Larkin has been in the hospital since Tuesday the 20th. She had a cold and started to vomit which always leads quickly to dehydration so we brought her in. Her metabolic panels were off – which we expected – so she was admitted and IV started.
Her fever would not go away. Tylenol every 4 hours would bring it down to 101-102 but it hovered. She felt terrible, wouldn’t do anything but lay down. She had a virus so it was to be expected that it would be harder for her to fight. The Ketogenic diet is great for seizures but leaves her a little more vulnerable when she gets sick. Friday she was miserable. She couldn’t get comfortable and had bouts of moaning and crying and gnashing of her teeth. She had been given an IM shot of antibiotic which can hurt so we all figured that was the issue. Her ear was red so the doc gave her a shot just to ensure they treated a possible ear infection. Her ear had not been red up until this point.
Saturday (yesterday) I thought if I got her up out of bed and took her to the play room that maybe she would perk up. She stood up for a brief second and then down she went. But she played and was somewhat happy. Her fever was still with us but she was better in my opinion. Then I noticed a red area on her head all around the area of her right ear. The ear itself wasn’t red but it was swelling. Right in front of my eyes. It was like someone was inflating her head in that spot. The ear started to move away from her head. It was the FREAKIEST thing I have ever seen. I honestly kept thinking it was in my head and that I was seeing things. I kept staring at her and thinking….is it…nah….is it?? nah well, it is.
Within a few minutes everyone was up on their feet and a CT scan was ordered. Everyone moved so quickly that it scared me. And when I heard CT scan I was really worried. We’ve had MRI’s but not a CT. Doc calmed me down, said it was treatable and she was in good hands.
We went down with me in a wheelchair holding her. Not allowed to walk with her (BroMenn in Bloomington-Normal might want to consider this practice) I was calm and cool with her in the room. The techs were all so nice and Larkin was very calm. She was exhausted and limp so she went onto the table easily. They wrapped her like a mummy and she was put into a head holder. Now…I am not so cool. Seeing her like that always takes my breath away. I am supposed to protect her and seeing her tiny little body in that giant machine just brough me to my knees. I am letting them do this to her. I have to but it just doesn’t feel very good inside.
I was calm. Until they put her head into the machine and I saw the infrared lights scan her face. THAT is something that I never ever want to see again. I know it doesn’t hurt. I know they have to do it. But it was sickening. THAT is something no parent should EVER have to go through. I instantly thought of all parents I know whose children are undergoing chemo, cancer treatments of all kinds, my friends with cancer……my hat is off to them. Cause I was not prepared.
I watched anxiously but she did great. Her big wide open eyes looking around the machine as the hum became louder. Those big trusting eyes. I said a little prayer that she would understand somewhere in the very deepest part of her that we can’t reach. Understand that we are helping her.
Mastoiditis. It aint an extinct elephant. It’s not the kind of Elephant ear you get with powder sugar on it. It’s the bone behind your ear. Larkin had an undiagnosed middle ear infection (you simply can’t see into her ears they are too small) which moved into an area of sinus pockets that everyone has behind their ears. The CT scan showed it was there. Larkin’s ENT was consulted and he is coming by today to access her to see if he wants to do surgery to clean the area up. Infectious Diseases is coming up. I wonder who works in that department. I have a visual in my head of these giant mucous green cells with glass on and white coats. “Yep she is infectious”. Sorry – that was a sidebar – So they are coming up to see if she should go home with an IV port so that we can put her antibiotic in that directly. Good times. Neat. Wish you were here??
We are waiting. BUT my girl sat up last night all on her own. It’s been a week since I have seen that. She giggled!! Today she is feeling better as she is up and playing with her toys in the crib. She is still weak and tired but the fever is down and I see Larkin coming back to us.
I’ll keep you posted but for now it’s me and L from Carle at 98.6 😉 Always a good place for care and always a good temp.