to mention reliable medical care, we get to live to tell the horror story that is rotavirus infection. I am extraordinarily grateful...and extraordinarily sad. Children are dying from what basically amounts to nothing more than a bad case of diarrhea. One-thousand, two-hundred and five of them every day.

Holy hell, man.

I've lived through some pretty unpleasant things in my life. I lost a childhood to drug addiction and a beloved friend to another bastard of a virus. But I have never lost a child to something as simple as diarrhea, and the odds are I never will.

With that in mind I've decided I have to do what I can for the kids who have parents without the odds in their favor. And so, for every comment I get to this post, I will give a dollar, rounding up to the nearest hundred, (one comment per person, please...we're Lemons, not Gates) to PATH and their rotavirus vaccine program. One-thousand, two-hundred and five children a day is just too many.

So. Whadaya say?

26 Comments:

Blogger Kate said...

Am I first? What a good cause to write a comment for! Mama Lemon, you know you've got all our sypathies for the hell you and your family has gone through for the past month, but it's quite an eye-opener to realize that people die from this.

Since it's a virus--do you just have to wait it out until it's all done?

11.2.06  
Blogger Kate said...

That would be "sympathies", dur.

11.2.06  
Blogger Reid said...

Well played, oh Lemony one. Good idea, and glad you guys are okay.

11.2.06  
Anonymous Anocat said...

Great move Lemony. Such an eye-opener to realise that a minor illness in a wealthy country can be a killer in a poor one. 1,205 per day is a lot of kids who just needn't die.

Ano

11.2.06  
Blogger MomEtc. said...

The numbers are mind-boggling, aren't they? What a wonderful way you've come up with to combat those numbers. I've never heard of this organization, but I'm glad to hear it exists!

11.2.06  
Blogger Momma Star said...

If nothing else, may this keep the karma gods happy necause I never want to see a pic of your wee one looking so ill ever again.

And I'll stop there before I feel the need to rant political.

xoxo

11.2.06  
Blogger ¬©Jac said...

I've had the rotovirus a couple of times, and am not looking forward to my kids getting it when they are out of diapers.
As bad as it seemed to me, I cannot imagine dying from it either. 1,205 a day?
Wow.

11.2.06  
Anonymous kate said...

Those numbers are horrifying.

I'm glad the Lemony family is on the mend.

11.2.06  
Blogger Jozet said...

eep...that's scary stuff.

Thank heavens for pedialyte and clean water...I'll never think of them as small mercies again.

xxoo

11.2.06  
Blogger Atticus said...

Wow. Those numbers are scary.

glad to hear the Lemony family is on the mend.

12.2.06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You rock Lemony Woman. If I did not already love you more than words can convey, I would seriously love you for this idea alone.

I don't know why but I made myself anonymous so now you have to guess who it is that loves you so much. I'll give you a hint...curls, chips and lemontea.

12.2.06  
Blogger Om.powered said...

Count me commented.

1,205. That's 2410 parents without children. EVERY day.

No way. Wrong. Wrong wrong wrong.

xo

12.2.06  
Blogger Sahil said...

Go Lemony!

13.2.06  
Blogger Jaycee said...

I don't think we've ever had the Rotavirus here and hope we never get it, but even if we did, like you, we'd be fortunate enough to have the things that so many children don't.

I hope this all goes away soon for you guys.

13.2.06  
Blogger Siuan said...

Yes, we've gone through this and it was just time and lot's of liquids that got us through. That was a terrible spring of us. See my ds reacted to everything that spring, had mmr reaction, rotavirus, another cold virus, chicken pox, fell and put a gash in his head and developed a uticaria rash on top of his severe eczema. Brings back memories, not good ones and thankful that those four months are long past. I hope your family is back to being healthy in no time.

13.2.06  
Blogger Shandy said...

I've bookmarked that site so I can contribute when finances are a little better. Nobody should have to worry about losing a child to something so simple. I hope your house is on the mend.

14.2.06  
Blogger ThoughtsInsideMyHead said...

Here's another comment to the cause.

14.2.06  
Anonymous Another Kate said...

My son had that at 11 months of age, and it was horrible. He didn't suffer quite as badly as your children did, health-wise, though he did end up with open sores on his little behind. Diarrhea 5-6 times a day for three weeks will do that to a baby.

Thank you for giving to a good cause.

14.2.06  
Anonymous rachnkids said...

I read an interesting article yesterday about the rotavirus vaccine and how many children suffered & died from the disease b/c of the safety concerns raised by the previous one.

Good for you for taking a stand.

I'm glad you all are feeling better

15.2.06  
Blogger Gramma said...

Lemony--what a great use of a blog. Glad your little ones are doing well, and glad such a simple act as this can help.

15.2.06  
Blogger lemony said...

Thanks, everybody. You all rock. Out loud and everything. :)

xoxo

15.2.06  
Blogger beenie said...

Wow. Just wow. Sending lots of healthy vibes your way, Lemony Family.

15.2.06  
Blogger Amanda said...

Tha'ts a really nice idea, Lemony. I don't even know who you are, LOL. But I'm glad you are doing this.

I'm srry your babies have been sick!! I hope you and they are feeling much better very soon!

15.2.06  
Blogger Imzadi said...

Holy Heck Lemony. How'd I miss this?

I'm glad you guys are on the mend. What a sobering post.

16.2.06  
Anonymous dragonbaby said...

That's a wonderful idea, Lemony. And I'm so glad that you Lemons are finally starting to feel better.

16.2.06  
Blogger Claire said...

I am so impressed by someone taking personal experience and turning it into an act of global compassion! I hope you and yours are all healthy and happy.

21.2.06  

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