The Anniversary

One year ago today, Colton was diagnosed with septic arthritis of the knee and had emergency surgery performed on his knee at the age of 11 months. For the ten days prior to his diagnosis, I watched him deteriorate. It started with crying when he put weight on his left leg. It progressed to him refusing to crawl and being a complete fuss-bucket. His knee was reddened and swollen, extremely hot to the touch. He then developed a fever that stayed over 102.9F for days and didn't respond to Tylenol or Motrin. He stopped eating and became lethargic. Now, I know what you're thinking. My God, woman, why didn't you do anything?? Well, I did. Every single day. For 10 days.

During this time, I took him to the pediatrician two days after I noticed he was guarding his leg because it was the first appointment available for a non-emergent situation. It was blown off as a sprain. We went back the next day and I convince another pediatrician to order x-rays. We then went to a children's orthopedic to review them. We were told it was possibly a small fracture, but it didn't need to be casted. We should just call back in 2 weeks if he wasn't crawling again. Two more days went by and his fever was out of control. Again, we trudged to the pediatrician and it was blamed on a virus, no doubt, picked up at Children's Hospital when getting the x-rays. I was getting the run-around and my son was really sick. I'm a nurse and I'm expressing my concerns about my child, but no one is listening! I got fed up and took him to the emergency room when his fever hit 105.1F.

They were able to get his fever to come down, but I had to endure watching 3 grown men restrain my 11 month old for blood work and a urinalysis. My poor little boy who had no energy to eat was really giving them a run for their money. And I could do nothing to comfort him or explain to him why they were "torturing" him. That is something no one should ever have to see. We waited all night to find out that his bloodwork and urinalysis came back negative. I began to wonder if I was crazy. I knew there was something wrong, but I didn't know what and no one was finding anything.

The next day, I called the orthorpedic back and demanded Colton be casted if it was in fact fractured. We went the following day and the orthopedic took one look at his leg, said it was horribly infected, and he needed to have an MRI right now. We rushed him to Children's Hospital where he was drugged and taken in for his MRI. Immediately following, he was prepped for surgery. His fever had spiked to over 105.8F and he wasn't responding to touch or sound. There was such a rush and I was so scared for him. They took him into surgery without letting me kiss him or hold him or tell him that I loved him. I was absolutely devastated and I stood there in the waiting room crying. I was sick to my stomach, but I prayed and prayed for my little boy. We had waited 14 years to have him and I was terrified that I was going to lose him.

The surgery (originally told it would take 45 minutes) took 3 hours. It was the longest 3 hours of my life. When the doctor came out to tell us everything was done and he was okay, I nearly collapsed from relief. They brought him into the room and he looked like an angel in his yellow robe, sleeping so peacefully. I cried tears of joy that night, sleeping right next to him in the hospital. And every night for the 5 day stay. I only left his side to go home, shower, or change.

They ran cultures of the pus they took out of his knee and nothing ever grew, although his white cell count in his knee joint was 20 times the normal amount. He had to get a PICC line and I gave him antibiotics twice a day for 4 weeks. Every day he got better and better. He had lost 2lbs. in those 10 days, but was now regaining his weight and his healthy glow. By his birthday, the PICC line was gone and he was the little boy he was before. It took him a while to get the confidence to crawl again and it did hinder his walking attempts. By the time April came around, he was walking full force and by May, running.

My pediatrician has called my home several times after hours to check up on Colton and his progress. He has apologized profusely for missing the infection, claiming it is very rare and there were really no indications for it as fevers can stem from many things. You might think I'm crazy, but I believe him. I think he feels bad that he didn't listen to me when I said I knew something was off (and he just might be afraid that I'd sue! LOL), but that has changed. When I make a comment, he is quick to respond. It all worked out, thankfully. Now my little man is running me ragged. And I love it. You'd never know he went through such an ordeal. The only things left now are the memories and a barely visible scar on his left knee.


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