It's time to break-out your gloves and gowns...Elizabeth is turning out to the world's cutest little biohazard with attitude! Today, we got a preliminary identification on the bacteria growing in her blood (Streptococcus viridians, if you're curious) and fortunately, it's VERY sensitive to antibiotics. This explains why she was sooooo very sick yesterday and today is back to her usual self. Everyone thought that this bacteria was enough to explain her high fevers and white blood cell counts. So it was a bit of a surprise to find that her intestines are also infected with a different bacteria (Clostridium difficile)! This type of infection can also explain her high fevers and white blood cell counts. Having two simultaneous and severe infections seems to be Elizabeth's M.O. If you recall, her last blood infection was with enterobacteriacea coli with a simultaneous intenstinal infection with Rotavirus. Fortunately, her recovery M.O, seems to be a quick return to her cheerful self.
We are still in search of an explanation for these infections. It is possible that the intestinal infection weakened the wall of her colon enough to let the bacteria escape into her blood stream. More tests are in process to exclude more serious possibilities (like an infection of the heart valves). Regardless, it looks like she's going to need 2 full weeks of antibiotics by vein! For those of you keeping score, that means Elizabeth should come home from the hospital on Thanksgiving Day, a mere 5 days before our delivery date for Baby Harms #2. That's cutting it a bit close for our tastes.
Thank you all for your prayers. A couple of additions:
1. The intestinal infection Elizabeth has is VERY infectious. Everyone entering or exiting the room must wear a disposable gown and gloves. Elizabeth can't even leave the room to go to the play areas. Pray that Sara and I won't get infected (especially since up until today we've been holding and changing her without protective garments).
2. There's a chance Elizabeth could receive her antibiotics at home if a semi-permanent IV could be placed. As a newborn however, she clotted many of these types of IVs, including one serious clot that almost damaged her kidney. We will need some serious wisdom as we decide whether it's worth the risk of another blood clot to be able to bring her home sooner.
3. As always, there are some "new" things popping up on Elizabeth's labs. There's unexplained blood in her urine and some funny looking red blood cells in her serum. Pray that not-scary explanations for these abnormalities will be found....and quickly.
As for the photos, the first one shows her making the sign for "piggy." The second shows her playing "beads" with one of my co-workers. He's mostly out of the shot, but his lemon yellow body suit and gloves are just visible!
Thanks again for all your support and prayers. We are truly being sustained by them!
Matt (for everyone else)
Elizabeth spends much of her time in the hospital delighting all the nurses and doctors with her sign language vocaubulary. I think she's using it as a sort of "jedi mind trick" to keep them from examining her. They show up, and before they can touch her belly, she's sigining and blowing kisses...smart gal! Here she's signing "Pig".
All dressed up and nowhere to go! Elizabeth LOVES her necklaces. They were an ingenious gift from her friend Jude, and provide lots of dress up options...and go with almost anything she wears. ;)