Sunday, September 09, 2007

Hasn't He Been Through Enough?

I've been MIA for a few days. It's been very exhausting and hectic around here, to say the least. On Friday I had just returned from bringing T. to Pre-K. I walked into the house and heard the phone ringing. I looked at the caller ID and saw that it was W.'s school.

That's never a good thing.

I answered the call and was greeted by the school nurse. She told me that W. was having some chest pain. He had been outside at recess, however, because of the heat the children were not allowed to run around. Even though this was the case, his heart rate was up. I told her I would be right over to get him.

In case some of you don't know, W. was born with a heart defect. The main arteries to his heart were switched. He also had a hole in his heart. When he was 5 days old he went through open heart surgery and it was repaired. He is now a healthy boy and does not take any medications for it. The only restrictions he has is no contact sports, which has nothing to do with his heart but is not allowed because his ribs were wired closed after this surgery. He sees his cardiologist twice a year for check-ups and there have never been any problems out of the ordinary for this type of surgery.

But to hear that he was having chest pains sent me into a complete panic. Mr. Schmitty called the cardiologist while I was gone. I asked W. what was wrong and he said that it hurt to drink, eat, and lie down. He had a pain right in the middle of his chest, which was making him wince. Mr. Schmitty told me upon my arrival home that the cardiologist said that from the symptoms he had, it couldn't be his heart. He suggested we take him to the pediatrician. I wanted to know why he was making a diagnosis over the phone! I was pissed! The pediatrician, of course, didn't want to touch him in case it WAS the heart. They suggested we take him to the cardiologist. Don't you just love it?!

Mr. Schmitty took him to the emergency room instead. And to make a long, long story short, he has Spontaneous Pneumothorax, which is:

"Spontaneous pneumothorax is a sudden collection of air or gas in the chest that causes the lung to collapse in the absence of a traumatic injury to the chest or lung. Spontaneous pneumothorax occurs in individuals with no known lung disease. It affects close to 9,000 persons in the United States each year- most often among tall, thin men between 20 and 40 years old. The cause of this type of pneumothorax is the rupture of a bleb or cyst in the lung.

Symptoms include:

Chest pain on affected side
Dyspnea (shortness of breath)
Abnormal breathing movement
Rapid respiratory rate
Spontaneous pneumothorax is diagnosed by chest radiographs.

The way the condition is treated is dependant on its size and course. The objective of treatment is to remove the air from the pleural space, allowing the lung to reexpand. A small pneumothorax will resolve on its own in 1 to 2 weeks. Larger pneumothoraxes require either needle aspiration or a chest tube. Hospitalization is required for chest tube management as the reexpansion of the lung may take several days with the chest tube left in place. Surgery may be performed for a repeated episode to prevent recurrence."

Yea, scary, huh? A few key points. His lung didn't collapse, but COULD HAVE. Many people think the pain is a pulled muscle. If we thought that, his lung could have collapsed. Only 9,000 in the US get it and usually it's men 20-40, he's 9. The poor child has been through so much in that time. His heart surgery, another surgery to open up the incision when it got infected, he had sleep apnea and had his tonsils and adnoids out at 4, he has vitiligo, he gets wicked nosebleeds, and now this.

The hospital gave W. oxygen which helped the air bubble get smaller. They kept him in the PICU overnight for observation. The took another x-ray yesterday morning and the bubble did get smaller, though, it's not completely gone. We just have to keep him from any physical activity this week. UM? Have they actually observed W.? He's a a tornado, so wish me luck with that, k?

It seems to me from what I have read, that this can occur again. So, I guess I can add this to my worry-wart-list. What's one more thing, right?

My head hurts, I think I'm going to go take a pill. Night y'all.


The Fritz Facts said...

the poor thing!! Hope he feels better, that the air bubble shrinks fast and that you all get some much needed rest!! Happy thoughts coming your way!!!

Kyra said...

Thinking and praying for you!

Zephra said...

This is the worst part of being a Mom I think. The worry. I hope he recovers quickly and never has to deal with this again. It is hard enough being a kid without being sick as it is.

Annie said...

You must have been beside yourself - probably still are.

Poor baby - that is a lot to go through.

Praying he has a speedy recovery.

Shelli said...

Oh no!!! How scary for you and for him! Thinking about you.

Mom on Coffee said...

So scary. Since the doc said no physical activity, could you get away with tying him down??? j/k!!!

Hope he's good as new soon!

Mommy the Maid said...

That is so scary. Big hugs for all of you. I am glad that he is okay and I will be thinking about you guys.

Jen said...

I had a spontaneous pneumothorax myself a few years ago (mine landed me in the hospital for a week with a tube sticking out of my chest) and it was probably the scariest thing I have ever been through health-wise. I can't imagine how I would have been if it had been happeneing to one of my kids. Poor little guy, and poor you! That must have been so scary for all of you! I hope he's feeling much better very soon and that nothing like this ever happens again.

meleah rebeccah said...

my thoughts and prayers of well wishes being sent your way.

Justice Fergie said...

omigoodness! poor w. how fortunate that his school nurse took him seriously enough to call home. glad to hear that w is ok.

saying a prayer for y'all.

Laura said...

My heart goes out to you and your son. I hope he feels well soon.

You mentioned that your son's main arteries are switched. Does he have Transposition of the Great Arteries? My 3.5 year old, who just started Junior Kindergarten has congetitively corrected TGA, and 5 other heart defects and other issues related to Left Isomerism with polysplenia.

My biggest fear is getting a call from the school regarding his health. I can only imagine your heart when you saw the caller ID.

Wishing you and your son happy heart thoughts.

Maria said...

God, how scary. Go take a nap, a long one. And then, maybe go out for a drink? Or two or seven?

Life As I Know It said...

Oh My Gosh, that is scary. Poor thing, and poor you!
Hope he is feeling better.

EE said...

Oh, how scary!
Sorry that you all are having to go through this.

boogiemum said...

This must be so hard on you. I know as a mother, it tears me up to see my child in pain and not be able to fix it. Then to live in constant fear it will come back?

Wishing him a speedy recovery!

mabel said...

Don't you just wish you could do all this FOR them? My heart hurts for your little guy.

My son started bleeding from the ear the other day...pediatrician wanted the ent that put in the tubes to look. The ent didn't have an appointment until the end of time so he said take him to the pediatrician. Doesn't that just make you want to KILL the stinking doctors! Why won't someone just look at the child! Why is that SOOOOOOO darn hard?

Shauna Loves Chocolate said...

I'm so sorry. How scary.

Sending you lots of hugs.

Mad goat lady said...

Hope things are improving!

Sorry I haven't been around much..been busy with my overseas guests..but am busily trying to catch up now :)

Anonymous said...

Oh no!

My husband ended up having a Spontaneous Pneumothorax when I was 8 months pregnant with Jacob Jingleheimer. At first we thought it was his asthma, and even the doctor thought so. She suggested that we go to get x-rays within a couple of days "just to be sure". We ended up getting x-rays that day and the lab sent us to the ER because his lung was 90% collapsed. They told us the same thing, it occurs in tall, thin men ages 20 - 40, which he certainly fit the criteria.

The pulmonary specialists had to stick a tube through hubs side to pump his lung back up. And then we had to go back for x-rays every day for 2 weeks to make sure it was working. He's fine now, and has never had a recurrence.

Happy thoughts going out to W and your entire family. Take care of him, but take care of you too!

kristi said...

Oh my gosh. That is very scary. Hope he is doing better now!

slackermommy said...

Of course you need a pill! That's a lot too worry about. All my best to you.

sam said...

I'm thinking about you!! How freighting!!

Midwest Mommy said...

The poor thing!
I feel so bad for him. At least you guys caught it right away. I will be checking back in to see how he is doing :-)