I will try to make this short – especially since I just typed a whole blog post and then did something dumb (which is not unusual for me on a computer) and managed to lose the whole post.
If you’ve read the previous blog, you know that Emily was admitted to the hospital on Wednesday night because she was running fevers. She is still here. She has continued to run this roller-coaster of fevers where she gets tylenol, then feels better for an hour or two, then spikes a temp again of 102 or 103 or higher. She’s been doing this around-the-clock since she was admitted. The tylenol is now prescribed every 4H instead of every 6H . The doctors started her on the antibiotic, Ceftazidime, and when she continued the fevers, added Vancomycin and Gentamycin, in the hope of covering whatever bacteria is invading her system.
On top of this, her blood pressure has been running low – as low as 75/29 at one point last night. Chrissie said her normal blood pressure is around 98/60. Yesterday/Friday, she was given blood, for a hemoglobin of 6.8, plus a bolus of IV fluids. In spite of this added volume, her pressures remained low so the doctors ordered a second IV fluid bolus last night – and then a third, which was actually pushed directly into the IV line rather than set up on a drip. None of that helped her and there were many, many visits into the room by nurses and doctors. It was finally decided that she might need medications called pressors, which raise the blood pressure, and that in order to do that, she would have to be moved to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) where she could be monitored continuously.
She was transferred to the PICU about 6:00 am this morning. It was obvious how puny she was feeling when she allowed the nurse to attach a blood pressure cuff, oxygen saturation monitor (she hates these(!), even though they are just a little band wrapped around a finger or toe) and leads for a monitor to continuously read her vital signs. When her blood pressure stayed low, the doctors ordered norepinephrine, a pressor drug, to raise her blood pressure. Her pressures came up for awhile but just in the last hour started to run low again and they have upped the norepinephrine dose.
In the meantime, the fevers have continued and the Vancomycin has been changed from a periodic to a continuous IV drip. All of her blood cultures – and there have been many – have come back negative so far. They ran more labs today, to check for multiple viruses. If her fevers and pressures don’t improve in another few days and everything else continues to be negative, they will start to test for fungal causes. The big concern is sepsis, where the bacteria, or whatever organism, gets into the blood stream and causes an infection throughout the body. So far, that doesn’t seem to have happened.
So, that’s the “short” of it. Please pray that the doctors find the cause of Emily’s symptoms and are able to achieve a cure. Pray for Chrissie, who has had almost no sleep and who is worn-out beyond belief. Pray for the doctors and nurses, who are all keeping a very attentive eye on our little girl, trying mightily to determine the cause of her symptoms. Pray for Jason, who is worried but has to continue to work. Pray for Gaby and Jay, who are keeping the other four kids at their house this weekend and probably into most of next week. Pray for the large network of people who will hopefully be able to take care of the kids during the days this week. And please pray for the kids – Ethan, Adam, William, and Sophie – who are again having to give up their own beds and routines – and Mommy – because of Emily’s illness. And, in the meantime, we will pray for all of you.