Sick Baby

Well, we have had a very busy week!  As some of you may know already from Twitter or Facebook, our sweet little baby girl has been very sick…

Sunday
Rayah started to show signs of discomfort in the evening, hitting her face with her hands and crying several times during the night. 

Monday
She woke up with puffy red eyes and looked quite sad.  She had a runny nose as well, but otherwise doing not too bad. 

Tuesday
She woke up in the morning and her eyes were even puffier and the skin beneath her nose was red, irritated, and raw.  So I dropped Joe off at work and took the kids to the walk-in-clinic.  The doctor there did a swab of her throat and did a quick test in his office, which produced a positive result for strep.  Because of the puffiness of her eyes and the possible implications of water retention and damage to the kidneys as a result of the strep bacteria, the doctor told me to take her to the Children’s Hospital to have some blood work done to confirm this diagnosis and get a prescription for antibiotics. 

So I headed to the Children’s ER with the kids and thankfully, we got in fairly quickly.  The doctor there, however, felt that her symptoms were not indicative of strep, since the inside of her mouth and throat looked fine and the areas of redness on her face were not in the places they would expect with strep.  Plus, her runny nose seemed more in line with a virus.  But, since the test at the walk-in-clinic had been positive for strep, he did another swab of her throat to do a better, more accurate culture test that would take a couple days, and prescribed us an antibiotic just in case. 

So, I went home thinking she just had a cold or flu virus and that she was just reacting abnormally and that her skin looked so bad because of the snot and tears.  In addition, she was drooling like crazy, which was probably due to a molar breaking through and she also had what looked like a heat rash over her whole body.  She was sensitive to being touched and would cry when we picked her up or changed her diaper, etc. 

After we were done at the hospital, I decided to just go driving, since she kept falling asleep in the van and I figured it would be a good way to help her get a decent nap.  So I went and got myself a Starbucks frappuccino and started driving around the perimeter of Winnipeg with music playing from my iPhone, quietly praying as both of my kids passed out in their car seats.  Since I wanted to stay on highways as much as possible to prevent having to stop, I headed down the Trans Canada Highway towards Steinbach, thinking I would just drive for a little ways and then turn around, but then it wasn’t long before I was at the #12 highway that brings you to Steinbach and I figured I might as well go all the way and make a surprise visit to Grandma and Grandpa.  So the kids got a pretty good nap and woke up as we came into Steinbach and got see Grandma at work and then Grandpa at home.  We headed back home then for supper with daddy and that night was another rough one for Rayah, who would wake up crying often. 

Wednesday
She woke up looking horrible!  Her eyes were even puffier and more red and the red, irritated skin on her face was now all around her eyes, nose and mouth and was scabbing and pussing.  The skin in her neck folds was starting to peel and was constantly wet from drool, snot and tears dripping down her face.  We toughed it through the day, but felt like we would maybe take her back to the hospital the next day.

 

Thursday
She slept much better during the night, so we even got to sleep in a tiny bit that morning and were thinking maybe this meant she was starting to get better?  Joe mentioned that if she seemed to be improving, maybe we wouldn’t need to take her in again.  But when he went to wake her up, the first thing he said was, “We’re definitely going back to the hospital!”  It seemed that every morning she would look worse than the day before!  Her eyes were almost glued shut, they were so puffy and pussy.  She also seemed puffy in other areas of her body and it appeared she was retaining water and actually felt heavier to us.  So we got everyone packed up for another trip to the hospital and thankfully it wasn’t busy, so we got in right away. 

We saw the same doctor I had seen on Tuesday and after seeing how much she had changed since he saw her and some of her new symptoms, he felt that it was not strep nor just a virus, but that it was most likely a staph infection.  But he wanted to get a second opinion, so we waited to see another doctor.  The second doctor examined her as well and then they decided to try and do some bloodwork on her.  This was probably the hardest part of the day, since Rayah was obviously not feeling well, but then she had to be pinned down with 3 nurses working to try and get some blood samples from her.  At first it wasn’t too bad, but as they struggled to get a vein, it got worse and worse and Rayah was wailing and squirming, trying to get away.  I felt like crying, but tried to stay strong, and just stroked her head and sang softly to her in the Spirit, and sang “Jesus Loves Me” and “Jesus Loves the Little Children” or just hummed.  Eventually, the nurses gave up on getting a vein (I don’t blame them – I’m sure it’s hard to find those suckers in chubby little babies) and they did a toe poke, which I think worked out, but was tedious and took a long time. 

After that ordeal was finally over, we needed to wait for the results and the first doctor told us that he wanted yet a 3rd doctor to come see her, from Pediatrics Infectious Disease.  I can’t say hearing those words was terribly comforting, but we just tried to stay positive, and at this point they moved us to a bigger, nicer room where the kids could watch TV and have more room to play.  Justice did great the whole time we were there, just having fun playing in the waiting room with Daddy or running around the hospital with me when I took him to the cafeteria for lunch.  We tried to get Rayah to have a nap, which she did for a short time, and I brought food back for Joe to eat, and then finally the doctor from Infectious Disease came and saw her.  After this, they decided that yes, they believe she had a staph infection and that the best way to treat it would be a different antibiotic which would help attack the toxins that the bacteria was producing, which was causing some of her symptoms like the rash.  However, apparently this antibiotic tastes really bad, so they wanted to give us the opportunity to give her a sample to see if she’d take it before giving us the prescription.  So then we waited yet again for the sample to come, and when it did, she took it fine and we got our prescription and were released to go.

 

I asked the first doctor a few more questions, like “Is it contagious?” and “Is there anything we can do to ease her discomfort?”  Apparently, the staph bacteria exists on our skin all the time and it only causes problems if it manages to make it’s way into the blood stream through a scratch or cut.  So, while it’s technically contagious through contact, it’s unlikely you’ll get the infection unless it also gets into your blood stream.  Besides, you could actually get the infection from your own skin, so not a whole lot of reason to worry about getting it from Rayah.  Also, there’s not a whole lot we can do for her skin – we can’t really clean it off, since the scabbing is part of the necessary healing process and besides, she probably wouldn’t let us anyway, as she is extremely defensive about us touching her face in any way right now.  Another side effect of this infection is that with the toxins produced by the bacteria, is that they go throughout the entire blood stream, so this is what produces the heat rash, which is similar to a sun burn (which explains why she was so sensitive to touch) and which breaks down the superficial layer of the skin and causes “sluffing”, where the skin dies and starts shedding – lovely.  So, we can expect to see her skin start to shed in numerous places on her body (which it is now starting to do), and hopefully her face starts to improve.

After this, we left the hospital around 3:00pm and ended up driving to Steinbach again to my parents’ place for supper, which allowed the kids to have a short nap in the van, since they had both missed their naps that day.  However, after it all, Rayah was in suprisingly good spirits and when we were at my parents’, she wanted to play and climb the stairs and walk around, pushing the high chair, so there was some definite improvement in how she was feeling overall.  When Joe and I were talking about what her face reminded us of, though, we both had thought that she almost looked like a burn victim – it’s crazy what this infection has been able to do to her skin!

Today – Friday
Today her face looks a lot drier and like it’s starting to crack in places, with a little bit of bleeding.  Her nostrils are also almost completely closed off from built up snot and scabbing, so hopefully we can figure out how to clear that out!  However, she slept fairly well and was eating better and was happier – playing, smiling and laughing occassionally, and crawling and walking around.  Definitely not as lethargic and mellow as she was earlier in the week.  Thank you to everyone was has been praying for her and we welcome your continued prayers that she will recover quickly and that her skin will heal well.  It’s likely that she actually does have a virus at the same time, which explains the runny nose, which is obviously not helping her breathing or sleeping or her skin, so you can pray for healing for that as well.  You can pray that she won’t be in too much pain or discomfort and for protection over our family, that none of us will get sick.  In the pictures below, the first one shows the skin dry & cracked, while the second one shows her with polysporin smeared over everything. :)

 

In all of this, I am thankful that Rayah is holding up well and that Justice has been a great big brother to her during this time.  He has shown concern for her, been more gentle, has been praying for her, sharing his toys, and saying sweet things to her, like “Hi, pretty girl!”  :)  I’m thankful that Joe had yesterday and today off from work, which was so helpful to have him around!  I’m thankful for the flexibility of my work that I am able to focus on caring for my kids when necessary.  I’m thankful for all our friends and family who were praying!  I’m thankful for the excellent care we received at the Children’s Hospital and the wonderful staff there, who were compassionate, caring, and thorough.  I’m thankful that in trials we have the Holy Spirit to strengthen us and that we have hope through the gift of prayer and giving our burdens to Jesus.  It also opened my eyes a little to realize how many other parents are bringing their sick children to the hospital and the emotional, mental and physical dynamics it causes as you worry about your child and want to see them receive care and find out what’s wrong and make it all better!  If they don’t have Jesus, what or who do they place their hope and trust in?  And what a day that will be when Jesus splits the sky, returns to the earth and makes all the wrong things right again, taking away all sickness, pain and sorrow!

Comments

  1. Wow…didn’t know the severeness of her illness. Thanks for the update…get’s me praying all the more. Healing to your little girl in Jesus name!!

  2. Wow, what a week you’ve had!

    So glad she appears to be on the mend now, will be praying for a very speedy recovery.

  3. jen eugley says:

    oh! sweet girl, i pray she continues to feel better. my heart goes out to her…and to her momma, seeing her in such discomfort!
    your explanation of justice saying, “hi, pretty girl!” to his little sister nearly brought a tear – what a sweet brother. :)
    i love you guys – hang in there!

  4. Oh my, God bless her with peace and healing.

    I will be praying!

    Rosaleen

  5. yes thanks for the updates and photos. :(
    i pray for strength or everyone.. lots of rest and getting back to normal! thanks to all the doctors and nurses and Father God.

  6. I did a Google search for rashes on a face and it brought me to this page after a few image searches. I was reading through it and stopped when you said “Winnipeg.” I was born and raised in Winnipeg and left in 2007 for greener pastures. I hope your little guy(s) (probably not so little anymore) are doing well. It sucks when there are missed diagnoses and as a mother you know there is something more. Glad everything worked out. Have a great summer! I heard the weather there the past few days has been very warm!

  7. Amanda Davis says:

    Hello. My 7 month old daughter looks exactly like this right now… I’ve taken her to the ER with no results. Did the medication they gave you daughter for staph help her??? Please I need answers, my daughter is pitiful. She looks worse everyday

    • Hi Amanda – I haven’t checked my blog comments recently, so I am just seeing this. I hope your daughter is doing better! As for my daughter, yes the medication we were given did help her. All the best!

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