Posted in family matters by littlemissmel on the July 21st, 2010

So, where do I start? It’s been one hell of a week. Wait, it’s been two weeks that our life has been completely far removed from normal. Of course, the first half was the right kind, ideal. This last half? I’d rather be anywhere else.

A week ago Saturday, we headed to the Northern California beaches of Aptos. As I posted below with video, we had a glorious time. We went on a steam engine train ride, hit the Santa Cruz Boardwalk amusement park, played at the beach daily, and took much advantage of the heated pools and hot tubs on the resort property. Oh, and let’s not forget the golf carts that would take us ANYWHERE, well, on the property that is, including DOWN to the beach and back whenever we wanted to. We took advantage of this by roasting marshmallows for smores around a bonfire with friends and beers.

I don’t know if it was the convenience factor of where we stayed, but we really RELAXED and enjoyed each other because we weren’t schlepping around umbrellas, beach bags, kids, and sand toys up and down hills. The pools were warm, so no one complained about being cold when the fog rolled in. Our nights were filled with getting the kids to bed a little late than normal, sitting by the fire and reading (playing on the computer) and if any of you know me, I am a girl who loves her remote, so NOT being in front of the tv was a good escape for me. (and yes, choosing a computer isn’t too far removed, I KNOW….)

ANYWAY, let’s go back to, say, Thursday…..Ryan seemed run down. Hell, we had done SO much in such a short amount of time, his daily “down time” consisted of playing with his Leapster next to us in the den of our suite. His bedtimes were delayed due to getting his brother to fall asleep before we added another to the room. No day was typical, and that just might have been what brought on the rest of my story.

Friday morning: 4:45am. Ryan is standing next to the bed and says his head hurts. He said he hit it on something the night before. I knew he hadn’t and thought he had just been dreaming his pain was coming from some epic event. I pulled him into bed and noticed immediately his feet were on FIRE. I decided to get him back to sleep, but after he said he was thirsty, I got him some water and gave him some Motrin.

Fast-forward two hours. No sleep was had and his temperature was 101. Nothing major, but still a fever. What I was surprised about was his was SO HOT, but yet the temp didn’t agree. Anywho, the day went on, slowly and we medicated when needed. After he slept for THREE HOURS during quiet time, which is so far removed from anything he has done in the past 2 years, he started holding his head funny. He wouldn’t/couldn’t turn his head from side to side and said his head hurt badly again.

Not knowing what else to do besides medicate the fever, we decided on our way home Saturday to go to Urgent Care. They told us to go to the ER, since he was unable to rule out meningitis. At the ER, after blood work and a chest x-ray, he was diagnosed with pneumonia. An IV anti-biotic was given and we were sent home with another.

Next day, same issues with head and neck. Motrin was needed every 6 hours for the pain and the fever continued to come in around 100 degrees.

Monday, we were still concerned with the head and neck, so I made an appointment with the pediatrician. Well, not ours, since he was out of town, but another dude in the practice. I had been to him years ago when we first moved to town. He was fine, but all the mommies I had just met used another, so I switched. I know, TOTAL FOLLOWER.

After a stressful visit, no thanks to a certain 2 yr old who spent most of his time opening drawers “that were not his” as the doctor would say. For the love of God child, do as the man said, STOP OPENING THE DRAWERS. What came out of that appointment seemed even worse, let alone confusing.

He told us that Ryan had some bug, but also had Torticollis. (A wry neck.) Like in, he slept on it wrong, you suck for making your kid sleep on the floor the entire week of your vacation and now he has a stiff neck, AND he may have to do physical therapy if it doesn’t work itself out soon. And this is the queen bee of comments he made to me that day, “You know, I don’t mean to come off this way, but if I’m not worried about him, then there isn’t anything to worry about.” Basically, “I’m that good.”

You know what Dr. W.?, F U dude. You were wrong. SCARY wrong.

The next night, Tuesday, we spoke to our brother-in-law who is a family practice doctor out of state. He wasn’t happy that no one had ruled out meningitis yet, since we never did a lumbar puncture in the ER Saturday night. He INSISTED we wake Ryan up and head to the hospital. We didn’t want to be sorry. No, we didn’t. So we took him.

Well, hubs did. I stayed behind with Hunter and worried myself silly as to what could be happening. I got calls off and on that night updating me on what they thought of Ryan’s situation. The last call I made at midnight told me they thought it was an abscess and were going to give him a CT Scan to verify. The last call I received was from hubs at 1:30a.m. telling me, in fact, it WAS an abscess in his neck (which would actually be in his throat if we are being technical here.) And the real kicker to all of this was our hospital was not equipped with this type of PROCEDURE.

Do you hear me people? I heard PROCEDURE. And I also heard TRANSPORT via AMBULANCE.

Then, I was told to go back to bed to get some rest for the following day. (ya, OK.)

The following day, now Tuesday, I called hubs at 7a.m. to make sure THEY GOT THERE, and when the procedure was to take place. Of course, I woke hubs up since they did not get to the new hospital 20 miles away till 3 something and he didn’t fall asleep till 4:30am. Whoops.

Next call later, I was given the most crushing news. His procedure was SURGERY, going in through the throat to drain the puss ball and he would be in the hospital a total of TWO TO THREE DAYS. And to top it all off, Ryan was placed in the Pediatric INTENSIVE CARE unit to watch his vitals since the abscess was close enough to his airway and could hinder his breathing.

And this is where I lost it.

Too much. TOO MUUUUUCH. We were just on vacation as a family and now we’re here.

in a hospital.

for surgery.

on our boy.

I got my act together, called my mom for babysitting and headed down to the hospital soon after. Once I got there, we spent most of the day waiting for an OR. Our ENT said she would have done the surgery at 9am, but there was no place for us to go.

At 5:45p.m., there was.

29 minutes later the surgeon was telling us it went as well as it could. No tonsils were removed. 4cc of bacteria (goop) was removed and he should be.just.fine.

Day after surgery

And so far today, he is.

We should be heading home sometime tomorrow as long as the anti-biotics continue to do their job.


(Did I mention the way he got his bout of bacteria lodged back in his throat? THROUGH HIS NOSE. How on EARTH do you prevent that. Clearly, you don’t. Word to the wise, the beach has bacteria. Don’t smell it.)


  1. Oh for the love! This is no way to end a vacation! I’m SO very sorry you (and Rt, especially!) had to go through this! And what the flip about the misdiagnoses (as in PLURAL) everywhere?? Not like any of us have much faith in medical professionals these days anyway, but come on! We’re talking about a CHILD here! Surely someone somewhere could’ve gotten it right the FIRST TIME! Seriously. I know what the hospital ICU environment can be like with a small child and the stress and fear it puts on us mommas. Just hang in there and hopefully you’ll both be back home VERY soon (tomorrow, please!).

    So so sorry!!!

    Comment by mom2lo — July 21, 2010 @ 6:16 pm

  2. I’ve been following as this unfolds on Twitter and sending good thoughts your way–what an awful ordeal. So glad you trusted your instincts AND bro-in-law and that everything is now OK with the little guy! Hope he comes home tomorrow, healthy and well-rested.

    Comment by Joanna — July 21, 2010 @ 6:24 pm

  3. SO glad he’s OK. What a scary experience!

    Comment by Amanda Brown — July 21, 2010 @ 6:31 pm

  4. My goodness! The vacation sounds like heaven, the rest like hell. I’m so glad that he is feeling better and that it’s all behind you now. I hope you all get some much needed rest and are home soon.
    Thinking of you!

    Comment by Christina — July 21, 2010 @ 6:41 pm

  5. I am so glad you followed your gut and got him the help he needed and hope that everything is resolved now. Scary stuff, I’ve been thinking about you as I’ve seen stuff on Twitter and Facebook… had me worried for you guys!

    Comment by Jill — July 21, 2010 @ 6:53 pm

  6. Love you, little guy!

    Comment by Caroline — July 21, 2010 @ 8:25 pm

  7. I’m so glad he’s OK!! I was following your updates on twitter and have to admit I was getting a little worried…. Sending lots of healing thoughts Ryan’s way! xo

    Comment by Jora — July 21, 2010 @ 8:48 pm

  8. Oh my lord, I would have lost my mind. So much for that nice relaxing vacation, eh? I am very glad to hear the little guy is better.

    Comment by Elizabeth — July 22, 2010 @ 7:18 am

  9. Yay! You’re getting discharged! He will heal up fast. This is such an important example — we have to be our own advocates when it comes to health issues!

    (4cc’s? That’s a lot of goop!!)

    Comment by Marci — July 22, 2010 @ 11:50 am

  10. OH MY! I was SO GLAD it wasn’t meningitis. Reading this brought back AWFUL memories of my toddler’s temp spikes/ER,/ambulance transfer/hospital admission. GAH! (http://www.writrams.com/2010/01/15/no-mother-should-ever-have-to-resuscitate-her-baby/)

    I’m so glad you’re all OK. I’m sorry the vaca ended this way. However, look at that super cute hospital pic you got! :o )

    Comment by Jackie (WritRams) — July 23, 2010 @ 7:56 am

  11. Mother’s Intuition = 1
    Cocky Doctor = 0

    Comment by The Mama — July 23, 2010 @ 1:23 pm

  12. I’m so sorry to hear about this, but am SO glad that you trusted your instincts and kept at it and that he is okay because of it!

    My son is eight and has had nine surgeries. He has a LOT of issues, and one of them is that he gets really strange bacterial infections. He had one behind his ear one time (mastoid infection), he’s had bacterial pneumonia and a bacterial infection in his blood. He also had viral menengitis when he was a baby (not bacterial, thank goodness). I am a FREAK about bacteria now.

    Welcome to the PICU club, and I hope you never come back again! No offense, of course.

    Comment by Momo Fali — July 23, 2010 @ 3:31 pm

  13. Good lord, Liz! That’s crazy. I have to admit that it didn’t sound like pneumonia from what I heard at first. I mean, Max was totally blue and had a temp of 106 and his chest was heaving in and out in the scariest way you could ever imagine! I am so happy they figured out what was going on with Ryan.

    This just further proves you must always follow your gut and be your own medical advocate. I’m so sick of hearing of misdiagnosis and cocky doctors. xx

    Comment by 180|360 — July 24, 2010 @ 7:41 pm

  14. Thank God he is OK. THANK GOD. I was so stressed out for you guys reading about it last week! xoxo

    Comment by Rebecca (Bearca) — July 26, 2010 @ 9:59 am

  15. Oh my god, what a crazy scary story! I’m so sorry you all had to go through that! I hope he’s ok and feeling 100% by now, poor little guy!!

    Comment by Amanda — July 27, 2010 @ 3:45 am

  16. So glad he i better. I know how scary it is with a kid in the hospital, the worst. Take care!

    Comment by tuesday — July 27, 2010 @ 5:05 am

  17. i’m so glad he’s better. there is nothing worse than when your child is sick and you can’t will them to be well.

    Comment by gorillabuns — July 29, 2010 @ 10:23 am

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