Thursday, November 3, 2011

Simon Says

The weekend before Halloween, Barrett had a high fever -- 105.2 -- on a Friday night, of course, after the doctor's office closed.  When we couldn't get the temp below 104.7, even with Tylenol, Motrin, and tepid baths, we took the doctor's advice and headed to urgent care.
When we get there, Barrett tests negative for strep and flu, thank goodness, and they take blood for a CBC and culture.  His fever is down to 100.7  We're told to follow up with the pediatrician in the morning for a Saturday visit and blood test results, no big whoop.
SIMON SAYS -- Stop. 
At 10a on Saturday, we see the pediatrician and report that the fever is back around 103-104ish.  She indicates that his white blood cell count is really high, so even though he is testing negative for all the regular bugs, she prescribes antibiotics to treat whatever is making his white blood cell count go through the roof.

Playing at the park before lunch on Saturday
About 4:30p that afternoon, the sweet pediatrician calls us to say that his blood culture grew some wicked bad bacteria called "gram negative rods."  We needed to pack our bags and rush to the ER immediately where a doctor was waiting; plan to be admitted for at least 2 days, so he has time to get IV antibiotics and for the doctors to learn what bug is in his blood. 
Of course, the frantic ER dash is all too familiar for us and dredges up old memories of heart failure.  The nice ER nurses remembered Barrett, again, and took special care of him.  We brought one of his favorite tractors to play with in the ER and he was happy as a little least until they started the IV, which was traumatic.

A blood draw, urine sample (interesting experience for a non-potty trained 2y old...), IV, and a brief six hours into our ER visit, the doctors said that Barrett looked great -- his normal demeanor just didn't match the scary blood culture results.  It was true -- incredibly, Barrett remainded happy through the whole experience, aside from an hour or so while he got used to the IV.  What a trooper!
Since (1) he looked great -- not gravely ill or like a child with blood poisoning; and (2) he already received the maximim dose via IV and they couldn't give him any more meds that night, they said we could choose to stay or go home. 
SIMON SAYS -- Meh.  Either way.
After some agonizing, we decided to go on home around midnight, in hopes of getting a little sleep in our own beds.  The next morning, we reported to the pediatrician that Barrett still looked great.  Maybe the first blood culture was a fluke??  We'd have to wait to see if the second culture produced the same results to know for sure...
In the meantime, as one of the nicest doctors in the world, she arranged to meet us at her CLOSED office, with her nurse too, no less, to give Barrett another rocephin shot, just to make sure he was protected for the next 24h.  Apparently, she doesn't play around with gram negative rods.
We make an appointment to see the doctor 9:20a Monday morning.
Around 9a on Monday, the hospital calls to say that Barrett's urine culture grew the same nasty gram negative rods.  This means that the first test wasn't a fluke.  Eeek.
She says to head to the hospital ASAP and prepare for him to be admitted.
I tell the hospital lady that we are literally headed out the door to see the pediatrician, whose office is adjacent to the hospital, and was it okay to just go there?? 
She agreed; off we go to the doctor.  Again.
Our doctor looks at the test results and agrees -- on paper, Barrett's condition looks awful and indicates that he should be in the hospital.  But in person, he looks like a normal, happy little boy (grin).  And, they defer to his physical presentation, even if the tests showed big bad bacteria. 
SIMON SAYS -- Stop. 
(whew, this is getting exhausting, no?)
Whohoo!!  Avoided a hospital stay!
With a 3rd rocephin shot, we were on our way, with promises to call back if his condition changed in any way.
Luckily, his condition didn't worsen.  And his latest blood culture had NOT grown gram negative rods after 48h.  The culture is officially negative after a week or so, but bad stuff normally grows quickly, so this is a good sign.  The rocephin worked!
Is Barrett a strong and brave little boy or what??  He's a survivor!  I'm so proud of him and thankful that he is okay~

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes I wonder just how the two of you DO it. I guess you don't get to stop and think about it, you just do what has to be done! It must have been just like you described that weekend . . . Stop and Go . . and on, and on . . .

    Barrett is a tough little guy! What a trouper!! I'm so proud of him too, sniff . .