by Caroline Downs
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Posted 3/19/13 (Tue)
Dylon Schweitzer might be the one kid attending Berthold Public School who does NOT want to take a day off from school right now.
The seventh grade Bomber, who is the son of Darrin and Donna Schweitzer with a twin sister and two older brothers, is sick of being sick.
The problem is, doctors don’t know why he’s so miserable.
The trouble started about 11 weeks ago. “I started throwing up and couldn’t hold down solid food for six weeks,” he said, which is a less-than-pleasant experience for one day, let alone six weeks’ worth of days.
Dylon has lived with intense stomach pain, too. “Sometimes...it’s hard for me to even walk,” he said, which meant he had to give up playing basketball through the winter and will likely sit out the upcoming baseball season.
Then came the tests, involving seven different doctors and two hospitals, starting with obvious things like influenza and appendicitis and moving into the scary realm of leukemia and cancer.
But nothing has definitively shown up in the results, and he keeps going back to the doctors. “The main thing I think about [at the doctors’ offices] is, ‘I hope they figure it out this time,’” he said.
Donna admitted she has struggled with the lack of results and the unanswered questions. “After all this time, there is still the not knowing,” she said. “We hear, ‘This is one more test,’ and there’s always one more ‘Let’s give this a try.’”
According to Donna, the latest round of tests suggested he could maybe, possibly have a rare abdominal angioedema, a type of swelling that can’t be explained right now. The condition is so unusual that very few treatment options have ever been developed.
“They started him on a new course of meds last week,” Donna said. “The question is, will it take the swelling down? And then will it take away the pain? If this doesn’t work, then we go back to Amplatz Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis.”
Dylon prefers to go back to his classes on a regular basis, or get ready for a fishing trip with his dad and grandfather, or play some video games with his friends. Missing the live action of the Bombers boys basketball games really bothered him, given his loyalty and loud cheering at home and away games. “I really love basketball and my school,” he said.
However, he knows people are pulling for him. He appreciates the encouragement his teachers and friends give him, helping him stay caught up on assignments.
His basketball teammates used Dylon’s favorite color to express their concern. “[They] all wore red headbands to show their support during one of their games,” he said.
The Berthold Lions Club is offering their support with a benefit breakfast planned for Sunday. Donna considers the event to be an answer to prayer. “The fact this town is rallying around this kid and our family means so much,” she said. “Faith is pretty much what’s getting the whole family through this.”
Dylon, at the tender age of 13, is grateful for that support, too. “Even people who haven’t met me are praying for me and my family,” he said, “and that’s really cool.”
Answers from the doctors would be even better, some solution that allows Dylon to see his biggest wish come true: “I just want things to go back to the way it used to be.”
Dylon, we all hope this medical mystery gets solved soon, and that you get back on the teams where you belong.