Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Ordeal

Well last week goes down as one of the worst weeks ever. I can write about it now because it is all over…. Praise God!!

On Sunday morning Sam woke up saying that his back hurt and he couldn’t get out of bed. My ‘mom sense’ told me that something was not right. He felt really lousy all day, crying and laying around. By that evening he had a fever of 105.5. His fever persisted through the night despite tub and sponge baths and phone calls to the on-call nurse.

On Monday we took him to the pediatrician. You know something is wrong when the doctor looks freaked out. Sam was listless and burning up. They were worried he had meningitis and weighed whether or not we should transport him to the hospital by car or ambulance. Once decided that we could transport him by car, we headed to the ER. (A side note: at the peds. office we had given him another dose of Tylenol.)

Once we got to the hospital they were waiting for us and got us right back. Of course, by this time the fresh dose of Tylenol had kicked in and Sam had perked up a little. He was moving around and his fever had come down a bit. The ER doc felt strongly that it was NOT meningitis and felt that a spinal tap was not necessary. So he discharged us. No blood work, no urine test, nothing. My ‘mom sense’ was still not right. What would happen in an hour when his fever spiked up to 105 again?

I called the pediatrician on the way home and she was flabbergasted that the docs at the ER had done NOTHING for Sam. She had us come right back to the office. She did not feel comfortable sending us home. We stayed there a while and then the doc sent us in the other direction down the highway to ANOTHER hospital for blood work and other labs. Poor little Sam was weak and feverish and kept crying that he wanted to go home…. It was enough to break a mother’s heart.

After that was over, we drove back to the doctor’s office and they gave Sam a ‘meningitis-sized’ shot of antibiotics in his little leg. His fever still persisted through the night and he didn’t feel much better the next day.

So, on Tuesday we were back at the docs for more blood work and another massive shot of antibiotics. On Wednesday Sam felt a little better and his fever had come down to 102-103deg. We went back to the docs and found out that Sam had a really bad kidney infection which was causing the high fever. So, we were there for another day (like we were out-patients) of blood tests and antibiotic shot, but this time the blood work showed that although his white count was coming down, so were his red blood cells.

So we spent the day Thursday back at the children’s hospital in the hematology department waiting to hear if our little boy had leukemia, thalassemia, or some other horrible disease. It just really freaked us out that mostly all of the kids in the waiting room and surrounding area were bald from chemo. and the parents all knew each other from their numerous hospital visits. It was like they had this secret club…. How they all smiled warmly and gave knowing looks to each other while conversing about their kids’ treatments. My stomach did flip-flops as the other moms would smile at me with that same knowing smile and I waned to scream out: “I’m not part of your club!!” “Oh Lord”, I prayed, “Please don’t make me part of their club.” Then, more doctors, more tests.

What a relief when the doctor called that evening to say that Sam did not have some horrible disease, that the infection was so bad that it actually halted red-blood cell production in his bone marrow for a day or more. Sam was on lots of antibiotics so he expected that the red cell count would come up on its own (rather than by blood transfusion that knew might be a possibility). It did even come up a little that day!!!

So by Friday we were all so exhausted, both emotionally and physically, but the prayers of our friends and family got us through this crisis. I truly believe that it was prayers that brought Sam’s red blood cell count up, as well as prayers for the doctors for wisdom, prayers for our sanity, and prayers for Sam’s healing.

We ended up missing our appointment at Shriner’s Hospital in Greenville, SC for Sam’s orthopedic evaluation (which took us 6 months to get…uugh) as well as all the other appointments and lessons we had last week…. Everything was just blur in our time of uncertainty.

Thankfully, things are somewhat back to normal this week, although every has colds. I’m slowly getting the house back in order and trying to fight the urge to get back in bed and nap all day long. I am still emotionally exhausted but God is pulling me through, as well as some great friends who pray for me and have made me dinner so I didn’t have to cook! You rock! But, back to grind. The problem is that I’m still tired and don’t know what to make for dinner tonight….. haha…..life is good.