>> Friday, August 26, 2011
I'm just going to jump right in and start rambling on and on about Jackson's health. This blog has proven to be more than just a fun way to share our life stories, it's also my documentation for my sick kid.
I'd like to add this disclaimer: There are thousands of sick kids that are far sicker than Jackson. From an outsider, I realize that Jackson seems to be a perfectly healthy, thriving toddler. We are blessed beyond belief that we are only in and out of doctor's offices, and not hospitals, and ER's.
So, here I go!
After Jackson's last round of mastoiditis, ear infection, sinus infection, and tonsillitis - we finished 10 days of aggressive medication and three days later, he started getting sick again.
Jackson is at the doctor with sinus infections and bronchitis once a month. In the past 6 months we've had 32 prescriptions filled, this doesn't include the shots and samples that we get in the office or the over-the-counter drugs.
Jackson's chronic sinus infections cause a lot of drainage down the back of his throat, which makes him cough. And because he is one of the lucky kids that was left with hyperactive and restricted airways from RSV, his cough quickly turns into a bronchial asthma attack.
This past Saturday afternoon, Jackson woke up hoarse from a 4 hour nap, hello red flags. By Sunday night, Jackson was in a full blown episode. Gagging and retching from couching so hard. Holding his chest and crying from pain. Pressing on his eyes and holding his head telling us how bad it (the sinus pressure) hurt.
First thing Monday morning, we were back at the pediatrician's office. He ordered a chest x-ray and sinus x-ray, and then told us there was nothing more he could do for us. Jackson really needs to see a specialist. He also gave Jackson his 4th round of steroids in the past 6 weeks. Most adults aren't supposed to take more than 4 rounds in a year, just to put this in perspective. However, after conversing with a pulmonologist it was deemed necessary if we wanted to keep the bronchitis from developing into pneumonia by the weekend.
Tuesday morning, I took Jackson to see his ENT. Her only option for us was surgery to irrigate his sinuses and replace his tubes, which are about to fall out. This would require Jackson to be under general anesthesia for 30 minutes, and have a few days of recovery. Again, this was her only option to us and we still wouldn't know what exactly was causing Jackson to be sick all of the time.
I left the appointment and knew we had to look at other options. My mom and I spent the day looking for our next steps. She took Jackson's charts to all of her top doctors in the area and they all agreed that Jackson needed to be seen by a doctor in New Orleans at Ochsner Hospital. He is a pediatric ENT that specailizes in cases like Jackson.
So I called, expecting to get an appointment with him 6 months down the road...and they were able to get us in on Wednesday, the very next day! Thank you Grandma and God, for answering my prayers:)
Wednesday morning, my mom drove me and Jackson to New Orleans for the appointment. We arrived at Ochsner about 20 minutes early, and they took us right away! The doctor spent one full hour with us, and not a minute of that time was spent warming up to Jackson. Jackson left with a sticker that he proudly gave him that said, Dr. G made me scream!
And boy did Dr. G make Jackson scream...
He first sat with us reviewing Jackson's charts and patient history. Then we went into a different exam room, where it took 4 of us to pin Jackson down so that he could look at his ears through a microscope. This allowed for him to rule out any ear disease or need for tubes.
Next he jammed some numbing medicine up Jackson's nose and told me to hold him down tight. Note to self: Do no wear a dress to hold and pin your screaming toddler down. Bring football pads and Daddy!
Once the numbing medicine kicked in, Dr. G was able to put a scope up Jackson's nose and down his throat. We were all able to watch on a big screen, as he checked everything out. It was pretty amazing, I have to say. Jackson's sinuses are full of puss and mucous, causing a lot of drainage down the back of Jackson's throat. It's no wonder he coughs all the time.
The scope ruled out a lot of possibilities; he doesn't have a deviated septum, or malformations, or need to have his tonsils removed, and his adenoids are still gone.
He believes that Jackson has some sort of secondary infection, on top of his chronic sinus infections. In order to clear up his bronchial issues, we have to clear his sinuses first. However, he does not want to do surgery like his regular ENT recommended because the results just aren't proven in children his age.
His prescription: Jackson will be taking 42 days - 6 weeks - of aggressive antibiotics, in combination with nasal steroids and a diluted Afrin nasal spray for 10 days. IF Jackson gets sick again within one week of completing the antibiotics, then he wants to sedate him and do a CT Scan of his sinuses.
More importantly than that, he wanted Jackson to be seen by an immunologist to have an immunity work up done. Dr. G highly recommended a doctor in Alexandria, Louisiana...
So, we literally left Dr. G's office in New Orleans, and called Dr. C's office in Alexandria and they told us to come on up that afternoon!
We arrived at Dr. C's office at 3:30 and didn't leave until 5PM. He spent almost that entire time with us, reviewing Jackson's history with me and asking a lot of questions. I was exhausted by the end of the appointment.
We discussed a lot of possibilities and next steps. A lot of if this, then that situations. And we left with orders to go to our local hospital's lab for an immunology work up.
And 12 hours after meeting my mom to begin our day, we arrived back home!
Thursday morning, Mr. took Jackson to get his lab work done before school.
We have to wait a week for the results, which I'm praying goes by fast and answers the mystery to Jackson's health. I need a plan. I need answers. I need to know what to do to make my baby feel better.
I know that some of these test could give us answers that will change our lives, I'm praying for the strength to handle that news.
I also know that these tests could all come back completely normal, which would mean that we would move forward with allergy testing immediately.
It's a 50/50 chance. If this, then that.
While I avoid Dr. Google, please join me in praying for all of those seeking answers. Please pray for the healing and peace for all of those who are sick, their families and the doctors and nurses that care for them.
No matter how healthy or how sick, our children are our everything!