Sunday, July 24, 2011

And so this happened

In case you happened to notice that Charlie's one month post went up a week late, or were wondering why I went radio silent for a week or so, the little lad gave us a bit of a scare this past weekend.

It started on the evening of Friday, July 15, with a low temp, and continued off and on through Saturday and Sunday. Since Charlie was continuing to eat, sleep, wet and dirty well, Chip and I just chalked it up to babies running slightly higher temps. Early Sunday evening I took Charlie's temp, and when the thermometer greeted me with a 100.4 reading, I shook off my blase second-time mom attitude and gave our pediatrician's exchange a call. Because of his age and the above 100 reading, they suggested I have him seen by a doctor. So I packed up our bag and headed to the Children's Hospital ER. Chip had played in (and won!) a golf tournament that day, so he came straight from the course. After waiting for almost four hours -- severed fingers and swallowed objects trump slightly high temps, natch -- we finally saw a doctor. Charlie checked out well and the doctor told us we would probably be heading home after some routine blood work, which was pretty much what we assumed would happen. But then the attending physician came into the room and said that because of Charlie's age, he would be subjected to a full work up (urine sample, blood draw and spinal tap) and we would be admitted to the hospital for at least 48 hours until all of the lab work and cultures came back.

Bam. I did not see that coming. I tried to stem off the waterworks, but the combination of the words "spinal tap" and the thought that we had waited too long was just too much. The doctors assured us that we hadn't hurt him by not coming in earlier, and that this was absolutely routine for babies his age.

Soon after they started the process, beginning with the catheter for the urine sample, quickly followed by the combination blood draw and IV insertion. After applying a numbing cream to his back, the nurse and doctor suggested we leave the room for the spinal tap. An eternity later, they brought Charlie to us in the room where we were waiting. He was content and the nurse said that he did fine throughout the procedure. I didn't ask any other specifics, and I still prefer not to think about it. Because they operate under the assumption that something is wrong, and can't wait for the lab work to return -- some of the cultures take 36- to 48-hours to develop -- they started Charlie on an IV and antibiotics while we were still in the ER.

Chip ran home then to shower and pack our bags, and returned around 3 a.m., at which time they moved us up to the 8th floor. After settling in as best we could, I set up camp in the chair/bed and Chip headed to the parents' lounge to sleep.

The next few days were a blur of nursing (completely nerve wracking when your child is attached to an IV), beeping machines, doctor visits, morning rounds, reinserting the IV and non-stop checks for vitals, antibiotics, etc. Thankfully, our pediatrician's office does hospital rounds, so it was fantastic to see familiar faces on both Monday and Tuesday. I honestly didn't think it was possible to love Southwest Pediatrics more than we already did, but even after two-and-a-half years with them, they continue to impress.

Along the way, the doctors were able to rule out various infections and such, and Tuesday morning Dr. Schmidt from our pediatrician's office told us that because Charlie was doing well and everything so far was coming back negative, if the 36-hour cultures looked good we would be discharged that afternoon. Huge relief. Around 3 p.m. the Children's doctor came by and told us that everything looked good, it was probably a viral infection of some sort, and we were free to go home. I can't tell you how happy and relieved that made us. And within another hour or so, we were packed up and strolling out the door with our Charlie bird.

At our follow-up visit on Thursday, Dr. O'Neil said these summer viruses usually run their course in three to five days, and that he would be very surprised if Charlie ran another fever anytime soon. So while I'm sure everything is fine, we're trying to lay low until Charlie reaches the six-week mark next week.

So, whew. Quite more than I planned to write, but those were two long days. Two long days that made me realize how lucky we were to be in the hospital for a fairly routine reason, as opposed to the other families and children who log a lot of time at Children's Hospital.

Our thanks to our family and friends for the support and prayers. Charlie says you're all the best.


  1. Oh no! Poor Charlie - so glad he is okay and you are SO right about not being one of the families that spends a majority of their lives at Children's. Breaks my heart.

  2. SPINAL TAP!!???!!! Holy hell. So glad he is ok.

  3. That picture breaks my heart. I am soooo happy he is ok! What a little trooper.

  4. mother of The LukeJuly 26, 2011 at 8:59 AM

    My goodness! My heart dropped when I saw Charlie's picture and wanted to jump out of chest when I read that he's going to be fine. So, so happy he's better now.


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