Thursday, February 2, 2012

She Has What?!

This winter, while mild in temps, has been especially hard on one of my kids.  She was sick the entire  first week of January.  On Sunday while we were sitting in church, she told me those words all moms do not  want to hear.   "Mom, I don't feel very good!"  She said her stomach hurt and she was feeling kind of warm.   When we got home I took her temp. It was about 100.   Even with her temp elevated, she acted normally most of the day. On Monday morning, I took her temp again and it was still 99+.   She also complained that her stomach hurt again.   I decided to play it safe and keep her home.  She slept a few hours and then again was behaving normally.  She was able to eat dinner without a problem.  I told her she was going to school the next day.  On Tuesday morning she did not have a temp. She was complaining again about her stomach hurting, but I thought she was exaggerating. I told her that she had to go to school because if she missed too many days, she would fall behind.  She stayed at school the entire day.  When she got home, she said that she still didn't feel that good, and her stomach hurt a little bit, but she did okay during the day.   Everything changed in just a couple of hours.   Within an hour or two of coming home, she was laying on the couch.  She said her stomach was hurting a lot worse.  I made dinner, but she wasn't really able to eat.   By 8 p.m. she was curled in the fetal position, crying in pain.  Every once in awhile she would yelp and groan. She said the pain was in the middle but then there was a shooting pain on the left side. She said the intense pain would come and go.    I looked up appendicitis, and she had every single symptom.    Her dad had it as a child. He was misdiagnosed, and his burst when he was about her age.  Since one of her immediate family members has  had appendicitis, she has a higher risk of having it too.    Seeing her cry in pain, I knew something had to be done.  We went to the E.R. at  9 p.m.  Luckily we have a smaller E.R. nearby that is not attached to the hospital, so there is no to little wait.   She was checked out right away.   At that time the pain was 6 1/2 to 7 on the pain scale,  and still no temp.  She was placed in a bed, and we waited for the Dr.  The Dr.  did the exam,  and said the appendix is normally on the right side so she was unsure what was causing the pain.   She said they would have to do a couple of tests, and possibly do some imagining based on the results of those tests.  They took some blood, and gave her an I.V. with fluids and pain meds.   She was a bit dehydrated, so she needed  the  fluids.  We waited a bit, and then the dr came in with the news.  Her white blood cells were normal, and it did not appear to be appendicitis.  She did, however, have Mono. The pain she had been having was because her spleen was enlarged.  
I did not expect to hear that at all!   I did tease my daughter,  and ask her who she had been kissing.  She had no idea what was I talking about,  and informed me that calling Mono the kissing disease was dumb. At the moment, she thinks most boys are annoying.  She asked if she was going to die.  We assured her that she wasn't.  I was told  that she was no longer contagious. Because did not have a fever, she  could potentially go back to school the next day, but that she would have to sit out of gym for entire month. (she was fine with not having to go to gym!)   We did not get home from the E.R. until 12:30 am, and because she had a shot of morphine, she was in no shape to go to school yesterday.   She slept almost the entire day.  She only got off the couch for a few minutes at a time.  This morning her  she was still having pain, but is starting to move around a little more.  She is still very tired and has low energy.    Hopefully though, she will be well enough to go back to school tomorrow.

I really did not know much about Mono, so I did a little research.  I thought the facts were interesting enough to share.

Mononucleosis is a very common viral illness that can leave you tired and  weak for  several weeks to months

There are no meds to fight the virus, you  just need  lots and lots of rest

In children, there are usually no noticeable  to flu like symptoms

It is caused by the Epstein Barr virus, and most frequently affects teens and young adults.  (Almost all of my friends who had it, said they got it in high school or college, Kara is on the young side at age 10)

Most older adults do not catch it because 90% of them already have immunity by being exposed to it earlier in life.

Symptoms appear 4 to 6 week AFTER exposure.  We have no idea where or when she was exposed, but it would have been around the holidays.

The spleen will swell,  and cause pain on the upper left side of the belly (exactly where her pain was)

After you have symptoms you can not participate in contact sports or do heavy lifting for at least 4 weeks to because you can damage your spleen.

I guess one of the benefits to having it now means, she will be immune  when she is in high school and college!

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