So for those who are interested in the details of Collin’s surgery and hospitalization (and for me to be able to remember everything) here is a really long & boring post. Check back later, though probably much much later, for a better post about our wonderful time in Texas & Pensacola with family – and pictures too :)
Collin & I had been in Texas for a few days, and everything was going great. He was having so much fun playing with family. On Christmas Eve we went over to my Aunt’s house and at first Collin was having a great time playing with the dogs & my cousin Brenton (aka “Bubba”). However, before we started to eat he all of a sudden got really fussy, did not want to be put down, did not want anyone except me to touch him, and felt like he had a fever. After a while of this we decided to take him home to get some tylenol. On Christmas Day he was still not himself, but he wasn’t acting like he felt terrible either, so we kept him on the fever reducers and let him rest a little extra.
The next morning (the 26th) Son went to run an errand with my dad & I wanted to hit the after Christmas sale at Target with Becca, but by around 9ish Collin was still sleeping. This is very unusual for him. I checked on him & he was still (what appeared to be) sleeping. I could see he was breathing, and his feet were moving a little so I thought he was still sleeping but about to wake up. His face was turned the opposite direction, so I didn’t see if his eyes were open or not, but I wasn’t too concerned at that point. My mom stayed home to listen for him to get up and give him his breakfast.
Son got home from his errand first and by this time it was probably close to 10:30 and Collin was still not up. Son & my mom went in the room to check on him again and he was still laying in the same position. Son walked around the crib and Collin was laying there with his eyes open, but not saying anything. Son & my mom got him up to change him & could tell that he did not feel well. Shortly after that I got home and when I saw him I knew something was wrong. His neck on his right side was really swollen. He couldn’t turn his head, and when we felt it, his neck was hard as a rock.
We took him to the ER in Tyler and were told that he had a throat infection, which caused his lymph nodes to be swollen and that it was not uncommon in young children. He was put on antibiotics and we were told to give him OTC pain meds and follow-up with our pediatrician in 10 days.
The next day (Monday) the swelling spread to both sides of his neck. The poor baby looked like he had a neck brace on, couldn’t turn his head, was not eating, and was obviously in a lot of pain even with the OTC pain meds. We took him to a local pediatrician in Tyler that day. He tested positive for strep throat, they switched him to a different antibiotic, and said that if it wasn’t better the next day they would refer us to an ENT.
By Tuesday he was a little better, but still in a lot of pain, so we went ahead and saw the ENT since we were leaving Tyler the next day to travel to Pensacola for 4 days, and I wanted to get another opinion before we were on the road for 10 hours in the middle of nowhere. The ENT pretty much agreed with everything the pediatrician had said. He told us that he did not believe that there was an abscess at that point, and that he did not feel one would develop, but that would be the worst case scenario.
We decided to give Collin 1 more day before the road trip, and he gradually improved each day. We left Tyler on Thursday, and Collin did surprisingly well on the 10 hour trip.
The rest of the weekend in Pensacola Collin seemed to be feeling better each day, and by the end of the trip was only waking up once in the night for the otc pain medicine (motrin).
We returned home and had a follow-up with our pediatrician first thing Monday morning. Even though there was still a little swelling and redness I fully expected them to tell us to continue antibiotics and return in a few days. However, almost immediately after walking in the door the doctor was on the phone with Wolfson Children’s Hospital to have him admitted…what a shock that was to me! She felt that at that point it had abscessed and that at a minimum he needed to be on IV antibiotics, but would most likely end up needing surgery.
We were admitted to the hospital on Monday afternoon and started in the IV antibiotics. The next morning they did a CT scan and we met with the pediatric ENT surgeon who told us that there was a deep pocket of puss that needed to be drained, and that she was concerned that if she did not drain it immediately that it would most likely rupture. They did the surgery Tuesday afternoon, and the procedure itself took only about 20 minutes.
After all of that the surgeon did not find any puss, just fluid. And all of the cultures they took of the fluid to determine the type of infection came back negative…that was a little frustrating!
Collin had a rough few hours after surgery, but by that night he was running around the hospital room playing & back to his normal self. We joked that he was probably the happiest baby in the hospital.
They released us this morning, and Collin is acting like nothing ever happened :) The only way you would know he just had surgery is by the huge bandage wrapped around his neck.
Through all of this we had so many wonderful family & friends praying for us that I know the Lord was with Collin the entire time, and continues to be with him now as he recovers. It’s never easy to watch your child go through something like this, but I cling to the promise that He works all things for good for those who love Him.