Monday, October 19, 2009


Last weekend, I got really sick suddenly on Friday night. Fever, cough, headache, etc. But my cough made me think it was more like bronchitis than anything else. I called the doctor who was on-call for our office. He called in a prescription for me.

Saturday night, I was getting worse and was also having trouble breathing. I called the doctor back again and this time he said to go in to the emergency room, so we went in. Hubby took me in and my mom stayed with the kiddos.

They did numerous tests (I don't quite remember it all because they gave me a dose of Tylenol - yeah, I am super sensitive to medication) but I do remember the H1N1 test. Ouch and yuck! The test came back negative. The doctor said that the test has a high false negative rate (about 40% of all negative test results are false) and that I had the classic symptoms of the H1N1 flu, so he told me to discontinue the medicine prescribed the previous day and to take the Tamiflu he prescribed instead. So, I did and I'm still not feeling 100% but I am definitely feeling much better than I was.

Fast forward to last Monday night. Boy B started having the same symptoms. We decided that we would keep him home from school the next day. We also made him a doctor's appointment because he ends up with severe respiratory infections and this was the second time this school year that he has had something like this. His ped tested him for H1N1 and sure enough, it was positive. Our ped gave him a prescription for a steroid to help his lungs but no Tamiflu because its not really effective in children.

Boy B started to get over it (to the extent that last night, he came up to me and said, "Mom, I think I lost the flu.") and then by Wednesday, Boy A started showing signs and symptoms as well. So, home he stayed from school for the rest of the week as well. Both are on the mend now.

Another fast forward to Sunday morning. Boy C woke up at 2am and Boy A woke up around 3am. I had my route to do and Hubby hadn't been asleep for very long, so I decided to have the boys go with me. Boys A and B like to go along and do the actual running of the papers if they are up in time for it (not very often are they up at that hour though). But I figured that on Sunday morning, Boys A and C could ride along with me. That way, they would both be supervised and Hubby could continue to sleep. We got home afterwards and Boy C slept from 7am until 9am. Not a very long nap considering he was up most of the night.

All of the kids laid down for naps in the afternoon (Boys A and B are getting over being ill, Girlie is just starting to show signs of it and Boy C appears to have scathed by untouched by it all). Hubby was in charge of naps and he let them all fall asleep late and therefore, sleep late. I ended up waking them all up at 5:00pm. Boy A came down to the family room and ended up falling back asleep on the floor. Boy B stayed awake coloring and Girlie watched a movie. Boy C went to the living room and laid down on the floor up there and fell asleep. It was the same thing that Boy A did so I figured it was related to their non-sleep the night before.

Next thing I know, Hubby is freaking out that and yelling that Boy C is seizing. He rushes up the stairs and before I can tell him not to, he has Boy C in his arms. I take Boy C from him, bring him down to the family room and tell Hubby to call the doctor's office, or rather, the nurse line that answers for them. He is placed on hold immediately - it doesn't even go to a person before it goes to hold. So Hubby is on hold on the phone and I'm sitting with Boy C and making sure he is on his side while he seizes, etc. Meanwhile, our other kids are gathered around, worried about their baby brother.

I tell Hubby that the nurse line is taking too long and tell him to call the hospital ER instead. He calls them and we switch places. I talk to the registrar (though I wish I would have talked to the triage nurse instead) and she said in a very ho-hum way "if you want to bring him in, go ahead" (more on her later, ugh!)

Hubby tells Boy A to go get Boy C some clothes (he had taken his nap in just a diaper) so Boy A goes and gets some footed sleeper jammies for Boy C and we dress him once he stops seizing. At this point, Boy C is back to newborn-like muscle control. His head is too heavy for his body, he is just limp, and unable to help dress himself or even sit up.

Once dressed, I head out the door with him and we go straight to the ER. When I get there, the lovely and caring registrar is sitting at the desk. "I can't help you right now," she informs me, "I'm stuck on something." She was on the phone about a patient, I could tell and I wasn't sure what else to do, so I stepped back to allow for a bit of privacy (you know, HIPPA and all) until one of the other registrars calls to me and has me come back. We go back and I explain what we are there for. The triage nurse (a really wonderful male nurse with fabulous patient care!) comes up before we even have the papers signed and asks me if this is the child with the seizure. I tell him it is and he ushers me back to the triage room. He takes a quick set of vitals (including a temp of 102.6) and health history and then checks on room availability. He says that if we wait for the paperwork and armband to catch up with us and we walk real slow, we could time it just right, because the room was just being cleaned. He checks on the paperwork and the armband and has us wait in the triage room.

We get Boy C's sheet of stickies (the labels that they use on anything that pertains to his visit tonight) and head off to the room, without the paperwork or the armband. We go in and get situated and the nurse comes in and talks with me and does a quick check of the boy. She asks if I had given him anything for his temp and I said no, because he hadn't had a temp all day and other than the odd sleeping hours, he was acting just fine all day, right up to the point when he started to seize. She said that most likely he had been fine and then spiked a sudden fever which caused the seizure. Okay, cool, I can handle that. Febrile seizure, no big deal. But then they want to know why he had a sudden spike of fever and they decide to test for the H1N1 flu of course. Hubby comes in and joins us at some point during this, but I can't remember when exactly. Anyhow, the nurse goes to get the swabs and comes back with an assistant to help hold Boy C down so she can do the test. It's a quick process which is good because it is one of the most unpleasant experiences ever. Anytime someone has to forcibly stick something up your nose is the makings of a bad day (or night) in my opinion.

She takes the test out and lets us know that they will also do an x-ray to rule out pneumonia, which I guess is a fairly common side effect of H1N1. Then the doctor comes in and talks to me and tells me what they are going to do (or have already done) and then he's gone. I think it was at that point, that registrar came in and finally gave us Boy C's armband. She was totally rude and I'm glad that the whole experience was not based on just her manner. (I also didn't find out until later on when we were leaving that when Hubby got there, the good registrar had caught him and had him sign papers for consent to treat, etc.)

So we go to x-ray and a tech and I hold Boy C in position for one straight-on chest x-ray and one side-view chest x-ray. I am not a big fan of x-rays in general. My father-in-law is a radiologist and he can back me on this one. But when the benefit outweighs the risk, it's worth it.

We get back to the room and the doctor comes back in and informs us the test is positive, and that he will be starting Boy C on Tamiflu to treat it and is ready to head out the door. But I stop him and question his use of Tamiflu. He said that because of Boy C's seizure and the severity of his symptom onset, it was best in his opinion to prescribe the medicine. He also said that if the symptoms had not been so severe and so quickly onset, he wouldn't prescribe it. I accepted that as a good response. I don't like doctors to just throw a prescription at a set of symptoms and even when given prescriptions, we are very cautious about giving them.

By the time we get home, Boy C is almost back to himself. He is still acting very much like a baby and would just lay wherever he was placed. Oh - and one other odd thing that happened while we were at the seemed like Boy C was trying to nurse. I was holding him and he started to do the rooting motions and when he was close, he opened his mouth and started licking my shirt. I kept repositioning him but he kept trying it, so I ended up laying him down and just rubbing his tummy or forehead or his arm instead. It was so odd - he's 24 1/2 months old and hasn't nursed since he was about 10 months old. I don't know what prompted that tonight, but Hubby and I both found it incredibly odd and plan to ask his ped about it later on.

So that was our experience this past week. Hoping that Boy C gets over it all fairly quickly and that Girlie will get it and get it over with as well so that we can all get back to normal again. Ahhhhhh!

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