Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Geographic Tongue and Fever

Just wanted to take a moment to update you on Ella's latest escapades.

During one of our last hospital stays (I can't remember which one because they're all sort of running together), the doctors told us Ella has something called geographic tongue. It's something that's hereditary, in this case she inherited it from Amanda, and is harmless and is different for everyone. In Amanda, we'd always thought it was an allergy to citrus fruit, pineapple in particular, because the spots would always appear on Amanda's tongue after she'd eaten a citrus fruit, usually pineapple. In Ella, it's an early warning indicator that something's amiss and she's not well. Before both times we ended up being readmitted for the urinary tract infections (UTIs), she had white spots on her tongue that almost looked like thrush. We were also told to monitor her fevers for temperatures above 101°F and any time she exceeded a 101°F tempt she needed to be tested for another UTI.

Well, last week the spots showed up again and she felt a little warm, but every time we took a temp it was either normal or only a degree or two high, so we waited and watched and it turned out she'd caught a little cold so we had nothing worse to deal with that a little snot-nosed baby (oh such a totally normal thing. Yay!).

On Sunday, the spots again returned and this time her temp started climbing and we were sure we were going to be back at the hospital for my birthday on Monday. About 7pm we took a temp and it showed 101.6°F. Ella, despite the mild fever and spots on her tongue didn't seem at all unhappy, but to be cautious, we decided to compromise between taking her all the way out to Children's Hospital and staying home and doing nothing by taking her to our local Urgent Care facility.

After spending an hour and a half at the Urgent Care facility where they did nothing but take Ella's temp (99.7°F) and traumatize her trying to insert a catheter, Amanda ended up having to take Ella out to Children's Hospital anyway.

The ER at Children's Hospital was filled with sick kids (yes, on a Sunday night it was busy) all hacking and coughing up crap and none of them wearing masks or covering their mouths. Fortunately, Ella was taken back fairly quickly (but not until after Amanda had shooed away one nosey, snot-nosed little ankle-biter and had given the voodoo priestess stink-eye to its mother). The pros at Children's Hospital quickly and effortlessly inserted the catheter and took a quick sample. The sample came back clear and her other tests showed that poor little Ella just had a minor sinus infection. They said normally they'd prescribe a mild antibiotic and send her home, but since she was already on pretty heavy antibiotics they said they'd just send her home with instructions to continue her antibiotics as prescribed.

So it was a long, harrowing night all for naught, but Amanda and Ella were home and in their own beds for the night which was wonderful. I suppose a couple positives came out of it though:

1) The staff at Children's Hospital told us that in the future for a simple UTI test, we could/should just go over to Littleton Hospital and their pediatric docs could handle the draw. Littleton is reasonably close, so it won't be a long drive out to Children's Hospital unless absolutely necessary.

2) We learned that Ella's geographic tongue is definitely an indicator of her being ill and it's not limited to UTIs. Poor kid. She'll never be able to fake her way out of going to school by claiming she's sick. All we'll ever have to do is ask her to stick out her tongue. :)

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