Thursday, November 1, 2007

Diagnosis is in ...

and it definitely was not what we thought it was going to be!  Our ped, Dr. L, just called to let me know that the lab reports had come back.  She asked if I knew what it was and I said "rotovirus".  She said "No, it's Salmonella poisoning".

She was shocked - as was I.  She said that it did explain the bloody stools she has been having.  It also explains why she has been so very sick.  Poor little girl!

My mind started reeling and wondering what I had done wrong and how I could have prevented it.  (Is this a reaction that other mothers have?)  Dr. L asked if anyone else had been sick and I said no.  She asked if anyone had been sick before Eliana and again the answer is no.  We've all been really healthy.  She said that based on this, that Eliana did NOT pick this up in our home.  It had to have been from an outside source. 

Dr L told me over and over not to feel guilty.  Yes, she has seen me often enough to know I'd think this.  Or maybe she has seen enough parents to know that this is a normal reaction.  The fact that nobody else has gotten sick when this is highly contagious she said speaks volumes to the good job we are doing in keeping hands clean.  She said we will need to continue to do "crazy handwashing".  Eliana will have this in her stools for weeks.  :-(  So there remains the risk for all of us of contracting this - though hopefully small since we will know to be very careful. 

I'm to expect a call from the health department - as well as any of the places we had been in the days prior to Eliana getting sick.  I've already placed a call to the one indoor place we had been.  The calls aren't to place blame but to help stop the spread of this bacteria.

Why am I feeling guilty?  I'm racking my brain trying to figure out where this came from.  What did I miss?  Most of the places we have visited have been outdoors.  She really doesn't get down and touch much of anything.  I did let her touch 1 toy at a class we attend for my older boys.  This was the first time that I let her sit with me during the class thinking it would be safe.  I have a photo of her touching 1 pumpkin at the Farmer's Market.  In spite of Dr. L telling me that I'm not at fault, I still feel guilt for not protecting my little girl.  I know - I can't protect her from everything.  I just want to.

Dr L also said that Eliana is tough as steel.  She was amazed at how well she handled something so horrible.  She said that many people end up in the hospital with this - from dehydration -  but not our tough little girl.  I'm thankful to know she is strong - in spite of all that her precious little body has been through.

I'm here with puddles in my eyes.  (Not sobbing or hysterical lest anyone wonder - just sad.)  Why does everything make me cry these days?  Both good and bad - I've turned into someone with leaky faucets.

On the up side.  Eliana is smiling.  She is also able to have a diaper changed without crying!!!  Praise God that she is feeling so much better.  Her eating is also improving, though not quite back to where it needs to be.

One other concern is her g-tube site.  She has been much more tender there - Eliana cries when I clean it or try to use it.  It doesn't look infected, but I'm wondering if this may have affected it somehow.  She seems to have more discharge there too.  Just more things to ponder.  Thankfully I have a call in to our ped about this - and I know she'll get back with me tonight. 

With all of this new information, I realize that we have even more to be thankful for.  This was no run of the mill virus but something much more serious.  Thank you God for watching over Eliana and keeping her safe.  Thank you.

Thank you all for your prayers.

With love,


So, for several weeks now we'll need to be careful with our little girl.  It will take that long - or longer - for the bacteria to leave her body.  It's times like this when I just want to hibernate.  Guess I'll be wearing her in my sling and being incredibly vigilent over what she is touching.