Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Andrew's Surgery Day and The Fever Remedy


The day for Andrew's surgery had come.
His strep infection from last week was gone.
However, his big sister became unexpectedly sick the evening before.
We had to leave for the hospital at 5:30am, and her fever at that time was 103.4.

She hadn't dropped below 102 degrees in the last 12 hours.
My girl was very sick.
I gave her some more Tylenol (Motrin was out of the question as we could not give it to her for two weeks PRIOR to surgery...if it even happened at this point!), a kiss on the head, and thanked my Mom for watching over her with strict instructions to text me (yes, my Mom is cool and she texts!) if she got any worse.

My Mom's response to that: "Pattie, I'll just call 911 if she gets worse."

Like that was supposed to make me feel better, Mom?
And off we went to surgery: PE tube set #2.

Andrew was obviously having a great time in the pre-op room, while Dad's head kept bouncing from falling asleep in the chair and I kept pacing around the room, worried about my little guy going into the OR in a short while and my little girl at home with a blazing fever!

He loves water!
He actually kept me entertained and my mind off of Kate for maybe two minutes!

The anesthesiologist came in and checked him out, listening to that lovely murmur that he has (which is a Still's Murmur, in case you forgot...I haven't!)
Shortly thereafter, our ENT came in.
The same ENT that was supposed to be doing Kaitlyn's surgery in one week!
I told him what was going on with her and he was like "OK, she'll be better by next Friday. Don't worry, Mom!"
If one more person told me not to worry I was going to lose it!

Then came a little "happy medicine" to make him sleepy.
Actually, it makes the separation a lot easier...no tears (from him, at least!)

He was trying so hard to play with his Leapster, but the poor kid's eyes could barely focus!
Shortly after this picture was taken, he tried to maneuver himself around and fell into the side rail of the stretcher, whacking his head.
As a good Mom, I laughed.
I needed a good laugh at that point.
By the way, he was fine.

The surgery only lasted 15 minutes, and we were brought into the Recovery Room.
All of a sudden I could hear my beast of a boy beating up three PACU nurses.

"I'm sorry" is all I could tell them over and over and over.
And he screamed!
Gotta love that post-operative delirium!
Eventually, they moved us to a quiet room down the hall, where Andrew continued for the next hour beating up anyone that came near him.
Daddy got the brunt of the beatings.

Then all of a sudden, he was good.
And we were ready to go home.
And this is him in the car on the way home.
The calm before the storm, I say.

By now it is 12:30pm.
I walk into the house with my bruised husband and better-hearing son to see my Mom sitting on the chair in the living room watching over my daughter.

Who appears quite listless.
Arousable, but listless.
I touch her head and she is burning up.
No, her fever still hadn't broken, and that was even with an additional dose of Tylenol at 10:00am.
The nurse in me comes out again, but this time a bit more aggressive.
She is febrile with a temperature of 103.6.
Her mouth is dry.
She has pee'd twice in 12 hours.
She is tachycardic with a heart rate of 130 beats per minute.
Her oral intake of fluids has been poor.

My daughter is seriously flirting with dehydration, compounded by some bacterial infection...those HUMONGOUS TONSILS!

I scoop her up and off we go into the car.
Doctors office vs ER?
ER vs doctor's office.

Doctor's office wins.
Once in the office, Dr. E comes in to see her.
But she focuses her attention on me, as I am in tears and beyond worried about my girl.
At this point, Kaitlyn is sitting up on her own on the exam table and smiling at our pediatrician.
Her tonsils were a size 4+ (the largest you can get).
They were obstructing her airway.
They were monstrous.
They were scary!

"Mom, do you want me to admit her to the hospital for hydration and antibiotics?"
I began sobbing "Yes."
The last thing I wanted was my daughter admitted to the hospital and exposed to other "superbugs" prior to her surgery in seven days...if it was even going to take place at this point.

"Mom, the more I think about it, I am not going to admit her. I am going to give her a shot of Ceftriaxone and a shot of Dexamethasone. Let's kill this bacteria and stop the inflammation. You are her Mom. You are a nurse. You will take her home and make her drink fluids out of little medicine cups and watch her voiding and watch her closely. I know you and trust you to do this and I know that you will bring her into the ER if it is necessary."

I like our pediatrician.
I trust her.
And I appreciate that she trusts me and my judgement calls.

So two shots of Ceftriaxone and one shot of Dexamethasone later and we are headed home.
I sleep with her that night.
And the next.
Her fever remains elevated above 101 degrees for the next 24 hours.
And then it breaks.
And then I breathe a deep sigh of relief....

...until her tentative surgery in six more days, that is.
That story is next....


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