Parenting is a messy adventure – it tests our patience, our will and our energy, but never our concern, love or passion for our children.
With three kids under 10, my wife, Caroline, and I have managed broken noses, split lips, cuts and bruises too numerous to count … even Lyme disease, skin disorders, and serious fevers – most seem to come with the territory.
But there have been rare moments when one of our kids was sick and we didn’t know what was wrong or how to ease the pain, and in those moments, we felt pretty desperate. One of those times was when our 4-year-old daughter Charlotte or “Lotte” came down with a high fever when she was 10 months old. While this was not a new experience for us, the part that made us nervous was that the fever, despite Children’s Tylenol and Motrin, would not break. …
Preschoolers are drawn to play. Summertime sprinkler fun, snow-bound sledding and endless forms of indoor, outdoor horseplay are part of a youngster’s childhood fabric.
But for Matthew Dolan, carefree play was absent from much of his early years.
As a toddler and young boy, Matthew didn’t feel well and was much smaller than his active peers. He often experienced great pain—to the point of tears—when lying down, had numerous urinary tract infections (UTIs), ear infections and bouts of strep throat.
“I was sick all the time and stayed home from school frequently,” says Matthew, now 19. “I was tiny and not as active as other kids my age. They were larger, faster and more skilled at games we played.”
Matthew’s mother, Martha, knew her son was fighting a much larger medical issue. But Matthew’s pediatrician could not pinpoint the source of the problem.
“I felt very helpless since I knew something was wrong but didn’t know what was causing his pain,” says Martha.
At 6 years old, Matthew’s medical journey took a life-saving turn. He was referred to Boston Children’s Urology Department. …