Saturday, November 17, 2012

Busy Two Weeks

The last two weeks have been crazy for us. Wednesday the 7th, I was just about to get Raul up for school when I heard gagging. I jumped up to get to him since he hadn't gagged since before his surgery in Cincinnati, and when I got there he threw up a large amount of formula. A few seconds later he started throwing up straight blood. It was like a horror movie, bubbling up out of his mouth and ending up all over his crib and the floor. Along with the blood he lost about 8 inches of esophageal lining. It came out as a full tube, and we brought it to the hospital in a bag with us for them to see (no one there had ever seen that happen before). I panicked, and called my mom who came right over. We knew we would have to take him to the ER, but at that point decided we needed to call 911 as we didn't feel comfortable trying to drive him ourselves. By the time they arrived, it had stopped, but he was still gagging on mucus so they had to suction him and give some blow by oxygen. Raul was actually pretty excited when we went outside and he saw the firetruck and ambulance with lights flashing! It still took a while to get to the hospital due to rush hour traffic, but much faster than if we had driven. Raul liked how the driver got to honk and use the siren!

When we got to the hospital he was quickly taken to an acute bed, and assessed. They did an abdominal and chest x-ray, and placed an IV (after a few tries). We were up to the PICU very quickly after that. There he was mostly monitored, and we only had to stay one night. They did an upper GI study then, which showed a new esophageal stricture, only three weeks after his last surgery. He was acting really lethargic when we were going to be discharged, so they decided to keep him a few hours longer, but then he perked back up and we went home. The next day he had a temp. of 103 and we were sent back to the ER. This time they didn't even run labs, just said he looked okay and sent us home (after a few hours of waiting).

Resting in the PICU
He did okay through the weekend, but was starting to gag a lot again like before he had his first esophageal dilatation. I was having to suction him frequently through the night and morning. Monday morning he had another 103 temperature, and I called his doctors saying something needed to be done, as his gagging and choking was getting so severe and dangerous. We were sent back to the ER to consult with pediatric surgery this time. Surgery decided to admit him to monitor his airway until they could do a dilatation for his esophagus. They did another x-ray to make sure he had not gotten aspiration pneumonia after all the gagging (which would explain the fevers). That was clear, and his blood work was mostly normal. He had low sodium though so they added a sodium IV and sodium tablets.

Getting ready to head down to surgery

We were admitted to the regular floor this time, and they monitored him over night. The next day he had his dilatation late morning. They were surprised to find that he was not actually as tight as the upper GI had shown or his symptoms indicated, but they did dilate his full esophagus to see if it would help. He had a horrible time waking up from anesthesia this time, and was screaming, hitting, and flailing for a long time even after receiving multiple medications. He did have some gagging that day, and the next morning, but hasn't since, which is great!

In the OR holding room

Later that evening he spiked a temp. of 104, and his HR was in the 200's for a good amount of time, as high as 226. This worried everyone, and they took a blood culture and more labs. He got tylenol, but still cannot have motrin due to the GI bleed. He was also put on multiple antibiotics. He was so hot, I got hot just standing next to him. We were supposed to be discharged the next morning, but this fever bought us another day/night in the hospital. He continued to have some lower grade fevers, but was fever free when discharged and luckily still is now. They did a viral panel, urine culture, and blood culture, but we still don't really know what made him so sick. His skin was looking really good, but before discharge they did a couple cultures just to make sure he still has the same bacteria and that the antibiotics will work if it were a skin infection.

Watching TV while he had his high fever. You can't tell in the pictures, but he turned really red from being so hot.

We came home Thursday afternoon, and are so happy to be out of the hospital! Raul went to school Friday since he had been fever free, and apparently was very happy to be back there too. His teacher said he did well during circle time, paid attention to the other kids, and even matched his picture to a shape like they do for attendance. He has been happily playing at home, and seems to be feeling a lot better, other than the antibiotics giving him some stomach trouble. Hopefully this will be the end of the medical saga for a while, and we can get back to our normal routine!

Playing this morning


  1. Caroline,you are such a strong woman! You have all my respect and admiration! Raul it's so lucky to have you by his side every moment! Thank you for everything you do for our little romanian boy! Raul big hug and stay strong,we pray for you sweet boy!
    Love,Lavi and Ivy

  2. Oh Raul! He is just too sweet to have to endure all of this. So glad he is doing better and back to school.

  3. Caroline, I feel so bad that Raul has to go through all of these scary things, but thank God he has you with him by his side! God bless you! <3

  4. caroline you are an angel sent from heaven to be in Raul's life. God bless you and this precious little boy.

  5. You are amazing Caroline!