Thursday, December 23, 2010

Trip to the E.R.: A Little Bittles Update

Just another crazy day in our household, which is almost starting to become the norm! This morning I woke up, excited that finally today it looked like Ellie would be able to go to her first big family get together since her first birthday, which we managed to celebrate right before she got sick. Since September, she has had to miss birthdays, Thanksgiving, and much more. (Not that we didn't have family things at our house with our own little family...but she/we have had to miss a lot of events since she's been severely neutropenic.)

I noticed that she didn't want to eat very much for breakfast this morning, and then when I put her down for her nap, she was very cranky. After leaving her in her crib for a little while, I decided to go get her since she doesn't always have a morning nap anymore. However, when I picked her up, she was still very cranky and I noticed that she felt very warm. I knew right away she had a fever. Mothers just know these things.(As a side note, I always wondered as a kid how my Mom could feel our foreheads and tell if we had a fever and approximately how high it was. Now, being a Mom myself, I have learned I can pretty accurately tell how high her fever is by feeling her forehead.)

So, I got the thermometer out and, sure enough, she had a fever of about 39 C (about 102 F). I waited about half an hour and then tried to feed her some lunch, which she did not eat at all. Her fever seemed to come down a bit and then it would go back up. I called my husband at work, and we decided that since she had a fever of over 38.5 C and was cranky and not eating, that we needed to take her to the hospital for a blood count, as the doctor had instructed us. Normally, things like this are not a big deal, but with her being neutropenic, a fever is always a lot more alarming with her than with a normally healthy child. I brought the febrile management plan along that our pediatrician had written up before he went on holidays, just in case she got sick while he was gone. Thankfully at the E.R. we were able to see an excellent doctor, who spoke with the pediatrician on call, another excellent doctor.

She got a complete blood count down, blood culture, CRP, and a couple urine tests. Her tonsils are swollen, so she is definitely sick with something. Her neutrophils came back at .1, which is pretty much zero. More concerning is that her complete white blood cell count was only 3.5, which is quite a bit below normal, too. The pediatrician on call decided that we would not start her on antibiotics yet, but rather we could go home on the condition that we watch her very closely and come in right away if she gets worse. He told me normally he would have admitted her, but since we already are aware of the problem, we could go home as long as we kept a close eye on her and brought her in at the first sign of worsening symptoms.

So, for now, we are at home. My sister came over for a couple hours to babysit so that my husband and I could go to our family Christmas gathering since she was pretty content and ate her supper this evening. We are keeping a very close eye on her and praying that this is just a virus that will quickly pass. I am concerned about her low total white blood count, which is the lowest it's been by quite a bit. One thing that is good is that today we found out (after many phone calls) that her penicillin allergy test came back negative. This means there is a chance she is not allergic to penicillin.

Please pray for wisdom for the doctors (determining whether or not to put her on an antibiotic) and for Ellie's healing. Pray this is just a virus that will pass quickly and not turn into something more serious.

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