Late Saturday Follow-Up

The fluid drawn from Will’s hip was tested to see if it was infected with the same type of bacteria they found in his blood last night.  Before getting to the results of that test, I need to tell you a little about that type of bacteria.

The pathogen that cultured in Will’s blood last night is a new one to this hospital, although they’re familiar with the general group of bacteria to which this one belongs.  They’ve told us that when they see kids with this type of bacteria in their blood, the kids are usually very, very sick – in intensive care, on blood-pressure drugs, and getting worse quickly.  Will, however, is doing pretty well other than his hip pain.  He’s got a low-grade fever, depressed appetite and some fussiness, but nothing like they expect to see from a kid with this type of bug.  We either caught it very, very early or Will is a tough little guy, or both.

Also, they have no idea how he might have caught this thing, nor do they know where in the body it may have started.  They do know that it’s in his blood, and – yes – in the fluid in his hip socket.

After the fluid test came back positive for infection, they immediately began preparing us for surgery.  The procedure they planned would open up a small incision in his hip socket, insert a tube, and flush the socket with saline, repeatedly and completely, to remove all traces of the infected fluid.   They started him on a dose of IV antibiotics, and waited for him to wake up a bit from the previous sedative, which was taking several hours.  Unfortunately, as they sheepishly admitted after waiting about 90 minutes, they had overdosed Will on his anesthetic and his antibiotics.  They had dosed him based on a weight of 11.2 kilograms, instead of 11 pounds, 2 ounces, so they gave him roughly twice as much as needed.  Luckily – very luckily – they needed almost that much to completely sedate him, so there was no harm other than a longer awakening and recovery from the fluid extraction.

As we waited for Little Willpower to awaken, we shed some tears – it’s hard to see him with oxygen tubes in his nose and IVs and monitors.  Grandpa Bill and Grandma Lois and Aunt Susan and Great-Grandma Jean came to visit.  And we waited, and waited, and waited.

The surgeons eventually stopped by at about 5 PM, and told us that they weren’t going to be able to do the surgery this evening until at least 10 or 11 PM, so they wanted to wait until morning.  Given that Will was already doing so well in fighting this otherwise-powerful bacteria, and given that they withdrew so much fluid from his hip via aspiration, they wanted to wait, evaluate him overnight, continue to hammer him with antibiotics, and schedule the surgery for first thing Sunday morning.  It’s a possibility that, when they check him in the morning, if he’s still doing so well and his blood tests indicate that the antibiotics are beating the bacteria, that surgery may not be necessary.  In addition, due to the strangeness of the bacteria and Will’s unexplained resistance to it, they want the infectious diseases people to examine him tomorrow as well.

So they’ve moved us up the second floor at Cardinal Glennon, and Pam is snoring on the pull-out couch, and I’m looking at him trying to figure out how we started this process concerned about constipation and ended up admitted to the Hospital with a hip surgery scheduled for tomorrow morning.   Will is sleeping peacefully and comfortably, having just gobbled five ounces (his appetite seems fine tonight).  We can’t feed him after midnight, so we’re in for a long night of hunger fussiness, in addition to the anxiety.

We know that there are so many of you out there praying for our little guy.  Thank you, and we’re sorry we haven’t been able to call each of you with every update.  Keep checking here, as we’re going to be in the hospital until at least Monday even without surgery, and I’m going to try to keep posting updates as we learn them.  There’s a new album of just pictures from this (mis-)adventure here, and I’ll keep adding photos from my phone as I can snap them.

2 thoughts on “Late Saturday Follow-Up”

  1. Pam and Gordy, We are praying for you at the Stippich house. Thank you for keeping us posted. I am glad you are coputer savy and can do these updates remotely. I will be ckecking the site several times today just like I have the last couple of days. I love you all. Karen Stippich

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