It had been a really busy day. We had spent all day running errands for Avery's party that was supposed to be in two days. As I loaded up the kids in the Costco parking lot, Brady just started crying and said his head hurt. I was in a rush to get home so I just sort of blew him off, honestly. He whined the whole ride home on and off. I just assumed he was tired from the day of errands. Well, when we got to my mom's, he was really crying and just seemed out of sorts. We rushed the kids inside and as soon as I sat Brady down on the couch, my mom noticed the right side of his face was swollen right infront of his ear. I walked over to him and as soon as I went to touch the area, he freaked out and said, "no touch it mom" through tears. I got him calmed down enough so I could examine it. The area was right up against his ear, about the size of a quarter and hot to the touch. My mom went to her computer and started looking stuff up online. Within minutes he started getting feverish so I called the oncall doctor at my pediatricians office. Well, our pediatrian, luckily, was on call that night and he advised me to take Brady to an urgent care center to be seen because there was some nasty virus going around that he wanted to make sure Brady didn't have or get treated for it if he did. I was in tears at this point, mostly from exhaustion but also because the area was getting worse as time went by and he just did not look well. Nick had just barely left work so my mom said she would come with me for support. We packed the kids back into the car and headed out. It was about 6:30pm at this point and my kids were tired and fussy but I knew I had to get him seen that very night! We got to urgent care in 20 minutes, got him checked in and then we waited and waited and waited. By the time they called his name it was 8:30pm. That is 30 minutes past there bedtime so imagine the scene in the waiting room! It was not fun. The doctor came in and said he didn't think Brady had the infection my doctor was worried he had, but did think there was an infection in his parotid system and put him on antibiotics and sent us home. We got home, put Avery to bed and put Brady in bed with us because his face was noticably more swollen and I wanted him near me in case something happened. It was 11pm before I got him settled and by midnight he was awake and really hysterical. I checked his temp and it was 102.7. Not good. I took him downstairs and got him some cold milk and we laid down to watch some tv until he was settled down enough to sleep. I COULD NOT GET HIS FEVER TO BREAK UNTIL 4AM. Around 4:15am, he told me he wanted to go to bed now so I put him up in his crib and went to bed. At 8:30am they were both awake and when I went in to get Brady I audibly gasped because in four short hours, the swollen area had moved up around his entire cheek, down to the jaw bone and back around his ear. It was awful looking and his fever was back up. I was so stressed out! I cancelled my lessons for the day and called the pediatricians office as soon as they opened and said I thought he needed to be seen again by someone who knew him and his medical history. I know this may sound a little paranoid being that I was just at urgernt care not twelve hours before but I just knew in my gut I had to get him seen again. They said they could fit me in at 3:30pm. Up until this point, I was still planning on having Avery's party unless the doctor said absolutely no way. Heather came over and helped me get things done while Brady rested on the couch. I could tell he was severly uncomfortable but I didn't know what to do for him. I felt so helpless. When it was time to go, I packed up both kids and headed to the doctor's office. As soon as Dr. Wells-Green walked in, he said "Holy cow, mom. I am so glad you came in today. This is way worse than I had imagined." I knew things were right and I was so grateful that I had followed that prompting and get him in to the doctors office. After examing Brady, Dr. Wells-Green said he wanted us to head down immediately for an IV fusion of the antibiotic. He said we needed to get that medicine in his little body in large doses, as fast as we could or we would have a real problem on our hands. So, thinking it would just be a 2-3 infusion, I took Avery with me and we headed down to Montgomery General because they have a Pediatric ER there. The ER doc came in and had the same reaction Dr. Wells-Green did and said he wasn't convinced it was Paratitus (which was the diagnosis from urgent care) and that he was going to need to do some tests and probably admit Brady for the night. Well, when you hear your two year old is going to be admitted into the hospital, it's not great news and I lost it. I had Avery with me, I was all alone and I was feeling very overwhelmed. I called Nick, who was just getting off work, and told him the game plan and he said he would come down as soon as he could. Well, he might as well have been coming from Jupiter because he seemed so far away as they read to me the tests they needed to do. After the nurse left to gather materials, the doc came in and said they would definitely be admitting him so we would need to make arrangements for that. I called Nick back and he said he would stay the night with Brady but that would mean he would have to go all the way home first to get the things he would need. I barely hang up with him and the nurse is back in our room ready to insert the IV. As soon as she started touching his arm, he lost it. Brady really is the sweetest boy, he is so polite and kind to everyone. After she just stuck a needle in his arm and is taping down the IV tubes, Brady says "thank you" to her through as he is still crying and sniffling. That just sets me off again and I am really trying to be brave for him but it is so hard sometimes. He looked at me and just grabbed my hair, his main comfort, and started tickling his face with it. So, about 45 minutes go by and he is getting sleeping and Avery is getting crazy hungry and they tell me they need to do a cat scan because his white blood count was really elevated. I tell them my husband is still an hour out and I won't be much help with the CAT scan if I have Avery too. The doc tells me that a nurse will take her while I go with Brady. This was the first of many times this weekend where I will feel completely torn into pieces. How can I take care of both my babies when they have totally different needs right now? About 20 minutes later the radiology tech comes to get Brady for the scan and the nurse comes to take Avery. Right before they both entered our room, Avery had a MAJOR blowout and had gotten poop all over her clothes. Luckily, we were in a peds ER so they gave me a hospital gown for her to wear so when the tech came in he thought that Avery was the patient and needed the scan - what a mix up that would have been!!! Anyway, the nurse takes Avery and I head out with Brady. Brady is really excited about this scan because I told him it was just a big camera that was going to take pictures of his cute face. He liked the idea of a huge camera so he was in good spirits. The other tech was a young guy with a son 6 months younger than Brady so he was really good with him! It did take a while to get good shots because he had to lay completely still and that was hard for him because he got scared when they injected the contrast. But then the scan started and the machine started talking and Brady started talking back!
machine: you are now entering the scanner, take a deep breath, let it out.
Brady: Hi camera, hi! What's your name?
machine: you can now relax
Brady: Mom, she talkin to me. Hi camera
It was basically the cutest thing ever - he was being so darn brave! They got what they needed and sent us back to the room. When we were wheeling around the corner, I saw Nick holding Avery and I suddenly felt so safe and so calm. My husband is a GREAT nurse and an even better dad. Having him there was the best feeling in the whole world. Brady perked right up and was so happy to see Daddy. My parents got there shortly after to see Brady. My mom brought Nick some dinner knowing that he would be staying. Nick and my dad gave Brady a blessing also, which always brings great peace to my heart. Then the night shift doctor came in and told us that from the CAT scan it did look like acute parotisis and that would require at least six doses of IV antibiotics. Then they admitted Brady and moved him to his room and the rest of us left for the night.
At about 10:30pm I get a call from Nick telling me that because his swelling was so bad and the infection was moving fast, they wanted to transport him to a hospital with a children's unit. So at about 12:30am they transported Brady to Hopkins and there he stayed until Sunday afternoon. He responded quickly to the antibiotics. His face looked so much better when I got to the hospital Saturday morning to see him. His fever had broke some time in the early morning because when I arrived at around 11am, he was sleeping and soaking wet. They said that although he was doing better, he wasn't out of the woods and would need a full 24 hours of IV antibiotics so they would need him to stay another night. Not great but we dealt with it. I would stay all day with him and then go home at night to care for Avery. But Nick....Nick never ever left his side. Even when I was there all day, he would stay too! He was such a wonderful support to Brady and Brady just adores his daddy! Anyway, everything ended up fine but it certainly wasn't the weekend we had planned. We ended up calling people late Friday night cancelling the party. My parents stepped in and watched Avery during the day so I could be with Brady and then I would come home at night to put her to bed. One thing is for sure, Brady is a little fighter! He is brave and joyful and we just love him!
This is a pic of his cheek Saturday, late afternoon. Much better!
Brady & his Daddy in the hospital!