Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Almost home?

Well, today was another interesting day in the hospital, and Jenelle officially stumped yet another doctor (not that we're trying for a record or anything!) In the early afternoon, the chief resident came in to inform us that they identified the bacteria found in Jenelle's spinal tap. It was some type of "strep" bacteria found in "oral infections" (usually an infected tooth, throat, ear infection and/or sinus infection.) They asked if Jenelle had had dental work recently… uh, no! So, they called in the Infectious Disease Doctor. He did some research and found only 5 reported cases of children with this type of bacterial meningitis, all of which had some type of dental work and/or tooth infection. "I've never seen this before!" he said. Oh joy, we stumped yet another doctor! So, because there were 5 reported cases, he felt compelled to call in a dentist to check to see if Jenelle had a cavity and/or abscess tooth. They warned us that if she needed x-rays, she would need to be "transported" out of the hospital to the dentists office via ambulance. FUN, a field trip out of the hospital for a change!

So we met with Dr. Mungo, a special needs dentist from Huntington Beach around 8:00 this evening (he came to see Jenelle first in the hospital before agreeing that she needed the ambulance ride to his office!) Dr. Mungo said her teeth were fine (and actually complimented me on my brushing of her teeth, which I'm ashamed to say hasn't been too regular - Uncle Jim, please no brushing lectures! ;) He felt she did not need x-rays and that her teeth were fine. He said that some special needs kids have a difficult time with swollen gums due to their seizure meds, and often they need surgery to cut away the gum (apparently Dilantin and Phenobarb are the worse medications that cause this over time.) So for now, he felt the bacteria they found in her spinal fluid may have simply been a contaminant from an outside source. Either way, tomorrow will be the last day of her IV antibiotics, so they are going to complete the course and treat is as meningitis, then hopefully send us home! Better to finish the antibiotics than return here next week!

Jenelle is still not swallowing solids. I met with the dietician today who said Jenelle was definitely failing to thrive and that in her opinion, we should fatten her up before going back on the Ketogenic Diet. She recommended Pedisure and/or Carnation Instant Breakfast. Everyone also agrees that Jenelle will need a G-tube sooner rather than later. She can get the tube which will ensure she is getting ample nutrition, and continue to work with her therapy on swallowing. We have a GI appointment next week, so I'm sure those issues will be addressed.

I've decided that hospital rooms are actually just glorified waiting rooms. You know how you always wait to see a doctor, sometimes over an hour? Well, all you do in a hospital is wait… wait for the resident to look at the results, wait for the doctor to put in the order, wait for the pharmacy to send up the meds. Like I said, "glorified" waiting room, yet fully equipped with TV and pull out bed! I guess I'm slightly loosing my sanity, but hey, at least in our private room I get the TV all to myself!

Thanks for the continued prayers - I'll keep you posted, and hopefully next update will be from home!

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