Saturday, October 31, 2009

Update on Carter-Man

I first need to apologize it has been so long since I last updated about Carter. He has been through so much since the last update regarding the airway scope. He has come down with several infections and had seemed to overcome most of them until last Thursday. He seemed to be experiencing breathing issues and his heart rate was very elevated. Skip and I called 911 and they responded extremely fast. When Carter was discharged from the hospital, I had it notated in their systems about Carter's situation and his diagnosis and the fact that he had a tracheostomy. When he arrived at the hospital, he seemed to have calmed quite a bit. I must say that through all of this his oxygen levels remained between 96%-98% which is awesome! He was running a fever and they gave him a large dose of tylenol and within about 20 minutes he was sleeping calmly, his fever had come down, his heart rate was back to normal, and he was breathing great. They took blood cultures and sent us home after talking with Carter's oncologist. Friday seemed to be okay although it was obvious he did not feel great. Saturday was about the same until the afternoon, when he seemed to get worse. He began sweating and breathing a little faster than normal. We decided to take him directly to INOVA. We called the on-call oncologist and she directly admitted us. Upon arrival, they were elated to know that Carter no longer needed to go to the PICU because he had not been on the ventilator for sometime. They took blood cultures, a culture from his trache, and swabbed him for the flu. Within 20 minutes, it was determined that he had Influenza A (most likely H1N1). They immediately moved him from the Hem/Onc unit to a quarantined area for children with the flu. It was unbelievable the amount of children that were in the hospital for the flu. He slept the entire day Sunday and seemed to perk up on Monday. But....his blood cultures from the Thursday night ER visit had started to grow a staph infection, as well as the cultures drawn Satuday night. He also had an infection growing from the culture from his trache. The type of staph infection that was growing is apparently a "sticky" infection so they though that maybe it was in his PICC line and that they may have to pull it. He had been placed on very strong antibiotics and seemed to be responding. His cultures were still growing so they pulled the PICC line and placed an IV for his treatments and antibiotics. He had a very scary episode on Wednesday where he was breathing heavily again and had an elevated heart rate. He seemed to get very tense and then relax. We became very nervous as this very possibly could have been neurological. After much medication, he calmed down and slept very well the entire next day. The doctors all agreed that this did not appear to be neurological but flu related. They did do a quick CAT scan and the tumor had not changed since the last CAT and the last MRI. He had another episode last night of the same nature and one of the PICU Intensivists came over to look at Carter and once again explained that this flu is bad. He told me that he has perfectly healthy children in the PICU because of this flu. He ordered albuterol breathing treatments for Carter every 3 hours and advised the nurses and doctors to keep him as comfortable and relaxed as possible as he already has several underlying conditions. Carter calmed down and has seemed to have a decent day. Skip and I asked that they do another flu swab and a culture from his trache. The flu was still positive and we were told it could take him a month to get over this. We are still awaiting the most recent blood cultures and cultures from his trache to make sure that the staph infection is gone and the infection from the trache is gone. He did receive his treatments today. We are hoping that the staph infection is gone and that he can get a new PICC line on Monday. I am not sure when he will come home. We want him to be in the safest place possible and for now, that is at the hospital.

Tonight was very bittersweet at my house. We had the usual friends and famiy over for soup and trick or treating but we were missig my baby. I loved seeing the kids but it was not the same. I missed him more than words could ever express but I held it together for Caroline and his best friends, who I know missed him terribly. Madison carried his trick or treat bag around and told everyone that her best friend was at the hospital and could not come but she wanted to fill his bag. Carter is truly a blessed boy to have so many people who love and adore him. Please continue to pray for him. I know that the prayers are being heard and that there are many angels watching over him.

On another note, please pray for my niece, Lauren. She has been diagnosed with a heart disease and she also needs many prayers. My family has been through so much this year but we all still continue to be strong and have faith. I know so many of you pray for Carter daily. Please add Lauren to those prayers.

I want to thank everyone for their continued love, prayers, and support. We continue to receive cards, gift cards, letters, and gifts for the children. We are so very thankful!!!! Also, thank you to everyone who came out to the golf tournament. I wish that Skip, Carter, and myself could have come. Maybe next time!! Again, thank you all so much- God has truly put together an army of angels for my family. Although 2009 has been a trying year for my entire family, I still have faith and I still continue to see God move. I am thankful to serve such a wonderful and loving God...I know no matter what he will get me through it. I once heard someone say.....He has not brought you to this point to leave you!! And I truly believe this!!!!

Love to you all,