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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Perfect Storm

I should never have talked crap about that damn cold and flu monster because he beat down our door with furry ready to take us all!

We spent nine (yes, nine) hours in the emergency room yesterday. And all of my patience for waiting has been maxed out so, please, nobody ask me to wait for anything this week, 'kay, thanks.

Christian has been hit with what seems to be the equivalent of the perfect storm. I last reported that he had a fever and cough. I committed the cardinal sin...saying things were looking up. Never, ever announce it prematurely, I tell myself, because that monster will come and prove you wrong every time!

Christian continued to get fevers that were coming and going. His cough progressed to a hard and painful sounding cough. He also started throwing up everything, including water. So I decided it was time to take him to the pediatrician.

Our regular doctor wasn't in so we met a fill in that talked way too much about where he came from, which is why he was running almost an hour late (and you cancel our appointments if we're more than 15 minutes late, medical community???) He was nice enough, checked Christian over and said he looked great under the circumstances. Ears, nose, and throat were clear, breaths sounded fine. But he did mention he was concerned about the P word. Pneumonia.

Pneumonia was sitting in the back of my thoughts, too. It can take down kids like Christian with a quickness. And when I say take them down, I mean it can take them out. Kids with neurological impairments or weak structure have a hard time clearing their lungs so crap gets stuck down in there and develops into a beast of a sickness called Pneumonia.

Long story short, the substitute doctor got on me about my choice not to give the kids flu vaccines followed by a discussion about possibly taking Christian to get admitted for rehydration.

First of all, I don't get flu vaccines for the kids because they are home with me all day. Second, I don't like introducing unnecessary ingredients into my childrens' systems, especially Christian, when there is already so much going on with him. Third, my reasoning didn't hold much water with two little ones currently suffering from the flu, despite my best efforts to keep them germ free.

Then I got to thinking about deaths from the flu last year, H1N1, and the highest risk group is...Christian. I got scared. Not only could he be compromised because of possible pneumonia, but also from the flu???

So off to the ER we went. We got a room quickly but that was the only thing that was quick that day. He got chest x-rays and blood tests and the intern suggested maybe a CT scan. A CT scan? My, aren't we an ambitious and experimental little doctor in training. I literally laughed a little bit. I think she thought she'd get to order a scan because he had a brain injury. But last I checked CT scans weren't used to diagnose cold and flu symptoms, but I may be going out on a limb here.

Needless to say, the main doctor nixed the CT scan idea. Maybe next time, intern.

Chest x-rays were clear, blood tests showed no elevated white blood cell count which would indicate signs of infection. The third test, however, showed something called gap acidosis. Keto acidosis is a very real risk to this diet, and the doctors knew extremely little about the diet. They considered it a culprit for a split second but, more so considered dehydration due to Christian's vomiting and diarrhea. They gave him an IV drip of saline and repeated the tests, which came back normal after the rehydration.

The verdict according to the doctor - it's a bronchial irritation, upper respiratory illness that's viral in nature probably mixed with the flu. Oookay, can we get any more noncommittal on the diagnosis, doc? Oh yeah, p.s., because it's viral, there's nothing he can take for it. More good news... since he's more than three days from his initial flu symptoms, there is nothing to give him for that either. Super.

I don't much trust the doctor after he tried to tell me he looked at Christian's previous chest x-rays, of which there were none in existence because the doctor explained he got Christian mixed up with another patient. He then made sure to mention Christian "was like his fourteenth patient," as he shook his head in fatigue. I felt totally safe after that.

So tomorrow, Christian is going for a follow up with his real pediatrician. He was a lot more alert today, and his coughs are getting a little looser sounding. He hardly threw up and he's holding down continuous feeds, which is when we feed him all day at a slow rate. He does still have some diarrhea and his breathing is still a little too fast for my comfort levels. His oxygen levels are also on the low side. He slept better last night, though, and unlike yesterday, his eyes are no longer blood shot.

I'm hoping we're on the up and up but I'm not going to say it because that flu monster is sitting in my living room just waiting for me to slip up.

Please say a prayer for Christian and that he can kick this sickness and we can kick that flu monster to the curb for good!


Peg said...

Shauna you make me laugh and cry at the same time with the descriptions of your day and your thoughts. You have such a mix of honesty, sarcasm, humor, sweetness and mother tiger. I am so sad C. is sick but I am so glad he has you as a mom - he is blessed with that. get better christian - i am missing seeing you today. your e.i.friend!

HesterFamily said...

Poor Christian!! (And Lola!) I hate that the first illness has been such a doozy and that the hospital trip was so crazy. Reminded me of the resident who came to visit us during our hospital stay gowned up like he had the plague, asking a bunch questions I didn't understand, only to realize he was in the wrong room! Really reminds us of why we have to be on top of everything for our kids!! I hope the doctor trip today was uneventful and that he's truly on the up and up (I'm whispering that so as not to agitate any sicko monsters)

giddyup said...

Shauna honey. My sympathies are with you. I hope you all feel better soon. It must be scary with the little guy getting a virus. I understand your decisions about vaccines too. What to do, what to do. I used to have an excellent homeopathic doctor back in Massachusetts (believe me, I was never a believer in natural anything) but she helped me be asthma free for a good year and I did not get bronchitis for 3 years which was what took ME OUT. She told me that the only people she would ever advise to take vaccines were seniors that had health issues and children with weakened immune systems. I still have a difficult time with the idea of getting a flu vaccine but when it's your little ones you become the momma tiger and want to do whatever it takes. Let your heart and mind rule your decision. You have great intuition girl!

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