My boy is back in the hospital.
Last Friday night, Kitty took him to the emergency room down in the city, because he had swollen lymph nodes, was coughing up a little bit of blood, and finding it hard to breath. The took x-rays of his chest (no pneumonia, thank God) told him he had bronchitis, sent him home with a script for some strong antibiotics and told him to follow up with his doctor within 5 days.
They didn't examine his lymph nodes or do any blood work. Kitty was quite put out (and rightly so), that they kept trying to take his oxygen away from him, even though she insisted that he needed it. Luckily, she stayed with him and kept a watchful eye.
He came home for the weekend so we could care for him and spent most of the time sleeping. On Monday, he was ready to go back to Kitty's. Early Tuesday morning, he called me, frightened because he couldn't breath when he was laying down. He'd been up all night. Hubby went down to the city and got him and I made an appointment to see our family doc right away.
He looked really puffy, and was a bit altered. I put it down to a night with no sleep, but the puffiness was worrying me. His heart rate was rapid (we check it with a pulse-ox moniter every few hours), and I pulled the doctor aside when we got there because water-retention, the inability to breath when lying down and rapid heart rate were all symptoms I had when I was diagnosed with heart failure a couple of years ago.
The doc ordered a bunch of tests (scans of his lymph nodes, lungs and heart) to be done the next morning, gave me a handful of referrals to specialists, and prescribed a diuretic. At that point, Big Kid was pretty sick, but not urgently so. We'd have to rig something up so he could sleep semi-sitting and try to keep him comfortable. We had to crank his oxygen up to 5 liters.
I was up all night with him. He'd sleep for 40 minutes and then wake up disoriented and in pain. By the time the morning came, I could actually hear the fluid in his lungs when he was breathing, and his neck was huge. So I took him to the emergency room at our small regional hospital.
They ran a bunch of tests. He was full of fluid, and his lymph nodes and tonsils had swelled up so big that they were blocking his airway. They were planning on trying a c-pap (which forces air down into the lungs by mask), but if that didn't work, they were going to have to put another trach in.
In the meantime, they were making plans to transport him down into the city by ambulance, because some of his symptoms DID seem to have cardiac involvement, and they weren't equipped to handle it there.
Right about the time they were finishing with his EKG (which was bafflingly normal) his bloodwork came in.
The look of surprise on the doctor's face was truly a sight to see.
"You're not going to believe this", he said to me and the nurse. "Big Kid has Mono."
Mono? Are you freaking kidding me? That with a side of secondary bronchial infection. With his compromised immune system, he has a raging case of both.
Soooo....they decided they could treat him right here, thank Goodness.
Because his oxygen and CO were messed up, his kidneys weren't functioning properly, causing him to retain a large amount of fluids. You can't really treat Mono, because it's a virus, but you can treat the symptoms.
He couldn't sleep on his back, because the pressure from the tonsils and lymph nodes were crushing his windpipe.
They've got him in an isolation ward because he is highly infectious. After he was settled in, Hubby and I brought him a fan, his tunes, and some magazines. He was a lot more alert last night and feeling better with pain meds. They had to shave off his beard for the mask, but he didn't even blink an eye at it.
Oh and I almost forgot. It seems like sometime between his last bloodwork and this, Big Kid has developed diabetes. Something we're going to have to deal with when this crisis is over. ::sigh::
So here it is, 8 months later, and I'm getting ready to trek back to the hospital to glove, gown, and mask up again. Only this time, I don't have to drive down into the city, but half a mile down the highway(a blessing).
If you have a moment to spare, good wishes and healing prayers would be truly appreciated, My Friends.