Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Kawasaki Syndrome?

I have not written about this very much before because at the time I was very stressed. Blogging was the last thing on my mind.

During the beginning of this year, my son had fever for several days. The fever would not go away. He also had badly swollen lymph nodes around his neck area. His could not put his head straight and he was in pain. His lips were dry, red and peeling. After a week and the second time to the paediatrician, she advised us to take him to emergency unit at the hospital. She gave us a letter of referral to one of the doctors at a local hospital.

When we got to the emergency department at the hospital, we did not get immediate attention because of our referral letter. We were told to wait for the doctor in question outside her clinic to have an evaluation first. The clinic was packed and the wait was long. Sigh.

When we finally saw the doctor, she took one look and said “I think he has exactly the same symptoms as another 12 year old girl I saw. Yes, exactly like her. Look at his lips and his neck bent like this. I think he has what she had.” When we enquired what that was. She said it was kawasaki syndrome and autoimmune decease where the body attacks itself. She said he had to be hospitalized.

She said that she must monitor him closely. She said that they had made a mistake with the girl by not diagnosing it as kawasaki decease soon enough and she had to endure many scans etc unnecessarily. She said that they had to learn from their mistake.

My boy was then taken to do a scan around his neck area. Then, later on while taking his blood samples, she asked the nurses whether they remembered the other girl and whether my son looked like he had the same thing and they all agreed. My heart sank.

He was not given any treatment the whole day and his fever stayed on. When we enquired, he was given antibiotics intravenously around midnight.

To cut an extremely long story short, my son had to stay in the hospital for 2 weeks and he missed school for almost a month as he had to stay home another 10 days after that. This was right after the Chinese New Year holidays.

My son is usually Mr Sunshine. He was a very happy baby and he continues to be a very cheerful fella now, who is always full of smiles and laughter. During his time in hospital he was full of tantrums though. He could not sleep well because he could not lie down on the pillow properly as his neck was very swollen and his fever continued to stay on for more than a week at the hospital. He became very fretful and uncooperative. He became quite a different boy. That made me realise why some children throw tantrums etc. Sometimes, it is because of the situation and not because the child is naughty. The child may be hungry, sleepy, tired etc but does not know how to verbalise his or her feelings. For my son, of course at the time he was in pain and probably feeling very scared. He became a bit more demanding than his usual self.

Eventually, after many blood tests, 4 and 5 times during his hospital stay and we had to go back twice after that to do more blood tests, they found out that it was just a very bad virus. The doctor said that no treatment was necessary and time would have cured him. However, he was pumped with a lot of antibiotics during his stay. Sigh.

I think the doctor learned something too. Although she had made a mistake the first time by delaying the diagnosis of kawasaki decease, she should learn that not everything that looks the same, can be assumed to be the same thing. She should not have jumped to conclusions. It is the same in life, I think. Don’t judge a book by its cover comes to mind. Never make assumptions about anything without first checking out the facts.

Anyhow, that is behind us now. I am very glad that he did not have kawasaki syndrome as the doctor had thought. My sunshine boy is back, no more tantrums. Only tears when he does not get what he wants at times but just a good scolding, an explanation afterwards and a good hug often settles it. The time at the hospital was just a nightmare. A nightmare that I do not want to remember because while I was staying at the hospital, my girl had a seizure at home. Then we had to leave the poor boy at the hospital with just the maid so that we could take the poor girl to the doctor. Sigh.

Yes, it was certainly a nightmare. Writing this down is supposed to release it but somehow I am suddenly brought back to an unhappy moment. Perhaps I should not have written it. Anyway, it is passed.

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  1. oh my goodness. I'm so sorry that you have to go through this. It must be heart wrenching for you. how come your daughter had seizure?

    anyway, cheer up ok? your sunshine boy is back. My children should learn from him to have such a nice temperament.

  2. Carolyn,
    Its a long story. If you really want to know, its somewhere in this blog or the other Mumsgather.com blog. :P

  3. Hi there again. I've read your old posts. Very sorry to know what has happened. Anyway, you are a strong person, I'm sure you will be able to go through life hurdles well. Hope things will get better for you ok?

  4. it is a relief to know that your son does not have kawasaki syndrome. gosh, it took the doctor 2 weeks to find out that she's wrong? this is crazy. all the time spent in the hospital and not to mention, your boy was given different types of medication perhaps? *shake head*

  5. Oh poor boy! He had to be hospitalised n go thru unnecessary treatments (torture). I can imagine the torment (for every1) during that period.

  6. Carolyn,
    Oh, I didn't mean to ask you to read. I was just tired of talking about it again.

    mommy to chumsy,
    Actually I think she knew earlier on but since she was wrong, she did not want to disclose what it was. I only knew exactly what virus it was when she gave me back the test results during a follow up visit.

    His fever was high and wouldn't go off so probably he would have required the hospitalization for observation anyway because it was very worrying. The only thing he could have done without was the antibiotics.

  7. oh no worries. my pleasure. i know u didn't mean to. I'm just kepoh like that..;)


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