Microscopic miracle

I have stories of our funner adventures last week. However, before the impressions of this week leave me, I want to get them written down.

Monday afternoon Seattle Children’s gave me the go-ahead to reactivate Patrick on the tranplant list. All they needed was Patrick’s height and weight. So, Tuesday I took him up to the hospital to get him weighed and measured and then brought him home for a nap.

We’d been home for half an hour when Patrick woke up just sobbing. My first thought was that his stomach was hurting, but draining his belly didn’t help, nor did changing his diaper.

Finally, his temperature started to rise slowly and I started to think infection, either in his central line as a complication from the surgery. After about an hour, his fever hit 101.5 and Patrick was inconsolable. So, off to the E.R. we went.

Patrick was so hysterical, and with his history of high, high fevers causing chills and convulsions – I didn’t think I could drive him in as he was. So I gave him some ibuprofen while I packed the essentials. By the time we got to the car and I told him we were going to the hospital, he was settled down.

Still, even with ibuprofen in his system, he was running a fever of 101.4 when they checked it in triage. They gave him some Tylenol, too, and showed us to a room.

The E.R. was crazy busy this time. The doctor and nurse came in right away and soon they’d drawn blood cultures and some other tests to look for infection. Then, in super slow E.R. time we waited for lab results and for a consulation from surgery. Surgery recommended x-rays, which showed that there were no problems with Patrick’s belly.

And then, at last, with all those tests done, 3 hours later the doctor came to say that all of the immediate results didn’t show anything wrong, except for a low white blood cell count, which sometimes comes with a virus. Well, that and his heart rate was really high and he needed two fever reducers to keep his temperature down.

They decided to give Patrick a dose of ceftriaxone, a broad spectrum antibiotic that isn’t as strong as he usually gets for line infection, but that lasts 24 hours. (His heart rate immediately improved.) And then, they sent us home with instructions to follow up with Patrick’s normal GI first thing in the morning.

I didn’t really feel like a virus was a good explanation, but the doctor seemed pretty sure of the plan and it didn’t seem like we were getting much further were we were. At 5 hours after we arrived in the E.R. with a fever, they sent us home.. for the first time ever.

We put Patrick right to bed, but stayed up getting ready to go back to the hospital if he got sick again. Brian cleaned up the kitchen and worked. I did laundry and packed bags.

The phone rang the next morning at 5:50 a.m.

Patrick’s cultures had turned positive very quickly. And, although they can’t tell the species of the bacteria immediately, they could tell from the shape that the bacteria were gram-negative rods, the shape of some of the most dangerous and drug-resistant bacteria. They told us to come back right away.

So, we packed our bags and less than 12 hours after we left the hospital, we were back.

Still, he wasn’t as sick. His fevers were only low-grade by morning, even as the medicines for them wore off.

Over the next several hours they unclotted a line, drew blood cultures, and gave Patrick three very heavy-duty antibiotics.

And all the time I was just wondering if we’d put Patrick at greater risk by taking him home for the night. We’d certainly rested better, but I was afraid that being 12 hours later in starting the more aggressive treatment might mean that Patrick was really at risk.

Finally, we made it to a room and things began to calm down. We spent actually a very quiet couple of days. Patrick slept well the first night and just continued to gradually get better. It seemed the worst had passed in the first night.

This morning, Patrick’s blood cultures had been negative for 48 hours. They also finally were able to identify the bacteria. It was a strain of Klebseilla, a very dangerous and drug resistent bacteria. It was resistent to all of the antibiotics that are typically used to treat line infections.

However, it was sensitive to the one less typical antibiotic given the very first night in the hospital. That unconventional treatment plan was exactly what Patrick needed.

I’m sharing this story because it illustrates an important truth.

Heavenly Father knows the details – even the most microscopic ones. He is in charge. And He can inspire and guide doctors, nurses, and parents to do what’s right. He certainly was watching out for our little boy this week. The fact is that the ER doctor felt impressed to recommend an unconventional plan. The other doctors on call accepted that plan, even though it was out of the ordinary.  And we were given us peace of mind to trust the doctors and ourselves. That all of that was what was best for Patrick is surely no coincidence.

The result? One of the calmest line infection hospital stays we have ever experienced. Oh – and his transplant listing will be reactivated on Monday once the blood tests have had 3 full days to be finalized.

Our Heavenly Father really does love and watch over every important detail.

“Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.

“But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

“Fear ye not, therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:29-31

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