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Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Longest Unplanned Week!

We were in the midst of the countdown to summer.  We were juggling the normal craziness of our life.  We were working through bad news within our extended family.  We thought we couldn't handle anything else.  Then...

About 2:15 on Wednesday, the school nurse popped into my classroom and said she had "Little Sprout" in her office complaining of a headache but giggling away and no fever.  I brushed it off as her not wanting to do work in class.  At about 3:00, our dismissal time, Tater came into my classroom shivering and looking like death warmed over...honestly, she looked terrible!  I felt her head, almost burned my hand on it and quickly dismissed my students and made a beeline for home, the thermometer, and a call to the pediatrician. 

When we got home her temperature was 102...not sure I remember her ever having such a high temp.  The doctor wanted to see her at 4:15...and she actually snoozed on the couch until it was time to leave.  Daddy met us at the doctor's and took the other two kids home.  Tater was 103 in the office and the doctor determined it was the start of an ear infection, prescribed meds and sent us home.  I was a bit hesitant...when does an ear infection come on that quickly?

Within the hour, she was worse and asking to go to the hospital.  What kid (especially one who has been through as much as Tater) asks to go to the hospital?  She was having tummy and leg pain and refusing to walk.  The doctor on call for our pediatrician sent us on our way and I left with Tater shivering in the back seat. 

When we arrived at the ER, they immediately sent us to a room and we saw the head doctor before our nurse even made it into the room...that's when I knew this was serious.  There were blood tests (which took 3 sticks because her veins kept collapsing) and a flu test and a chest x-ray and a strep test.  The doctor managing her care felt so bad for her that he left his iPhone with her for an hour!

Within an hour of us being there, they were talking about "finding us a room upstairs" and I knew we were being admitted.  That was about 10:00...we finally made it to our room at about 3:00am.  Tater catnapped throughout but I was running on empty!

We slept for about 2 hours and started the day with LOTS of doctor visits.  Daddy joined us and we waited for the admitting doctor, the pediatric nephrologist on-call, to appear.  She came in with her team of med students and basically told us we were looking at a blood infection (bacteria in the blood).  We were placed in isolation and began the wait for the culture to come back identifying the bacteria.  We met with infectious disease...a new speciality!  We also met with cardiology...because on top of it all, they detected a murmur in her heart that could have been related to the infection in some way.

We had more test.  More blood cultures.  An echiocardiogram.  More doctors.  Oh, and we enjoyed watching the thunderstorms our our window!

We had visitors like crazy...Tater's first grade teacher, her kindergarten teacher (and Mommy's friend), two really good friends of Mommy's...and of course Sassy and Bruiser came to check it out!

We watched a lot of TV, a few movies, did some art projects, and tested Mommy's patience. 

I loved that all the med students came to say good-bye to her as they left each day...just because they liked her!  But, really, can you blame them!

By Friday we got the word that she had a blood infection called pneumochoccial strep.  We knew that we were stuck in the hospital prison until they tested for drug sensitivities and that it could result in a PICC line for IV antibiotics at home.  

By Saturday we were stir crazy!  Luckily we were sprung from our four walled cell and could roam the halls...and by 3:00 we had our walking papers!  We were released with oral antibiotics, orders for a new vaccine, and a referral for Boston Children's Hospital immunology team. 

Yup...we are looking at some new issue!  This was Tater's second episode with this particular bacteria and she has a history of many, many, many other infections.  So we know there has to be something more.  What that is, we don't know...but we are fortunate enough to live close enough to a world renowned hospital and will be taking complete advantage of that!

Meanwhile, tomorrow we return to school and our normal life.  We have 8 more days to survive until summer begins.  I may not make it...I'm having a bit of an anxiety attack about sending her back into the pit of germs...but she is thrilled to be back in time for field day!

So, please keep us and Tater in your prayers...and we will let you know what we know when we know it!

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