Friday, April 4, 2014

This Post is Brought to You by the Letter P

P for Petechiae, Phlebotomy, and Phooey

This cold and gloomy Friday morning finds me and the Fish in an overflow room at the regional children's hospital. We checked in through the emergency room on Wednesday as a follow up to our emergency room visit on Saturday. Are you confused yet? I am. I've been sleeping in a *rocket chair for two days and I barely know what day it is.

Saturday afternoon, Fish developed a rash that was a little alarming. Minus any professional medical knowledge, I mom-diagnosed it as petechiae. I feared she was bleeding under the skin. She had no other symptoms besides vague aches and pains that she'd been complaining of for a few weeks. Finding no immediate reason to panic, we went about our day and visited the alpaca show.

Little Bean and the Suri alpacas.
She was cold at the show, but seemed fine. About 5:30, she developed a fever and chills. Panic. I called the nurse line confirmed my fears. Yes, this was something we should worry about. Yes, she should come in immediately. Where would I be taking her, the nurse asked. To the urgent care near our home, I replied. "No Ma'am" she replied. "You need to take her to an emergency room right away." Alrighty then. Full on worry.

The ER staff placed us in a trauma room and had several people take a look at her rash. It was confirmed that this was a petechiael rash. I gave a full history and labs were drawn. A few hours later the labs were back and everything possible was on the low end. They assured us it was probably viral and told us to follow up with our primary care doctor Monday and we did. 

Wednesday rolled around and Fish had really not left the couch. The fever was gone but she was cold and achy, and persistently tired. No one else at home or school seemed to be ill. The pieces weren't fitting together for me and I couldn't squelch the worry. 

When we arrived at the hospital Wednesday afternoon, I was prepared to put up a fight. I assumed they would assure me it was viral and I would tell them that my mom intuition was worth more than their medical degree and we would duke it out until they agreed to run more tests. That was not the case. 

The doctor listened carefully to the history and looked over the rash. Then, he put on a worried face and told me the situation was quite concerning. He wanted to repeat the labs and thought it best that we be admitted so we would be in the hospital when the results came back. 

We were being admitted. Admitted. The word kept creeping through my mind. They were keeping her. Worry level: Intense

Fish, post I.V. and lab draw.
  Thursday passed slowly. We visited with her medical team. They saw no sign of a blood infection or blood cancer. That tamed the worry monster a bit. We visited with the infectious disease team. They opted to treat for a tick-borne illness. We've seen nary a single tick since last fall and have no reason to believe she's had contact with one, but it's the most likely match for her symptoms so she's on the antibiotic, just in case. 

This morning they confirmed that she does not have HIV, the common cold, the flu, or a respiratory virus. None of these were on my radar, but it's official now. So now, we wait for the rheumatology team to evaluate and see if they think there could be some autoimmune process taking place. 

Worry level: Moderate  
The alpaca show was absolutely awesome and we all want one. ("We" does not include the Big Guy. He could not be bothered with the alpaca show because he is apparently anti-alpaca.) When we get rich, we plan to have an alpaca farm and we're going to sit around dip-dyeing our alpaca fleece and spinning it into the most amazingly soft yarn to knit with. We'll knit the day away in our rocking chairs (without wheels) while we watch our alpacas play in the fields. (We'll sure miss the Big Guy.)

*Rocket chair: a rocking chair on wheels designed to launch the tired and unsuspecting parent cattywampus

A few days after Fish was discharged from the hospital, her lab results confirmed a positive diagnosis for Parvovirus B19, aka 'fifth disease'. It is not known why this virus hit her so hard. She has since developed pityriasis rosea, a non-contagious rash that is thought to be the result of a virus, and a new round of petechiae. She is continuing care with the infectious disease team and will not have P.E. the rest of the year. (She is incredibly satisfied with that decision.)

1 comment:

  1. I'm worried about her now too. What a horrid week you all have been having - especially Trish (Fish?). I hope you get answers soon and that they aren't at all worrisome and can be dispatched easily. I'm so excited about your imaginary alpaca farm!!