Tuesday, August 23, 2011
our hospital stay
I've been putting off writing this post because I knew it would be so long. Here is your warning. You can skim over it or not read it if you want but I'm mostly recording this for my own purposed because I want to remember all the details.
So remember last post when I mentioned I had a sick babe? Well he wasn't getting better. In fact he got worse. When he first started getting sick it was just a fever and running nose. The fever was never very high so we didn't worry that much. He wasn't sleeping really and so after two days of that we took him to the doctor. The doctor looked at him and said, "Sorry he definitely looks sick but it's probably just a virus." Boo, not what I wanted to hear. I wanted some get better meds. Anyways he sent us home and we continued to give him IB profin every 6 hours and wait this sickness out. Well things were not improving. My normally happy sweet boy would not do anything. He wouldn't smile, he wouldn't play, he really wouldn't move. He wanted me to just hold him all day. So that's what I did. Then he started to not eat. Now, I know that sick babies can lose their appetite and that can be expected but he wouldn't eat at all! People kept saying it was fine but I was worried. I could barely get him to take a couple ounces of formula in the day and maybe a few swigs of water. He would act like he wanted it but would take one sip and turn away so I knew his throat was hurting him.
So five days after his first appointment I took him back to the doctor. We are on the awesome (not really) BYU health plan so we tend to see different doctors every time. We saw a new doctor and he did not seem concerned at all. By this time Cooper had lost a full pound since last time he was in. He looked at his ears and throat and said, "maybe" they were a little inflamed and "you've been dealing with this long enough" so he gave us an antibiotic. I got the feeling this doctor was just trying to appease me. At that point I didn't care I just wanted something to make him feel better. He then said that he wanted to see us back in two days to check on him.
So I'm thinking we're on the road to recovery right? Wrong. The next day Cooper wakes up from a nap and he face is swollen. His right cheek was noticeably bigger than his left. I freak out a bit but we decided it's probably just swollen lymph nodes. We debated weather to take him back to BYU urgent care. Now I feel so bad that we waited at all but I was nervous that I was being overly paranoid. Both times we took him in before the doctors acted like it was no big deal and he just had a little sniffle or something. We had just been in the day before and we had an appointment tomorrow so we waited a little while. I did ask Colin and his brothers to give him a blessing and Colin blessed his little body that it would heal.
Later that night though I got too nervous about it and had a feeling we should take him to an instacare. We got there right before closing and the doctor looked at him and said he looked fine. She looked at his throat and said that it looked normal. Thinking back on this now I get so mad because at this point there is no possible way that his throat looked normal. She must have not got a good look and just said she did. Arg... anyway. She said it was probably just a swollen lymph node and she even threw in the idea of the mumps... what the heck? No one even gets the mumps anymore.
Anyways, I felt a little bit better but he still wasn't improving really so I was anxious to see what the doctor said the next day. The next day his neck was still swollen but I tried not to worry. When we took him to the doctor he took one look his throat and said, "I don't mean to worry you but you need to go down to the hospital right now." I was so confused. This was supposed to just be a follow up appointment. I was like, "So are they just going to take a look at him or emit him or what?" The doctor said, "Oh yes he will be admitted for tonight at the very least. they may have to put him under and do surgery." I was freaking out and was trying to ask more questions but then he interrupted me and said, "You guys just need to get down there right away." Talk about freaky. So of course we get in the car and i call my mom crying. I couldn't believe that I was taking my little 7 month old baby to the hospital and who knew what was going to happen when we got there.
When we get there poor Cooper is laying on my chest and the doctor and nurses keep trying to look at him and put things on him and he only wants me to hold him. The doctor that happen to be on duty that night turned out to be a pediatric infectious disease doctor the mainly works at Primary Children's. We were incredibly blessed that he was the one that happen to be there. He is asking us all these questions and he keeps saying, "Oh how interesting." or "That is strange." Not things we want to hear. Then he gives us a run down of thing it could be including. Leukemia and Lymphoma. My heart about dropped to my stomach when I heard that but he assured me he doesn't think that's what it is but he wanted to be up front with us. So they stick him with an IV and run some tests. He has a CT scan and did awesome. They let me stay in the room with him and as long as he could see me he held very still. He was such a trooper through all of this! The doctor calls us with the results that night and tell us that they could tell from the CT scan that he had an abscess in the back of his throat and they needed to do surgery the next day. In case you don't know it abscess is a pocket pus cased by an infection.
The next day the doctor showed us the CT scan of the abscess and it was huge. I was about 2 inches by 1 inch. In his little throat! They were surprised he hadn't had any breathing problems because it was blocking his airway quite a lot. No wonder the poor little guy wouldn't eat anything. When we had to take him down for surgery I was so nervous. The anesthesiologist and the surgeon came and explained to us exactly what was going to happen but it didn't make me feel any better. We went down to the operating wing and one of the nurses carried him away. Watching him going down to hall to the operating room broke my heart. He was looking at me with such a sad face. I felt so silly because the doctors kept saying that it was a very simple esurgery and it was very quick and I was so worried and a totally wreck when they took him in. The surgery went great and they drained every thing. They also tried to do a pic line which they described as a permanent IV. It goes in the arm and up near the heart. It is a more permanent option from an IV so that we could continue to give him IV antibiotics even when we took him home. It turns out though that it was to difficult for them to get it in Cooper's small veins.
The night after his surgery he finally took a bottle and he acted like he hadn't eaten in a week. Oh yeah he pretty much hadn't. He couldn't get enough. The next morning he was a different baby. This kid is resilient! He perked right up and wanted to play again.
To get a para tonsil abscess in a child so young is basically unheard of. None of the doctors up at Primary Children's have ever seen it in a child as young as Cooper before. They have only read about it in books. So the doctors are concerned why this would happen. It could be that it just a freaky thing and Cooper is super unlucky. (We are crossing our fingers it's just that.) The other thing it could mean is that he could have an immune deficiency. Something could be wrong with his immune system that it can't adequately fight off infection. We really hope this isn't the case.
If this same thing had happened in an older child they would do the surgery and send them home with oral antibiotics and it would be fine. The problem is, if Cooper does have a immune deficiency it would be too risky to send him home with an antibiotic that they hope works if his immune system is not able to do it's part to heal him. So we had to stay longer to keep him on the IV antibiotics and they wanted to try to do the pic line again. The next day they attempted the pic line and again it didn't work. His veins were just too small. So we stayed another night.
Let me now mention how incredibly hard it is to get any sleep in a hospital chair.It's not only extremely uncomfortable but nurses come in to check on him every hour. Colin and I took turns each night so that one of us could get some sleep.
They finally decided that his bloodwork was looking really good and they would send him home with two different types of antibiotics to make sure all our bases were covered. We were so relieved that we were able to go home. Cooper had been there a total of four days and three nights. Colin and I were going crazy in that little room and I know that Cooper was too. Poor kid was like a prisoner in the crib.
Things have been great since we've been home. Cooper is acting like his normal self and I love it. He is still on antibiotics three times a day. He goes back to the doctor next week for some more extensive testing on his immune system. Coop is getting used to having his blood drawn and sadly I am too. We hope everything comes back normal with these new tests and that there isn't something more that we are dealing with.
Through this process I've got a glimpse of how much Heavenly Father loves his children and takes care of them. As a parent I wanted to help him and make him feel better but it was out of my control. We could only ask our Heavenly Father to watch over him and his doctors. I know that whatever the results of his tests are that we can deal with it with Heavenly Fathers help. And Cooper has already shown he is a strong boy. We learned in the hospital that people suffer from for worse things and deal with harder things. I am so thankful that this was not something worse and we have our happy baby back with us.
p.s. that was by far the longest post of my life. Congratulations if you made it to the end.