Tuesday evening we took Nathan to the ER at a small local hospital, because he had been vomiting and having bloody diarrhea. They gave him an IV, took his blood, and admitted us, because the staff pediatrician was not on call until the next morning. When she came in she did more blood tests, because she didn't like what she saw. She told us she was afraid Nathan had Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS). The tests showed the levels of certain chemicals controlled by the kidneys, so if there was a trend of those chemicals not going the right direction, he probably had it.
Since that small hospital was not equipped to do anything further in our care, we were sent via ambulance to a larger one an hour away, where we had excellent care and were given lots of information on HUS. They continued to monitor his blood levels, and warned us of the possibility of transferring for dialysis, since they were not equipped to do pediatric dialysis. Thursday night we were transferred three hours away in case Nathan ended up needing dialysis. His levels had made two jumps in the wrong direction, so we anticipated that it would be likely.
Nathan and I got here around 1AM, and Miriam and Micah arrived shortly after. We had a fairly uneventful but mostly sleepless (for adults) night. Thursday Nathan's levels were closely monitored, and a catheter was inserted. Although his levels of creatinine and BUN did get higher, unfortunately, they did not take a big leap. His potassium was still too high, and he was given a medication to help him eliminate that. The decision was made that we would plan on putting in a peritoneal dialysis catheter in Friday morning, and put in a central line as well (which will be used for blood draws, etc, and prevent him from getting even more needle pokes.
The surgery went well, and pretty soon they hooked him up to dialysis. Peritoneal dialysis pumps a liquid into his belly, which absorbs toxins via some sort of osmosis, and then pumps it back out. Then it does it again, and keeps pumping and absorbing, and draining, until they decide he's better.
Nathan was understandably tired Saturday, but he really enjoyed seeing a bunch of his aunts and uncles and both grandpas who all drove up to see him. They got his first giggle out him since the whole things started. Sunday showed huge improvements in energy, alertness, and attitude. He smiled, giggled, and ate more than he had all week. Monday he giggled, playfully threw his monkey off the bed (to be retrieved and immediately thrown again, with an impish grin!), and wanted to eat a few bites of my cheesecake and pizza!
His blood tests have begun coming back with minor improvements. This is of course a huge improvement to us, because they aren't drastic declines anymore. We don't know how long it will take for him to get better enough for them to send us home. Some patients make fairly quick recoveries, and some take a while. But overall the prognosis is hopeful. This afternoon we moved out of the PICU and out onto "the floor" as the hospital lingo goes.
Our sweet boy Sunday (left) and a few weeks ago with Miriam (right).
And Friday... before surgery, before the dialysis, when his levels were at their worst and he was his most lethargic and weak.
The dialysis will take strain off his kidneys, so they can recover and get back to their job. Please pray that the dialysis continues to go well, that he continues to heal, and heals quickly so we can go home, that we continue to have skilled, attentive nurses and doctors, that my milk supply would stay up (I am pumping for him since the kidney doctor needs to know exactly how much liquid he's getting) and that he would not have any long term damage from this.
Also, thank you so much to those who have visited, sent cards or gifts, or have called or emailed us. It has been such an encouragement to us not to feel alone. To have the love of God made tangible and visible by His people. Such a blessing.
I will try to have an update in the next few days. In the meantime, please pray!