Sunday, November 22, 2009


It has been awhile since our family’s last post and I wish we had a lot of good things to report. However, Trent is in Children’s Hospital Central California right now and is being treated for Typhoid Fever. As many of you know we arrived home from China on October 15. As I posted before, Trent had not been feeling well from the moment we arrived home. We have been going round and round with the pediatrician and Hospital ER and finally the pediatrician worked it out for the Hospital to admit Trent on November 18. I think Trent’s pediatrician had to arm wrestle to get him admitted. The hospital is only admitting patients that need surgery or have other serious illnesses. At the time they admitted him, we only knew he had salmonella. Trent‘s specimen was taken on October 26 and the private testing lab determined it was salmonella about a week later and sent it over the to the County Health Department. The County Health Department called me up and asked me a series of questions as to determine what has he eaten to become infected. They were more concerned about if he had eaten a tomato from the supermarket then about our trip abroad. I was pretty blunt and keep on saying, HE GOT IT IN CHINA, HE GOT IT IN CHINA. The County Health Department could not identify what strand of salmonella it was so they sent the specimen to the State lab. I question whether or not the County Health Department sat on the specimen longer then they should have. Typhoid Fever is a specific strand of salmonella, not your every day run of the mill food poisoning kind. Soon after being admitted to the hospital, we were notified that the State lab determined that it was Salmonella Typhi. Well that only took 23 days to determine after that specimen was collected.
In fact this is a summary of a conversation we had with two doctors in Trent’s hospital room within a few hours of him being admitted. The names have been changes to protect the identities of those involved.

Doctor 1: Well, I see from the chart that Trent tested positive for salmonella. I am doing his medical history work up so please tell me what is going wrong.
Tamra: Do you really want to know?
Doctor 1: Yes and what’s with the attitude?
Chris: Pardon my wife. We have almost lost faith in the medical system. You see doctor, this hospital sent us away from the ER not once, but twice, telling us that he has something viral and it has to run its coarse.
Tamra: OK here it is, All typed up. The daily account of Trent’s illness for the past MONTH!
Doctor 1: Well, Trent really does not look that sick to me. I think maybe he has just had a series of viruses so we will do a flu test. The hospital is kind of full at the moment, you know H1N1, you may have read about it. We don’t normally treat salmonella with any antibiotics, so we will get him patched up and out of here in a jiffy.
Enter Doctor 2
Doctor 2: We just got back the test results from the State testing lab and Trent has Typhoid Fever. Wow, in my 25 years as being a doctor, I have never seen a case of Typhoid Fever. Let me see those spots on your chest again. Those are kind of cool. Did I just say that out loud. I meant to say this case needs to be documented closely to provide the hospital will valuable information. You know there are only about 400 cases a year in the United Sates.
Doctor 1: Lets get on top of this right away. I will order a chest x-ray, ultrasound, bone scan, CT scan. No, that’s not enough, lets make that two ultrasounds and throw in a MRI.

OK OK. So the conversation did not go exactly that way, but that is how I felt. The truth is the doctors and staff at Children’s Hospital have all been outstanding and professional. There is however, a certain curiosity the doctors have with the Typhoid Fever, particularly the characteristic rose spots on his chest. Between Nicole and now Trent, we have spent a lot of time here. Every time I think about the cost billed to the insurance companies I just get the chills.

Trent is being treated with heavy duty antibiotics through an IV and appears to be doing very well other then nausea. All of the results of the tests (chest x-ray, ultrasound, bone scan, CT scan) indicated that the infection had not spread to the bones or other organs. However, the bone scan indicated that he has a horseshoe kidney, which was later confirmed by the second ultrasound. And the CT scan has some kind of anomaly in his brain blood vessels that the Doctor said the radiologist had never seen before. These things are never good to hear while your in the hospital. The doctor wanted to take another look so they ordered a MRA (MRI for the blood vessels) of his brain. We are still waiting for the final report from the radiologist. If the results come back good then there is a chance they may send Trent home with a PICC (peripherally inserted central catheter) line in his arm before Thanksgiving. That is something we are very familiar with since Nicole had one when she came home from the hospital. Through all of this Trent has kept his spirits up. He had only appeared nervous at the thought of having radioactive dye injected into him for the bone scan and the talk of the PICC line being inserted. He remembers when Nicole tried to pull hers out, and is not to keen on the idea of something being inserted into him.

So as a result of Trent testing positive with Typhoid Fever, everyone in the family is now being tested for it. Evidently in very rare cases, you can be a healthy carrier of Typhoid Fever, hence the case Typhoid Mary.

Oh, and Elsie is doing really well apart from her sinus infection.

We want to express our gratefulness to all the warm wishes and prayers from everyone. I know I have said it before but I will say it again. "I love the the body of CHRIST"
We serve a MIGHTY GOD!!!!!