Hallie had a very nice Christmas eve and day with her cousins (more about this later, I hope) and a lovely time with Eliza Grace on Boxing Day (which extended Christmas for the two of them...both are entirely enamored of opening presents...She is still asking us to "do Chanukah" every night because that means more presents to open). Sadly, though, she came down with a fever while at Eliza's Nana's house (we didn't know this until we got home; the condo was warm and the oven was on and so it didn't seem so concerning that Hallie was flushed but, in retrospect, flushed=fever in Hallie's world). She cried and vomited in the car on the way home from the greater Princeton area and was clearly sick by Sunday morning. She ran a pretty high fever all day on Sunday, topping out at a troubling 104 F + (we take her temperature under her arm and axillary temps are none too reliable). We called the after hours practice and the very cautious doctor on call (whom we like a lot) had us bring her into the ER at CHOP. It seemed like a garden variety viral infection to the ER docs and so, as long as she could stay hydrated (and she could, since the vomiting was not persistent), she was free to go. Monday was more of the same. Tuesday she seemed better by the afternoon and had not been running a fever all day but the fever had returned by the evening, though less virulently than it presented the day before. Today, Wednesday, she seemed totally normal and so the virus seemed to have abated. She even wanted to eat (ate about a slice of bacon and a slice of buttered toast, which is more than she's consumed the past three days combined). So the worst was over...
...or so we thought. Tonight the fever returned. Our axillary reading (100.7) was lower than what her fever turned out to be (at least a couple hours later, when it read 104, rectally, at CHOP). But more troublesome was her grey/blue ashen color, which seemed very off to me, and her rapid, labored breathing. We called the after hours practice and the nurse had us count her respiratory rate. Over 40 breaths per minute is troublesome; Hallie was at 57 by our reckoning. So Sharon brought her back in. At triage, her pulse ox was reading 90-92 and never went above 95. Her chest sounded 'squeaky'. And her heart rate was over 160.
Of course, Hallie, being Hallie, was a charming patient who was very engaged with her doctors and nurses and teasing and playing with them. She has a bit of an appetite, so she ate a saltine and at last update was working on a graham cracker. She acted fine. But her chest xray indicates otherwise.
The upshot: pneumonia.
They are trying to figure out whether she gets to stay at CHOP for New Years Eve (oh joy!) or come home and recuperate here. I haven't heard anything from Sharon for a bit, but my sense is that it will depend on whether she needs to receive any oxygen therapy (or at least be in close range of nasal cannula...what a horrific thought, given that she came off the Os 3 years ago now).
So 2009 is going out with a bang. And not a festive one, either.