So, my son got diagnosed with CMV and put on this scary medicine where the only other group of people who take it are cancer survivors. The side effects can include an upset stomach in the beginning, because, babies, and they're really not designed to be taking in anything but milk. There was a bit more screaming and more diapers to change, but he adjusted and it was fine. The other major side effect is it can tank someone's immune system and while the first blood test had shown that my son's immune system was strong enough that he wasn't even showing as positive for the disease anymore (you could still tell by his saliva) this was incredibly scary. As a result he had to have weekly blood drawings to check his white blood count. I did not realize until several weeks into this that it only effects their ability to fight bacterial infections, not viral ones, but newborns are known for not having great immune systems to begin with and watching his white blood count drop every week was terrifying. I might add that this also involved having to stick a needle in a very fat, very tiny little person, a task that was so difficult I had to switch clinics and request a special person, because she was the only one who could do it. This was particularly frustrating with our crappy out of state insurance that made me jump through all sorts of hoops. Thankfully, my husband did get a new, awesome, job with equally awesome insurance when my son was about 2 1/2 months old. I also learned to refuse to let anyone even try and stick a needle in his arm if it wasn't our favorite flabotomist. Anyway, right when his white blood cell count was dropping to critical and they were talking about having to give him some sort of injection to raise the count, his immune system went into hyperdrive and the blood blood cells increased by 200% in a matter of days.
I'd like to say from then on it was clear sailing. I will at least say it wasn't so terrifying, we started having the blood tests less frequently, The insurance company initially refused to give us his entire prescribed dose, because it came out to be more than one bottle of medicine and they wanted a second copay, but the just as frequent weighings showed he followed a quick enough growth curve that his 30 day dose was two bottles, which they had to then cover under one copay. He had to have several more hearing tests, which became increasingly problematic as he was never easy to get to sleep, especially with having wires taped all over him and in a strange place. Even harder than the tests themselves, I kept getting hit with the $300 bills, because hearing tests are considered unnecessary and the insurance bills them at a higher rate. I got the state to pay for the first once since they wouldn't let me leave the hospital without scheduling the test and I eventually won my case with the new insurance company that the hearing tests counted as a specialist diagnostic procedure for an infectious disease and they agreed I should only pay the $35 specialist copay charge.
So not much else happened, at 4 1/2 months he learned to roll when I gave him enforced back time whilst I cooked dinner. At 5 1/2 months he learned to crawl and it changed life forever. That's when things started getting fun. I started taking him out places and we both finally started making fun. That's where I'm picking the story back up, with a fully mobile Louise and the story arc that kicks off my son having baby buddies and me having mommy coworkers. I hope to go back and do a short story or two to cover these early days, but first I've got to FINALLY get the last volume of Seeking Shelter out the door and get this comic on a more reliable schedule. Enjoy!