Monday, December 7, 2009

A Tale Of Two Fevers, And A Lumbar Puncture

First, I have to say that Matthew's physio appointment on Friday went well. His old p/t was pleased with how loose his foot was. Yay! That means that Steve is achieving what we had hoped. We may be able to make the complete switch soon.

Also, his p/t told me that she really pushes him. More then she has ever pushed a 7 year old before. In fact, she pushes him almost as much as she would push an adult. Her words were "He is one tough 7 year old." Those words became very important to me a few days later.

Ryan's fever started Thursday afternoon. It seemed to bounce from about 38.5 C (101 F) to 39.8 C (104 F). He was lethargic, tired, cold and had an upset tummy. But he was doing fairly well with piggy backing Tylenol and Advil.

Matthew's fever started at noon on Saturday. Same symptoms except he also had a headache. Fever was about the same and was responding fairly well to Tylenol and Advil.

Sunday. Ryan seemed to be over the worst. Matthew, got worse. His headache was really bad and not responding well to anything. Neither was his fever. I was only able to get it down to 39.4 C (103 F) He had a few naps, and each time he got up, his headache was worse.

7 pm. He woke again. This time his fever was 39.7 C (103.5 F) and his headache was intense. And his neck was hurting in the back. Really badly. And he wasn't able to have any medication for another 2 hours. He was sobbing uncontrollably.

I decided to take him to a walk in to see what could be done. He must have looked and sounded bad. We got in before all the people waiting.

The doctor was worried about the headache and neck pain. I was too. I remembered what his p/t had said two days before. This is a kid who doesn't complain about pain very often. And he was debilitated by it. She quickly mentioned Meningitis and a lumbar puncture and sent us to the children's hospital with a letter hoping to rush us in.

We didn't have to wait long, but in the meantime, after crying steadily for almost three hours, he fell asleep. Made it easier to talk with the doctor when he came in.

The doctor was great. He discussed the possibility, the outcomes, the research, the side effects, the options, everything. Then he examined Matthew and we discussed what to do again.

In the end, the doctor was pretty sure a puncture would come back negative but was very concerned over the level of pain in the head and neck with no other cause. He said he would agree if I decided to take him home and wait it out. But he would also feel better having checked the fluid.

I decided to go ahead with it. I had not seen Matthew in that kind of pain since his calcanial osteotomy. And we were all ready at the hospital. And we were already out of the waiting room. And it was really really cold outside. And I was worried if I took him home, I would end up back a few hours later waiting to be seen again.

We went ahead and did the lumbar puncture.

And all tests came back negative/normal.

The best diagnosis is he has a really bad viral infection causing a terrible headache. Keep up with the Tylenol and Advil and they gave me some codeine to help manage the headache pain. And to come back if things don't get better in a day or two.

Today, Matthew is doing better. Fever is down to more reasonable numbers, headache has been manageable with medications, and he had a 2 1/2 hour sleep this afternoon.

And the boys actually had a squabble. Always a sign they are feeling better.


Karla said...

Glad to hear the boys are feeling better, sorry you had a sucky weekend.

Jennifer said...

That must have been scary for you! {hugs} Glad to hear he is on the mend though. Funny how fighting is sometimes a good thing to hear.

Allie said...

Hugs! I hope the boys are all better now!

Michelle said...

That must have been very scary - glad that all the tests turned out alright.