I was hoping to have posted about our amazing night with Team K's for Keegan at the Firefly Run last week. Instead, I'm posting about our day-long visit to the Legacy ER. It was a rough day, but it did have a happy ending with all four Harrisons in their own beds, not Hotel Children's.
Last Saturday (yes, the morning of the Firefly Run), Audrey woke up with a lovely little fever. With a brother like Keegan, there is no luxury of giving ibuprofen and waiting to see what happens. We took her to the after-hours pediatrician for a flu and strep swab and left with a diagnosis of Fifth's disease, a common childhood virus that causes fever, a slapped-cheek-looking rash, and mild respiratory symptoms. It's supposed to be a virus you only get once, similar to chicken pox, but Keegan has had it at least twice in the past due to his wonky immune system. The best part of it, as with most viruses that cause fevers, is that the contagious period is before the fever and rash appear. Great.
True to form, Keegan started a low grade fever Wednesday night while Gray was out of town for work. Standard protocol for a fever when you have a central IV line is to run cultures on the line and be admitted for 48 hours of antibiotics, in case it's a line infection. The medical team allowed me to give Keegan tylenol and keep him home this time, as we knew he had been exposed to a virus. By Thursday afternoon, his fever was gone, but he was pretty miserable with the respiratory symptoms. Still, we thought that he was doing very well, considering viruses generally trigger MAS flares. Yesterday, he had a a difficult day GI-wise, again not unusual for Keegan. No red flags yet.
This morning, Keegan tanked on us so quickly, we hardly saw it coming. No color, retching, moaning and saying he needed to go to the hospital. We gave him anti-nausea meds to no avail. After throwing up, he sort of spaced out and mumbled here and there about an ambulance and #8 (the eighth floor at Children's, the cardiac unit). He didn't feel warm, but on a whim, we ran his vitals again. And again. And again. Keegan is hypertensive and on three blood pressure medications daily. His blood pressure dropped significantly to a dangerously low level, and the team told us to take him to the Legacy ER immediately.
Of course, he perked up when he got to the hospital, and blood pressure came up a bit. Ran a chest x-ray, labs, urine and blood cultures. All the while, Keegan is begging to just get in the ambulance to #8, even though he had regained some energy. His labs were pretty off, so they decided to give him some IV fluids and see if he could tolerate some solid food. The fluid bolus helped his labs come back together and bring his blood pressure back to his normal. Cultures are still pending on his line for 48 hours, so we're not out of the woods yet. But for now, we are home.
What happened today is anyone's best guess. Maybe he had a strange reaction to the virus because he doesn't have a normal immune system. Maybe his intestinal failure got the best of him without TPN to keep him balanced (no TPN on the weekends, just IV magnesium). All that really matters is that we ended up safely back at home for now. We will be watching him closely and seeing what happens over the next few days, but we are praying that he will start to rebound more every day.
Thank you so much for lifting him up once again in prayer. Today was scary, but it also went better than 90+% of his other ER trips. That's the power of prayer for ya!