Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Conner’s Back in the Hospital


I went to have lunch with Conner and Cooper in their classroom Wednesday.  When I arrived, Conner looked like he was feeling miserable.  (He was fine when he went to school Wednesday morning.)  The aide said he fell asleep in her arms mid-morning, and he had two huge blow-out diarrhea diapers that morning.  The nurse took Conner’s temperature, but it was only 100. 


I fed both boys their lunch, and Conner seemed to perk up while he was eating.  Soon thereafter, he was feeling warmer and just looked ill, so his teacher helped me take him back to the nurse for another temp reading.  This time he had 100.8, but he still felt much warmer than that.  I checked him out of school early, then went to our local pharmacy and purchased a new rectal thermometer.  Once I got Conner home, I took his temp and it was 104.4!!!


I called Conner’s infectious disease doctor and reported to the nurse about this fever spike and diarrhea episode.  The nurse paged the doctor, then returned my call immediately to give me orders to take Conner to Dell Children’s Hospital’s ER.  On the way to the ER, Conner cried and moaned the same way he did when he had Salmonella.


When we got to the ER, Conner’s very first American nurse met us at registration and swooped Conner into a room immediately.  (We LOVE this nurse!)  While in the ER, Conner spiked a fever of 105, and that was with Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen in his system.  Nothing seemed to take it down, so after an hour of the administration of Tylenol (in addition to Motrin several hours prior), the ER doctor instructed us to keep cold washrags on Conner.  Eventually Conner’s fever broke and came down to 101.


The PICC team worked hard to get an IV into Conner, but after 4 failed attempt (well, 1 worked initially for a blood draw, but infiltrated within minutes of Conner’s fluid bolus being connected), we decided to call it quits.  Poor guy, his veins are like dental floss.  Even under ultrasound, it’s nearly impossible to get an IV in. 


Conner’s infectious disease doctor requested Conner be admitted for 24 hour observation, even though his labs looked acceptable.  She was concerned that since Conner became so life-threatening ill just a few weeks ago, that she wasn’t comfortable with his going home—at least not until the initial blood cultures were grown.  I agreed.


A few hours after Conner got settled on the floor, he had two more blow-out diarrhea diapers, and the last one with filled with blood and mucus, which was very similar in consistency and scent (YUCK!) to his Salmonella diapers.  Infectious disease said they’ve seen a few cases where the IV antibiotic didn’t completely kill the Salmonella bacteria, so once the antibiotic was completely out of the system, the Salmonella returned.  We won’t know until stool and blood cultures grow whether or not it’s Salmonella again.


Conner’s had a few bouts of crying and moaning and feeling completely miserable, but it’s not as severe as it was the last time he was admitted.  He spiked another fever late Wednesday night, and he continued to have an extremely high heart rate (at 200 or higher much of the time…should be around 80-100ish).  With his tachycardia and diarrhea, the floor doctor decided Conner really needed IV fluids to replace lost stool fluids and hydrate Conner to try to reduce his tachycardia.  An anesthesiologist was able to get Conner’s IV on the first stick, in his foot.  Hopefully it won’t infiltrate!


We should know a little more after the first round of cultures (blood and stool) are back—hopefully by Thursday afternoon.  Conner also has a cough and a slightly runny nose, so maybe this fever/illness is totally unrelated to the Salmonella episode.  Please pray that this illness will be healed quickly and Conner (and me) will get to return home SOON.  This hospital is our second home, unfortunately, it’s not a vacation home, there’s always severe illness and tears, and it separates us from family.  We don’t love any of that—we love home and family!!!


I’ll update again once we have more answers.  Thanks so much for your prayers and support!

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