Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Update on Zoe

As many of you know, on Monday night, as a result of Zoe running a fever, we were directed by her cardiologist to go the Phoenix Childrens' Hospital (PCH) ER. So at 10:00 p.m. on Monday night, we hustled Zoe to the ER. When we arrived, we were told to take a seat in the busy waiting room and wait to be called. Almost simultaneously, Stacey and I attacked the poor security guard and let him know that wasn't going to happen. We were quickly whisked back to a busy triage room for a vitals check, then ushered to a private ER room. Because of Zoe's heart condition, the ER docs basically defer to the cardiologists. The cardiologist on-call ordered a chest X-Ray, which appeared normal. By the time the x-ray results returned the fever had also dissipated. Since no other symptoms were present the hospital recommended we take Zoe home and observe her, with instructions to follow up if more symptoms appear. So, we left the hospital at 2:00 a.m. and headed home.

We slept a few hours and awoke to discover Zoe again had a fever. We contacted Zoe's cardiologist to see if we could move our appointment, already scheduled for later in the week, to Tuesday. Fortunately, they were able to squeeze us in that morning. So, after a few hours of sleep we rushed off to Zoe's impromptu cardiologist appointment. Once we arrived, Dr. Stock's expression was one we had not yet seen in all our visits. Frankly, it was one we would have preferred not to see. He expressed immediate concern with her color, temperature, and oxygen saturation. His concern resulted in his recommendation for us to immediately drive to PCH. While on the way, he arranged for an ICU bed to be reserved. We arrived at PCH and reported directly to the ICU, where Zoe already had her own room, with her name on the door.

Of course, once we arrived Zoe had an immediate echocardiogram, followed by a chest x-ray and a series of blood tests and a viral panel. Fortunately, the echo and the x-ray were normal. The initial blood tests showed an elevated white blood cell count, indicative of infection. More testing was needed, however, before it could be determined if the infection was bacterial vs. viral and the source of the infection. The viral panel involves growing cultures over a period of 72 hours. So the waiting game began...

After 24 hours, they can sometimes obtain preliminary results. Some of the preliminary cultures showed a urinary tract infection. While a UTI is never a good thing, in this case it was good news. Primarily because a UTI infection does not directly implicate the lungs. If Zoe's lungs were somehow affected by the infection it could create potentially devastating long term implications. The doctors were already running a generic/wide spectrum antibiotic, with the intent to switch to a more targeted one when the precise nature of the infection was identified. The wide-spectrum antibiotic they were giving, however, also happens to one suited for a UTI. They also performed a renal ultrasound of the kidneys and bladder, to make sure that the infection was truly caused only by bacteria and not a physiological problem. We are still waiting on the ultrasound results.

While she looked miserable and really had us fearing the worst yesterday, Zoe is looking and acting much better today. Her fever is down, but her oxygen sats are still lower than normal, even on oxygen. Apparently, that's all normal with an infection.

Bottom line, the plan is to blast this UTI with antibiotics and hope all other cultures come back negative, the renal ultrasound is negative, and the infection clears up asap.

Hopefully, we will get out of PCH on Friday, then the goal is to keep Zoe healthy until we leave for Philly on September 9. Her surgeon said today that as long as Zoe's symptoms are gone by the surgery date, September 14, there will be no reason to delay her surgery.

Zoe is a one tough, resilient cookie. Leave it to her to scare us with this bump in the road so close to our Philly departure. I have a prett-ay, pretty good feeling this isn't the last time she will cause us to worry.

Thanks again to everyone for their ongoing thoughts and prayers. Also, another big thanks to Grandpa and Grandma Muenich for all their help, including watching Emerson.

We will continue to update.

In the meantime, while Zoe continues to heal here are a couple pictures of her, the first one from Tuesday, when she was admitted; and the second one from today - feeling, and looking, better.

(Whatchu talkin bout Willis?)


  1. Awww... she looks like she feels better! How scary for you. Keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers that everything clears up and Zoe is ready to go and get her Glenn over with.

  2. We will be praying for Zoe to recover and for her surgery on the 14th!

  3. Sweet Zoe get better very soon. You are all in my prayers. Love you.

  4. I have tears.....I hate this happened to you, to Zoe. It is just too scary...too much. BUT so relived now -it water under the bridge and it is over and she is okay...praying for ALL results to show normal, normal, normal and nothing beyond local UTI.

    I fear, this actually resolves some things for me...I now am now a little more sure they would have sent me home had we gone Thursday night to our ER...but that's neither here nor there for now...I'm still processing so much...sorry.

    By the way, I LOVED the part where you guys attacked the security guard! ;)

    Okay. I'll be following closely. I can't wait till you are in Philly and leaving CHOP!!!

    Oh your weary heart! I know it is relieved, but exhaustion is exhaustion and I do hope you get some physical restoration in the coming days.

    Oh - and I love the is good to see her!!

  5. She definitely looks like she's feeling better (love the caption!). So weird how Stacey commented on how blue she looked next to Emerson this weekend... guess now we know why, huh? Caleb, thanks for taking the time to update us. You must be just exhausted. Ms. Zoe didn't want ya'll to be bored while you were "waiting around" to head to Philly. ~grin~ She's practicing fighting! She's a toughie, alright!! Much love and many hugs to the Lihns and Muenichs.

  6. So happy to hear that Zoe is doing much better and that she is still good to go for her Glenn. What an exhausting way to spend your last Pre-Philly week! Still thinking, praying, sending love.

  7. I'm so sorry you had your first experience with "straight to PICU". We had three of those before the Glenn at 3 months. Not fun. I'm glad to hear it's just a UTI and that the surgery in Philly will still go on as planned. If you need anything, let me know. We'll continue to pray for you all. This rollercoaster ride will (hopefully) slow down after the Glenn.

  8. She is so DARN cute!! Many prayer being sent your way...COME ON SEPT 14th!!!