I left off describing our night and Isaac's pain, but I want to back up a bit and talk about the mention of autoimmune diseases (Crohn's, for one) during the doctor's appointment, and acknowledge that that was obviously a bit alarming to us. I know very little about these things and I'm probably misspelling every medical term, too. Sorry. Please do correct me if I'm off in my spelling or definition or understanding of anything medical. At this point we know only that Crohn's is a chronic thing he would be dealing with for the rest of his life. Mark had looked up some things, but my knowledge was strictly based on what the doctor had explained and my friend Michelle (my personal medical consult) had described.
Mark and I sat on the couch and cried and prayed together that evening. My tears were because watching my son in that much pain was really difficult. Mark was worried about all the what-if's down the road. Mark had decided to stay home from work the next day (Tuesday) because he was very much needed in transporting Isaac up and down the stairs, and because we were a bit worried and overwhelmed.
Children's called the next morning (Tuesday, April 12) to schedule an appointment, but didn't have an opening until the following Monday. Um, yeah. I'm on this end of that phone conversation trying to picture Isaac in that much pain for one more week, without the okay to even take ibprofen. So I asked to speak with a nurse to talk about pain management or anything we could do to make him more comfortable (ice? heat? elevating his limbs? I know nothing about joint pain.) The nurse I spoke to listened to my report on how Isaac was doing/how much pain he was in, and suggested that our primary pediatrician call the specialist at Children's to talk that over, or determine if we needed to come in sooner (via using the ER). She gave me a phone number and an extension.
I called to speak with the doctor we'd seen the previous day to supply him with details and the phone number. He was out but I spoke with his very-thorough nurse Becky, who said she'd give the doctor the details on how Isaac was doing and get back to me. She called within five minutes and told me that they were sending Isaac's lab results ahead and that we should take him to ER at Seattle Children's. Okay, then. (Basically, I think they were just trying to force their hand to see him sooner.)
This was all kind of a whirlwind, obviously. I had been trying to make pancakes for the kids but was interrupted by all the phone calls, and then suddenly needed to get all of us out of the house. My mom said she'd take our other kids, so we had them pack up their school stuff and then dropped them off at her house with our griddle, the pancake batter and some lunch stuff. Then Mark went to get gas and I showered, collected stuff for us, and we hit the road.
|Isaac in the ER|
The supervising ER doctor came in to check him, too, and seemed a little more reluctant to think autoimmune just because there is no family history and because all of his symptoms didn't seem to line up (no fever, no stomach PAIN). She mentioned it maybe being viral, but said she thought they'd know more "what track to go down" when they got the lab results.
The nurse came to check his vitals and gave ibprofen (!!!) and Benadryl and said Isaac was running a low fever.
Dr. Ben came back in late that afternoon to go over the lab results with us and to tell us what direction they'd decided to go. He had been consulting with the Rheumatology specialists and the Gastro-specialists there at Children's and the rheumatology doctor at least thought it was less likely rheumatalogical (is that the right term?) and more likely a viral infection with the joint pain being a reaction to the virus. Apparently the sudden onset of the joint pain/arthritis/inflammation is unusual; usually it's a gradual climb.
PLAN: repeat the labs, add in a couple more labs, send us home with an anti-inflammatory prescription, and wait it out for 2 weeks. IF there's still joint pain at that time, Rheumatology will want to see him. So basically they were at that point going down the "It's-looking-like-a-viral-infection" track, and sort of moving the autoimmune options down the list. (Good news, I guess?)
Except that we still have no answers. And his symptoms are still the same. So we wait. Our doctors here in town want us to keep our appointment for next week, so we will see the Gastro-specialist on Monday and maybe will get more answers (or be able to rule out some things?) then.
[Part 4 is now here.]