Poor Gabe had a rough week, hence my week was not too smooth, either. I mentioned earlier that he was sick--contributing to my behaving like "an old brat". After a week of intermittent fever he woke up Monday with a 101 degree temp and I knew something was just not right. I took him to the doctor where they did a chest x-ray, blood work, and urinalysis but nothing looked unusual. We were sent home to "keep a close eye on things".
Tuesday I called and told the nurse that Gabe's temp was staying over 102 even with Tylenol. I'd had a family doc who said a viral fever should drop below 101 with medication. If it doesn't drop it's a sign of bacteria. Hindsight--I wish he hadn't retired. I was told to switch to Motrin and "keep an eye on things". Two small reddish blue spots appeared on his neck on Tuesday and the nurse still said to "keep an eye on it".
Wednesday, I was awakened at 4:50 am by a very upset and irritable Gabe. His temp was under 100 but he was acting very strange. I gave him a bottle and some Motrin just so he could rest. When he got up at 9 the spots on his neck had spread so it looked like he had a bib mark on his chest and the entire left side of his neck, under his ear, was red. I called again and we were scheduled for 11:45. At 10:30 Gabe's temp was 105.4 and we were heading in so someone else could keep their eye on this thing! At 10:50 the doctor's thermometer read 106.6 (family record I have no desire to see broken).
For the next six hours we were in the ER for a lumbar puncture (spinal tap--which was quite uneventful by the way--and negative for anything bad) and an IV. The fever, the low muscle tone of Down syndrome, and the stressed-out-screams all made Gabe's little veins very unfriendly to IV needles. It took almost 5 hours, 4 different nurses/lab technicians/doctors, and FIFTEEN attempts to finally get the IV started. Attempt number 15 was the final try and if it had failed they were calling anesthesia to knock him out and put one in his neck. Many prayers were being offered and pleas and tears being poured out.
Gabe was exhausted and traumatized. We put braces on both arms to keep him from touching the IV and I spent the next 16 hours rocking him. The IV only lasted for 20 hours but it was enough to get all but one dose of the IV antibiotics in him. He was kept in the hospital until Friday to get antibiotic injections and do blood tests but the numbers finally moved in the right direction and we were able to make it to our own Fourth of July gathering.
Just to spice things up, as everyone was heading out the door to see the fireworks Friday night Lisa got showered with a shattered flourescent bulb. She walked into the kitchen absolutely covered in blood. Her forehead was all red, it was running down the sides of her face and pooling in her neck, dripping into her eyes, and soaking her shirt. And she had no idea she was hurt. Just remember, head injuries almost always look MUCH worse than they really are. Keith and I spent the next 25 minutes picking glass out of her hair and cleaning her up. The source of her blood river was a little cut about 5 mm long.
By the way, Gabe's condition was termed 'cellulitis' but we have no idea what kind of bacteria caused it (strep, staph, MRSA) or how he got it. He had three different antibiotics in the hospital and is taking two more now. And we are dealing with a physician who is very conservative when it comes to antibiotics.
Thank you, God, for a mending Gabe and a new week!!