Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The past week of our life...

Middle woke up from a nap (hint #1 that she was ill) and had a fever and a belly ache. Thought she had picked up a bug - same that I had the previous weekend.

Middle woke up with the same belly ache and fever. Decided to take her in to the peds to get the belly checked. Dr. F. wanted an ultrasound to double check for an appendicitis. No appendicitis, but the tech did find mesenteric adenitis (enlarged lymph nodes in the lower right quadrant that mimic an acute appendicitis. We were told that Middle basically had a virus and it would run its course. Given the all clear to go to Virginia Beach. We decided to give Middle an additional day to rest and just leave ASAP in the morning.

Woke up at 6:30 AM to a child with fever but no belly pain. We attributed the fever to the virus and thought it would continue to run its course. About mid-morning, Middle was feeling better (the fever seemed to have broken and she was starting to rebound), so we decided to finish packing up, drop off the dog at the kennel and head out of town. Middle had a fever in the car, but we thought that might be the end of it. We arrived at my parents' home and just let her rest for the night.

All seven of us decided to go to MacArthur Center to do a little shopping and get out of the house. Middle seemed to be doing OK. We shopped and enjoyed ourselves, but Middle started to get cold (not that unusual since she has no fat on her) and developed a little cough. I thought maybe she was getting a little cold as the cough was a dry hack not congested. She seemed to run out of energy and just wanted to go home. Jason and Dad took her and Youngest home. Mom, Oldest and I finished up at the mall and hit the pharmacy for some Dimetapp for Middle. Again - the high fever returned.

I was done with this high fever business and called our pediatrician again. She asked if we could find a dr. that could do a strep test and a urine dip to rule out strep throat and a bladder infection. I called the local Urgent Care that was recommended and was told to bring her in.
They were very nice and ran the tests. The nurse was rough as hell doing the strep test though. I was not happy with her heavy hand - you would have thought she was scrubbing mildew off of a wall not swabbing a child's throat.
Both tests were clear so the Dr. suggested a chest xray and blood CBC. I wasn't sure about those and our peds had said to just have the two tests done and not let them talk me into anything else. I was apprehensive but did not say anything as I thought at least it would rule out some of the other possibilities for the high fever for four days.
The xray tech took one picture then gave it to the dr. The dr. thought it was too light and requested another. The tech took another xray and then one from a side angle. The next thing I knew the dr. was calling me over. He did not have any bedside manner to begin with and confirmed it with his next statement. He said, "I cannot treat her. You need to take her somewhere else. You need to take her to the hospital. See her lung. It shouldn't look like that. It is all white."
The xray showed her left lung to be completely opaque compared to the one on the right which was black. Both Jason and I were terrified. All I could think was my child was going to die. The doctor said he was going to write up his notes for us to take. The xray tech had me sign a waiver to take the xrays with us. (I have no idea why since our insurance was paying for them, but whatever....)
I confronted to xray tech and asked if Abs had pneumonia or what. He thought she had pneumonia, but again the dr. still had not said anything. We got the letter and left with Abs to head to CHKD ER. That was the only place I was comfortable taking her. Having lived in VB my whole life and raising the kids here for a while, I have intimate knowledge of CHKD.

We waited an hour and forty-five minutes to get called back despite the small amount of patients waiting. Once we got back there we saw the Dr. fairly quickly. He was the attending and seemed to know his stuff. He said Abs definitely had pneumonia and gave us a choice. She could have two shots of Rocephin and go home with a script for Amoxicillin and a promise to return on Monday for a re-check OR we could admit her. He said if it were his children, he would take them home. Two shots, a script and a promise later, we went home.
Abs was worn out as were J and I. I think our whole world fell apart when we thought she was deathly ill. The first dr. never said the word pneumonia. However, in his notes that we received, he did write pneumonia. J was happy the a-hole found the pneumonia and didn't just send us home after the two test were negative, but he wanted to punch the dr. out for the manner in which he let us know something was definitley wrong with Abs.

I took Abs back to CHKD to have Dr. C. check her out. He was fantastic - he met us in the ER just as promised. He looked her over and felt there was a small improvement and could continue to recouperate at home as long as we continue to see an improvement. Dr. C. even looked Abs over without us formally signed into the hospital so we also avoided another ER charge. :-) YEAH.

Tuesday & Wednesday:
Abs continues to cough like a lung is gonna come up. The fevers seem to spike in the afternoon and night, but each time are slightly less - so tonight's is 100.5 under her arm. That is down from 103.5. Abs has no appetite which makes it very difficult to get the Amoxicillin in her as she needs to have some food in her tummy. We have switched from Ibuprofen to Tylenol for the fever. It is very difficult to just watch this child be so ill. Normally she is bouncing off the walls and talking non-stop. There is none of that right now. She is napping each day and when awake, she just coughs, watches tv or plays Webkinz.

I am exhausted.

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