Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Back to the Hospital

We thought we were in the clear when it seemed that Peyton did not get that nasty GI bug that Moira, Ron and myself all got.  Yet this morning, we wound up taking Peyton to the ER.  Not with a GI bug, but yet another respiratory ailment.

I've spoken several times lately about how Peyton is requiring oxygen during the day while awake - something that never used to be the case.  This has not changed for the past several weeks.  However, over the past couple of days, the amount of oxygen she is requiring during the day has increased.  She has also been a little on the junky side, with increased heart rate and the odd low grade fever here and there.  I've been in touch with the Pulmonary clinic about her condition and it was suggested that perhaps we might need to start a course of IV antibiotics.  We can manage this at home since she has a port.  By the time last night rolled around, I was thinking I'd definitely make the call to the pulmonary clinic to suggest that we get that started.  Peyton was sounding horrible and it didn't look like we needed to wait on this any longer.

Then this morning came around.  Peyton was hot to the touch so I undressed her and got a temp on her.  She had a temp of 100.8.  That may not seem like a raging fever, but you have to bear in mind that her "normal" is upper 96 degrees to mid 97 degrees.  And, of course, we're ultra cautious anyway, so 100.8 isn't anything to mess around with.  In addition, she sounded even worse and she just looked "off".  I made up my mind that we were going to have to take her to the ER, but I also knew we'd have to call the home nursing agency pretty quickly to call off her nurse for today.  She has transportation issues, so we would have to be sure to catch her before she left, as she has someone bringing her to work.  No sooner did I form that thought did the agency call me to say that she had called in sick so I guess for today it all worked out.  Ron got Moira on the bus to school and I got Peyton and her gear ready to go and we headed off to the children's ER at MUSC.

Ron dropped us off at the door and then went to park the car.  I went in with Peyton and we were taken back to a room pretty quickly.  Once in a room, it was mere minutes before a doctor was in the room.  It seemed almost immediate.  While we did bring her in because she was obviously sick, apparently she was sicker than we realized.  The doctor enacted their "rapid response" protocol immediately based on their assessment.  This meant that her port was accessed within minutes and a bolus of fluids was pushed through very quickly.  They gave her additional fluids shortly afterwards.  Antibiotics were ordered and given fairly quickly as well.  A second antibiotic was given not long after that.

A lot of blood was drawn for labs and a chest x-ray was also done.  The x-ray doesn't look too bad.  We're still waiting on the blood work results.  The doctor was in several times.  We knew pretty early on that Peyton was going to be admitted to the hospital, but there was some concern over whether it would be to the PICU or to the PICU step down unit.  They eventually decided on the step down unit.  With the fluids and oxygen, Peyton's color and mood started to improve a little.  Her heart rate finally came down out of the 150s.

We didn't spend a horribly long time in the ER before Peyton was taken to a room.  She is under the care of the PICU doctors, as opposed to the general peds team.  She wasn't in the room long when her Neurologist came by.  He just happened to notice in their computer system that Peyton was in, so he came by to see what that was all about.  I was glad, since I was actually going to email him to let him know.  We discussed the lumbar puncture and other research type issues that are hanging out there for Boston.  He is thinking that if she is doing ok, he may be able to do the lumbar puncture on Thursday.  

In addition, he is talking about contacting the researchers {Children's Hospital Boston and NIH} to see what we can do about expediting some of the stuff that's hanging out there in the hopes that we can get her some form of treatment.  Of course, it's research and there are FDA guidelines and I'm sure other sorts of hurdles to cross, but he is hoping that somehow he might be able to take some of that from them and perform whatever needs to be performed right here at home rather than have her travel.  He is looking at it from the point of view of being "emergency and compassionate" reasons.  We will see what happens.  I would say that if someone said we were needed up in Boston in the next month, we probably wouldn't be going.  She needs to have all this stuff done, but it's getting to the point where it just isn't going to be feasible because of her medically fragile state.

We aren't sure what is going on.  There is the great possibility that what is {and has been} happening are not so much an illness as they are signs of her overall condition diminishing.  As the PICU doctor said, often children with severe issues like Peyton, over time, will become weakened in the areas involving swallowing, breathing, and so on and what appears to be an illness might actually be more of an inability to perform these functions well.  We just don't know.  I would suspect, though, that because of her increased oxygen requirement during the day that it is the latter.

In addition to all of this, Peyton's level of pain today must be excruciating for her.  She is on Neurontin and Oxycodone for pain, but it seems like that's not doing anything.  I noticed it first thing this morning.  I barely touched her leg and she began screaming out in pain.  I don't know what is different about today but it is unbearable for her to be touched or moved.

We pray.  We pray often and we pray hard for Peyton.  The problem is that we don't know which direction our prayers are supposed to take.  It is heartbreaking to see your child enduring so much.  You wonder how much a body can take.  In addition, this isn't something we've really talked about openly, but we're being asked questions that no parent should have to answer for their child regarding the "what if" scenarios.  As much as you are praying for Peyton, please pray for us that we will have the wisdom to make the best decisions for her.  Please feel free to share this site to people you know would be willing to pray for Peyton. She needs many prayers!!

Thank you!

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