If you follow me on Twitter, you have probably read my stress this week. While its no way related to foster care, its something happening in our lives and effects everyone within our family, so I have decided to document the events to date as a part of our journey.
The kids had an early release on Wednesday for their last day of school. As has been our family tradition for 13 years, we always go out for ice cream on the last day. We took the convertible and headed to the next town. I was sitting next to Pluto in the back seat and noticed that his neck seemed swollen on the right side behind the right ear. I asked him about it and he said he had noticed too and that it was bothering him a little. He said it was there when he woke up and that he thought he might have slept on it funny. It looked like a swollen lymph node to me so I told him if it remained there the next day, I would make an appointment “just to be sure” everything was okay.
Wednesday morning he woke and it seemed just as swollen, so I called to make an appointment. Mickey took him to the appt so I could stay home and work. What I thought would be a routine appt for the doctor to say “Yep, its a swollen gland, he will be just fine” took a wild turn. The doctor was quite concerned about the fact that the lymph nodes are only effected on one side. She was also concerned that he doesnt have any other symptoms that would indicate Mono (like fever, fatigue, sore throat, etc). She decided to send him for blood work right away and set up an ultrasound for that afternoon. I would expect that she would normally just call with the results, but she even went so far as to schedule a follow up appt in the office the next day. She also prescribed Keflex in hope that if there were some kind of infection that it would reduce the swelling.
Pluto had his blood taken and then went for the the ultrasound later that afternoon. (I stayed behind because Daffy had a meeting with her caseworker.) The tech asked that he wait while it was read by the radiologist. In my experience with ultrasounds of all sorts, they usually send you on your way unless they are concerned. She came back and said he could leave and Mickey asked how it went and she said the results could only be share by the doctor but that the report had already been sent! What??? Within a half hour?? Of course, my fears intensified.
Yesterday, Pluto went to the follow up appointment where we received the results of the testing. The results of the ultrasound read:
Findings: There are multiple submandibular and left carotid chain enlarged lymph nodes. The largest short-axis lymph node is 1.5cm.
Impression: Carotid chain adenopathy and submandibular gland adenopathy, which may be due to inflammatory or infectious etiologies. Neoplasm is less likely but not excluded.
The blood work results showed a slight increase in the AST and ALT live functions. It also shows an increase outside the normal range of the Absolute Lymphocytes, Absolute Reactive Lymphocytes and Absolute Monocytes.
The doctor said that with it being Thursday and the fact that the remaining results of the Lyme and Mono tests are thought not to be back until next week, she took the liberty of scheduling an appointment for Pluto with a specialist for today (Friday). She said she believed the next steps would be a CT scan and a biopsy.
There are so many complicating factors. I am HOPEFUL that its “just” mono, although she doesn’t think thats likely given that the nodes are only swollen on one side and they would typically be swollen on BOTH sides. He also does not have any other symptoms of mono. The doctor also mentioned that if it were being caused by an infection that the 4 doses of Keflex that he received should have brought down the enlargement of the area, which it did not. Things just aren’t adding up. My mind is racing in circles reviewing the little information we have, knowing that we simply dont have what we need to determine whats going on.
They say the fear of the unknown is the worst. I couldnt agree more!