Monday, January 5, 2009

Well after twelve days of "I don't know's", we finally have an answer. They tested Elijah for a virus called cytomegalovirus (AKA, CMV) and this morning it came back positive. This is the virus that they check pregnant women for because if you get it while your pregnant it can be harmful to the fetus. This is what I know from the conversation I had this am with Dr. Al-Zien. 85% of the population will get this virus sometime in their lifetime. To any of us this virus would feel like a common cold. Of course in the immuno-compermised person it presents itself very differently, as we have come to find out. Just to get this out of the way, he is not contagious after the three days of antibiotics that he has had for this. We do get to go home today which is great news!! The bad news is that we have to do 6 weeks of IV antibiotics at home and be in to the doctor frequently for the next few months. When Dr. Al-Zien came in this am, he was actually relieved that this CMV came back positive, because he was starting to become concerned that he was maybe relapsing. As weird as it sounds, I am grateful for 6 weeks of antibiotics. I could write more but I am trying to pack up to go home. I will try an update a bit later. Thanks for all the prayers and support. Love you all!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Hi all,
just a quick update on Elijah. Still having high fevers and impressive hives. In fact yesterday he had his highest fever yet and got the worst hives he has had yet. All of the nurses were very impressed and he was like a show for everyone to come and see. All cultures are still pending and Dr. Woods said yesterday that Elijah won the award for the week for being the most confusing pt to try and diagnose. When Elijah doesn't have a fever he seems to be in pretty good spirits, but it seems in the last couple of days he has been much more irritable. I feel his pain and I think we are all very sick of being in this hospital. Elijah seemed different yesterday in that he acted more like he wasn't feeling well. He did have more frequent fevers yesterday and higher, but even when he was in between he acted more like he didn't feel well. Dr. Lonzarich (our primary pediatrician) stopped to see Elijah yesterday and brought him some presents. He is so great to us and it was so sweet for him to stop by. Last year he drove to Iowa City on Christmas Day to see Elijah. Dr.Lonzarich was the one we went to see last year on Christmas Eve when this all started. Great guy and even better doctor. a huge thanks to him!! I'm posting a picture of one of the gifts he brought, it is a LEGO dump truck. He told Elijah he had 24 hours to put it all together and sure enough we had it done before bed last night. Dr. Woods did a test to see the level of Elijah's immune system (immuno-globulin). The test came back that his count was low which isn't surprising for a child with Leukemia, however they like to see the number over 400 even for immuno suppressed kids and Elijah's was around 300. A normal level for a healthy person would be between 5oo-600. They are going to give him some immuno-globulin through is IV today to try and boost his count and help him to fight whatever his body is suffering from. They get the globulin from blood products (sort of like platelets). They have to watch him close while they do the 6 hour infusion for reactions, most commonly fever and hives, haha!! I'm guessing they won't be able to tell if the fever and hives, he will most likely get, is a reaction from the infusion or from his illness. We will see what happens. They plan to start this any time now (10:30am). I'm also including a picture of the hives Elijah got yesterday after his high fever, the pictures don't really do it justice but you can get an idea. I'll update more when and if we ever know more. Love you all!!