Monday, November 4, 2013

Sammy’s Saga–Part 6–Determining the Illness

If you are new to this series start by reading part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4 and part 5.

Sammy's Saga

My amazing brother-in-law showed up with clothes for Sammy, and breakfast and caffeine for Tim & I!! My sister had packed some clothes for Sammy since, after what we had gone through, we had packed in a hurry and forgotten a few things!

The doctors suspected that it was the strep bacteria in his blood.  They wouldn’t know for sure for a while, since they had to wait for the cultures to grow to determine with certainty what it was!  They started him on two broad antibiotics to help his body fight the infection.

The game plan for Wednesday was to get X-rays of his joints and bones.  This wouldn’t completely rule out that there was an infection in the joints and/or bones, but it would give us a high probability one way or another.  Getting the X-rays required Sammy to be carried from his room to the bed in the hallway.  Since he was quarantined, we then had to lay a paper gown on top of him.  He also had to put on a mask.  Scarlet fever and strep can be super contagious, so they did this to keep the other kids from getting either of them.  As Tim was carrying him to the bed Sammy was yelling, “I want to go home where no one will hurt me anymore!!!”

The X-rays required Sammy to turn his joints into different positions.  Tim went with him and said it was very painful for Sammy, but that they were able to get all of the needed X-rays of his joints.  Here is just one of his joints that was inflamed (his fingers and hand are also severely swollen as was that elbow):

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Step two was to do an echocardiogram of his heart.  All of the doctors were hearing a heart murmur that they wanted to check out.  They wanted to make sure the blood infection hadn’t infected any of the valves in his heart. 

We’ve been aware that Sammy has had a slight heart murmur since his 5 year check up. Since the doctors at the hospital didn’t know how severe his murmur was before all of this started, they had to take a look at it.  Scarlet fever and strep bacteremia (bacteria in the blood) can put stress on the heart.

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Last up was to get a new blood culture drawn.  Why they had to do this I’m not sure. But they couldn’t use his IV like the ER nurses had promised Sammy the night before.  He wasn’t real happy about it and quite loud but he did hold still and it was over quick!

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Sammy’s fever continued to spike through out the day as the  ibuprofen and Tylenol would wear off.  However, the day wasn’t all bad.  We found out that the x-rays showed that there was not an infection in the joints or the bones.  The echo also showed that his heart was functioning well and that there was no infection in the valves.  He does, indeed, still have a heart murmur but it is small and nothing to be concerned about. 

The antibiotics started working, so he got up and made a few small steps around the room that evening!!!!

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We celebrated that night with a glow stick on his IV pole from Gigi and Pop Pop!

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blogging through the alphabet sm.