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Kevin’s Halloween Adventure
Tracy, Kevin and I went to Illinois for the Thursday and Friday of teacher’s convention weekend. On our way home on Friday night, we stopped and had dinner with Jennifer so we didn’t get back to Menomonee Falls until about 10:30. Then the fun started!
We got Kevin ready for bed and were in the bathroom when Tracy brought in his final meds for the night. Even before she approached him with the pill, Kevin started to gag uncontrollably. He then vomited with a range of about 6–8 feet hitting the wall about 3 feet above the floor. As if this wasn’t bad enough, he was vomiting blood. He lost a bit of range with the next few volleys but the bathroom from shower to sink to wall (about 8’x8’) were splattered with blood as well as his pajamas and wheelchair.
It didn’t take long to decide that this would require an emergency room visit. Tracy cleaned up Kev (who had settled down nicely after the ordeal and was in good spirits) and put clean clothes on him while John took towels and parted the “red sea” enough to get the wheelchair out. Tracy also cleaned up the wheelchair and the three of us were out the door and on the way to the hospital.
About two blocks from Community Memorial Hospital in Menomonee Falls, we decided that if it was truly something serious, they would transfer him to Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee so we turned around and headed to Children’s. Kev was in great spirits and enjoying the radio so we figured the extra 15 minutes travel time wouldn’t hurt. We got to a busy Children’s Hospital about 11:30ish and didn’t have to wait in the waiting room. We got right into an ER room and waited for the doctor. Kev was doing fine and they sent us to x-ray for chest and abdomen x-rays then back to the room for blood work. Everything came back fine and Kev was very cooperative.
We brought along a sample of the vomit and had pictures of the bathroom on the digital camera. Hard to believe anything was wrong with him at this point. The doctor then wanted to look in his mouth. Kev was so cooperative that he vomited blood all over the ER room. Tracy and I had things cleaned up by the time anyone got in there to help us. Kevin was then admitted and got to a room around 5 am. John went home around 4 am to clean up the bathroom and get a few things we would need in the hospital. I got back to the hospital about 6 am. We took Kev to the bathroom and when we put him back in his wheelchair, he had the dry heaves and was no longer vomiting blood.
He was given an IV, stomach antacid and something to relieve the nausea. The cause of the bleeding was never figured out. Possibly his stomach prolapsed into his esophagus when he was gagging. This could have torn the wall of the stomach causing the bleeding. Possibly he had an ulcer. Possibly he had a virus that caused the esophagus to bleed into the stomach. All would be treated the same way so the source was not important unless it would not stop bleeding. He was not allowed to eat anything on Saturday but did take his seizure meds orally very well without gagging or vomiting.
Although his hemoglobin numbers dropped each time they did blood work, the GI doctors were not overly concerned as long as there was no further evidence of bleeding. There was none. Kevin was allowed to eat on Sunday and following a laxative, mashed potatoes with broccoli and a bottle of ensure, Kevin provided a stool sample that showed no evidence of further bleeding. He was discharged on Sunday afternoon and will have follow-up blood work over the next few days to monitor his hemoglobin and see if it regulates itself. He will be on an antacid for a while now in case the bleed was in his stomach. Kevin still looks a bit pale but is doing fine and the mysterious problem seems to be rectified.
Kev's numbers were much improved yesterday. Red blood cells are being produced at a very good rate and the doctor was very happy with all lab results. He is going back to school this morning.
Barbra Ann's oldest brother, Wade, age 73, was on a mountain hiking trip in California, climbing a 14,000 foot, mount Whitney. The details are not fully known and may never be completely understood. Evidently he became disoriented on his ascent and left the trail to the summit, taking a closed trail to the opposite side of the mountain. He spent at least one night in the elements of high winds and 28 degrees. Rescue efforts were limited the next two days by 100 mile-per-hour winds. Wade presumably found his way back to the trail and was descending when fatigue and altidude overcame him. He died on the mountain, searchers found him Sunday.
Many thanks to Barb for the perpetual Advent Angel list.
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