Tubes, Lessons, and the ER

posted May 1, 2012, 10:45 AM by Sara Zenter

It has been quite a while since I have blogged, so here I am to ramble :-)  This past weekend brought tubes, lessons, and our first trip to the ER.


Christopher has been fighting ear infections since November.  Just when they seemed to get cleared up another infection would set in.  So back in February, we visited an ENT specialist and were told to give the current infection some time to clear.  When the same infection was still there mid-March, we scheduled another appointment with the specialist and talked about getting some tubes.  Christopher’s surgery was scheduled for April 27th.  “Finally,” we thought, “Some relief!”


Friday came, and Christopher had his tubes installed.  He couldn't have anything to eat or drink Friday morning.  If you have been around Christopher for more than a couple hours you know how much he loves to eat!  Stephen and I decided it was easiest to just wake him up, change his clothes, and put him directly in the car.  Christopher did fine and rarely asked for food or milk.  That was until we were taken back to the "pre-op" area.  They had one bed with the walls painted bright colors and wild animals over all them.  Christopher obviously loved it!  Waiting in his bed was a soft stuffed monkey, that he hugged against him.  We went through the pre-op questions and waited for the doctor to come in.  Christopher was looking at the animals, when he spotted the monkey was holding bananas.  We then heard "nana" and the sign for eat.  Yep; we made it all the way to his surgery without hearing “banana…”  Thankfully the doctor walked in a few seconds later!  Christopher went with the nurses, and they performed his surgery.  The surgery went well, and the doctor said he had a lot of fluid in his ears that she cleaned out.   Stephen and I could hear him crying about 25 minutes after they took him back.  The doctor came out to get us and said he had woken up earlier than expected (but he wasn't awake just yet).  We held him while he woke up and got him as calm as we could for us to leave.  We came home and he immediately went back to bed.  When he woke up from that nap, he was his normal happy self!  Uncle Eric, Aunt Julie, and Benjamin even stopped by that evening to bring him a new teddy bear and a homemade card and to see how he was doing.  At that point he was running around like always!


Saturday came, and Ms Shawna (one of Christopher's teachers) had agreed to keep him for us so Stephen and I could go to the La Tech Alumni crawfish boil.  Christopher woke up with a slight fever and was a little whinny.  We knew he wouldn't feel back to himself, but we thought it was from all the excitement the previous day.  When Ms. Shawna showed up, Christopher immediately knew we were leaving, but she so good with Christopher that we were able to get out the door.  Unfortunately, by the time we returned several hours later, his temperature spiked to 103.6.  So I called the ENT physician and waited for the on-call doctor to call us back.  They said to take him to an urgent care to be safe.  With a concurrence by our friend, Georgia, we packed up and headed to the one of the urgent cares that I've been to.  They closed at 3:00 and it was 3:45.  So we headed to the other one I had been to.  They don't take children under two, but gave us the directions to the pediatric urgent care.  By this time an hour had passed, and the Motrin seemed to be kicking in.  So Stephen and I had a decision: drive to the pediatric urgent care that isn't in the insurance network, go to the ER, or just go home.  After getting confirmation from Georgia (have you figured out she is my voice of reason?) we decided to just go home.  After all, Christopher does have a tendency for spiking a fever sometimes.  By the time we arrived home, his fever was down to 101, and he was playing and eating.  So we thought the worst had passed.  We did learn a valuable lesson: urgent cares don’t take children under two and it is just easier for us to go to the ER instead of paying out of network!


We decided to give Christopher his dinner, bath, and milk then put him to bed early.  By 6:30, Christopher was sound asleep.  I went out and ran a couple of errands (Hey, Old Navy was having a sale).  When I returned, Stephen and I had dinner and could hear Christopher whimpering as he slept.  We decided to see if he had a fever but didn't want to wake him up.  As we were talking next to his crib, he woke up.  “Perfect!  I can take his temperature.”  Well, as it rose and rose, we started to worry.  The thermometer finally stopped at 104!  I got his bag together, and we were out the door and headed to the ER.  Do note, it was now about 9:30, and Christopher wasn't too happy that we interrupted his sleep.


We arrived at the ER and checked him in and began to understand why the ER can be so frustrating.  As our 13-month old lay in our arms lethargic, we saw people come in after us and seemed to be in almost perfect health!  There were a couple of pregnant women that had gone into labor and a couple that looked like they were having some kind of issues that I can’t explain. We were finally called back to get his vitals.  His temperature was still at 104, and they had me undress him.  If you have ever been around Christopher when he is mad or hurt… you know that he has some lungs on him.  Yeah, he let everyone know in the ER that he was NOT happy.  We then went and waited in the pediatric ER.  We didn't sit there for more than five minutes when we were called back into a room.  The nurse immediately gave him 5ml of Tylenol waited for the doctor.


The doctor came in and first looked at his tubes.  We were relieved to hear the good news that they looked great!  Next, he decided to look into Christopher’s mouth.  He noticed a sore on his tongue and then several in the back of his throat.  The diagnosis - hand, foot, and mouth (mainly the mouth portion) virus.  He was likely exposed to it a week ago, and the surgery sparked the symptoms.  We finally left the ER a little after 11:00 and had him back in his own bed by 11:30. 


Sunday came, and Christopher woke up at 7:00 crying… or so I thought.  I grabbed him to change his diaper and apparently woke him up because I scared him.  He had his morning dose of Motrin and some milk.  He went back to sleep, so I did too.  Christopher finally woke up at around 10:45.  His throat was still hurting, and his appetite not back to normal, but he had NO FEVER!  He started acting more like himself on Sunday and stayed without a fever all day.  It is now Monday, and my crazy little man is back, including his appetite!  He still doesn't have a fever, but we decided to keep him out of school today just to give him another day of "rest.”  We are just happy that our little man is getting to be back to normal, and I know he will be happy to get back to school tomorrow!