Saturday, June 02, 2007

An ear infection

Barely. She didn't throw ketones with the last ear infection. Why now? Anyhow, back to the beginning of the story. I got home from work and Mom told us that Brenna felt hot during her nap. Her underarm temperature was 102 farenheit. So, she gave Bren some Tylenol. I took her numbers;

BG 296 Blood Ketones 1.4

O.K. so ketones show up faster in the blood than urine and nobody knew what to do with blood ketone info last time.
"Brenna, lets go sit on the potty" woo hoo! she actually peed on the stick!
Within seconds it turns a dark burgandy. Large ketones, second darkest color on the bottle. But her bg number isn't too terribly bad (for her) and the blood ketone number is actually lower than the urine ketones suggest but Al is nervous. So while I wrangle the girl back into her clothes. . .

Al called nurse J and described what was going on. She told us that we should take her to urgent care because her fever had been going on for 3 days. She said that even though she was acting just fine that we should take her to urgent care because things can turn scary quickly for little ones. So I called the appointment line to tell them that we were going to urgent care. They told us to wait by the phone and they'd call us back. Brenna & I headed out with a cell phone and Al waited at home for the call. We were close to the Urgent Care center when he called to say that we needed to head to Emanual Medical Center emergency or north to Manteca's emergency room (side note: I live less than 2 minutes WALKING distance from a hospital but Kaiser doesn't deal with either of the hospitals that are in my town -- grr). We get to the emergency room and I get her checked in then she's the next one called. A nurse takes her vitals, weight, height, listens to her heart, etc. hands us a paper bag with a pee cup inside. We head to the potty to get a sample. She does it again! It is soo rare for this girl to pee on command. We took it back to the nurse and waited. And waited. And waited. I took her numbers again.

BG 186, Blood ketones 0.1

Brenna slides out of my lap and is dancing around and playing hopscotch across the tiles while other folks are waiting to be seen. Can't we go home now? Her numbers are good. As long as we're here we might as well find out about her mystery fever.

A vampire (professional blood taker, I can't spell phle. . . and I don't want to look it up on google -- I get sidetracked) comes out. I can tell he's a vampire not because of his pasty white complexion and cape but because he carries a tackle box full of tubes and sharp pointy things in sterile plastic packages. He calls about 5 names and as we file in we're set up in beds with curtains mere feet apart. Brenna is in the bed closest to the door. Lucky her, first blood. There isn't anothe nurse available to help hold Brenna's arm so the blood tech directs me to lay on the bed with her and wrap my legs around hers. I will need to hold her arm still while this is done. So I wrap my self around her as tightly - yet gently- as I possibly can. I tuck her head under my chin, her 'free' arm under my body and grab hold of her hand and arm. I'm told to keep her arm from twisting. She's very good at twisting. I worry somewhere in the back of my mind about bruises and file it away for later. I ask about a butterfly needle and he says that he's using a pediatric needle but it's going to take a while. I watch as he inserts the needle into her arm and tighten my grip as she begins to thrash and scream. It feels like child abuse. I blink slowly twice to give myself a break from watching the needle then go back to my vigil. If she can feel it -- I can watch it. Have I told you how much watching fake needles on TV make me want to puke? I don't watch my own arm get poked. After a long moment the vials are filled and before I know it he has tape on her arm. I hate tape. They don't use that stretchy stuff that doesn't stick to your skin anymore because it has latex in it. That sucks. The tape is like supergluing a cottonball to her arm. And we're walking to the waiting room again as I contemplate tomorrow when I try and remove that thing. I know what the blood and urine is going to show them. I just took it myself without pinning her to a table. I just hope it shows what's been cranking her fever up.

I watch my beautiful, happy girl dance some more. I count while she hops. We sing songs and I teach her the "I'm a little teapot" song again. Then I show her how to be a sugarbowl. If I were being politically correct I should have told her we were Splenda bowls - but I'm not.

A few more hours pass and a group of us are called into the same bed area as before only Brenna gets the one furthest from the door. First one seen by the doctor, lucky us. A very tired very patient (a doctor that was trying with all his might not to be irritated) gives me the lowdown. No ketones, 186 (I guess her meter is working well), temp is normal (If I could read minds I bet he was thinking "so why the hell are you here!!!!")
"Do you know what this means"
"Yes, everything is good. We get to go home. But what's been causing her fever."
"Her temp is normal"
"That's because I gave her Tylenol"
"Her temp is normal, 97.9"
"But she had a 102 fever underarm temp and we gave her Tylenol. She's had a fever for 3 days."
"A fever is the body's natural defense against infection"
"So it's an infection? What kind? What did her blood show?"
"It's not bacterial, it must be viral."
"Her blood showed nothing?"
"Well, let me check her ears."
Brenna screams . . .he's 2 feet away.
"Oh, she has an ear infection."
He checks the other side "this one's not as bad as the other. Does she respond well to amoxicillin?"
"We aggressively treated the last one so I guess she does well enough"
"O.K. I'll write you a prescription and fill out your discharge papers."

Brenna was in her own bed by 1:30 a.m. I was asleep by 1:31 a.m. if not sooner.

Mystery fever solved. . . or was it?
Stay tuned for the next Adventure of Captain Ketone and the Mystery Fever part 3.


Penny said...

Thanks for the update.

I hope she's feeling better.

grgo said...

did you know you can prevent ear infection by chewing a gum