Our Teddy Bear's Journey

Theodore was born with renal failure. This is his story.

CMV and Update

on April 25, 2017

I know I haven’t updated in a while.

Teddy’s had an interesting time since Christmas, but everything is OK.

He started getting high, sudden fevers accompanied by lethargy and just general overall “off” ness, but no ill symptoms. No runny nose, cough, etc. Fever + lack of other symptoms = concerning if you’re immune suppressed. The first time, we suspected flu and ran off to the ped for a flu swab. They did urine culture and RSV and strep, also. Urine came back with white cells, so we did an antibiotic injection and a 10 day course of abx. Ultimately, the urine only grew a common skin flora, which is usually just a contaminant, and nobody ended up thinking he actually had a UTI.

5 days after finishing the abx, he had another high fever (104/105). Back to ped’s office. Same tests. Nothing. Ended up getting admitted to figure out what was going on. Stayed for 4 days, did all the tests. He ended up testing positive for a GI bacteria, though he didn’t have the symptoms of a GI bug. (He did have some diarrhea, but it only started after he started the heavy duty IV antibiotics.) We treated for that. Evidently, his urine grew the same skin flora.

5 days after finishing the abx, another fever. Another ped visit. More tests. Urine grew the same thing. Someone finally says, hey, maybe this isn’t a contaminant. Did another urine culture after being sure to clean him REALLY REALLY WELL, and it grew the same thing.  Treated that, no more fevers.

After the first fever, we also ran all the “you have had a transplant and you have a fever” blood tests, which includes the three viruses that we monitor. (CMV, BK, and EBV.)  The CMV came back quite high. He’s had elevated CMV before that was no big deal, but this time it was REALLY ELEVATED. So I spent a Saturday driving to Iowa City to pick up the really expensive drugs to treat that. But this complicated the whole “what is wrong with him” situation, because CMV also suppresses the immune system (meaning that it leaves you even more vulnerable to lots of horrible stuff), and then CMV itself and ALSO the drug that treats it both suppress your bone marrow. So his hemoglobin dropped like a stone. So the CMV plus the fever plus no symptoms had the doctors quite concerned, but I think it turned out to be JUST the UTI plus the CMV.

Took a few months, but we got the CMV back under control. As of the last time we got labs (2 weeks ago), the CMV was back down to 0. We have to treat it for another 3 months and then we can finally drop that drug.

In the meantime, all the ick meant Teddy stopped eating and drinking. It’s been about 2 months and he’s finally back to drinking as much as he needs to orally now, but we’re still climbing out of the ditch when it comes to eating. Last week, I got him to eat cheese and one serving of oatmeal. This week, he’s has macaroni and cheese twice. But otherwise, he’s devolved back to eating just chips, which isn’t exactly the foundation of a healthy diet.

So there you go.

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