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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Definitely Pancreatitis

As the saying goes, when it rains, it pours, and it has sure been pouring around here.  I apologize for the long break between posts, but I had more pressing issues to deal with at home.

Before we pick up where we left off, here are links to the story so far.  In order, starting with the oldest post first:

  1. Into Hell...the First Weekend
  2. The First ER Trip
  3. Back to the ER
  4. Finally...Some Hope
  5. In Isolation

When we last left off, we were in the middle of our first morning in the hospital. I had just discovered my son was in isolation, and I had no idea why.  That's where we'll pick up today.

I had been sending status updates to Twitter and Facebook via text message.  I'm still in the dark ages with a "dumb phone" and am too cheap to pay for internet access on my phone, so I had no idea if anybody had been seeing or responding to my updates.

  • doesn't have net access for indiv replies. We appreciate all your comments, prayers, & good thoughts. Update soon  6 August 9:57am

I'd had my Scrubs episode encounter before I ran home.  When I returned, one of those doctors was waiting for me.  With news.  I don't remember much of what she said.  Blame it on fatigue, blame it on now once in the hospital, everything seemed to run together.  Blame it on whatever you like, it won't change the outcome.  I still won't remember a lot of it.  I do remember her saying initial bloodwork showed elevated amylase and lipase levels, which is why they had to cut off my son's food and drink.  I also remember her saying the bloodwork results could indicate Pancreatitis.  The plan was to restrict food and drink for a couple of days and they still thought we'd be out over the weekend.

While I'd heard of Pancreatitis, I couldn't really tell you what it was.  I'd had no reason to know.  I'd never had it, and as far as I knew, nobody in my family had either.  When I spoke to my mother shortly after the doctor left, I asked her to google it for me.

  • LittleDude was feeling better, but symptoms have returned. Bloodwk shows levels still up. Waiting to talk to drs.  6 August 10:32am

We'd been hopeful, since despite my son's hospital admission he'd been feeling so much better, but that first morning we had a couple setbacks.  First was the news about the possible Pancreatitis diagnosis.  Then LittleDude's diarrhea, which he hadn't experienced for at least a day, returned.  Follow that with a return of chest pain, and I was extremely concerned.

A nurse returned with a new medicine for LittleDude.  His chest pain had been diagnosed as heartburn, and he would get regular doses of Zantac through his I.V.  As long as it meant my child stopped having chest pain, I was all for it.  She also told me that she'd seen my son's bloodwork, and the levels were still up, despite only having the equivalent of only a half dozen crackers and twelve ounces of Gatorade in two days.

  • Dr just came in. Says it's def Pancreatitis. They don't know what triggered it. LittleDude not allowed to eat. 6 August 10:53am

Before long, the doctor returned as our nurse had promised.  At that point, she confirmed the diagnosis of Pancreatitis.  Unfortunately, that meant LittleDude would not be eating or drinking until his enzymes came down to acceptable levels.  Neither of us wanted to hear that, but I admit I was grateful that we finally knew what was wrong with him.  To me, that meant he could finally be treated.  Unfortunately for my LittleDude, that treatment meant going even longer without food or drink.  Even worse, the doctor mentioned the possibility of needing to find alternative ways of supplying nutrition to my son in the event they had to restrict food more than a couple weeks.  It looked like that weekend discharge we were hoping for was out.

When the doctor left, I called LittleDude's school.  I had been keeping his teacher informed of his condition via e-mail, but the last one I'd sent her was on the second day of school, the day before our second ER trip.  And that one had been hopeful he would return by the end of the week.  I now knew that wouldn't happen.  I left a message for his teacher with the school registrar.  She was extremely sympathetic, but gave me even more bad news.

  • was just told by LittleDude's school if he doesn't start by next Fri, he'll be withdrawn & have to re-register. 6 August 11:41am

To say I was devastated by this news would be an understatement.  And I was confused.  My son's entire school career had been spent in this district.  Other than kindergarten, his entire elementary school career had been in the same school.  He was in the hospital; a legitimate reason for absence from school.  Now they were kicking him out? 

And then I'd realized I'd forgotten to ask the doctor about my son's isolation.  11:41 am, and the day already sucked.


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