Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Grace: Final Update

So it's been almost 2 weeks since we've been home from the hospital…and I just wanted to give a final update.

The Friday after we came home- I took the splint off.  She was nervous because while she was still able to move her arm…it still gave it a little support.  Anyways- she did just fine.


This is her right hand…which wasn't 'sick'…but the hand that had the IVs.



And it's off!  She didn't need band-aids…but requested them.  Geoff took her to the store to pick out her special band-aids.  And Tinkerbell band-aids it was!  She didn't want to 'see' her booboos.   (you can still see the permanent marker right above her incisions….this is where the ortho surgeon placed his initials before the MRI, so that in case she did need surgery…the correct arm would be marked) 




We kind of just took it easy over the next few days….staying home, going to my mom's…just staying inside.  The Sunday after our hospital stay….I still wasn't just quite ready to be away from her.  Even just for Sunday school and big church.  So we stayed home…and Parker went to our old church with my mom (just to get her to church and out of the house).

So we spent a little bit of the morning outside.  And let me tell you…it was so good to see her smiling and swinging…and just, once and for all, back to 'normal'.



We had her follow-up appointment on July 3rd with the orthopedic surgeon.  Aside from dealing with all of the emotions of everything that she/we had been through…I was still in a little bit of a funk, I think, because I just still didn't know what had caused all of this.  And if it was going to be post-streptococcal reactive arthritis….then there was going to be a whole slew of things that she would still have to go through (cardio work-up, monthly antibiotic injections for a year, rheumotologist, etc).  Not to mention the fact that….it would mean that, at some point in her life thus far, she would have had a strep infection that went untreated.  And I blamed myself for that.

Anyways….

Right when we got there, they sent us to lab to get her blood drawn one last time to make sure her inflammatory markers had returned to normal.  She sat in my lap and did SO good!  Seriously so proud of her and all that she's gone through and just endures it and moves on.

Coloring in the waiting room….



Turns out….her strep antibody tests were negative.  Which means…..she does NOT have post-streptococcla reactive arthritis!  This is a huge praise!!!

We are still waiting on some other test results…but basically….what they think…


She had septic arthritis.
A bacteria or virus just randomly decided to settle in her joint?   Who knows, I guess.
God does.  And maybe we just don't have all the answers.  And that should be ok.
While going through all of this…someone wrote to me "Nothing's worse than seeing your child sick or hurt and you can't do anything about it…thank goodness we serve a God that loves them way more."  And it has just stuck with me and really helped in my thinking.


I asked if we could now expect this to happen again since it happened once….and of course, anything can always happen…but he said he usually does not see these patients again.  I asked again, and he told me again….that he does not think she ever had nursemaid's elbow (elbow sprain).  This is what the ER diagnosed her with on our first visit.  
And I understand why they thought this initially….since her pain literally came out of nowhere and x-rays were negative for any fracture or dislocation, she had no fever, and minimal swelling to elbow and no redness.  And also- septic arthritis (infection in a joint) is actually a pretty rare thing.
The thing is…once they pop the ligament/tendon back in place after an elbow sprain….most all kids are good as new.  The pain is instantly removed and they go on about  their day.
Well- even in the ER that morning, Grace was still in pain…but because of the delay in the 'injury' to the time I took her to ER…they said maybe she had some inflammation.
So we went with this until the high fevers and continued pain just made us think something more was off and returned to the hospital….and I've already written the rest of the story out so I won't do it again!  :)

Sometimes I've let myself question if she ever even needed the surgery and all that ensued.  But when I look at the obvious facts:
-High fever.
-Elevated inflammatory markers.
-Fluid in elbow joint confirmed by MRI.
-Severe pain and would not move or let anyone touch her whole arm without screaming.

Then after surgery and antibiotics….she's better.

I think, overall, the right choices were made.

Happy girl after her appointment.  A great report and no more follow-up appointments!


So because of how good she looked and her normal labs….the doctor told us we only had to do 4 more days of antibiotics.  The antibiotic that she is on, Geoff and I are both allergic to, so I was impressed that she was not.  Or so we thought.  I'm not sure if it was skin sensitivity from being in the sun on Friday, or a delayed allergic reaction…but she woke up this past Saturday morning with this rash on her cheeks.  It was just uncomfortable and itchy.  With one day left of antibiotics, I stopped giving them to her.  Of course, this happened on a Saturday and I wasn't sure who to call since it was 'after hours' and not an emergency.  I know she was fine, but I didn't want to keep giving it in case she were to have a more severe reaction.  And by Sunday night it was pretty much gone.




She has 2 very small incisions that will barely leave a scar, I think.


So all in all….things are 'back to normal' here.  Hard to believe 2 weeks ago today she was lying in a hospital bed and there were still so many unknowns.  But life has moved on…and now….thankfully….so has my head and heart.


1 comment:

Viv said...

Can only imagine how traumatic this was for all of you! So thankful she is doing better! I guess it runs in the family because I too, am allergic to certain antibiotics.

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