Friday, August 10, 2012

Update on Conner

Now that I have my laptop and Conner is resting peacefully, thanks to the sedative Chloral Sulfate, I thought I’d take some time to update what’s been going on with this crazy quick onset of symptoms that put Conner in the PICU at Dell Children’s Hospital. 


First, let me say that God is always so faithful.  Walking through valleys such as this gives Him an extraordinary chance to shine brighter than He already does as He shows off the variety of ways He’s continuously meeting our needs and holding us up in the most unpredictable circumstances.  When we think know  we cannot take another step on our own, He so faithfully carries us.  I want to thank our oldest son, Parker, for driving to the hospital today to deliver all of the stuff that Mattie packed for me.  And thank you, Mattie, for gathering everything you knew I’d want and need while I stay by Conner’s side until he makes it home again.  And thanks to my sister, Trisha, for helping in so many ways, from delivering food and snacks to me, to having Sawyer spend the night with you, to cleaning poop out of Conner’s car seat and washing his diarrhea-saturated shorts!!!  And thanks to our children at home who rise to the occasion to fill my shoes in my absence—you do all things well!  And many thanks to my faithful friends who always step in without even being asked to bless our family with meals during times of crises.  Thanks Elizabeth and Alyson for bringing goodies by the hospital and for visiting.  Last, but not least, many thanks to all of the web warriors out there who lift us up to our loving Father, who hears our prayers and is proud of the way His army battles and holds us up during times of tribulation.


As you know, we’ve been through the ringer lately when it comes to health issues and hospitalizations in our family.  Satan’s relentless in his attacks, but Jesus is victorious.  He’s already won this battle, and when we’re weak, He is strong.  This we know well through personal experience.  Satan will NOT win this battle because we fight from the victory of the Cross, and we know the end of the story—Jesus TRIUMPHS!!! 


So, to recap what occurred with Conner, on Monday he got 3 immunizations (MMR, Varivax, and Hep A), his first US immunizations (he received MANY immunizations in Ukraine).  We have mixed feelings regarding immunizations, but both Conner and Cooper are going to start public school (in a very small Kindergarten self-contained special education class) in our little town on August 27, so we decided to get them both immunized.  Since both boys received SO MANY vaccinations in Ukraine, with no recorded reactions/problems, we decided to just get the required school vaccines and not wrestle with this decision.


Well, on Tuesday at 5PM, Conner started running a fever of approximately 102.5 (underarm temp with cheap digital thermometer, but he was BURNING up with fever to the touch).  We figured it was a reaction to his immunizations, so we gave him Motrin.  Conner just wanted to sleep, so he skipped dinner and slept soundly until he woke around 8PM covered in diarrhea.  He also had some retching/vomiting, and was unable to eat or drink without it coming right back up.  The diarrhea has continued since then, without ceasing, round-the-clock, diaper after diaper after diaper.  Usually every 10 minutes to 1 hour, Conner fills a diaper (or overflows it!) with watery diarrhea that resembles a breastfed baby’s stool (seedy, yellow), only it also has mucus and blood in it.


Conner had several diarrhea diapers that filled his crib during his sleep Tuesday night, which required bathing Conner because he was absolutely covered in it from head to toe.  At 8AM Wednesday, the inconsolable crying started.  Conner had an appointment with a pediatric gastroenterologist scheduled for 2PM that day (to discuss the extreme vomiting that Conner’s been having the past few months, unrelated to this current episode), so I thought I’d just take Conner to that appointment and discuss the current diarrhea/GI symptoms in addition to his “usual” vomiting.


As we were driving to Conner’s GI appointment, he got so much worse with his inconsolable crying.  He filled his car seat with diarrhea, and required 3 diaper changes on the 1 hour drive.  Due to worsening and severity of symptoms, I made the decision to skip the GI appointment and go straight to Dell Children’s ER.  Sidenote, Conner said his first word in his desperate plea for help—“MOMMA”!!!!  Such a pitiful way to elicit language, but I rejoiced that Conner now has a momma to cry out to for help!!!

ER thought Conner had intussusception (where intestine prolapses), but ultrasound of bowels showed no signs of it.  Conner had gotten severely dehydrated in a matter of hours, so they bolused him with IV fluids twice.  They also drew blood to run labs, and after we waited in the ER for about 6 hours, the lab results were enough to get him admitted to the regular floor.  Conner’s inconsolable crying/moaning/wailing told us he was obviously in pain, we just needed to figure out the source so we could help him.  He was absolutely miserable and ended up crying inconsolably for about 15 hours!!!


Look at those horribly dehydrated lips!!!



And look at how much pain our little hero was in.  Nothing could console him. Sad smile



Sawyer was such a big help to me, particularly while I changed diarrhea diapers and cleaned poop off my clothes.  I ended up in scrubs by the end of the night due to getting covered in poop numerous times.



Once Conner was admitted and settled into his room, he started convulsing and his skin became mottled and purple.  The head pediatrician for that floor jumped on it, and in a matter of minutes, Conner was surrounded with about 15 medical specialists.  He was going into shock with pre-renal (kidney) failure and was acidotic.  They immediately transferred Conner to the PICU via a special transport team. 


The series of tests began Wednesday night via the PICU, although stool cultures were sent off from the ER.  We’re still waiting for confirmation of tests that are taking a while to get back because they need to keep growing, but so far, everything’s been negative.  They’ve tested for all sorts of parasites, bacterial illnesses, viral illnesses, blood work, etc., but everything’s been negative so far.


Thursday Conner woke, after a rough night and a day filled with inconsolable crying, to the most pitiful hoarse cry/moan/wail.  He spent all day Thursday with intermittent bouts of pain.  A repeat ultrasound of bowels was performed, but it was still clear.  Conner was still in obvious pain, but medicines are hard to figure out because of a variety of factors.  No antibiotics (yet) because that can make diarrhea worse if the cause isn’t bacterial.  He can’t have good pain meds because narcotics slow motility, and if this diarrhea is the results of a virus or bacteria, he needs to get it all out…narcotics could potentially slow that process.


Conner was given Chloral Sulfate, a sedative, to help calm him down and relieve pain if possible.  That helped Conner rest, and it’s been our lifesaver since he can’t have good pain meds.  We still don’t have any answers.  Peds GI came by Thursday evening to discuss everything.  He ordered an upper GI, which will happen sometime Friday morning.



One thing is for sure, the doctors are running every type of test imaginable, looking for all types of bacterial or viral causes of the diarrhea, as well as anything anatomical they can imagine.  Nothing is showing the cause of Conner’s pain.  Please pray for wisdom and answers and a speedy recovery.  We need the healing touch of our Jehovah Rapha in a mighty way!!!

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