Saturday, March 22, 2008

Children's Hospital Dallas

We landed sometime around 845 am, got our rental car, got directions to Children's and headed to the ER. Jack is NOT happy about being back in a hospital but the experience so far has been as good as you can get if you have to be at a hospital. Jack has always been hospitalized at Medical City in Dallas so we've only been to this hospital to see Dr. Price in her office here. The atmosphere here is just a great one. Maybe we just got the right doctors and nurses but so far we've been made to feel like we are all a team working on Jack together. We've been listened to, accomodated, respected, and overall cared for. The rooms are very large and updated. They have room service and even parents can get trays delivered once you go down to the cafeteria and buy meal tickets. Dairy allergy? No problem. They tell us what we can get and what we can't and offer suggestions of substitutes when what we want has dairy in it.
So what's going on medically? Jack's white blood cell count is significantly elevated. That confirms that he has an infection of some kind. The x-rays called a "shunt series" and the shunt tap confirmed that the shunt is functioning properly. The cerebrospinal fluid from the shunt tap does not show any immediate signs of infection but we have to wait a few days to allow the bacterial culture time to grow. Jack had a CT scan of his head but we have not heard results from that. For now, Jack is on IV antibiotics. They are allowing him to eat and drink and he is taking full advantage of that! They are really thoughtful in the care that they provide here-no sense in keeping a toddler unhappy when he is unlikely to have surgery soon. Our excellent ER nurse realized that Jack would be too hard a stick for her and went and got their best IV starter to do Jack's IV. A little bit of looking and one needlestick later and Jack's labs were drawn and his IV was started. When they realize!
d they ne
eded some more blood, there was never even a suggestion of sticking him again. They said, "Oh, of course, we'll try to get it from the IV." When we arrived in the room and the nurses began their initial history taking, they saw two tired and weary parents and a sick toddler and they said, "We'll get that medical summary you typed and brought from home. After we review it, we'll ask you if we have any more questions. You've done this enough that you probably already wrote down what we need to know." Jack has become super attached to his chair-the carseat/stroller/plane seat. He just wants to stay in it. So everybody just assessed him while he sat in the chair. He only had to get out of the chair for the shunt series, CT scan, and shunt tap. As soon as he could, back in the seat he went. After we got settled in our room, the three of us pretty much passed out. The staff apparently came in and out. They put an armbband on him and did not disturb any of us. He needs vital signs !
done agai
n this shift but he still gets very bothered by having his blood pressure taken so the tech said just "call me when he is good and asleep so we won't upset him."
Your prayers are working. We are receiving excellent medical care in a way that respects Jack as a person and us as a family. We feel well taken care of.
I'll try to keep the blog updated.
Sent from my Palm Treo

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