Gaby's Story

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A little history:

Beginning March 2006 Gaby started having symptoms like a cold. Mostly just a runny nose but plugged at the same time. Two weeks of the same thing and we visited the doctor. It was March 23/06. The doctor prescribed Biaxin, an antibiotic, for a nasal infection. Two weeks on the medicine and still no relief.
We visited another doctor on April 23/06 with the same complaints, can’t breathe through her nose and runny, yellowish discharge from her nose. Again with the nasal/sinus infection, and another round of antibiotics, Ceftin, this time.
After that dose was finished we visited yet another doctor, it was May 2/06. After being on 2 different antibiotics this doctor decided that maybe we should visit an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist.
It was May 26/06 when we finally got in to see the ENT. He did a series of different exams but could not get the little flexible camera in her nose to see what was going on with her. He speculated that it was her adenoids that were enlarged, but did not know for sure. He did a swab of her nose and sent it to the lab. It came back 3 days later as a Staph infection, so he prescribed another antibiotic, Novo Trimel.
Each day, she was getting worse. Her breathing at night became more shallow and loud, but as far as we knew it was just an infection. We took her back in to see him a week later with now another issue. Her right eye was beginning to swell. On June 8, she was prescribed another antibiotic, Cefaclor, and was referred to an ophthalmologist to look at her eye.
That appointment was June 14/06. He said it looked like it was a result of her nose issue and that if they would figure out the nose issue the eye issue would take care of itself.
On June 15/06 we got a call from the school as Gaby’s breathing was getting noticeably more laboured. We decided to take her down to the children’s hospital to get checked out. They speculated it was either obstructive sleep apnea or sinusitis and that the loud breathing (snoring) and sleepiness during the day was normal of these conditions. We told him that her breathing while sleeping was very laboured and that she was spending the entire night gasping for air. We asked about testing to see what was blocking her nasal passage and practically begged the doctor to let her stay so he could observe her while she was sleeping. We were told it was unnecessary as he felt she was breathing fine then were told we could bring her to another doctor the following week if we liked. On June 16/06 we called the ENT Specialist and asked the receptionist to speak to him directly, but she just took a message. He didn’t call me back until Saturday but we were not home, so we didn’t get to speak until Monday June 19/06 at that time he said to go to the hospital and that they would do a CT scan to finally figure out what was going on, he had spoken to his colleague there. At the children’s hospital they did not do a CT scan, nor did they admit her, the ENT specialist at the hospital looked at her and said that what she has was more than likely adenoids and would have to be removed. Asked about the CT scan and were told it was not necessary. He was sure it was adenoids and if he was wrong the problem is still just sinusitis and will be gone by the middle of summer. We also saw an Ophthalmologist while we were there. He felt the problem with her eye was a Chalazion, a clogged oil gland that was infected and that it was unrelated to the nose problem. He asked us to come see him at his office for further evaluation and that it would probably have to be removed surgically. The ENT asked that he add an extra 15 minutes to his Chalazion removal procedure time so that he could check Gaby’s adenoids and remove them if necessary.
The ophthalmology appointment was on Wednesday June21/06. He examined Gaby’s eye and confirmed it was a Chalazion and booked her into surgery for the next Thursday, June 29/06.
By this point Gaby was basically not going to school anymore, because of the lack of sleep during the night, she was falling asleep at school during the day.
On June 22/06 we went to our family doctor to get the pre-op form filled out, it was then that we noticed something in Gaby’s right ear. The doctor said it looked like a burst ear drum, due to the fluid leaking out of it, and that it would take care of itself.
The next day we saw something white growing out of Gaby’s ear canal and called the children’s hospital. The ENT doctor on call speculated it was just an ear infection and not related to any of her breathing, eye, nose issues.
On Monday June 26/06 we called the hospital again, as she was unable to stay awake for more than a half hour at a time now. It was suggested that we bring her in to have her oxygen levels checked if we were so concerned.
As her breathing was becoming even more laboured while she was sleeping and her ear had this white mass coming out of it and her eye was so swollen by now that we were scared it was going to burst, we decided to take her to a different hospital.
At the ‘new’ hospital the doctors did not know what the ear mass was, nor the eye swollenness. Then Gaby fell asleep. This caused mass confusion and chaos among the nurses and doctors, they did not know what to do and you could tell they were extremely concerned about her. We were asked to go directly to another hospital to see a pediatric doctor.
At the next hospital the first doctor we saw again felt the eye, nose and ear were unrelated but he wanted to have the senior pediatric doctor look at her as well. Then Gaby fell asleep again. The senior pediatric doctor knew right away that this was much more serious than anybody was treating it. He called for an ambulance to bring her to the children’s hospital right away. When I asked if I could just drive her over to the children’s hospital myself, I was told it was much too dangerous for me to transport her in this condition.
Funny…we’d been driving her around for months like this and nobody was concerned at all.
A couple hours later, we were back at the children’s hospital waiting for a room in the ICU.
That’s when the answers started to come in.
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