Friday, June 15, 2012

Medical Train Wreck

Oh good golly. We are a hot mess these days. I have a few great things to post - an amazing and impromptu play date from last week, the first swimming lesson, and Everett meeting his great grand mother for the first time just to name a few...but since I'm in the thick of sick and injured, I'll get that post out of the way first...

We made the pilgrimage to Mere and Pops' house on Monday as David had his urology visit in New Orleans on Tuesday. On a normal, pleasant, well planned day, such a trip is no small task...but this day, thsi trip...was. ridiculous.

David needs another surgery
All of the kids are sick with varying degrees of walking pneumonia
Brent is in a walking boot
I am so close to over dosing with copious amounts of cake that I am getting sugar high just thinking about it (because lets be honest here, cake totally fixes everything)

Back to the story:
It all began with a very sorry case of the Mondays:

Thankfully, Brent was able to bring the pets to board on his way to work and I did get most of the packing done Sunday night.

David woke with a runny nose and slight cough. I started him on Mucinex, but as the discharge was clear and watery, I assumed it was a viral issue and opted to get to the appointment anyhow. The urology clinic is the only pediatric one in the state and they are backed up for months apparently. Not making this appointment would mean loads of waiting and if there was an issue needing attention, I thought it'd be best to know asap. That, and David wasn't running fever...yet.

We left around 10am. I thought I was really doing well. I stopped twice to feed Everett and offer snacks around. Then we hit Baton Rouge... or rather Baton Rouge hit us...over and over. We were stuck in traffic for 3 hours. There were 2 wrecks (thanks cell phone guy who inadvertently turned your Civic into a convertible by driving under an 18 wheeler. Also, big shout out to the schmuck truck driver to somehow lost his filled to the brim commercial size dumpster spilling its contents all over the Dalrymple exit.) as well as construction (really?! striping the roads mid afternoon on a week day is priority?). It took us 7.5 hours to get to our destination.

Once there, I checked the aftermath in the back seat...David had a fever - 101.9. Motrin was dosed. Mary Louise had started with the same runny nose. Great. But we had arrived. Our beds were waiting (thanks Mere and Pops!).

Tuesday seemed a little better. I got everyone dressed. David's temp had come down to normal with the Motrin dose and no more were needed. His nose was still a little runny - but still clear and nothing like the day before. Mary Louise looked a little more run down, but was technically a day behind David. I took "the boys" to New Orleans for the appointment and Mary Louise happily stayed behind "to pay wit Mere" for the day.

The appointment went well - very little waiting - very personable doctor and residents. Bad news: David needs surgery. The doctor was pretty concerned about scar tissue causing David's testicular retention on his left side. The right side is a bit more mobile but is not "in line" to drop appropriately. It would be watched if the left side weren't so concerning though. Apparently this issue of scar tissue is quite common post hernia repair (especially a repair as involved as David's was). We are to schedule the outpatient operation before the end of the summer (in about a month). If left, David is at increased risk for sterility, and testicular cancer (in his 20's) among other things. The surgery is considered very low risk compared to the consequences of not having the recommended repair. However, the exact extent of the scar tissue involved will not be known until the operation is actually done.

Of course I'm very upset about it all. I was just desperate to hear that we'd made the trip for nothing and that David was just fine. Not happening this time...I sat last time (during his hernia repair) with tears welling as they took my baby away for surgery. I begged for the procedure to be safe, for guidance for the hands of the surgeon and anesthesia team, and for that to be the last time, please the last time I would have to feel that agonizing lump in my throat, the nausea, the last time I'd have to fight back the blinding urge to grab my boy from the bed and run. Despite best efforts, here we are again.

David was such a super sport through it all - he talked non-stop, played with his toy car, and introduced everyone to his "foggie". While the surgeon was doing his exam and explaining things to his 2 observing residents and to us, David suddenly sat half way up and announced, "I would like to see." No tears, only grins and giggles. No complaining at all. They gave him 6 HUGE stickers as we were leaving. Friends for life.

We went to Mimi's house after the appointment as David was doing so well and seemed to feel just fine. Everett got to meet his great grandmother for the first time. He LOVED her. Mimi sat and rocked Everett who just grinned and cooed like I've honestly never seen before. He just relaxed in her arms. It was beautiful. David had a grand time as usual systematically dismantling poor Mimi's house. Mimi (ever the good sport) let David do just as he pleased and laughed when he tried on her reading glasses and stuffed who knows what into her decorative hand made bird houses she has on her end tables.

After a really wonderful visit, we made the hour trip back to Mere and Pops' house. That night, the coughing started...

Wednesday was our day "in". Boy, did we need the down time. David and Mary Louise coughed much of Tuesday night and didn't eat all that much during the day on Wednesday. Still, no more fever, but their mucous started to change to a thicker yellow eww gross yuck...

We started breathing treatments that night. We left Thursday morning. I phoned the pediatrician on our way and got the kids seen as soon as we were back in town: David was the worst with heavy sinus congestion and a number of areas in his upper chest sounded slightly congested. Mary Louise had less chest congestion and heavy sinus congestion. Everett had heavy sinus congestion. Diagnosis: walking pneumonia. In case you're unfamiliar (I was), it's a (particular) bacterial infection that presents similar to a virus. The bacteria enters and is engulfed by the cell in the same way a virus would (be). The patient usually continues to feel "ok" - obviously not great - but typically not hospital awful (as compared to a strep type of bacterial pneumonia which is the wonderful gift that keeps on giving and lands most victims smack in the hospital or at least in bed for quite sometime or a viral pneumonia which is what Mary Louise had last fall). If one must have pneumonia, apparently, this is the one to get and, I was informed, walking pneumonia is making its ugly rounds in our area...

The doctor gave scripts for oral steroids (to reduce lung inflammation) and antibiotics (to ward off the beginning chest congestion) for Mary Louise and David. IgA is provided in huge amounts via breast milk. IgA is what helps the body fight off walking pneumonia bacteria. So, I was told to continue breastfeeding for Everett - no meds. So far, so good.

The "big kids" have been over the moon roid happy since we started dosing last night. They literally climbed the walls all day today. We are on day 2 of 3 of the antibiotics and Mary Louise and David are still super snotty but certainly not worse. The breathing treatments are working well. Everett is hanging in there - sleeping a bit more but eating really well too.

Here's hoping I can get my sweet babies healthy again very very soon - and congratulations to me as I am now recognized by face at the pharmacy - no information needed - they just go an pick up the "LeBlanc family" prescriptions.

Brent went to the ortho clinic today for an ankle injury he accomplished in March. Yes March. He doesn't make much time for himself. His ligament is apparently over stretched (possibly torn). The doctor wanted him to wear a walking boot for 3 weeks to see if it would help healing. If healing does not occur at all or enough, surgery will be recommended to repair the ligament. He also has a bone spur forming.

I feel like I should hide under a rock for a bit for my own safety...but Everett needs to eat again...Mommy duty calls!



  1. Oh Heather!!! Darn it, hope everyone is 100% soon. I've said it before, but once Gavin was out of home isolation and exposed to people he was so, so sick for a good year. Hes been sick maybe once a year since. As much as it sucks, those immune systems are building their arsenal. Hang in there.

  2. Woohoo, I got a playdate shout-out! Haha.