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. So...no 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.