Sunday, June 12, 2005

We Went from an Ear Infection to THIS?!?!

Wow! Things sure change quick in our little slice of heaven! Mark and I took Anthony to the pediatrician's office yesterday morning. He was running a low grade temperature and was pulling on BOTH ears. Uh, oh! Infected ears again! Well, not quite. The doctor we saw said his ears had a bit of clear fluid in each, but that they were not infected. So we went back home, puzzled over what new thing was causing Anthony's fever (and why the HECK was he pulling on his ears?). We arrived home just in time for nap time, and Anthony slept for three hours. When he woke up, however, the area behind his right ear was so swollen that his ear was sticking out, almost perpendicular to his head. And his temperature was higher.

After little debate, we decided to take him to the ER. This was just not right. We were quickly seen by a doctor there, and he felt that Anthony might have an infection in his mastoid bone. He consulted with an ENT, who would come to see Anthony eventually, and it was decided that he needed more Rocephin. An IV was started, and the antiobiotics were hung. A CT scan was ordered to take a look at his "lump". That was quickly performed, and an ENT came to discuss the results with us.

Anthony had an abscess on/near/around his mastoid bone(see information on mastoiditis ), and was going to need surgery. Almost right away. However, there's no one in Baton Rouge who specializes in pediatric ENT surgery to the extent that Anthony was going to require. An ambulance transport was being arranged, and surgery was being scheduled at Children's Hospital in New Orleans. All of this in the course of three hours.

About an hour later, Acadian Ambulance strolled in with a bed to strap Anthony's car seat to...and we were on our way. I rode in the ambulance with Anthony, Mark had gone home to pack a few nights worth of stuff (two duffels, a suitcase and a booksack), Mark's parents were not far behind Mark, and my parents were already in New Orleans at a wedding.

We spent some time in the ER at Children's going over the normal round of questions (I usually have a typed sheet of Anthony's medical history to hand to the millions of students, residents, specialists, curious nurses,'s been a while, so I didn't have one handy!). We signed off on the surgery, and took Anthony to the OR room. Having to hand him to the nurse was one of the hardest things I have had to do! With the transplant he was too young to realize Mama was leaving him. Last night, he cried! Poor me. :)

We were told the surgery would last about 1-2 hours, but to plan on 2. So when Mark called 45 minutes after we left Anthony, we were surprised to hear that they were finishing up. I was SO convinced we were going to hear bad news. They told us that they were able to sucessfully put tubes in Anthony's ears (the normal tubes kids get with recurring ear infections), they had drained and removed the abscess, and that they didn't have to remove his mastoid bone! That was wonderful to hear. The mastoid bone was alive, and looking good. They had felt that it was going to be dead, or heading there. The wound has been left open for now, with packing in that has a bacterial killing agent on it. Anthony will also likely receive a week's worth of antibiotics (Rocephin and Clindamyacin). They will slowly remove the packing this week, and will eventually allow the wound to close (or they will close it; I'm a little sketchy on those details).

Anthony spent a (sort of) restful remainder of the night, and is still sleeping now. He has had vital signs taken EVERY HOUR, and more blood drawn at 5:30 this morning. Despite all of that, he goes right back to sleep with little encouragement and is snoring! He was prescribed Tylenol with Codeine for pain but hasn't needed any as of yet.

Below are two pictures of Anthony. One was taken last night at the ER back home (while he was really playful...that's his "snoota" face) and the other was taken right after we got to Anthony in recovery at Children's. I'm not sure how long the cup and strap will stay on. I imagine they'd like him to leave it alone, but I know that's not going to happen when he wakes up and has a little energy.

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Please keep us in your prayers, and I will update as the week progresses! Also, a clue into how quickly an ear can get infected: the ENT at the ER back home said nothing about Anthony's ears being infected, and she would have said something if they were. The ENT at Children's said BOTH ears were infected. LOVELY!

With much love, Laurie, Mark and Anthony (I apologize for any disjointed sentences or spelling errors...I'm working on very little sleep)

Coming up in Anthony-land:
Lots of snuggling and playing "let's not go stir crazy in the hospital"


Jennifer Pianalto said...

Poor Anthony and Mommy!! I am glad that they were able to repair everything and I wish him a speedy recovery. Give him lots and hugs and kisses from us.

Jen,Pat, Madi and Aly
San Antonio, Tx

Colleen said...

Anthony I hope your feeling better soon buddy. I will say a prayer for you and your mom and dad.

dacqueri's dreams said...

Your baby is beautiful...i will be thinking of him! I just had a friend whose mom died and she donated everything on her except her heart and lungs because they did not want another family to go through what they went through. (they are unsure what she died of, she just collapsed and went into a coma and died three days later!) She donated bone, platelets, skin, EVERYTHING! I am so happy that she chose that direction. I too, am an organ donor. I can donate all my organs except my liver, because i too, have liver disease. When my liver fails, I will go on the list to receive a donor, but hopefully that won't be for years to come! (Keeping my fingers crossed!!!)

You all are in my prayers. I am glad I stumbled upon Anthonyland...looks like a great place to visit!



Emma said...

Hi Laurie,

I just wanted to stop by and say hello and thank you for the comment you left me on postcards from Holland. Your comments meant a lot and hearing that my post helped you, helped me (does that make sense).

You have a very beautiful son and from what I've read of your blog are a fantastic mother! I will be thinking of you and praying you get out of the hospital soon!

Moreena said...

Wow. That happened fast. I hope Anthony is feeling better soon. What a tough little trooper he is.

Kristennn said...

Hi Laurie

We were gone all weekend so i just heard about your adventures.
Sorry to hear it happened in the first place, but so glad Anthony has parents that are so on the ball and got things taken care of before it got much worse. Hope they send you home soon!

Denise said...

Hey Laurie,

I am so sorry you guys are at the resort again. That sucks! I'm glad everything went well with the surgery and will be thinking about you all. Give A a big squeeze from us.

Take care,
(Connor's Mom)

Sarah said...

Oh God, like this poor guy hasn't been through enough already? Prayers for Anthony to feel better. You'll love the ear tubes. Anna had hers put in for reccuring ear infections, and for the 18 months they stayed in she only had one ear infection!

Becca said...

Anthony, Sweet Anthony,
You are not supposed to be in the hospital!! Get better, I hope you feel goo soon.
The Ketters (Nataliebear's mom and dad)

Raina said...

OH MY!! Poor Anthony. Got them tubes anyhow! What a tuff boy you are! God Bless You and your wonderful parents! He sure keeps his hands on our kids doesn't he? Laurie you are so on top of things. I have laxed too since transplant, however, I don't Log labs! I used to pretransplant and then after a bit sorta. not now! But I do call and ask all the results I wanna know! Best Wishes and many prayers to you guys
Raina Todd and Bekka in Seattle