Monday, August 10, 2009

Kate is in the Hospital

Katie-bug is in the hospital again. Last week she got several mosquito bites that she scratched until they bled--which led to all three of them getting infected. She tends to swell up from bug bites so I wasn't overly concerned--just put Neosporin on them and tried to keep a band-aid on her for more than five minutes.

Yesterday during church she started to whimper and fuss. She felt warm, so when we got home, I took her temperature. I was shocked to see that she was 103.8! She had no other symptoms, so I took a closer look at her bug bites. The area around them was red, hard and swollen, and one of them started to leak yellow fluid and pus. We don't have a doctor yet, so we tried to find a walk-in clinic that could see her. No such luck. Finally, around 5PM, we decided we needed to take her to ER because of the fever--possibly alerting us to a systemic infection (the bacteria from the bites going into her bloodstream). Any type of systemic infection is serious for anyone--but because Kate has artificial parts in her heart, she is more susceptible to infection.

We took her to the nearest hospital and they checked her out. They were quite concerned about the possibility of a heart infection and thought that her bites looked like MRSA--which is a bacteria that is highly resistant to antibiotics. (You may have heard about it in the news recently) They decided that because of her heart issues, she needed to be transferred to Boston Children's Hospital and told us that Kate was going to be admitted for a few days. They drew blood so that they could do cultures--and started her on a very strong antibiotic that can only be administered via IV.

They put Kate and I in an ambulance for the drive to Children's and Jeff went home to get some things for me to spend the night. I always wondered what an ambulance ride would be like--and I must say, they are far more interesting on TV. ha. I spent the whole time trying to look forward, rather than out the side of the vehicle so that I wouldn't get motion sick and start barfing. (My motion sickness episodes are legendary--but that is a story for another day!)

They were very efficient in ER at Children's, but it still took hours and hours. We were finally transferred to a room about 2AM, and after more administrative stuff and a snack for Kate, we finally were able to go to bed at 3:30AM. Needless to say, my head is exploding today from lack of sleep. I have never been one of those lucky people who could operate on no sleep, and always get a migraine.

Poor little Kate has been hysterical at times--like getting her IV at the first hospital and then having to get another blood draw from a major vein this morning. She has such tiny veins--you may remember the trouble we had at U of Michigan when she lost her periferal IV's and they could never get them back (feet, hands, arm). Last night, the tech got the needle in a did one of those start-digging-searching-moving-needle-til-you-hit-the-vein kind of things. Poor Kate was going ballistic. She remembers way too much and recognizes the apparatus they use to start IV's. When she sees it coming, she immediately starts to cry.

She has cellulitis--which means that the infected area around the bites are swollen. We are waiting for the cultures to come back to know if she has MRSA or a run-of-the-mill staph infection. I'm not overjoyed that she has to be given the super strong antibiotics, since that just makes her more at risk down the road if she gets other infections. There really is no choice at this point, though, because waiting for culture results would put her at great risk if she DOES have a heart infection.

They tried to do an Echo on her this morning right after her blood draw and she was too upset to cooperate, so now she has to try again tomorrow. They want to sedate her for it, which makes me nervous because she reacted soooo badly to sedation the last time we tried it at U of M. Badly as in a TOTAL freakout. I have never seen her like that before or since.

The good news is that our wonderful cardiologist at U of M had already done all the legwork for us in finding a doctor here. She had already sent all the records a few weeks ago. It was wonderful that the doctors here had all of her heart history already. And guess what? Her doctor here is the head of the cardiology department! And he was on call last night....AND...he was here today, so we already were able to meet him. Thank you, God!! :)

So, God is looking out for us and although we would rather not be in the hospital...and it's unnerving to have this situation in a brand new place where we don't know anyone who can help with the other kids, we know that God is going to help us through this. Thankfully, Kate is responding well to the medication and the doctors are feeling good about her getting well and being able to go home in a day or two.

Sitting next to her in the ambulance, I just kept thinking that if this was happening to her in China, would she have died? I am soooo thankful for the wonderful medical care she has access to.

There is some weird glitch with my computer and the system here in the hospital. I can read my blog, but I can't post to it. So I am sending Jeff the post and having him post it for me. pictures until I get home, unless Jeff has time to do it (which I highly doubt!). The kids are all out of sorts at home and he is having a stressful day. He is working from home today.


Ohilda said...

Poor baby! I will be praying for her.

Kim K. said...

Oh no! I'm so sorry to hear this news about Katie. Please know that I'll be praying for you both. Since Josie came to our family, I've found myself loathing mosquitoes even more. Josie is so allergic to their bites. Katie's experience makes me scared thinking about Josie's own heart and what could potentially happen too. Thanks for the wake-up call. All my love!! Keep us posted the best you can.

PS. What on earth are you doing for support with all your extra kiddos in these types of emergency situations now that you are in Boston and away from MI? Extra prayers!!!

Shonni said...

I am so sorry, but so thankful that she is able to receive medical care and pray that she feels better soon.

trustandobey said...

Praying for the whole matter to clear up. If it does turn out to be MRSA, try to pin the Docs down as to where and how she acquired it. This summer our church is doing a series on "Faith during turbulent times" and this Sunday the guest speaker was a pastor and his wife who were in a car accident in 1994. They hit road debris and it punctured the gas tank which exploded and caught the car on fire. They managed to escape with burns but were unable to save their 6 children in the back seats. UGHHHHHH!!!! Sometimes the Lord asks us to take on a lot. More than we can imagine surviving. But to see and hear this couple 15 years later was to see God's mercy and grace up close and personally. Amazing testimony!!! This bump in the road is no fun for Kate and the family but I am convinced that God can walk us through ANYTHING.He never takes his eyes off of us. This couple now enjoys their 27 grand -children from their 3 remaining kids. Praying for Kate.

Todd,Michelle Bloom said...

Praying, praying! Thanking God for His loving care. Hugs to you and Kate, Shelly

Lynsay said...

I will be praying! Poor thing, I hate that she has to be in the hospital so much. I remember when she was tiny giving her antibiotics for the same thing, she hated me forever!

I was going to try to call, but deleted your phone number somewhere in the mess of things, arg.

Love you guys! Praying for yoU!

Mary McG in TN said...

Stay strong, Katie is in a wonderful place. God is taking care of everything.

Holly said...

Oh Karin!
I will start praying for Kate RIGHT NOW!
God is in control and you are such an attentive Mama!
Boston is THE place to be to have access to the best heart care in the US!
Big hugs...prayers for you too.

Adeye said...

Oh my friend--what a day you have had! I am so sorry--but so thankful that your sweetie is in such great hands. Wow, what is amazing that God made sure she got the BEST!
Praying and trusting that the HEALER would touch her little body and bringing supernatural healing quickly. Keep us posted.
Love and hugs

Heather said...

I am so glad to hear that Kate is responding to the medicine. Those mosquitoes leave the nastiest bites on our Zoe also. We carry a bite stick with us at all times to immediately apply if & when she is bit. So far we have been lucky.

Saying extra prayers for you & your family tonight!

The Ferrill's said...

Hi Karin!
I'm praying for Kate! You are amazing. And precious. I loved getting to talk to you! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You helped me more than you know!

Lori said...

Oh Karin! You must be just frazzled. I'm so sorry to hear about Kate. I wish I was there to help you with the kids...or something! I hate that you are in such an unfamiliar place dealing with such serious issues.

I'm praying, my friend.

Cindy said...

HI Karin,
Praying little Kate is handling this okay? mom too? Sounds like she is in good hands.
Hope you're home soon!!!!

Gretchen said...

I am just reading this on Tuesday...I am so sorry for Kate! She is a trooper, so I know she won't be there long. I am glad that God worked out all of her paperwork getting there. That is HUGE!! I miss you , my friend. Will talk to you soon!

mom2-4boys said...


If you need me to sit with Kate at Children's Hospital so you can tend your family, I would be more then happy to make the trip in... My son Declan goes to Children's...

Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you.

I will be praying for her.

Tracey in MA

Jackie said...

I'm a little behind on my blog reading what with getting ready TO GO TO CHINA IN 12 DAYS! granddaughter does the same thing with bug bites, swells horribly. She woke up this morning and her right eye was swelled shut from one little mosquito bite right below the outer corner of her eyebrow that spread under her eye almost to her nose. My daughter took one look at it and said, "Well, we won't be going out in public today!" lol.


Wife of the Pres. said...

Karin!!! I just sat down to check blogs for the first time this week! I"M SO SORRY!!! I am also so thankful it is not MRSA.

Oh, Poor Kate. Al the needles and meds and poor appetites and hospital stay!

Oh, I'm so sorry! You have a full plate. I'll be lifting you all up this weekend!