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Thursday, September 30, 2010

The First ER Trip

Today's post will be Part Two of LittleDude's illness saga -- his first trip to the emergency room.  Part One, if you haven't read it yet, is here.

When we left off yesterday, LittleDude had been sick all weekend and was being treated for a bad case of diarrhea.  Monday morning came, the first day of school.  MiniMe left the house for her first day, but we let LittleDude sleep in.  His poor little body had been through so much over the weekend; I was grateful he was actually getting some rest.

When he finally did get up for the day, we realized that despite multiple doses (as recommended) of Imodium, the diarrhea continued.  As did the fevers.  I called the doctor again, and got him an early afternoon appointment.

First, let me say I misspoke somewhat when I said that LittleDude's abdominal pain had stopped.  It never did stop, but it did become manageable and localized, and it no longer made him scream.  When we got in to see our family physician, we went over what happened that weekend, including what prompted my phone call.  We covered the symptoms he was currently experiencing.  Our doctor poked and prodded LittleDude, as doctors do, while my child lay there on the examination table, barely responding.

The abdominal pain concerned the doctor, so he ordered a urine test, bloodwork, and an x-ray.  LittleDude, being a big boy, asked that I wait in the examining room.  So I did.  A few minutes later, I overheard the doctor ask one of the nurses if she'd taken the x-ray yet.  She responded that she couldn't get my son out of the chair.  That got my attention.  It got the doctor's attention, too -- his tone of voice changed.  Unfortunately, he was moving away from me and presumably toward where my child was, so I couldn't hear what he said.  Another few moments passed before LittleDude returned to the examination room, flanked by our doctor and a nurse.

If you're looking for a surefire way to panic a parent, I've got one for you here.  Be a doctor, stand in the middle of an examining room in your office, and tell said parent her child needs to go to the emergency room immediately.  A number of different things, different scenarios, raced through my mind, each more horrible and devastating than the one before.  The reality, while serious, was nothing to the extent I was worried about.

It turned out that LittleDude was dehydrating.  Not a huge surprise after what he'd gone through over the weekend, but still not good.  In fact, quite serious.  It showed in his heart rate, his fingertips, his listlessness.  His symptoms indicated there was something else going on, as well, but for the moment, the dehydration was the most important thing.

After picking MiniMe up from school, we made the 20 minute drive to the ER.  Our doctor said he'd call ahead and let them know we were coming, as he wanted LittleDude's abdominal pain evaluated as well.    During the course of our stay in the ER, I watched my son carefully.   They immediately put in an IV, and as the fluids entered his system, I watched him recover.  His color returned.  His personality returned.  He returned.  A few hours and an IV bag later, we finally headed home.

We were sent home that night with Zofran for the nausea, an antibiotic, and instructions to introduce food slowly.  No answer about the abdominal pain, but I was still hopeful.  LittleDude wouldn't be able to go to school on Tuesday (the rule is a child must be fever-free at least 24 hours before attending classes), but we could shoot for Wednesday.  When I got home that night, I e-mailed his teacher again with an update and fell into an exhausted sleep.  Still not terribly restful, but not as troubled as the night before.


The story continues:  Back to the ER

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Into Hell...the First Weekend

Here we are, nearly two months after LittleDude got sick, and I've finally managed to type up the post I've been promising.  It's taken forever, but I present to you the story of LittleDude's hospital adventure.  It's such a long story, I'll be breaking it into a number of separate, smaller, more manageable posts.  Easier to read.  Today I'll recount the beginning of LittleDude's illness, before we understood just how sick my young man really was.

It started on Friday.  The last Friday in July to be specific.  It was already an unusual day for us:  SoundGuy was heading out of town overnight for a sound gig, and my mother, who had been visiting a few weeks, was flying home.  I was up early, extremely early for me.  After taking SoundGuy to the airport, I returned home just after 6am to find my mother and LittleDude up.  LittleDude was quite proud of himself -- school was starting on Monday, and he was practicing.  That meant he was up and had already eaten.  That he would be dressed was too much to hope for, but I praised him anyway.

Until time to take my mother to the airport, the day proceeded as usual.  Even the trip to the airport was pretty normal:  LittleDude fell asleep during the 45+/- minute ride.  The unusual part didn't start until the ride home.

About halfway home, he started complaining of feeling sick.  MiniMe and I gave him a bag he could use for vomiting, if necessary.  He took advantage.  Now, my family has done quite a bit of traveling by car, and although LittleDude has been carsick in the past, it's been years.  Carsickness didn't even enter my mind.  What did enter my mind was Crap.  School starts Monday.

When we got home, I told LittleDude to head on up to his room and get some rest.  Not only did he go straight up without complaint, he actually went to sleep.  And he slept through the night.  Yes, I was worried.  I would be keeping a very close eye on him over the weekend.

The next day, the vomiting stopped, but it apparently did so to make room for the diarrhea.  And fever.  At one point, his temperature climbed to nearly 104°, but we easily controlled it with Tylenol, so I opted not to contact the doctor.  Yet.  The close eye continued.

Sunday came, and with it came the pain.  LittleDude, still running fevers albeit much lower, rolled around on his bed complaining his belly hurt.  "It feels like somebody's reaching in and pulling my guts out," he said.  That was it; I put in a call to the on call doctor, who determined it was cramping.  "Imodium and fluids," he said. 

The pain did eventually stop, although the diarrhea and fever continued.  We'd keep an eye on him Sunday night, then decide what to do on Monday morning.  Either way, he wouldn't be starting school with the rest of the kids.  I e-mailed his teacher, crawled into bed, and fell into a troubled, uncomfortable slumber.


The story continues:  The First ER Trip

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

It's Building...

Many of you know of the recent trials and tribulations we've had recently with LittleDude's health.  As soon as I get a spare few moments (actually, a bunch of them...this is gonna take a while!), I'll be posting the full story.  With pictures.  But no disgusting ones because that would just be ... well ... disgusting.

A few people have expressed true surprise and curiosity at LittleDude's diagnoses of salmonella and pancreatitis, so my plan is to take you step-by-step (as well as I can remember, anyway) through our adventure.  As soon as I can.

If SoundGuy would just finish updating Frankie (my laptop computer) it'd be sooner.  But we take what we can get, right?

BTW -- LittleDude is as good as new.  Thanks again for all the good thoughts and prayers.

Watch this space!  A detailed post is coming soon.