I feel like I entered the twilight zone last weekend. Remember my post about hoping Sterling's ear infections made up the extent of our doctor visits this "sick" season. Well... it did not work out - not at all actually. Sterling then got himself a nice little case of hand foot mouth - complete with, as the doctor put it, very large ulcers in the back of his throat. Great. Along with this came a fever of 103.8. Nice. Then Stella spiked a fever - seemed to be the same thing maybe? Well, we assumed it was, until she started complaining her neck hurt. Knowing that could actually mean throat - which would make sense, I wasn't to concerned, until she pointed to it and it was on the backside behind her ear. Along with this, her eyes hurt, stomach hurt, etc. We decided to call her Dr. to try to make a weekend appointment, just to make sure it was the same thing Sterling had, and there wasn't something else going around our little house. When the nurse called back to schedule the appointment, she told us we needed to take her the the pediatric E.R. because her symptoms matched those of meningitis, and this marks the beginning of the end. Not realizing what a bad idea it would be to go to the pediatric E.R., we made our way downtown, a little concerned, but pretty sure she didn't have meningitis. We waited for two hours in the waiting room, while my poor mom who was in town held Sterling outside so that he didn't have to be in the room with all of the coughing, barfing, crazy other sick kiddos.
Finally, we were called back, and my mom and Sterling headed to the car to wait. The Resident checked Stella out, and said something about possibly getting her fluids because she looked "puny" and possibly testing for strep and H1N1. Next thing we knew, the nurses were in the room, prepping Stella for her IV. So, we knew the fluids weren't really a bad thing, Stella was pretty much refusing to drink... but it was torturous for her - and us.She was so good when they stuck her, didn't pull her arm or flinch at all, but her jaw dropped to the ground and the tears started flowing. She was totally caught off guard. Luckily, the nurses let Andy hold her the whole time, and she and he eventually fell asleep next to each other on the little bed. When the doctor started talking about her possibly having the flu - I asked what it would mean for my 8 month old son if she tested positive.
He said, oh, he probably needs to be tested as well. I mentioned he was outside and he said to go check him in, bring him back, and they could test him too while we were already there. Sounded terrific to me. Perfect to get it all done in one nice little trip - rather then having to wait in some waiting room for another two hours. I went and got Sterling, brought him back, and they tested him for the flu. Never tested Stella. Hmm... we asked about that, and the nurses just said that the Dr. hadn't ordered her test yet... So then we hear that both Stella's strep test, and Sterlings flu test are negative. This is where it really gets crazy. So they say they want to Get some blood from Sterling to test. (They had already taken a sample from Stella's when they were putting in her IV. I was a little unsure why they wanted to test Sterlings blood. If he didn't have the flu then we weren't worried. It was just his hand foot mouth. No tests required for that - allready diagnosed.) When the nurse came in to get some blood, she said that they were going to put an IV in so that in case his blood work came back high, they wouldn't have to poke him again. (Are you kidding me... instead of doing a simple foot prick you are going to put an IV in his hand!!! They could tell we were a little hesitant on the situation and tried to insure us that it was the easiest way to go about it all.) So, they attempted to get an IV in... unsuccsessfully. Poor Sterling was not to fond of the whole experience at all!! Apparently he has veins like me... very very hard to get needles into. Finally they settled for a foot prick, but had to squeeze forever because Sterling is "not a good bleeder". They also ordered a chest x-ray. I could have told them he didn't have pneumonia, but they needed to see for themselves. At least Sterling enjoyed this part. They strapped him into a chair, and he smiled and smiled at me through the window. So cute. Obviously, those came back normal. When the blood work finally came back - his counts were elevated. (well duh - he had hand foot mouth!!) so they needed to grow out the culture to make sure it wasn't bacteria in his blood. Until it was grown out - they needed to treat Sterling as if there was bacteria - just in case. This meant and IV of big dog antibiotics. Great. Much screaming, one almost passed out mom, and angry grandma, and a ticked off dad, and two poked up kids later, we were able to leave the hospital, a whopping 9 hours later. Not fun. But thats not the end of the story. We had to bring Sterling back the next night for his second dose of the antibiotics. This time - no IV, just a shot in each leg. He still screamed his head off though, and it still took 3 hours. For a measly little dose of antibiotics. All to make his follow up appointment with his pediatrician to find out he is fine. It was just the hand foot mouth virus all along. Like we thought. We just wanted to make sure he didn't have the flu - if Stella did. She never even ended up being tested for it. Crazy... but both kids are now happy and healthy... so lets hope now that this is the last of it for us this season. Seriously!