Just a quick post to let everyone know that Gavin has been admitted to the neurosurgery unit for observation and hydration.
He started feeling ill on Tuesday of this week (today is Saturday) and vomited a couple of times then. Wednesday he felt quite well in the morning and I was wondering if I had kept him home from school prematurely. But by the afternoon he was vomiting continuously. Unfortunately, Thursday and Friday both passed in a haze of barfing. Obviously, he has not eaten and has nothing left but whatever water/pedialyte he drinks comes up immediately. In between times he has been very lethargic and sleepy, but behaves appropriately when awakened. We have been worried about hydration but made the call last night NOT to bring him in, hoping to spare him an IV, but in retrospect that was not the right decision.
This morning, after a long night, Craig and I decided to take him to the ER for IV fluids as there was nothing left we could do. The signs were not looking good. I just want to make the point for all parents reading this that when your children are seriously ill with vomiting or diarrhea, you must, must get them to the ER for hydration when they begin to look lethargic, have sunken eyes, dry mouth, etc. It is not nice for little children to suffer a poke but IV fluids will help them to bounce back quickly, and unfortunately once dehydration gets out of control, it is not easy to rein it in. We know that Gavin gets dehydrated easily because of his treatment, but still wobbled on the fence to make a move.
At any rate, this morning we felt we had to make that move so we did. We arrived in ER and were fast-tracked to a room and doctor. IV fluids were recommended but as always it is just not that easy to get an IV start. Our nurse tried one go and could not get it, it was very traumatic for Gavin and he wailed as though tortured. We called IV team to come but of course had to wait. They were able to get it in finally, but not ’til about midday and we had been there since 9:30. Throughout this time Gav continued to vomit although he had received medication.
We met with the neurosurgery fellow, an absolutely methodical and charming doctor who amazingly had taken the time to go through Gavin’s WHOLE file before he came to talk to us. That’s work. He agreed that we are probably looking at a viral infection but doesn’t want to take any chances that it could be shunt-related, etc., so asked us to be admitted for observation. If Gavin improves rapidly after rehydration, we can hold off on scans, but if necessary we will scan in the next day or so.
I am happy with this approach, (although obviously anxious out of my mind) we have some time for Gavin to get better before stressing everyone out with racing into emergent scans. As for Mr. Gav – he is not feeling well at all and has continued to be irritable and vomit-y. Just as I write this at 6:30 in the evening he has had some IV medication which is much stronger and hopefully can keep the barfs at bay. He has only woken up a couple of times and briefly wanted to watch Toopy and Binoo before closing his eyes again. I don’t blame the kid – not eaten since Tuesday, no proper sleep since Wednesday – he is suffering from exhaustion. I am hoping that a long sleep tonight together with the fluids will see him rallying tomorrow.
We still have no idea what this “bug” is – bloodwork has been drawn but cultures do not come back for some time, his white blood cells are elevated which means infection of some sort, but otherwise most of his bloodwork is normal, including creatinine, but his urea shows that he is dehydrated, and we need to protect his kidneys from working too hard.
I was alarmed when the nurse told me that Gavin had a very high blood pressure read – you may remember that his BP has been normal and stable for almost a year. But when I mentioned it to Craig he told me that he’d noticed that she had used the wrong (too small) cuff, and of course got a high read because of it. He has texted me just now to say that when taken with the correct cuff his BP is back to normal. Phew. This is why it pays to have TWO sets of parental eyes on everything that is going on!
Obviously as I am at home, I am not on duty tonight and am quite relieved my husband volunteered to stay. He always sleeps better there than I do anyway. I have to mention though, that we are both bummed to miss a celebration of our 12 years together that we had planned for tonight, Gavin going off to Bubby and Da for a sleepover, and we to a local hotel for a mini-staycation. Luckily, the hotel understood and let us book for another date.
It is very hard in these circumstances not to slam on the brakes of all life plans and just revert into survival mode. It is so very difficult to see Beanie so ill and in hospital, but I have to remind myself that on the previous FOUR occasions these past ten months that he has suffered very, very, similar symptoms, he has bounced back within a day or so of the end of it. It is just difficult knowing that another, “normal” child would be better in just a couple of days and would probably not have to stay overnight in hospital! And naturally, also very difficult not to let our thoughts go “there” – to envision the road that has been and might be. But, we have to be stronger than that, and I have to remind myself that Gavin is stronger than that, stronger than I am, stronger than any of us. This kid has been knocked down so many times, and yet he continues to get up, keep going, and somehow, SOMEHOW get even stronger.
And Beanie and I still want to go to Florida on Wednesday and we are damned determined to go. We are going to the beach, and will build our castles on the sand, frolic in the waves and lie in the shade of the palms. We will.