Friday, June 22, 2007

Follow Up

So remember I said Nick was sick? Turns out he had pneumonia. So that was fun.

To backtrack: it was a big family weekend. We had a wedding on Saturday in Massachusetts, so a long drive Friday. In fact that's really why I took Nick in to the doctor on Tuesday; it felt a little like overkill, but with a trip coming up I wanted to get him checked out. The doctor didn't find much going on, and said there was a virus going around, so told us to take him home and let him rest, and bring him back if the fever spiked.

It did. Wednesday night it hit 104 and he developed a cough; that made me nervous enough to call the on-call doc, who prescribed a tepid bath and more ibuprofen. We took him back in Thursday morning, when a quick blood test showed no bacterial infection but the doctor now suspected pneumonia so gave us amoxicillin. He said it was fine to travel, but if the fever persisted until Saturday we should find a doctor in Massachusetts.

You've already figured out where this is going. As soon as the bride and groom had said "I do" we were on our way to the emergency room with Nick's temp at 102+. (Luckily the wedding was at their house and it was easy enough to get where we needed to.)

After an hour or so in the waiting room (and another dose of ibuprofen--or was this one tylenol?) Nick's temp was back down to only 99. [Aside: While we sat in the ER we watched a parade of mostly young men come in with various head and arm injuries: arm caught in a rope swing, head bump, arm possibly broken from falling off swing, etc. Fun Saturday in the country!] Nick sat quietly in a chair, leaning on me and watching golf on TV--a sure sign that he wasn't fully well. When we finally got in to the doc, the chest x-ray did show the pneumonia our pediatrician had suspected, and we got a new antibiotic and some further reassurance.

Best exchange with the ER doc:
Mark: So I shouldn't worry if he still has a fever?
ER Doc: You're a parent; you're going to worry. I want you to worry. But, yes, he will still have the fever off and on for a few days.

Best exchange with the ER nurse, who had just asked Nick to take his shirt off and put on a gown:
Nick: This is the second time today I've had to take my shirt off!
ER Nurse: Well, at least I'm not asking you to take a bath!

Thankfully corporate America (today masquerading as CVS) knows us, so it was an easy matter to get the prescription filled. Rather than return to the reception, we headed back to our hotel, stopping for fabulous organic pizza and home-made ice cream on the way. Nick's energy was low for the next three days, but he's definitely on the mend. And we were able to spend most of the next day hanging out with the bride and groom, as well as with other assorted relatives, so missing the reception was no biggie. Nick and Mariah played Guitar Hero and other video games with their cousins, Mark went fishing with his brother the groom, and I chatted with in-laws and knitted. There are worse ways to spend a day, certainly--though I'd rather not repeat the ER visit any time soon.


Magpie said...

Poor Nick. Did he need a bath???

terry said...

sounds like remarkably nice ER folks and amazingly calm, perceptive parents: ) Glad it all ended well.

Libby said...

No, Magpie, he didn't--which was somehow what made it so funny, that she knew he'd be even more annoyed by that request...

kate said...

Oh dear, pneumonia. I'm glad he's feeling better. Poor kid!

Lilian said...

Phew! I'm glad things turned out OK in spite of the serious illness. Why didn't the doctor order a chest X-ray on Thursday, though? Shouldn't he have ruled it out or confirmed his suspicion right away? My sons' doctors have always erred on the side of caution, so Kelvin had two chest X-rays before he was 3 on occasions when he was wheezing (no fever whatsoever). We even had a hospital night stay in the first occasion -- not fun at all. He had just turned one. I hope he recovers fully soon, and I hope to go back to Richmond sometime so I can see you again and not be in such a hurry.

Libby said...

Lilian, my understanding is he didn't order the x-ray at the time b/c they prefer not to expose kids to too much radiation if they can help it. (That's what the ER doc said, anyway.) My experience w/this doctor (whom I like very much, actually) is that he'll treat symptoms w/o a firm diagnosis if the treatment would be the same either way, and that was the case here. We probably could have gone on w/the same antibiotics & never had the x-ray, for that matter--he was actually already getting better--but I'm a little bit of a nervous nellie that way so we made sure when he wasn't getting better fast enough for me.

Anonymous said...

Yes, poor Nick! I type so many chest x-rays that pneumonia seems so routine -- until someone I "know" has it!

We are so lucky to live in a time of effective antibiotics.


Jody said...

Wilder didn't get an x-ray with his first pneumonia, either, for the same reasons.

I'm glad Nick is better now. For a long time, our kids would get sick every time we'd leave the state, and it's so stressful. Thank goodness for corporate pharmacies.

Lilian said...

Hmmm, now I feel bad that my son had TWO chest x-rays before age 3 :(

Well, I must have had a TON when I was a young child (I think I had pneumonia 4 times before my tonsils were removed when I was 4) and I'm OK... I don't like the way so many doctors are so aggressive in this country, prescribing antibiotics right and left. Sometimes, when it's just an infected nail, like Linton had last month, I don't even give them the medicine or fulfill the prescription (Last week Kelvin had a bad reaction to some kind of poison Ivy in his hand and under one of the eyes [just swelling and redness there] and the doc. prescribed steroids for 3 days -- I decided not to even get it).