Monday, December 23, 2013

illness update

When we first met with the pediatrician, a slight rash had started to appear on Elden's head and torso. As far as I was concerned this was good because it meant Elden's illness was most likely mostly harmless roseola. Upon further examination, his doctor looked concerned and said he needed to step out to look through Elden's chart. I knew that couldn't be good since his chart was in his laptop which was in the room with us. After about 5-10 minutes, he was back in the room and told us not to be alarmed but Elden was presenting some symptoms indicative of Kawasaki disease ("that we had probably never heard of").

I'd like to pause here for comedic relief. I had been texting my friend, Ina, whose mom is a pediatrician, asking her to ask her mom all sorts of questions about whether his fever could be due to random serious diseases about an hour before Elden's appointment. After quelling my numerous concerns, Ina texts me this:
foreshadow alert
Needless to say, when Elden's doc said those words it was pretty hard not to laugh because I had literally just heard about this disease (and when I Googled it that didn't seem like it was what Elden had). I wasn't too worried and his ped ordered a urinalysis and some blood labs to rule it out definitively. The urinalysis was surprisingly simple and involved a strategically placed bag with adhesive but we were referred to Children's for the blood draw since Elden's veins are so tiny (sorry 'bout that, bud, that's all your mama's fault). His doctor said that once he got the results in a few hours he'd call us with the plan of action.

Fast forward to 7 pm. When it was the pediatrician on the phone and not a nurse my heart sank. The good news is that it does not appear to be Kawasaki. The bad news is Elden's white blood cell count is very low and his neutrophils are dangerously low (500-1000 is considered low, he's at 540). When his neutrophils are this low he is susceptible to serious bacterial infections. The doctor said it is likely the result of whatever his body is fighting and he's not gravely concerned but we need to monitor this very closely. As such, we have to head back to Children's at 7 tomorrow for a repeat draw and then follow up with the pediatrician at 9:30. If his neutrophil count goes down again we need to discuss "next steps." If Elden's fever spikes in the middle of the night (it has been hovering around 100-101F) or he seems very sick we are under strict instructions to go to the ER. It's probably nothing but I'm still nervous and I wish he didn't need to get another draw. At the end of the day I'm grateful that he is able to receive such incredible medical care and that his pediatrician is so diligent. If the neutrophil count stays the same/goes up, we can just follow up again after Christmas, and that's what Elden's doctor believes is going to happen. In any event, we still covet your prayers while we ride this storm out.

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