For about a week, he was really whiny, not much appetite, but then at times he would seem to perk up and be fine. I thought he just had a virus that would go away. But after a week of him still not being himself, I took him up to the express clinic at Smith's above my house.
I told the nurse that he had been complaining of a sore throat and his neck hurting and I thought he may have strep. She checked his ears and told me that he had a very slight ear infection (I still question if he really did since he has never had an ear infection before). She said normally she wouldn't treat them because they were just barely infected, but since he had been sick for a week, she would give me some amoxycillin and that should take care of it. She didn't do a strep test or even look down his throat cause she said if he had amoxycillin then that would take care of any strep as well. She said he would be much better by monday (this was friday).
He really hadn't eaten very much for a few days. However, he perked up a bit on Saturday morning, but crashed again on saturday afternoon and night. Sunday the same - he was good for the morning, and then didn't feel good again that afternoon. Monday came and he was still pretty whiny, so I took him back up to the clinic. She took one look at his neck and saw a bulge on the right side and said 'get him to his pediatrician.'
So, I took him to the pediatrician, and by this time Lance was pretty happy and acting quite normal. The doctor said based on how Lance was acting he seemed ok, but when he asked Lance to look up at the ceiling, he couldn't, and so he said to be on the safe side I needed to take him up to Primary Children's Hospital to get a CT scan of his neck to see if he had an abcess in his throat.
So we went up to Primary's, and sure enough the CT scan showed about an inch and a half absess down his throat. They said they would need to go in and surgically drain it. They said it was a pretty simple procedure that would take about 15-30 minutes and then he would go recover for a day or two on the floor and go home.
They took Lance into surgery and that was about the most terrifying hour ever. It is so scary knowing your baby is in surgery and you can't do anything about it. Well, the surgery took double what they said it would, and when the doctor came out he said his throat was about 60% swollen shut, and so they had to intubate him and he would be spending the night in the P-ICU. They were not expecting the absess and infection to have spread to his throat, and so that is why a simple procedure turned out to be a lot more complex. The interesting thing here is that when the doctor first saw Lance he thought he looked too well to need surgery. So he went and looked at his scan again to make sure surgery was the correct option. He came back and told us it was. Then after surgery when the doctor came and spoke with us, he said it was a good thing we got him in when we did, because his throat would have continued to swell up more and more until he wouldn't have been able to breathe. A few more days, and it could have been a bad situation.
I went into the doctor for a follow up this week, and the labs came back and I was able to find out that the cause of the absess was due to a staff infection he had unluckily picked up somewhere. The staff infection had spread to his mouth and tonsils, forming an absess.
It was absolutely heartbreaking to see Lance like this. Even looking at the picture it still makes me feel sick to my stomach and breaks my heart. The worst part was that the sedation did not work very well on Lance, and so he kept thrashing his body (and his hands were tied down) and they had to keep rolling him back over, and his eyes would open and just look at us like "what is going on?"
Originally they didn't know if the tube would have to stay in for 1 day or several days, but luckily for us, Lance is a fighter and they ultimately decided his throat infection couldn't get better with the tube in because he kept thrashing his body around. They took it out after 14 hours, and things from there on out went great. We stayed in the hospital for another day and a half for him to take his IV antibiotics and steroids and to make sure he was recovering ok. Besides being incredibly angry, Lance was a trooper. At one point, the child life specialist came in and asked him what his favorite color was and he said "black cause he was mad!" He just wanted to go to "Lance's house!"
(These are pictures of Lance in the waiting room in the ER waiting for the surgery to start. He perked up a little bit once he got to go to the toy closet and pick out a toy!)
(coming out of surgery)
Day three in the hospital - Spencer was such a trooper staying the night with Lance. I got to the hospital and got off the elevator and thought I heard Lance's voice so I turn around to see this. Lance was not happy, he was yelling at everyone "I WANT TO GO HOME!"
I spent the day with him and tried to perk him up by letting him play the "big shape game!"
Eat chicken nuggets and french fries for breakfast!
Play in the big play room!
And go outside on a wagon ride.
And finally - we got the discharge papers! Hurray for going back to Lance's house!
This was definitely not the way I wanted to spend my week, or anything I wanted my child to have to go through. It was stressful, but more than that, it just made me so sad to see my child in pain.
I am extremely grateful for priesthood blessings. Spencer's dad came and gave Lance the most incredible blessing at the hospital that definitely helped us all to feel at peace. I am also extremely grateful that we live within a 15 minute drive to one of the best Children's Hospitals in the country, and for modern medicine. Lance went from extremely sick to extremely healthy in 3 days. We are so lucky that he is better now. Love you Goose!
(This is a picture of him a few days later, wow what a miraculous change in such a short amount of time!)