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Saturday, May 9, 2009

Kawasaki Disease

I've learned that there's a difference between a child that is sick and a really sick child. My son Joshua fell into the latter category just about a week ago. Once again, I've learned about a disease I never knew existed, and its name is Kawasaki Disease.

Joshua will be 16 months in just a couple of days. He came down with a fever that wasn't controlled very well with Motrin and then was extremely cranky and irritable. If I moved him the slightest bit he would start crying all over again. Then came the rash and the eyes that looked like conjunctivitis but without the drainage.

I thank God for the wisdom he gave me. Two days into the fever he was laying on the couch very lethargic and I thought, "I should be taking him to urgent care right this minute." But, I opted to hold out for an evening appointment with his pediatrician at the Mid-Valley Children's Clinic in Albany. We finally saw him at close to 9:00 that night. He stepped out of the room after examining Joshua and then brought in another doctor who also happens to have lots of experience. They both independently diagnosed Joshua with Kawasaki Disease. Although Joshua had only two days of fever, he wanted Joshua to begin gamma goblulin treatment immediately. We checked into the hospital across the street.

Over the next two hours Joshua went from bad to worse. He turned a yellow shade and his heart rate was 190! When the lab tech drew his blood he just lay there, his eyes wandering around. It was a surreal feeling to wonder if my child was going to die. The picture that I've included here is of the next day, with him looking 100% better!

While the symptoms of Kawasaki Disease are not fatal (although they seem so at the time) the real concern is with potential heart problems, namely the coronary arteries. Kawasaki Disease affects the blood vessels and particularly the heart. Fortunately, early treatment means a very little chance of this happening.

Joshua has an echocardiogram in 2 weeks. I am praying for and expecting no problems.

I wanted to make you aware of this, and if at all possible, please spread the news about this rare childhood disease. I was fortunate (blessed is a better word) that Joshua had such typical symptoms, and that he has such a wonderful pediatrician.

I'll keep you posted on his progress. We won't be going out for Mother's Day as he is still dealing with inflammation in his little body. He is too cranky and high-need for right now. However, I am blessed this Mother's Day to have my little one home with me after having spent four nights in the hospital with him.

Happy Mother's Day also to all of you out there who have loved and mentored a child.

Debbie

5 comments:

The Gluten-free 'Dish' said...

Debbie, your story of Joshua made me cry...I'm thankful that he is getting better and you are home from the hospital. God bless you all!
I join with you for believing in total healing.

Kim said...

Wow, Debbie! Poor little guy!! I pray that his echo is clear and that he is as good as new soon! How scary for you all!!

((HUGS))

Kim

Debbie said...

Thanks for your support, gals. I know how important this community is to me, because I needed to reach out and share.
Debbie

Gluten Free Inspired said...

We are praying for your little one! Thank you for sharing and spreading awareness.

Betsy said...

Praying for you and your little one.