Having a bad day?

by Volker Weber

Are you feeling that life is unfair to you or that your job sucks? Read this, cry a little and understand how blessed you are.


Elena lived in our town (Shaker Heights) and attended school at a local public school. I can only tell you that we are all devastated, even those of us who did not know her personally, but simply know people who knew her. (We parents are all also scared witless, since the current diagnosis is bacterial meningitis). Indeed, count your blessings.

Ben Langhinrichs, 2006-02-24

Utterly devastating. I saw this on James Duncan Davidson’s site yesterday, and couldn’t do much else for a while. Every parent’s worst nighmare. As you say, everything else becomes inconsequential.

Ben Poole, 2006-02-24

@Ben: You probably already know this, because I can't imagine you wouldn't research it right away, but on the off chance it helps, my wife (pediatrician) said this when I sent her this link and asked what a parent could do:

The key is to ask if there is a rash that doesn't turn white when you press on it. Little broken blood vessels in the skin are much more likely to be bacterial meningitis with the little buggers in the blood system first. Viral rashes usually are pink and turn white when you press on them then come back pink when you let go. That's all we have to go on, really.

There is a new vaccine that covers some of the strains of bacterial meningitis and we are working to expand its delivery to more age groups and risk factors.

So, yeah, scary as hell. And if your kids seem to have the flu, watch out for rashes. Constantly. Otherwise, make sure that if your doctors offer you a vaccine for this, you take them up on it.

/Profoundly glad my little girl is healthy right now, and desperately hoping it continues...

Rob McDonagh, 2006-02-24

Very sad. You cannot give comfort to this. The fear of every parent.

Cem Basman, 2006-02-24

@Rob - At this point, both my daughter (19) and older son (15) are vaccinated with a vaccine that last about 10 years that seems to be the Gold Standard. My 10 year old is not (too young for that one), but is unlikely to have come into any contact with Elena and her friends. Still, I am sure that if he gets so much as a sniffle in the next few days...

Anyway, thanks for the info. The Shaker Heights Health Department seems to have things well in hand now, but the fear is going to be harder to let go. I feel so badly for the family.

Ben Langhinrichs, 2006-02-24

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