Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Blood Test Results

I really should have begun this post last Wednesday. I received a call from the doctor late Wednesday afternoon but didn't know it at the time. I'd taken the boys to the scholastic book fair. Everything there was on sale. Everything we bought was 50% off, and for scholastic books, that's a killer deal! But it was loud in their warehouse and so I hadn't heard my phone ring.

The doc left a message saying the results had come in and for the most part, everything looked good except that it had shown Cody had had strep in the last little while. He said if he hadn't of been treated with antibiotics recently, that we should put him on them just to make sure it was cleared up. He said he was the on-call doc that night so I could call him and talk more if I wanted to. But of course, that was the craziest day for us and I didn't have a second to call until 10:15 that night. So I waited until he was in the office today to call.

Funny thing though, or maybe you'd call it ironic, that this past weekend Cody wasn't feeling the greatest. Saturday morning Cody was up early and ready to head to the park for a good run. I told him to take it easy if he couldn't breath and walk it out, then start to jog easily again. About twenty minutes after they left, Hunter rode his bike home as fast as he could to tell me Cody couldn't breath. So I headed over to the park. Apparently Cody had run about half way around, taking little breaks, and by the time he reached the back side, he couldn't breath. So he walked back and sat under a tree. He was ok, just scared him a bit. We also watched Blakeley that morning, and everything was fine. Cody had her out feeding the chickens with her, and walked her all over to see all the animals. But that afternoon he started complaining that he wasn't feeling right. And by that night he had chills, a stomach ache, and when he was in the tub, we found the hives had returned on his lower back, legs, and arms. So I gave him a Claritin. And wondered if he over did it with the running this morning. When he starts something, he always goes full board.

Sunday morning the hives were mostly gone, but his throat hurt. His tonsils were enlarged, it was all red and he was draining mucus like crazy. (Gross, I know. Sorry.) I knew it was strep again. But I didn't take him in. Cody agreed to wait until Tuesday when we could talk to his doctor who knows what's going on and get the meds then, rather then take ANOTHER strep culture and take the chance of it showing negative. Cody felt somewhat better by that afternoon, was OK on Memorial Day, and went to school today. I know he has strep, but apparently he's had it for three months now and has been around everyone without getting them sick, so ya, I sent him to school.

I called and left a message with the doc's nurse to have him call me when he got off tonight. Which he did. I love that the doctor personally calls me and I can actually get a straight answer from him instead of beating around the bush with nurses. It's SO nice!!

He again said Cody's blood work all looked really good. In fact, it showed his levels like inflammation and such were lower then last year's tests. The Epstein Bar test was negative. And the only thing that showed up was he'd had a recent strep infection. I asked how recent the test would mean, and he said, "Oh, about two or three months ago."


Cody's pediatrician agreed back In February that it was weird it was negative when he took it. He, too, thought it was back. Especially when he kept having reoccurring hives and foot pain. That's why he started having me keep the daily journal on Cody. But the other pediatrician I had to take Cody into for a strep test with when our doc was out, saw that we'd just come in for the test and it had shown negative then, too, and when another one showed negative, she acted like it was all in my head. Makes me want to go back and say, "See, it wasn't all in my head! I know my kid, and knew he had it!"

Sorry, just needed to vent. This uncertainty has been building for months.

Anyways, so I then told the doctor how Cody wasn't feeling good Saturday, and by that night his hives were back, swollen  red throat by Sunday, and wasn't feeling good again. He said he'd call in antibiotics, and to keep up the asthma treatments for four more weeks. But he also wanted us to take Cody to see a Rheumatologist. He said it's weird how he keeps getting the hives so often and his feet hurting. He said this is more of an auto immune disorder and wants this kind of a specialist to take a look at Cody, and then to let him know what we find out. I appreciated his honesty and his concern for Cody, but hearing that made me sick. I worry that Cody has rheumatoid arthritis. I've honestly worried about this since last year when it was first mentioned as an explanation of why Cody's feet hurt and he couldn't get rid of the strep. I'm hoping that this doctor will just say; 'Oh we just need to take Cody's tonsils out and then he'll be just fine'. But I don't think it's going to be that easy.

I talked with Cody about this after I hung up with the doctor. He took it well. He said he's not scared at all.

I'm ready to bawl.

I wish I had the strength that Cody has. He's praying that they can just take his tonsils out and it will solve everything. And so that he can eat as much ice cream and Popsicles as he wants. Ha ha! He makes me smile.

And so, here's the plan. Start Cody on antibiotics tomorrow and continue his asthma treatments for another four weeks. Wait for the Rheumatologist's office to call to schedule yet another doctor's appointment. And try to live normal so that Cody doesn't see how worried I am becoming.

I love that kid.

(Here's a little FYI... we got the bill for Cody's blood work. They ran fourteen different tests. The bill was for $1016.00. Holy cow! Thank goodness we have good insurance for the boys right now. Another blessing in disguise.)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The First Result

This morning Cody and I arrived back at the hospital at 8:00 am for another blood draw to finish out his series of tests. He was not looking forward to this one. After being poked over and over yesterday unsuccessfully, he just wanted this part to be over with. Ya can't blame the poor kid.

Luckily, it went well today. So well that we were in and out in about 20 minutes. They were able to find a good vein right off and get it done. Cody held my hand this time as they stuck him. He looked like he wanted to cry, but was strong. I, of course, snapped a picture before it was over. I have a problem with that, I know.

The phlebotomist told us more of what kind of tests were being ordered. A bunch of allergy tests, blood cell counts for the arthritis, and Epstein Bar test, and a test to show if there was abdominal swelling. I'm not sure what that last one is for, but we'll see. Again, results will take about a week.

Around 3:45 I got the call on his x-ray. They said everything looked completely normal. Phew!! I was so relieved to hear this. My Dad was there when I got the call so I immediately told him. He stopped by today for two reasons - first, to see if we knew anymore on Cody. And second - to check out our flooding from Saturday night and make sure our basement was OK. He loves us and is always worried about us. Makes me feel good.

(And yes, I still need to post about the ditch flooding over Saturday night and flooded our place out back real bad. Luckily it didn't flood our basement yet. But somewhere under ground are hundreds of gallons of water. The ground is still squishy out back. We're hoping we don't end up with a huge sink hole somewhere, or the basement filling up.)

So for now, we sit tight and wait on blood tests results and start his asthma pills and inhaler that was prescribed. We picked those up tonight. Yesterday I received a call from the pharmacists saying the meds would be $230. But after they talked to the doc and got off brand names, we were in it About $9.47. A small blessing in life, but a big one in another way.

Monday, May 13, 2013

What Is Going On?

This day did not turn out at all how I was thinking it would. I thought we'd have different results and different answers then we got, but we didn't. To sum it up....

Cody and I spent the day at the hospital with an allergist. After months of hives reoccuring this year, and his feet hurting again, although not as sevier as last year, we finally got a referral to see an allergist.

We went through Cody's medical history from the last 16 months. From his severe strep throat and scarlet fever, to his feet swelling and not able to walk, to the hives he's had off and on since then. The hives have hit him hard since February of this year. The allergist says he's not worried about his feet swelling and hurting, or his hives that he gets almost every week. Turns out that's just his body's way of reacting to the viruses and infections he gets when he's sick. The hives can last for months afterwards. Weird... I know.

But then he started searching deeper into the medical book I had to fill out about Cody and what he's allergic to, his surroundings like animals, mold, gas furnaces and such at home, his family medical history, and so on. He did the allergy testing on him. You know, the scratch test, and tested him on 15 different types of allergies. The ones that stood out were only minimal and were for trees like maple and walnut. But yet, Cody has a lot of drainage down the back of his throat and hasn't been sick lately. So he ordered a lot of blood work to check more specifically on allergies and run the rheumatoid arthritis again.

Dang it!! I was hoping we were done with that one!

He also checked him for asthma. He did a computerized breathing test and it showed his lung capacity was only at 62%, which is pretty low. Normal range is high 80's to 90's. So they did the albuterol breathing treatment, treating it just like it was asthma, and tried two more computerized breathing tests. Again the readings showed about 62%. Even the doctor was surprised it didn't go up. He said it could still be asthma related and caused by allergies that hopefully the blood tests would show. He prescribed a pill to take at night for six weeks to help open up the lungs, besides an inhaler to use if his breathing was difficult, and said to try and loose a little weight and exercise more to open up the lungs and see if this works. Then he ordered an x-ray of his chest, and then finish with the lab work. The x-ray results will be in tomorrow, and the labs in a week. He wants to see us back in six weeks.

I worry about the x-ray. I'm praying it doesn't show a mass or something that's causing the shortness of breath. And trying to get the labs done was hard. Long story short, we were in the lab for 45 minutes trying to find veins that would work to fill four viles of blood. Cody was dehydrated from not drinking enough water at school, plus the albuteral can make veins hide. So after filling one vile, his vein collapsing, and two more unsuccessful and painful pokes, we gave up and said we'd try again in the morning before school. Poor Cody was trying so hard to be strong through this last part. But after being scratched, breathing treatments done, tested, x-rayed, and poked unsuccessfully, he was done. Not to mention we'd been at the hospital for three and a half hours. He remained strong, but one look at his big brown eyes, you could tell he was about to cry.

I never thought we'd be checking his lungs and find his are only working at 62% capacity. Never in a million years would I think we'd be doing that today. We were there for hives. Not asthma, or whatever is going on. But honestly, it makes sense. For years he's tired before everyone else when he's playing; or when Jared's training them with sprints and such; or hauling hay and struggled to breath in that dusty allergy filled air; or when he's at football practice doing the drills at the end and seeing how much he struggled with ladders. And even though he'd tell us and his coaches that he couldn't breath, he never gave up! I feel horrible that I didn't look into it more before now. But honestly, I didn't think it was that bad.

I feel like a horrible mom.

Cody got a blessing tonight. It talked about having faith and to find stories of people in the scriptures showing faith and using them as examples in his life. And also to work on controlling his anger. It said he was born with a kind heart and to use it for good. Which he usually does. He's just hot tempered if his buttons are pushed a certain way. It was a good blessing.

Tonight after we got home, I found a text from my good friend Rashelle. She explained that her husband Kent had cancer and was in the hospital. She doesn't know what kind it is yet, or what stage it's in, but should know tomorrow and asked for prayers. It made me literally sick to read this. Jared too. I haven't seen them for almost a couple years now. I've felt the last month I've needed to get up there but haven't done it yet. I pray everything goes well and he makes a full recovery.

What a day. You wake up thinking you are dealing with one thing, and it turns out to be another, and not with very good news. And then out of nowhere, your friend is texting you about the "C" word and her husband.  I know this life is full of trials to strengthen us, but sometimes I wish they wouldn't all hit at once. Or at all.

I'm going to have nightmares tonight. About the x-ray results. About Kent and Rashelle. About test results.

Sometimes you just need a good cry.