A few weeks ago (June 3) we found ourselves back in the ER with Miss K . She caught a tummy bug over the weekend that just didn't want to leave. It started with vomiting most of the day Saturday, in fear of another ER visit for dehydration I was trying anything and everything I could think of to get fluids in her and get them to stay but without fail every time she drank ANYTHING she puked, until I got a strange idea to try my breastmilk, I happen to have some in the freezer that I actually thought of tossing out during our move a few weeks ago but for some reason couldn't bring myself to do so just yet knowing it was still perfectly good. The idea to try breastmilk came because just a few days before Baby Brother had gotten the same bug and the only thing he was keeping down was breastmilk, I doubted Miss K would be OK with it but amazingly she drank it, and drank some more and didn't puke again. But the diarrhea did not stop and she had it for DAYS. Even though she's been drinking 30+ oz fluids daily she still got dehydrated. Since we are between Pediatricians with having just moved out of town I called the closest pediatrician's office recommended by friends only to be told every ped and his/her nurse in the state was at a conference until that afternoon! They got her an appt for 3pm but I felt she needed to be seen sooner when she started loosing control of her whole body, she couldn't focus, couldn't pick stuff up, and could not walk without collapsing, she couldn't understand why her body wouldn't work and kept trying to move and leave the chair only to fall to the floor. It had me worried so I loaded Miss K into the car and met Daddy at the ER only to pull a much more aware and seemingly fine Miss K from her carseat. The ER nurses deliberated and couldn't decide if we needed admittance or if she could wait til her later appointment, we called our old pediatrician and new pediatrician only to be told there was nobody there to give us advice. In the end they decided admittance was best considering there were no Pediatricians available for the morning. Turns out she was dehydrated enough they couldn't even draw blood, it took 3 tries with 3 different nurses and then they called in the Life Flight team, I guess because they are great with tiny, dehydrated veins, the Life Flight guys got the vein on the first try but by that point my poor, sweet baby was so traumatized , she went into her "shut down" mode and refused to look at or talk to anyone, myself included. They gave her IV fluids, took urine and stool samples and blood, all results came back fine.
I learned that Digoxin levels in the blood can come back as "normal parameters" but a person can still be suffering from toxicity. I learned that you can see the Digoxin actually working on an EKG and that that's more accurate than a blood test. Apparently at the time of the EKG and blood test both came back as normal. I also learned that a person taking Digoxin should never be allowed to get dehyrdrated to any extent because dehydration can cause Digoxin toxicity, I'm not happy that I never knew this, I can't find it anywhere on the internet and her EP Cardiolgist never has mentioned it, something I will be asking him about at our next 6 month check up. The ER doctor explained that her extreme behavior during dehydration is likely because of her Digoxin, when she's out of bodily fluids the Digoxin can do some crazy stuff to the brain and body and he told us ANY time she gets dehydrated and acts like she did this time that we need to take her in to the ER immediately.
What we don't know is why Miss K gets dehydrated so easily and so quickly. This year we've learned that tummy bugs do not bode well for Miss K, it is something to be avoided if at all possible. It's strange that since she hit toddler hood and started handling fevers and cold viruses so well despite her PJRT I thought we were in the clear for school coming up, no more worries about other kids being sick around her, but now I have to stress about stomach bugs, I have to do all I can to keep her from getting them since every time she does catch one we end up in the ER.
It took us almost a week to get Miss K back up to healthy again. I ended up taking her in for a follow up visit with a new pediatrician, he was pretty good, I think I'll give him another chance before I decide whether we need to try someone else. He gave me a lot better information about "curing" diarrhea than the ER did, we ended up putting Miss K on a high strength probiotic twice a day for a week, also he advised me to get her back to drinking milk for the fats but it needed to be lactose free so that it was easier to digest, Miss K wasn't a fan of the lactose free milk but she drank enough of it to satisfy. We did finally get her eating well again, actually better than before she got sick, and she got back on track drinking lots of fluids, but it took us over a week to do so.