Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Way Back When-esnday

Both of these pictures were taken in October 2007. I took Gavin for his very first immunizations on Monday October 8, 2007. He ran a low grade fever the following days (which is expected), but when it hadn't gone away by Tuesday, October 16, I called the doctors office. She told me his fever should have subsided by then and to bring him in. She couldn't find anything that would cause him to have a fever, but she did hear a heart murmur. She sent us to Woman's Hospital to have bloodwork done to determine if he had a bacterial infection of some sort. What we found was the beginning of a VERY long, exhausting road. Gavin's hemoglobin was a 5 (supposed to be 12), and she sent us to Our Lady of the Lake Children's Hospital immediately for admission. (Hemoglobin is the portion of the red bloods cells that carries oxygen through out the body.) Their we met with Dr. Hixon, a pediatric cardiologist. He was the doctor on call for the unit. They also noted on admission that he had high blood pressure, (his systolic, or top number, was in the 150's, and his diastolic, or bottom number was in the 90's). That's a high blood pressure for an adult, so especially high in an infant, their systolic should be in the 90's and diastolic in the 60's. Dr. Hixon and Dr. Narainge called in Dr. Sheila Moore and Dr. Jeffery Deyo. They are both pediatric Hematologist/Oncologists. They asked us a million questions and ran alot of tests. They even did a bone marrow biopsy to rule out Leukemia. Every test they ran kept coming back negative, which was great, but frustrating at the same time. They did determine that his body was destroying it's own red blood cells. He received 3 blood transfusions and his hemoglobin reached up to 12.3. After they had ran all the test they could they discharged him from the hospital on October 25 with instructions to see them in their office on the following Monday. When we went back, his hemoglobin had dropped down to a 7.7. Dr. Moore started him on a really high dose of corticosteroids, and his hemoglobin started climbing back up, slowly but surely. He was then diagnosed with Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia. They had previously tested him for that in the hospital and the test came back negative. Dr. Moore then explained that the test isn't always 100% conclusive, and since he was responding the treatment for the autoimmune hemolytic anemia, that is what he had. The cause of why he developed this is still unknown, and he still takes a very small dose of the corticosteroids, but his hemoglobin stays in the 11-12 area and we are still decreasing the dose. Hopefully he will be completely off the steroids by his 2nd birthday (or sooner :) and his hemoglobin will stay up. I have been told that children who develop this usually out grow it. It was also determined that the high blood pressure was secondary to the anemia. With a low RBC count and a low hemoglobin, his heart was pumping extra hard to supply more blood, which caused his blood pressure to go up. He is still taking the blood pressure medication, which is now due to the corticosteriods. So, hopefully when he's off the steriods, he will be able to get off of the blood pressure medication as well.

Taken on Halloween 2007 Taken while he was in the hospital

4 comments:

BoufMom9 said...

Oh wow. I had no idea about all of that. How scary fr new parents to deal with a sick baby. So glad they figured it out quickly and he is doing so well.
Welcome to Way Back Whens-day!

Jules said...

Oh Leah - those days must have felt like the longest in your life. So glad that they finally figured out what was going on. It's like a Catch 22 - you don't want them to find anything but at the same time, you want answers.

Glad to hear he's doing well though and with him being such a trooper, I'm sure he'll be off his meds before his 2nd birthday :)

Cheryl Lage said...

Wow Leah...you are one amazing mama with one amazing family.

Your babies are precious...thank you so much for playing along with Way Back When-esday! :)

Hilary said...

Wow Gavin is a strong boy and so is his Mommy!!