Seven days of fear, of not knowing what would happen next. A feeling so gut wrenching that this sickness would take Bentley from us.
Bentley woke up on Tuesday morning to get ready for school, he was moving slow and I went upstairs to check on him. He had been crying and said his wrist hurt. We went downstairs so I could get a closer look. Once we got it in the light it looked like a spider bite, two small dots and a blister with minimal redness. Of course I hopped on google and it looked like a brown recluse. I called Casey (hubby) who was traveling for business in Utah and he said to keep him home in case we needed to take him to the doctor for further treatment. I sent him up with Benadryl and cream on his wrist.
Bentley went back to his room and slept from about 7:00 am to 1:00 pm. He came downstairs and mentioned his wrist was even more sore and that he had a bad headache. I sent a message to his pediatrician (Dr. Jones - Argyle Pediatrics) and she had us come in. At 2:00 pm the redness around the bite had gotten larger, warm to the touch and darker. Bentley was diagnosed with a staph infection. Dr. Jones put him on a super strong antibiotic - Clindamycin 300mg and some strong topical ointment to apply to the wound. She told us what to look for if he got worse but that with how it was looking at the time it should clear up with the meds. I gave him a dose of all his meds around 3:30 pm when we got home and he went up to take a nap. I went up to check on him, he hadn't eaten anything all day and I wanted to get something in his system.
I had wrapped the wound up to keep the meds from rubbing off while he was napping, but taking a look at his arm I saw this dark red streak going up his arm.
My tribe is amazing guys.
I put in a call to our nanny (Delaney) and she came right over between her classes so I could take Bentley to the Doctor. To cover my bases my best friend (Emily) also came over so Delaney could leave and go back to class. Honestly with the flu going around I didn't want to take ALL my kids to the doctors office. Emily called her mom to come watch her son so she could come be with my kids. She dropped everything. Once we got home and Bentley was settled she headed home. I sent her a progress photo once I went to check on Bentley and she showed her mom. Thankfully Em's mom is a medical encyclopedia, Emily called and told me to take Bentley to the emergency room. I had already called in the troops (one of our baby sitters - Becca) to come over once she got off work. - Keep in mind it is chaos cause Casey was traveling. Becca arrived just in time, Bentley had a high fever, headache and stomach ache. The blister had ruptured and the line was now to his armpit. We got in the car at rush hour to get him to Cook Childrens.
Bentley was becoming unresponsive, I couldn't keep him awake. He was pale, shallow breathing and couldn't sit up straight.
We get to the ER and as soon as they saw his arm they took him back to a triage room and a Doctor came in and said they were moving him to a room, that he had a blood infection and he quickly walked out to put in orders for treatment. Nurses came and took Bentley to a treatment room and I quickly followed, nurses swarmed his room trying to get him stable. His blood pressure dropping, temp rising, and not able to stay awake. No one would tell me anything. I am in the hall watching them start his IV, push meds, and the Doctor goes in. She looks him over and comes out and tells me he is septic, the infection is spreading fast and she is admitting him. "If he doesn't show some improvement soon we will move him to the ICU. It's a good thing you brought him in, you would have lost him. We are going to take good care of him!"
It felt like forever before he was stable but once he was awake and talking I was able to go in and see him. I hadn't called anyone, I was in shock. Within hours this staph infection almost took my sons life. I pull myself together and call Casey and let him know, he calls Delaney and she comes to the hospital from class and sits with me while Becca is home with the three littles. All while Casey tries to find a flight home.
We were sent up to a more comfortable room where they would do IV antibiotics and fluids along with watching his vitals for the next few days. Casey got on the first flight he could and made it home Wednesday night and stayed the night with Bentley. They took some blood and did a wound culture, a rash appeared that they felt was just another symptom of the infection so they treated it with Benadryl and it helped. They didn't pay much attention to it after that aside from treating the itching. The hospital staff was incredible. We could not have asked for better care from the moment we walked in those emergency room doors. Thursday Bentley was improved, he was almost back to his spunky self and the Dr. felt he could finish treatment on oral antibiotics at home as long as it was the same dose he was getting through IV, the red line on his arm was almost gone, no fever and was on the upswing. So, we were discharged.
Friday, Bentley came back down stairs from resting and the line was back just slightly up his wrist. Dark red, fever returning, headache and stomachache. I messaged Dr. Jones and she advised us to take him back in.
Childrens Hospital in Plano is a tad closer to us, and Casey felt that Cooks made a mistake by discharging Bentley before letting his cultures grow. So we had Casey stay home with the kids and Delaney and I took Bentley to Childrens in Plano. They took him back gave him some Motrin and a steroid for the rash that had re-appeared and then didn't come back to see him for FOUR hours. The Dr told me the rash was eczema and that he was doing fine and left us again. Not hooked to any monitors, nothing. Bentley was declining fast so we discharged him ourselves and took him to Cooks.
Back at Cooks we got back to an ER room, and they started his IV, took more blood and cultures. He was given Tylenol and Motrin for the pain in his arm and was trying to rest. The emergency room was extremely busy, but the nurses were great and kept us informed the best they could. Dr. Tanner came in and looked him over and said he would make a decision on admission based on his blood work/cultures or if the line came back.
The line started bright red back up his arm, we called the nurse in and she notified the Dr. and they got us admitted. It was around 5:30 am at this point. We were tired and ready for some sleep. Bentley was resting and they started antibiotics again and watched his vitals. Saturday morning the Dr. came in and told us that the bacteria in his blood had mutated and that this type of staph was now resistant to the Clindamycin. They switched his IV meds and he started to improve much faster! The Doctors and nurses watched him closely and made sure they weren't missing a thing. They were wonderful.
Bentley was nearly fully recovered on Monday and they decided he was safe to go home on a stronger oral and topical treatment. He is doing great and hopefully will join his peers back at school tomorrow!
Staph infection isn't always as serious as this. Bentley's case was unique, it got into his blood stream and he got very sick very fast. We caught it fast and it saved his life. Please, if your child has staph look for these symptoms. We are one of the lucky families that didn't suffer a loss from this type of blood infection but so many have. If you see a red line, do not waste time. We are thankful and our hearts are full with all the love, care packages and meals we have received. We love our tribe and we are forever grateful for the hospital staff, caring neighbors and friends.