Thursday, May 29, 2014

An Early Morning Trip to the ER and My Rambling Worries...

She snuggled on my lap until about ten minutes
after the shot.  Then she sat up and colored for a few
minutes before heading over to check out the sink...
The house is quiet right now... too quiet.

Usually 12 o'clock is a scramble of noises and demands for lunch, as I shuffle people into their seats and try to make sure everyone has had something to eat.

For the past hour and a half though, the house has been totally silent.  I've been sitting at my sewing machine, listening, waiting for them to wake up.

It started last night when Mae got home from OT.  Everyone still seemed healthy and cheerful.  Then Mae let us all know she needed to go up to her room and when I checked on her a few minutes later I found her fast asleep.

Fast forward to Sadie's bedtime.  I went to check on Mae and found her burning up in her bed.  A quick check of her temperature showed it was back up over 100 again.  And for the first time since she came down with whatever bug she's been battling for the last roughly eight weeks, I felt seriously worried.

Here's why...

This all started when Mae got mildly sick sometime towards the beginning of April.  It wasn't bad.  It was really mostly a cold, that sometimes seemed mildly like the flu.  The symptoms would change and rotate, but the only thing that was worrisome was how it dragged on and on.  Even then though I wasn't too worried... after all, colds can last for a while.

After three weeks her fever started to climb and she was truly miserable.  We got her in to see the doctor who gave her nine days of antibiotics and declared that she had an ear infection.  After a day of the antibiotics she seemed to be completely better.  She was bright eyed and bushy tailed and raced around the house giggling.

On day eight the fever returned and spiked up to 103.4.  We battled it all night as it kept going back up when the motrin wore off and took her to see her doctor in the morning. The ear infection was back.  They gave her a shot of Amoxycilin and said that it would wipe out everything and that she should be fine.  She came home and slept for about 16 hours and woke up laughing and happy again without a fever.  I was hugely relieved.

A week ago she went in for a follow up and got a clean bill of health.

Then we got home from her therapy appointment yesterday and the temperature came back... and that's when I start to worry.  You see, she hasn't been a kid that gets ear infection all the time. She hasn't had one in almost three years.  Sadie has had dozens, but Mae, with the exception of her tummy troubles, is pretty healthy.  So the fact that she has had a fever for most of the last eight weeks has me worried.  I know that she's getting ear infections but I want to know if there's something causing them... because it seems to me odd that they're coming on so suddenly (when they were little I understood that it was a structural thing as the shape of their ears developed, but that around 18 months they tended to stop... at least for our little ones so far).

This morning she wouldn't get out of bed.  She was burning up.  I took her temperature and it was just below 103 again.  She took my hand and put it on her chest to show me that her heart was racing.  Her little breaths sounded raspy and she lay perfectly still, clinging to my hand.

And that is when I took her to the ER.  With her little heart beat pounding against my hand I wasn't about to wait hours for her doctors office to open...

We went in.  There was no one in the ER and no one in the pediatrics ER.  They took us straight to a room.  They looked at her ears and told me that sure enough she had a double ear infection and fever.  I asked if they couldn't do some more tests just to rule out any underlying causes that might make her ill for two months even after the antibiotic shots.  They said it wasn't necessary and gave her a shot of lidocaine (because apparently the new antibiotic burns) and Rocephin and told me to take her to her doctor for a second shot and then back again on Saturday for a third shot, and to bring her back to the ER if her doctor couldn't do it.

So tomorrow we go to see her doctor, bright and early, for shot #2.  And I'm hoping that they might order a few more tests, even if it's just to humor a worrying mama who's wondering why her daughter has been sleeping 14-16 hours a night and has a fever that just won't quit...

Prayers for wisdom for the doctors and for Mae's health are greatly appreciated.

And for the other little ones as well since Patch and Sadie both just took hour and a half naps (Patch's second nap of the day before noon) so I suspect another bug has hit the entire house...


  1. Praying for your sweet girl and her doctors! Not knowing is always the scariest part...praying for healing for Mae, wisdom for the doctors, and peace of mind for you!

  2. Oh dear. I am so sorry. There is nothing as horrible as worrying about your child's health. It's just the pits.

    For what it's worth, my pediatrician (who is, quite frankly, brilliant and amazing and truly a gift from God), said that amoxicilin does not work for ear infections anymore. He said that the bacteria that cause ear infections (there are a few) are simply resistant to it. He does not prescribe it anymore for that purpose.

    In fact, he says that 90% of ear infections clear up on their own and if the situation is mild to moderate, he prefers the child to just ride it out and kick the infection on their own. Those that he treats, he uses augmentin or cefdinir.

    It could be that the amoxicillin simply hasn't completely cleared whatever nasty infection she has. Ceftriaxone is a heavy-duty broad-spectrum antibiotic. You should see significant improvement within 24 hours of an IM injection, if that is indeed what is causing the fever.

    I think you are right to push for a better answer, especially if she is still feeling poorly tomorrow.

  3. That's so interesting about the amoxicilin! She was on cefdinir for the first eight days, so I'm really, really hoping this does it. I won't feel totally better about it if she's feeling better tomorrow, just because she felt better after she starting cefdinir and after the amoxicilin shot, but if she feels better tomorrow and still does in two weeks I'll be hugely relieved!

  4. Sometimes for really stubborn otitis media, they need to take a sample of the pus and culture it for antibiotic specificity. They CAN be that bad. I hope it doesn't come to that, but it can be done, it only takes a minute, and it usually does the trick.

  5. That's really good to know! Especially that they can be like this. Sadie had a ton of ear infections, but they always went away for around four weeks and then came back. This whole one week on one week off thing is totally new to me!

  6. Prayers for Mae! Just a thought and not sure if it would help but, if you're giving her any strong probiotics, it could help (maybe) to stop them while she's on a course of antibiotics. Hoping it's just a stubborn bug that you can conquer.

  7. She takes a big dose already but I need to throw the Saccharomyces (or however it's spelled) back in because she's only been taking the regular acidophi-whatever it's called that is usually in the stores.

  8. I'm so sorry for Mae's illness and your worry; I certainly can relate to worrying about our little (and not-so-little) ones.

    The CDC says that while probiotics are helpful at preventing diarrhea, etc., while on an antibiotic regimen, they shouldn't be taken at the same time as antibiotics - take them at least 2 hours before or after. It seems to make sense.

    It is also true that many germs are becoming antibiotic-resistant due to overuse. My SIL the biologist won't even use antibacterial soaps, etc., because of this.

    I'm praying that Mae gets - and stays - better, and that your worry eases. Hugs!


  9. That's so good to know Marie! I've been doing them the day after, so it's good to know that's past the distance that's recommended. It felt too weird to give them the same day... and I figured the antibiotics would just kill them so I was trying to space it slightly.

  10. When my son was six we went through one of those rounds of repeated ear infections. After we had a month plus of continual antibiotics it did clear. Then we went to the allergist for a regular appointment in June. He asked how the winter had gone. When I described what had gone on he said that there must be an allergy they hadn't found. They skin tested him and he reacted strongly to soy. We took soy out of his diet for a year and never had another ear infection. I know Mae has had a lot removed from her diet already, but there could still be another allergen she is battling.

  11. I second the idea of more allergy testing, as ear infections can be a sign of an allergy. Also a little peroxide in each ear helps clear an infection.


  12. I was going to mention too about stopping the probiotics while she's on antibiotics.
    But also, I want to mention getting her the Sacrament of the Sick. A story: when my mom was a girl she had many ear infections, and back then there were no antibiotics, only kinds of ear drops. One time she had a case of horrific infections in both ears (extremely painful and high fever), and when the doctor came he told her mother, "Well, there's nothing more I can do. Call the priest." which of course was telling her to call for Extreme Unction because my mom was going to die. My grandma called the priest and he gave my mom Extreme Unction. The next day my mother had no sign of the ear infection or fever. She is now 97.

    None of this is to say Mae is in danger of death or that this will be as serious for her as it was for my mom, but only to encourage you to have recourse to the sacrament, since she is ill, and the cause is uncertain.
    God Bless. ~ Bonnie


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