Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Lovely Christmas...and Then the Ball Dropped...literally

After spending 6 days in the hospital I was relieved to go home.  At the same time I was uneasy with the answers that I got from the doctors at the hospital.  I felt like I never got any answers, and nothing their conventional way of treating Pancreatitis were working so they threw their hands in the air, and said... lets do the complete opposite.  Since he was able to keep everything down, we were free to go.  I hated leaving not really knowing why Caden got so sick, but desperately wanted to be home for Christmas so I didn't argue.  I just wondered when/if the ball was ever going to drop.

Christmas was wonderful!  It was great to all be together again.  To not switch time at the hospital, and figure out what to do with the kids.  Caden was in high spirits being able to eat again, and everything seemed like it was heading in the right direction.  He did seem more tired than usual, but we chalked it all up from being sick for 2 weeks

We had an appointment with our Pediatrician a few days after his discharge that showed good results.  His enzyme levels were coming down, and he was gaining back weight he had lost.  YAY!  We scheduled an additional appointment the Wednesday after Christmas (Dec. 29th) to make sure he was continuing to gain weight. 

That morning Caden woke up with a pretty crummy cough.  It was kinda a bummer because it isn't like you can do anything about a cold/cough.  We went to his appt. and he had gained back all his weight, besides his cough...he seemed okay.  Dr. M said to keep an eye on him, and if he got sicker then to bring him in. 

Thursday morning Caden woke up again complaining that his cough was still bothering him.  By the evening he began to get the chills, and we watched his temp rise.  We gave him some medicine, and a bath to try to bring down the fever.  Then he went to bed.  Late in the night he woke up vomiting.  He proceeded to vomit 4 times, and his fever persisted. 

My heart sank.

Instead of ringing in the New Year....my ball had dropped early.

We called our Pediatrician in the morning and unfortunately the office was closed due to the holiday.  She recommended us to go back to the ER.  Because of our past experience, Shawn was not too keen on going back there immediately.  He wanted to exhaust all other options.  So instead I took him to an urgent care down the street from our house.  They weren't much help.  All they did was throw a prescription for a z-pack and sent us on our way.

We started him on the antibiotics with hopes that it would kick whatever he was dealing with.  Friday involved alot of sleep, but still a persistent fever.  We pushed the liquids, and waited to see improvement.  He only vomited twice that day, and that was when I tried to give him medicine to bring down the fever.  

We didn't want the other kids to miss out of the fun of ringing in the New Year.  We had been invited to celebrate with some friends across the street.  So we took turns tending to Caden, but tried to enjoy ourselves in the meantime.  This was one of first years that Arizona allowed the purchasing of fireworks (although they were supposed to only be ones that stay on the ground) so our kids were able to enjoy things a little differently.  Our neighbor actually drove to New Mexico, and got some awesome 'real' ones that they set off.  It was quite the show...we were just glad the cops didn't show up.
Saturday, Caden still was not improving so we took him into Phoenix Childrens Urgent Care.  That is where things got a little crazy.  The nice thing about this urgent care is they are capable of doing some things that alot of other facilities can't.  They did a chest x-ray, and ruled out pneumonia.  They drew some blood, and sent it off to the lab.  They also determined that although we were trying to keep him drinking lots of fluids...he had become moderately dehydrated.  They hooked him up to an i.v., and gave him a bolus of fluid while we were waiting to get the results from the blood draw.

The doctor there was very concerned.  He felt that Caden was in a pretty severe condition, and needed immediate care.  He felt like he may have never truly recovered from his pancreatitis, and recommended a CT Scan.  He and the nurses there felt it necessary that he be sent in an ambulance instead of being driven.  I was a wreck.  I just wanted my dear sweet Caden be better!  The ambulance was called, and we were on our way.
We arrived at Cardon Children's Hospital where they went to work.  They drew blood again, and this is where I started getting upset.  After a few hours passed the blood tests came back.  The doctor made me feel dumb for taking an ambulance to the ER.  He said that yes, his tests came back, and he was moderately dehydrated ...but basically it was unnecessary to arrive in an ambulance!  Besides the blood work that came back showing he was dehydrated...the ER had much different results from the urgent care. 

I just didn't understand how one doctor could think Caden was in such a condition that he required immediate attention, and then another doctor treat me like an idiot.  Nevertheless, they admitted Caden for moderate to severe dehydration.  His levels of sodium and sugar in his blood were extremely low.  The doctor said that if they were much lower Caden could have seizures.  They kept giving him fluids, and did another blood draw in the morning. 

Sunday morning his blood tests came back and of course since he had been pumped with fluids they were improving.  The doctor I met with that day made me very frustrated.  You know how some people carry a certain arrogance with them...well she did.  Before I could even open my mouth she proceeded to tell me that this had nothing to do with his previous hospital stay.  That he unfortunately got another stomach bug.  Any question I had...she shot down with quick answers.  Then she said...yeah...he looks great!  (Duh!  he is plugged into something that is giving him lots of fluid...don't you think you would feel great too!)  She left, and I felt defeated.  She wouldn't even visit the fact that it may be connected.  Wouldn't even think about giving him a CT scan to make sure...because in her mind he looked great...his levels didn't indicate a problem, and of course she felt it was unrelated.

I contacted Caden's pediatrician, and broke down.  This has been one of the hardest months.  I have had such a hard time watching my normally healthy boy get extremely sick.  They pump him with fluids, make him happy, and then send us on our way with no real answer to what is going on other than it is a 'virus.'  Luckily I have an awesome pediatrician who really went to bat for me.  She was able to talk to the attending doctor, and we were able to have a CT scan done on his abdomen yesterday evening.  It may come back clean, but atleast we will know there isn't something there causing him these problems.
I have yet to hear from the doctor today, but will try to update as soon as possible. Until then...we wait!

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Half A Dozen said...

I am sorry that you had a pigheaded ER doctor. Some docs do have a "God-complex" and horrible bedside manner, but there are some that are the opposite. I hope he gets better. There is the possibility with his immune system already being weak from the first illness that his body is prone to another viral infection. I have been keeping you in my prayers.

tammy said...

How frustrating!! I really hate it when doctors discount what you're trying to tell them. You're the mom, you spend most of every day of your life with your child. you know when something is wrong and when it isn't. The smartest doctor I ever had was one that listened to mothers' intuition. I don't want Caden to be seriously ill, but part of me wants the test results to come back with something so you can shove it in that other doctor's smug little face and say "SEE!" Really though, I hope all will be well soon!


I am sooo sorry!! How frustrating and there is nothing worse than being treated like you know nothing. We will keep you in our prayers.

Matt and Staci said...

Don't let the doctor's make you feel dumb. I swear as a mom, you know more than a doctor. Trust your instincts and push until they figure things out. You need some peace of mind as much as he needs to feel better! Keep us updated & hopefully they will figure things out very soon

Devan and Robyn said...

Holy Cow, Crystal! I'm so sorry. We've been following Caden's story on your blog/facebook and we feel terrible for him and you guys! I know what you mean about being frustrated and getting no answers! We have been there a few times! Good luck. Hang in there! Keep posting. and let us know if there's anything we can do to help! ~ Robyn :0)

Holly Decker said...

hey... its me... just here reading up on things since you mentioned Caden on facebook and how your other son is now sick in a similar way. i got really worried about Caden, not knowing what you were referring to, so i went to the blog :) and i was pleased as punch to find Caden holding his sweet stuffed mouse- the same one he brought to primary! oh i love that kid. i miss you all.

you mentioned you have a great pediatrician and i am in DIRE need of one. i hate all the pediatricians i have tried out here... who is it?

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