Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Pneumonia Here, Pneumonia There, Pneumonia Everywhere

I'm thinking that Quincy might want to skip the holiday season all together next year. He got a concussion over Thanksgiving and pneumonia over Christmas. I'm actually thinking that I may want to skip the holidays next year, Q probably, not so much!

The week before Christmas the daycare called on Tuesday and said that Q had a fever. I picked him up and called my boss. He has to be fever free for 24 hours before returning to daycare. So I stayed home with him on Wednesday. We went to the doctor just to make sure that it wasn't serious (last year he had RSV). The doc (not our regular doc) sent us home, Q was fine. No ear infections, clear lungs, no fever, you get the picture. So, he was fever free for 24 hours. Back to daycare he went on Thursday. Daycare called again. Q had a fever of 102, didn't eat lunch, and was not playing with the other kids. This time when I get him I can really tell that he does not feel well. He is burning up. It was too late in the day for us to be seen by the doctor and I made an appointment for the next day, Friday. John woke me up about 5:30am saying that Q now had a fever of 104. Panic mode.

Tylenol, tepid bath. Repeat. Fever went down to about 102. We went in to the doc about 10am. We didn't leave until 1:00pm. The doctor heard a crackle in his lungs. She ordered blood work and chest x-rays, RSV and flu tests. He has pneumonia. His white blood cell count is 28,000. Normal is 4,000-11,000. Infections are considered serious at 20,000 and severe at 24,000. I called John and asked him to come to meet us.

In the meantime they checked his oxygen saturation level. I think that most people are at 100%. I'm pretty sure in the 80's is something to worry about. The first reading came up 83%. I panicked again. Turns out, the machine malfunctioned. His level was 97%. He got a HUGE shot of antibiotics, an inhaler, and a Saturday morning clinic appointment. John's parents were already scheduled to come in that day and spend the weekend to celebrate Christmas with us. We were so glad they did. It really helped to have two rational brains to help us make decisions.

We were told that if his fever spiked again or breathing became fast or labored to go directly to the ER, otherwise come back to the clinic at 8am. When we got home, Q let me put him on the couch and he watched a video. John's parents arrived about 3:00pm. When they came in, Q woke up and from then until about 10:30pm I just wasn't sure that everything was going to turn out okay. His fever was 103 and he was incredibly lethargic. He had a zombie look, glazed eyes. He had to be held, at all times, by someone. So during this time it was great that we had two extra sets of hands for holding and ears for listening and hearts to help us bear the burden. The night wore on and on. His breathing would speed up then slow down, over and over again. Do we go to the ER or wait? What to do? All evening long we thoughts rushed through our heads.

About 10pm we decided to go to bed. We have never let Q sleep in the bed with us, but thought that we needed to be close to listen to his breathing. So, we got in the bed, Q in the middle, and he sat up, facing us, and gave us the "Q smile" that melts hearts. It was like a break in the storm, kind of reassurance that he was going to be okay. We all slept hard that night. Early the next morning John & I take Q back to the clinic. X-rays revealed that his pneumonia was worse. We got another huge shot of antibiotics and told to go to the ER if anything worsened. I was thinking, "uh, didn't you just say that his lungs look worse?" I guess it just sort of has to run its course? I dunno.

It took about one month before Q returned to his normal eating habits, sleeping habits, and all-around pretty happy personality. It really scared us. I cannot imagine what it is like to have a really sick child, a child that might not get well. Thankful for the blessing of a mostly healthy child!

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