October 26, 2007

Swelling Decreased

The swelling on James' neck has decreased significantly. The doctor agreed today when we had his check-up. We will continue to keep an eye on it but are very happy with the progress.

The doctor said it could take several weeks now for the swelling to decrease but we won't see him until next week.

Big sigh of relief. Those infectious diseases doctors really scared and impressed me at the same time. A good friend here remarked that they are like Dr. House from the TV show. Exactly.

October 25, 2007

We're Home!

Happy dance here! We're home now, showered and given orders to take the same antibiotics as before.

Thanks to everyone for your support and for those who visited Landon in the hospital too. He was so excited to get visitors.

We hopefully won't have to go in again but if he does not respond to these antibiotics within 48 hours we may have to again. Ugh. Please pray for James that he the mass on his neck significantly decreases within the next couple days.

Good Morning from the Hospital

We are sitting here watching morning cartoons. James is on par for spilling his juice all over his bed. Good thing they will change it soon.

James' neck is still swollen and I don't think it has reduced much in size. But it seems not as tender to the touch, and he can turn his head to look to the right, which is much better than before. At one point it was as if he had a neck brace on.

Talked with James' pediatrician just now. He says he will keep us until after the 12 o'clock antibiotic and then probably be released. So that means we'll be home by 5. It takes a while for the whole release procedure.

Thanks to all of you, our support here in Baltimore, and those who we can't see but are saying prayers for us and checking in. Although it hasn't been a serious illness...

Okay, I knew once I wrote this last line, I was asking for it. James' pediatrician just called again. He's speaking with the head of infectious diseases here at Hopkins, someone who trained him. They recommended the same oral antibiotic we had used with no progress last week. So they will take a look at him today and see what they think before releasing him.

Now my only concern is that since we are at a research hospital that they are using him as research and they won't just wait to see if it will go down on its own. I guess they take everything seriously. Big breath.

Stay tuned...

October 24, 2007

The Hospital Really is Like the Airport

And the room is like an airplane. You're contained and the sleeping is not great. James and I stayed last night and he awoke early this morning saying, "'Morning mom!". He's loving all the attention.

We really aren't supposed to use cell phones but they said they would be lenient. Lee will be coming again tonight after work with more supplies for us. We do think we'll be staying another night (Wed. night). They are giving him IV antibiotics every 6 hours. We have had many visits from doctors, including one from his pediatrician's office already this morning. I really feel like he is in the best care.

His pediatrician made a surprise visit last night, as they moved us from the Pediatric Emergency to the 6th floor where we are now. He's always lively and SO good with James. We are very fortunate.

James is not acting any different - still bouncing around this morning, jumping on his bed, talking potty talk, and spilling his hot chocolate.

He is enjoying all the attention still and thinks it's great to have breakfast in bed.

If you live close by and you'd like to visit, I know James would LOVE to have visitors! We are on the 6th floor of the children's ward at Hopkins. One of the numbers I have for the "unit" is 410-955-5250.

It's all an adventure but luckily he is acting normal and feeling relatively good. Although it doesn't make me want to take any long airline flights anytime soon.

October 23, 2007

Update for James

This blog posting is being written by a sub writer (Lee). I just got back from the hospital and the "mass" as the doctors call it is still there but the good news is, that after the CT scan and another blood test there is no change is diagnosis. The lymph node is just infected. Now the the doctors are going to play some antibiotics bingo to try and figure out which one is going to make the most impact on the infection. Of course it could have been caused by a virus in which case (we were told and confirm by the excellent web resource WEBMD) that the mass would go away over time. James and mom are going to stay overnight at the hospital and come home tomorrow but the fact that the diagnosis is the same a extremely good and I feel I can breathe a little easier now.

I have to say I have not been at the doctors 1/4 as much as my wife and son but I am already annoyed by the various doctors asking the same questions. Why can't one of them write it down and make it available to every department and doctor? It seems that the doctors from various floors are in their own unions and need to try to figure out the puzzle on their own or their union membership will be revoked. It's pretty interesting though as I have done a lot of research on-line so all the questions tie back to causes of why lymph nodes may become infected. One doctor asked if we had recently had someone stay with use that had recently been released from prison. She explained that she was checking for exposure to tuberculosis so that sounds like plausible question and given the city that we live in maybe not such a crazy question. I will say that the hospital staff has been great. Every person that I have had interaction with seems very qualified. I can see why this hospital is arguably the best in the USA.

I am sure that the normal writer will be back for the next post.

October 22, 2007

Making the Rounds

Today we had another dr. appt. for a follow-up. James' pediatrician thought he should be much more improved than he was. His neck was still tender to the touch, his range of motion although somewhat improved was not significantly better, and the lymph node is still visibly inflamed.

So the doctor called again this afternoon. Lee had called him mid-day to get more questions answered which I so much appreciated. The doctor said he talked with the ENT (ear, nose, and throat) specialist at Hopkins again, whom he spoke with on Friday about us. She thought it should be much better by now as well. So he said not to be surprised is he sends us back to Hopkins tomorrow afternoon for a CT Scan and possibly more IV antibiotics. Ugh. Well at least I know what we may be in for.

Poor James. He is unsuspecting and for all he cares would just as well go one with routine - playing and socializing. He doesn't seem to be affected too much by it - not lethargic whatsoever, although a bit of that may be nice. He's no longer running a fever that I can see today. The only indication is his temperament is a bit more disagreeable than normal and he gets tired so early in the evening. He's ready to go to bed at 6 o'clock.

Thanks for all of your words of encouragement. We are blessed to be surrounded by all of your love.

October 21, 2007

Marathon Photos

Jame and I cheered Daddy across the finish line. He managed to do it in under 4 hours too! And he won the first place prize from Under Armour. Quite the accomplishments for his first marathon.

Lee did the kids fun run and afterwards explained to me, "well it wasn't really a very long run mommy."

The most amazing part is that Lee wasn't even that sore the next 2 days! He's already signed up for the Portland Marathon next year.

October 19, 2007

Hospital Visit - Not what we expected for the day

Well, during our visit to the pediatrician's office, he took one look at James' throat and felt it and said, "I know you won't like this, but we need to get a CT Scan on this". He said it was hard and that concerned him. He then sent us to Johns Hopkins Pediatric Emergency Room to get it checked out.

Lee met us at the hospital. We held it together and I was proud. I think that helped in James' handling all of it - immensely. It was a trying day. They put in an IV, drew blood, had that tested, came back positive except for the inflammatory indicator, sent us to ultrasound. Ultrasound said that it wasn't an abscess (fluid filled and needing to be drained) necessarily but more like many inflamed lymph nodes all together there in the neck. Antibiotics was most likely.

Our pediatrician was fantastic, and even called to check up on us. I talked with him and he said we would do an IV antibiotic before we left and then oral antibiotics - strong antibiotics. He fell asleep during the hour long IV antibiotic drip so that was nice.

The worst part about today was the waiting, and waiting, and waiting. But James did get a slinky from the staff (he got to pick out of a box) and when we picked up the prescription, he got a special Transformer robot toy that his friend Jack has and he's always talking about.

Lots of love to our little boy tonight. We are shaken but happy to know what wonderful medical treatment we have in our backyard. Hopefully James feels better very, very soon. 6 1/2 hours in the hospital (or as James called it, the airport since it was so big) was not fun.

October 18, 2007

To the doctor again

Tomorrow morning I am taking James back to the doctor. I spoke with our doctor this evening and he said since he is now running a fever (of 100.4) that he is concerned his lymph node could be infected. So he may need to start antibiotics. No school for him tomorrow and it will be a low key day.

Ethiopian Roller Coasters

I doubt they have many roller coasters in Ethiopia. But we have had our share just in the past week. Last Wednesday I talked with our agency and they said it would be 5-7 months from referral to travel. This after we expected 7 weeks! So we were upset, disappointed, and frustrated once again with the process.

But after deciding to continue with the program, we sent in our Ethiopia dossier last Friday to our agency. They will review, make copies, send to the state dept. for certification, and then ultimately send to Ethiopia.

Yesterday we had an unexpected call from the director of the Ethiopia program. She said that she talked with those in Ethiopia and 5-7 months did indeed seem too long to them! It would be more like 1-3 months!

Yippee! So we could possibly be headed to Ethiopia at the beginning of next year, as we had hoped. Better start getting those shots. We actually did start the Hep A/B series Tuesday, and the Yellow Fever shot. I hate shots - but I hate blood work more. But it's better than getting sick when we travel.

Next step for the adoption is to wait for our agency to get approval from Ethiopia. Then they will begin the matching! It really is getting close, and could possibly happen in October, although more realistically in November. Probably while we're on our South America cruise!

Landon's doctor also called last night as well to tell us his blood counts were high and he also does not have mono. So happy cheers all around! She said to just bring him in for a check up in a couple weeks if the swelling has not gone down.

Have you been praying for us lately? This is all too good to be true. Of course it's wonderful to have friends and family to count on. At tennis yesterday with my good friend comforting me, our tennis coach said he would say some prayers for Landon. He said, in his inner-city way, "me and God are tight. We have a relationship, you know what I mean. I'll do some serious praying that Landon will be all right. Just release it into his hands. Then let's play some tennis". I then went on to play some of my best tennis ever.

October 16, 2007

Traumatic Day

Today I took James to the doctor after his neck was hurting for the past couple days. They gave us a med student whom asked all kinds of thorough yet annoying questions. I tried to be patient but then she felt a bump beneath his ear and said, "did you notice that bump?!" I told her no, and then asked her what she thought it was. "I don't know! We'll have to ask the doctor!" I suddenly felt like I was in an episode of Grey's Anatomy where they were hoping it was something very interesting to take a look at.

Well I was freaked. I instantly thought it was some sort of cancerous cyst. I was crying and they weren't much help. James had to have blood taken and that was horrible. He just laid there covering his face with tears streaming out saying, "it hurts, it hurts". We'll get the results for I-don't-know-what in a day or two.

So if that wasn't enough, Lee and I had our turn coming. We had an appointment with a travel clinic to start our shots for travel to Ethiopia. It's as if we actually think it may happen someday - we may adopt. Really. So we need to get our Hep A/B shots started because they are a 3 part series that take over 6 months to complete. I wanted to be strong but I was scared. Still after what James had gone through that day, I had nothing to complain about. Lee and I had 2 shots each in our right arm - yellow fever and Hep A/B combo. Mine still hurts. I don't like shots, but I dislike having blood taken much more.

So after talking the day through with Lee tonight and him trying to reassure me that everything was find with James, I recycled through the last few days, trying to think through the many bumps and bruises and injuries James had incurred.

I now remember him hitting his neck on the banister for the stairs in the basement! Relief, high fives, I've never been so excited and happy about any injury of his. But I really think this was it. He just has a goose egg or inflammation/swelling from hitting the banister-end that day.

The whole emotional day just made me wonder if I really am prepared to have this much feeling stirred up in me. Are we ready to have this times 2, or possibly times 3? Sometimes this mom stuff is WAY more than I bargained for. It's so much caring!! :-)