My Daughter's Battle With MRSA

Tuesday, January 27, 2015 0 Comments A+ a-

In 2014, my 3 1/2 year old was unofficially diagnosed with MRSA. This is her story.

On November 26, the day before Thanksgiving, my daughter gave us quite a scare, and managed to have her first visit to the ER, her 1st ambulance ride as well as her first trip to Rainbow Babies Childrens Hospital in Cleveland.

The story actually starts a week earlier when my daughter was having trouble sleeping. Normally, she'll call for me at night, and I'll cuddle with her to bed. But, all of the sudden, she wasn't just calling for me, she was crying. After the second day of her crying at night, I knew something was wrong. I scheduled a doctor's appointment. Our regular pediatrician had switched hospitals, so I stuck with the same hospital we had been going to. The new pediatrician gave her a quick checkup, and told me she was fine, and most likely just had a cold. Well, later that day, I was brushing her hair, and she winced when I got to a certain spot on her head/neck. Upon moving her hair back, I discovered the real reason my baby has been crying at night. She had a decent-sized red lump on the side of her neck.

November 24, 10:07 AM

I scheduled another appointment with the same pediatrician, who felt bad for not noticing the lump at the initial visit. She was diagnosed with a lymph node infection, and given antibiotics to clear it up. I had scheduled a follow-up appointment for two days from then. If it wasn't responding to antiboitics, we would need to discuss my daughter having surgery to drain it. She also circled the lump , so we could see if it was improving.

November 24, 5:06 PM

November 25, 1:02 PM

The afternoon of November 25, our family headed to kickboxing class as usual. my daughter's follow-up appointment was scheduled for the next morning. While we were at class, it was apparent she wasn't doing well. She appeared to be in pain and was also battling bouts of shivers. Ken stepped out of class to be with her as I attempted to work out, watching her every move out of the corner of my eye. As luck would have it, a few people in the medical profession were in the class, so we asked them what they thought. Ultimately, Ken and I both knew what we had to do. We had to take her to the ER.

The ER doctor was afraid to do anything, because it was so close to her neck, and it was a small child. Also, at this time, we were still under the impression that this was lymph node infection. The doctor told us she had to be admitted, and since the hospital she was at didn't admit children, this meant she's need to go to another hospital. She was given in IV, which was an incredibly painful and scary experience for her. I'm not sure I'll ever forget her cries when they put her IV in, and her struggling to pull it out of her arm.

After the IV was in, they started calling around to find a hospital who could take care of her the next morning, Thanksgiving.  We chose to have her sent to Rainbow Babies in Cleveland. Soon after this decision was mode, Ken ended up taking Phoenix home around 10:30 PM (way past his bedtime).

It was a long, tired night in the ER.

November 25, 9:21 PM

Once Ken took my son home, my daughter & I were just in the ER waiting for an ambulance to take us to Rainbow babies. I snuggled up right next to her on the ER bed, as she slept. 

November 25, 10:49 PM

November 25, 10:49 PM
On November 26 at 2:30 AM, the ambulance finally arrived to take us & I to Rainbow Babies. Because it was a non-critical hospital transfer, they used their lights, but not the sirens. She was a mix of slightly excited, tires, and scared.

November 26, 2:44 AM

November 26, 2:44 AM

The ambulance ride was nice. After 6 hours in the ER with my daughter, it was good to know that things were moving forward. We had a plan. 

Arriving at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital  was a great feeling. The staff was amazing. They said I was more than welcome to snuggle with her in her bed for the rest of the night until the team of doctors arrived in the morning to discuss her care. Her bump had gotten worse over the past few hours, but they actually thought it would burst on it's own, which would be ideal for her situation. This was also when her lump was confidently diagnosed as MRSA.

November 26, 9:17 AM
The plan was to give her a topical numbing cream for the pain. They would wait to see if it would open on it's own. If it didn't, they would take her to the sedation unit and drain it there. As of that morning, they didn't have any openings in the sedation unit that day, but if they had a cancellation, they were going to try and get her in.

So, at the point, it was just more waiting. But, the waiting here was okay. It was more than okay, it was great. She had her own room with a television, bathroom, and a staff member in charge of making sure she was happy. Between Doc McStuffins on television, puzzles, and coloring books, this girl was happy.

November 26, 10:53 AM

At 11:00, we were notified that there was a cancellation at the sedation unit, and we were being sent down. They wheeled her down and around for a fun ride in a wheelchair big enough for the both of us. Ken was also making his way to the hospital, and would be there any minute. It really seemed as if everything was coming together.

When we got to the sedation unit, the nurse wanted to see the lump. To our surprise, we found out that it had opened on it's own... likely encourages by the numbing cream and bandaid that they had on it. You can see the goo all over her neck and hair.

November 26, 11:22 AM
I immediately went to wash my hands, knowing how easily this infection can spread when you've come into direct contact with it. When I returned, I was pleasantly-surprised to see Ken in the room. next, the doctor from the sedation unit came in to drain the infection. After a few minutes of working it all out, and A LOT of painful screaming on my daughter's part, it was over. She was traumatized. The was in pain. She was scared... but it was finally over. She was bandaged up and sent back to her hospital room. While there, she was finally able to eat, which was great. She hadn't eaten anything in about 18 hours.

November 26, 12:05 PM

November 26, 12:05 PM

At around 2:00 PM, we were given some medicine to try and get her to try. Apparently, the stuff tastes awful, and getting kids to drink it is a huge ordeal, often lasting an hours or so. As luck would have it, we gave her the medicine, and she downed it on one gulp. needless to sa the nurse was very impressed! (I credit my daughter being used to horrible-tasting food at home with the way I cook! ;) At 2:30 PM, we were given the okay to leave. We were told she would be treated for MRSA, and that they were going to test the fluid/goo in a lab. 

From here, it was just a matter of giving her medicine, and watching to make sure the bump was going down. I called the hospital to confirm that she indeed did have MRSA, but it appears that it never got tested in a lab, so we'll never know fpr sure that it was MRSA, though it has responded well to MRSA-treatment.

November 27, 8:48 AM

November 29, 9:10 AM
December 5, 7:48 PM

Two weeks later, you could still feel a lump, so we went back to my daughter's original doctor, who said she was heling up great, and the lump I felt was scar tissue. 

It has now been 2 months since the MRSA infection, and it hasn't come back, nor has it spread to anyone else in our family. 

This was a tough post to write, as I've had to relive all of the pain that we had went through during this rough time. Looking back, I think somehow my daughter and I have become closer since her MRSA infection. She went from being an independent 3-year-old to a scared little baby who just needed her mama more than anything.

 Thanks for stopping by. I hope you've found this post informative & helpful. Feel free to leave a comment, as always, I read and respond to each and every one. 
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