Sunday, April 5, 2015

Horrible thoughts. #RatBiteFever Part 3

If you need to catch up, here's part one and part two.

The next morning we were called and told to immediately go to Helen DeVos children's hospital. It's a 3 and a half hour drive from where we live... so it isn't a quick or easy chore for us. We had to get childcare for the other kids, then drive an extra hour to pick up the x-rays from the hospital... but we were on our way.

My husband and I had had horrible thoughts racing through our minds for the entire night, and now they were even worse. We hadn't been sent an hour away to Munson (the next biggest hospital near us)... no, we were sent across the state to a special children's hospital. The doctor has said the test results could mean a range of things were wrong, but he was most concerned about a bone infection.

Helen DeVos emergency got us in very quickly (the shortest wait I've ever had at any hospital). Orrin was quickly assessed and the slew of doctors started pouring in. We saw so many doctors in such a short amount of time, it was nearly overwhelming.

The first thing they wanted to do was repeat some blood tests. So, they did...and we waited.

We waited, and waited, and waited.

Finally, pretty close after shift change, a new doctor came in and said that they thought everything was fine and that we would be going home soon.

Then, another doctor came in and said that we would need to have Orrin sedated so they could take fluid out of his knee and elbow to check for infection. We were confused, we had just been told everything was fine?! Well, apparently the test results hadn't come back when the other doctor had said we should go home, and now that they were back, and showing even higher levels of inflammation, Orrin needed to have his knee and elbow aspirated to check for bacteria.

Orrin's cast came off... and his elbow looked huge, red, and was very painful. He was not a happy kiddo. The orthopedic specialist there said he didn't see a fracture on the films, so they weren't planning on re-casting his arm, but would put it in a splint after the sedation to protect the joint just in case it was close to fracturing.

Then, they put our little guy into a "semi-sleep" state and we had to wait in the waiting room.

We came back and our little dude was still in this sleep-like state. His eyes were twitching and he wasn't really aware of his surroundings. 

And now we had to wait some more. The results of these tests wouldn't be quick. The test was completed at 8:30pm... and we waited.

We were told that the fluid taken from the joints looked pretty good, it wasn't full of pus, but there was very little fluid collected from his elbow. This was good thing in relation to infection, because infection creates pus and that would mean that there would be a lot of fluid.

The waiting was horrible. Orrin was starving, We hadn't eaten in... well, I don't even remember when. Raymond went to the cafeteria to get something for us to eat. When he got back, Orrin was SO upset. He wanted "nummies". He wasn't allowed anything to eat or drink, though, in case he needed emergency surgery. So, we all sat there... staring at the to-go container all wishing we could eat. Finally, Orrin fell asleep around 1am.

Around 1:30am the doctors came in and told us that his knee results came back negative. But we were still waiting on his elbow results. A bit later the doctor came in and said they were negative as far as he could tell. The situation wasn't deemed an emergency any longer so we were discharged after they gave Orrin some more toradol (a strong anti-inflammatory medication given by IV).

We were told Orrin likely had Toxic Synovitis. A type of arthritis that is common and is the body's response to a viral infection. The doctor also said it could be a rheumatoid arthritis since RA is on both sides of the family... but that it would take a rheumatist to find out and that would be coordinated with our primary doctor.

 We thought that it might just be Toxic Synovitis.... but something had happened while we were at the hospital that kept playing on our minds. Our pet rat had died quite suddenly while we were at DeVos. 

We traveled home, exhausted, and in the dark. We finally got home and got a few hours sleep.  When I finally woke up my husband and I started discussing the death of the rat and how Orrin had been bitten a couple weeks before, and  I started Google-ing.

This was the first instance where I saw anything about Rat Bite Fever. The arthritis and fever fit... but besides that, it didn't seem that likely. He didn't have a rash, or an open sore... the site of the bite had healed well.

Orrin's doctor called that Saturday afternoon. I mentioned the rat, but he asked if the bite seemed to be infected, and it didn't, it had healed well and we had cleaned it thoroughly. The pediatrician said it was pretty unlikely and so we didn't give it much thought after that.

The next few days Orrin seemed to be better. He was walking around and acting fairly normal. We had two birthday parties and he was active in them both. We thought everything might be okay.... that he may just have arthritis... or maybe it was just a viral infection. 

Then, Tuesday came.

Part 4: The Rat.  

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