Wednesday, March 30, 2011

well, it was a day...

so, asher was home from school yesterday, which meant that he and i were going to have a delightful day, just the two of us. oh, i had grand plans. he wanted sushi for lunch, and i was going to spend the afternoon doing laundry and tidying up around here.

the best laid plans... sigh...

so, he was feeling fine in the morning. a little tired, but he hadn't slept overly well on the weekend, due to the diuretics waking him up a few times a night. but other than that, he was fine. chipper, funny, playful, laughing hysterically at treehouse cartoons.

we got dressed and headed out for lunch. we got our sushi, sat down, and started to eat. he ate the rice from a couple rolls, but just kept on talking and playing. (he doesn't eat much, so this wasn't unusual, so i thought nothing of it.) he started talking about some of the things he saw around us, making conversation, and pointing out things he wanted me to notice. so i noticed them.

and then i noticed him.

he was navy blue.

still chatting, but slowly becoming less animated.

and then he started shivering.

i asked him if he was cold and wanted to put his coat on, and he said no.

so i reached across the table and touched his hand

and it was cold.

and i don't mean warm with a hint of cool.

it was just. plain. cold.

i watched him for a moment, thinking (read: hoping) he'd just caught a draft and he'd warm up in a minute.

but then he started getting cranky and tired, and he was still blue and still shivering and still cold to the touch.

so i called our amazing dr b, who is on call, and she sent us to the paeds ward at our local hospital for a sat and blood pressure check.

sats were fine (97%), bp was fine (113/59). and she checked his temp. (by now he was starting to feel a bit warm, but nothing too bad....)

underarm temp was 39.2C (102.5F). 

we went off to dr b's office, where he was very irritable, very lethargic, still pretty warm 20 mins after the tylenol at the hospital), and he was complaining that his pacemaker hurt.

so she checked his pacemaker, and yes, it hurt. and the zipper there, along with his G-tube scar were pink.

they're never pink.

so it was looking like there might be an infection in his pacer site. if that happens, it's bad, because those infections tend to spread quickly and if it gets into the pacer pocket, as you might remember, it's got a highway straight to his heart. we've been through this before, and it wasn't fun, to say the least.

off we went to emerg in london. dr b called cardio and gave them a heads-up. she spoke with the NP who was quite concerned (!!) and said that they would need to do a blood culture, and a urine culture (because it's asher, and he has a long, complicated history. urine cultures are now routine for trips to emerg for him).

we were taken right in, and the doc assessed him. yup, he's sick. so he called cardio.

who sent the resident.

who called cardio.

who came down.

and assessed a sleeping and suddenly febrile asher (as in, 20 minutes earlier he was perfectly fine, playing and sitting at a delightfully normal temp. suddenly, he became flushed and warm and curled up on my lap and fell asleep. all that happened in the space of 5 minutes). his temp was back up to 38.7C (101.6F). cardio poked the pacer site, and asher winced and whined, but did not wake up. asher always wakes up for this sort of thing. the cardio poked his pacer, checked his liver, looked in his ear, so yeah, there were a lot of opportunities for my littlest man to wake up. 

and he didn't.

so cardio ordered an ECG. which asher slept through.

and then we were taken upstairs to the cardio clinic for a quick echo, just to check pump function. asher woke up as i put him on the bed, and i gave him the advil our nurse had provided. cardio gave him a tootsie pop, and did the echo, which was fine. then he gave asher another tootsie pop. and he said, "well, his heart is fine, so i think it's just a virus. you can probably go now, but check what they say in emerg."

the doc came over and said that since the chest and abdominal xrays were fine, and the echo and ecg were fine, we could go.

now, at this point, i was not aware of what the NP had said, but rest assured, when i informed dr b that we were coming home, she said, "did they do bloodwork? how was it?" ummm... "they didn't do any bloodwork."

"WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!" quoth dr b.

it was ruled viral and we were sent home... without bloodwork. no CBC, no culture. both of which are just standard procedure when asher's in emerg.

now, don't get me wrong. i'm quite happy with them not poking my boy and hurting him like that. he's tired of being poked, and i don't like it, either. but um... bloodwork would have given us some answers.

and because the symptoms came on so quickly...

and that has happened before...

in october 2007, for example, when asher had sepsis...

do you kinda think some bloodwork and maybe a culture would be asking too much??

this morning, asher still has a pretty high fever (39.5C, or 103.1F, which is pretty close to his febrile seizure threshold), but as long as the tylenol is doing its thing, he seems ok. fever comes down (he's still warm but not too bad), and he's in a better mood and tormenting poor little Mouse), so right now i'm not overly concerned. it may, in fact, "just" be viral and he'll pull through in a few days.

but still. an important test was not done.

so, i'll admit, i'm a little torn. cardio checked him out as thoroughly as they can, which frankly, is huge. the NP even said that tests were needed. and i think we're at the point now that when tests like this are ordered, i get a little freaxious.

it's good that they took this seriously and did something, so i'm not complaining about that.

but the bloodwork...

or lack thereof...

that worries me a bit. and frustrates me a lot.

i'm almost to the point of moving to another city so that we're closer to SickKids and another children's hospital. don't worry, there are a lot of things keeping us here, and i have to think about the entire family, not just asher. and our paeds can order bloodwork etc here if she wants and i have no issues driving to toronto for cardio if i have to, so we likely won't be moving any time soon... but the idea is there, and it's being considered. i'm just getting to frustrated here. i don't know what to do, frankly. i just don't know...

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