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Fear me

I don't know what to do about the infection monster, aka Matthew. It's getting to be 'that time of year' again - infection time. When you have a child with a weak immune system, you start to breathe a sigh of relief around April/May because there aren't so many chances for infections. Around September, you tense up. We seem to have started up again. Last month, Matthew had an infection that they first thought was strep, but lab tests showed it wasn't. What was it? We don't know! It just high fever, swollen infected tonsils, general bad feelings and responded to 10 days of antibiotics (we think). He's been off the antibiotics since...THURSDAY. The doctors noticed, AGAIN, how big his tonsils are. When you have him open his mouth, you see the uvula and to either side two BIG tonsils. You can't really see the darkness of his throat. Nothing but pink. We've been fighting off getting his tonsils removed since he was 18 months. We keep hoping he'll 'grow into them' and we don't want yet another surgery unless we absolutely HAVE TO.

He's the only child I know that can get one infection while actively fighting off another. Antibiotics don't seem to keep him from getting another infection, nor do they completely get rid of some of them at times.

Starting about a week ago, the child who had been completely dry for some time started having nighttime accidents. He's also been more insistent about going during the day. It's like it sneaks up on him, but he hasn't had any accidents during the day. Four times now, during the night, he has wet the bed. It upsets him to NO END. We want to put him in pullups until it is back under control, but he associates pullups with babies and thinks that means he isn't a big boy anymore. I hope to avoid it, but I'm also tired of the 3 am bed changing. Especially when he sleeps in the top bunk. I got up last night to take him to the potty, and he went. He still had an accident before getting up at 7.

I was sitting next to him watching TV a few minutes ago, and I realized he felt warm. I took his temp and it was 99.5. Usually, I wouldn't treat a 99.5, but I did it almost as a knee jerk reaction. I gave him some motrin, but started the thoughts in my head - OH NO! Maybe the infection monster is back.

If he has one more accident, or the fever persists, I'm taking him back to the doctor to see if maybe there is a medical reason for the accidents. I'm also pushing up his immunologist visit, which is currently scheduled for December.


( 2 thoughts — Whatcha' think? )
Oct. 2nd, 2005 07:35 pm (UTC)
I'm guessing you've already read Everything There Is To Read about "superbacteria"? A couple years ago, I stopped using antibacterial products (soaps, cleansers) after musings from scientists that using those products would lead to naturally-evolving bacteria that's resistant. In other words, it's better to be exposed to Wimp Bacteria (and the body builds up resistance) than to face Godzilla Bacteria.

Does this have anything to do with the Infection Monster in your home? Beats me. Sometimes these otherwise random thoughts have value, othertimes .. not.
Oct. 2nd, 2005 07:59 pm (UTC)
No, I wish it was something that...external. When we were preparing for one of his surgeries, his ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat) doc did some sort of bloodwork which also showed the common antibodies kids have that are normally immunized. Since we knew he had all of the regular immunizations, and at the same time as Michael, we went back to his regular doctor. The test had shown he was missing certain antibodies, despite his regular immunization and boosters. We got referred to an immunologist, who did further testing and found he had a section of his immune system where part of it was 'missing' or very weak. He gave him some immunity booster shots, and that helped last year. I think we'll have to do them again this year. The doctors were hopeful that his body would pick back up and start producing the antibodies. They may still do that.

We walk this thin line. We don't want to protect him from exposure to things, because we want his body to produce as many antibodies as it can. Yet we know that he may also pick up bugs that he can't fight off. We don't really use anti-bacterial stuff around here much, outside of some cleaners for the kitchen and bathroom. We don't use antibacterial soap (outside of the kitchen), carry Purell, or keep him away from germs.

Either way, he gets these 'mystery' infections. It's easy when it is a respiratory infection, sinus infection, or something tangible like that. Some other times, like the last infection he had, he gets a fever, feels like shit, spews TONS of white blood cells and they don't know why. He also goes from one infection to the next.

The good thing with all of this? Matthew never lets any of this get him down. He has to be REALLY sick and dehydrated to even slow down. Usually, people around him would never know he's sick. The kid is AMAZING with how he handles illness and medical procedures.
( 2 thoughts — Whatcha' think? )