Wednesday, April 25, 2012

ER Visit #2

Well, we found ourselves back in Duke Children's emergency department last night.  It all started yesterday afternoon when Ethan had a strange "episode" involving shivering, an odd breathing pattern, and a slight color change.  I was driving at the time - he in the carseat in the back - and I was about 50 feet away from pulling over and dialing 911.  He was acting completely normal through it all, though, which made me think it wasn't quite as serious as my adrenaline was leading me to believe.

Jeramie and I were "tagging out", as I had a meeting to attend at Duke, so I met him at his work and he and Ethan headed home.  Ethan appeared to be fine on the ride back home but by the time they walked through the door, he had spiked a fever of 105.  Jeramie immediately gave him Motrin and by the time I got home later that evening, he seemed back to his happy self.  I left again to run a couple of errands and was half naked in the dressing room at Target when Jeramie called.  The only thing I heard before hanging up and throwing my shirt on backwards was "you need to come home".

I raced back to the house and found an extremely lethargic Ethan, whimpering and moaning with every breath.  He wasn't all too warm, but he was shivering uncontrollably - teeth chattering and all.  Jeramie had been in touch with Dr. I throughout the evening and he told us to specifically keep an eye out for the shivering.  When Jeramie called to tell him what was going on, he didn't hesitate in telling us to take him to the hospital.

In the 30 minutes it took us to get to Duke, Ethan's fever had spiked back up to 105 (with Motrin still on board).  We were in a room in a matter of minutes and the team instantly started their talks.  The first thing to be ruled out was pneumonia, especially after last week.  While we were waiting on the chest x-ray results, the nurses came in to insert an IV and take some blood.  I can't express how proud I was of Ethan during that whole ordeal.  For starters, the nurses were phenomenal and knew exactly what they were doing.  Ethan fussed enough to let us know he didn't like it - but not a single tear escaped his eyes - and his bravery was rewarded with two Krispy Kreme doughnuts from the cafeteria, courtesy of Nurse Tammy.  Have I mentioned how much we love Duke?

Then, we waited.  And took a bazillion laps around the ED in the little red wagon.

All the tests came back clear - the chest x-ray looked great and his white blood count was normal.  Some blood was sent off to be cultured, and we should know if anything grows on those by sometime tomorrow.  After some discussion, we decided to do a viral panel as well, the results of which we should also know in the next day or so.

The most comforting and encouraging thing to see was how Ethan bounced back in between doses of medication.  If there was some sort of bloodstream infection brewing (which we were all preparing ourselves for), the doctors assured us that he would not be eating doughnuts and walking around the ED at 1:00 in the morning.  All signs seem to point to yet another virus - yes, the "v" word, which is quickly becoming a cuss word around these parts!

We were discharged around 2:00 this morning with instructions to keep Ethan hydrated, rotate Tylenol and Motrin, and follow-up with his pediatrician.  I took him there this afternoon and asked that they test him for the flu.  It was the only thing that hadn't been immediately ruled out and my gut was telling me that was it.

The test was negative.  While that is ultimately a great thing, I sure do wish we could put a diagnosis on all of this.  The pediatrician we saw today made mention of how many high-fever cases he has seen lately, and even the ED doctors commented on the extra-active viral season this year.  That at least makes me feel a little less alone (and crazy), and encourages me to think that we're on the upswing of all this mess.

I'd love your prayers for Ethan tonight - that his fever would break; that he would remain comfortable throughout the night; that no bacteria would grow on the cultures. 

Thanks, y'all.  Your prayers and words of encouragement are priceless to me.

4 comments:

Becca said...

oh I hate viruses - I am so glad Ethan's ok!!

Heather said...

Joye - we said prayers for your family tonight! Hope Ethan is feeling better soon. Thinking about you!

Kelly said...

Oh no. I sure hope that it's a quick virus and he feels better soon. I was talking to another mom yesterday who's kid had a 5 day high fever (104) and the doctor told her that they are seeing a ton of that kind of thing (high fever controlled with motrin and tylenol lasting several days with no other major symptoms).
Good thought coming your way...
Kelly

Jenny said...

Oh poor Ethan!! :( Thoughts and prayers that today is a new day and he's feeling better!!

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