Oliver Home

After a two and half day stay in hospital, Oliver’s safe and sound and at home. We’re all very relieved, and Oliver is very happy not to have an IV taking away the use of one of his arms. As anyone who’s cared for an 18 month old might imagine, the IV issue was not without its struggles, but Oliver got acclimated quite quickly, and ended up treating the IV like he did the Christmas tree, which is to say he acknowledged it was there, but didn’t bother with it otherwise.

Air Canada Weirdness

Air Canada is starting up its own online travel agency, called Destina. I signed up to receive notice of the site before it launched, and today I got an email that said, in part:

Please come visit the website at http://prod.destina.ca and use it to reserve and purchase upcoming travel. The site will be available to you from 6:00AM-10:00PM EST daily, starting on April 15.
This weirdness would seem to suggest that Air Canada doesn’t get something important about the Internet.

XML-RPC + Vacancy Service

The Vacancy Information Service is online for 2002. Our sister company Okeedokee Inc. created this telephone and Internet based service for TIAPEI 5 years ago, and it’s been running each summer since.

This year we’ve opened up an XML-RPC interface to the service that allows operators who want to programatically update their vacancy information over the web do so easily. If you’re a tourist operator, or if you maintain websites for tourist operators on PEI, you might want to read about this new service.

Learning about the body

I naively expected that when I went in to be colonoscopated on Monday morning, it would be me who would be out of it for the rest of the day, but when I emerged in my “drug they give you so that you won’t remember anything about the experience and are thus more likely to come back and get another one someday”-haze, I received a message that Catherine and Oliver were in Emergency and I was to meet them there.

Oliver’s okay, but he’s had a hard couple of days.

On Thursday when he got home from daycare (only his third day) he had sniffles and a runny nose — we assumed he’d picked up a cold from one of the other kids. Friday was much the same, but Saturday he was really lethargic (didn’t get up until 11 a.m.) and was running a fever of about 102 degrees. We called outpatients and they told us to give him Children’s Tylenol, which we did right away. His fever came down to just below 100, and he seemed to perk up.

Sunday he was up and down — his fever came back, and he was a bit more lethergic, but then he seemed to be picking up later in the day.

On Monday morning Catherine called our family doctor, but she wouldn’t schedule an appointment until Thursday, so at 8:30 a.m., on her way to de-colonscopate me, Catherine took Oliver to Emergency, that really being the only alternative recourse (note to health care system: this doesn’t make much sense).

Emergency was really backed up, and by the time Oliver got to see a pediatrician (who, I should add, was excellent) it was about 2:00 p.m. The pediatrician recommended Oliver be admitted, and he’s been on the children’s ward since Monday afternoon.

What they think happened (in the simple terms that I can understand it) is this: on Monday or Thursday, Oliver picked up a viral infection — a flu-y sort of thing — from someone at daycare. While his body was battling this infection, some sort of bacterial infection (called a “supra-infection”, which we originally heard as “super infection,” which understandably made us worry!) snuck in, and that’s what gave him the fever, the lethargy, and the dehydration. Apparently Oliver is prime age for this sort of thing.

One interesting thing we learned today is that the dignosis of a lot of this type of thing is done only indirectly (for all I know the diagnosis of most types of things is done this way). For example, they test Oliver’s blood for white blood cells (the ones that help to combat infections); if his white blood cell count is higher, then they reason that this is because reinforcements have been called out to rally against an invading infection.

They also take another measure of the blood, called CRP, for “C-reactive protein”. This measurement gives them evidence as to the nature of the infection (i.e. whether it’s bacterial or viral).

Because Oliver’s white count is high and his CRP level is high, this led them to think that he has a bacterial infection, and so they’ve put him on a course of antibiotics.

What’s interesting as well is that they do all this without actually knowing what the bacteria that’s infecting actually is (hence the indirectness); the antibiotics Oliver’s been prescribed will take out (we were told) about 95% of likely bacterial invaders than affect children Oliver’s age.

He’s perked up a lot today — starting to get frustrated by the strange IV tube coming out of his arm — and things are looking like they’re on the mend. White cell count is trending down, as is CRP.

Oddly enough, one byproduct of this experience is that Oliver refuses to eat with a spoon: he’ll only accept food if it’s on a fork. More and more like his father every day.

What does Unisys do?

I wanted to know what Unisys does. So I went to their website to a page called About Unisys. I challenge anyone to tell me what Unisys actually is in the business of after reading that page. And if Unisys can’t describe themselves to me, why should I trust them to do anything else?