Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tender Mercies . . .

Since Sara was 5 months old, she's gotten what I call "Mystery Fevers". Very high, unexplained, unaccompanied by any other symptom, fevers every 6 weeks to 2 months. At first I figured she was teething. But, she'd get the fever (which would often last a week) and we'd never see any teeth! I'd take her to the doctor, sometimes even ER visits, and they'd check her for strep, earaches, UTI, sinus infections, pretty much everything, and then they'd send me home with a "sorry, it must just be some kind of virus." Eventually I stopped going to the doctor, knowing what they'd say ;) Occasionally, they'd stumble upon a mild earache, or non-strep sore throat, but that was only twice or three times in her two years of life. She once had horrible cankers and fever blisters all over her mouth. They checked her for hand foot and mouth disease, but that wasn't it. Just weird, unexplained symptoms.
I hit the internet, and "diagnosed" her with something called PFAPA syndrome - which explained all her symptoms. But, how do you convince a doctor to take a 2 year old's tonsils out (the only known cure) on a mom's whim from internet research?!
Well, bring on the Tender Mercies!!
About the middle of February, Anna got a cold. She generously passed this to Sara (who had just gotten over another unexplained fever.) For Anna, it was just a cold . . . for Sara it morphed into a cold with two earaches, a mild sore throat, and pre-pneumonia. Her regular doctor (whom we hadn't seen in awhile because he never seemed to be in when we needed him!) was again unavailable, so we saw another doctor in the clinic. She prescribed Augmentin, a slightly stronger anti-biotic than penicillin or ammoxicillin, that would attack the pre-pneumonia and keep it from turning into full blown pneumonia. Cut to 9 days later (you only give anti-biotics for 10 days). Sara develops HIVES, HUGE hives! I hesitate giving her Benadryl, 'cause who knows what that will do when she's already on another medication. I called to make an appointment, but SURPRISE! They're completely booked that day. However, their North Ogden clinic (1/2 hour away) has an opening. Fine with me! She really needed to see a doctor.
Tender mercy : The doctor we visited ACTUALLY cared about Sara's well being!! I started explaining everything that had been going on, what my suspicions were, etc. She gently and patiently advised me that we should deal with the current problem, and then asked me to bring Sara in for her 2 year well check when we'd have longer to get to the bottom of things!! I've never been so grateful to have a full doctor's office which forced me to see another doctor 1/2 hour away!! She is amazing!
We went back for the 2 year check up. I explained everything. Her suspicion was that Sara has severe enough allergies that her body has to keep up with those, and doesn't have enough left to fight off infection. Then, she looked in her throat. "Oh, my goodness. Those tonsils are huge. They're restricting her oxygen intake which can also affect the bodies ability to fight off infection. I'm referring you to an ENT."
ALL THOSE OTHER DOCTORS had looked in her throat, and NOT ONE had mentioned this.
As this has already been a terribly long story, I'll cut to the chase. We saw the ENT doctor a week ago today (Tuesday). He took her tonsils and adenoids out yesterday (Monday). In my consultation with him after the surgery, he mentioned how incredibly restricted her airway had been, and that the difference now was "night and day". ;)
So, if that has been her whole problem all along, or if my own diagnosis was correct - we have been the recipients of a few timely Tender Mercies, and I feel like she will be MUCH healthier from here on out. HOW COULD I EVER DOUBT that Someone loves us!!

In the waiting room.
On her surgical bed - with her new "ducky" and blankie from the hospital!
With her popsicles .. . how am I ever going to give her just one at a time now?!
Root Beer popsicles = life is good!
She was SO tired, but just couldn't fall asleep! I finally had to cover her eyes with a blanket to get her to keep them shut! I had to do that when she was a baby, too ;)
They told me to prepare for a night stay at the hospital because of her age, but we were home by 4:30 that afternoon! Talk about a Tender Mercy! Neither of us would've gotten ANY sleep at the hospital! She's been doing SO well post-surgery. She's eaten mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, bread, spaghetti noodles, and of course, Jell-O! And as long as we keep the "gap between Tylenol doses" small - she's been whine free! AMAZING ;) We are blessed.
P.S. (Wednesday) Got the results of her allergy test today - (they did it while she was under for her tonsils!) NEGATIVE. She's not allergic to any foods or particles in the air. Which MEANS ... perhaps I should've been a doctor! Well, what it actually means is that the tonsil/adenoidectomy should take care of a great many things!! HURRAY!