I'm finally back. And there's good news, Riordan is doing much better. When we arrived at the hospital on Saturday morning, the doctors still were not sure what was infecting his body. He had a bunch of fluid around his lungs but they couldn't drain it at all because his blood platelet count was too low. On Saturday afternoon they were able to put in a chest tube and ended up draining a litre of fluid from around his left lung. It was full of bacteria and that bacteria told the doctors what they should be fighting (up to that point they had just been giving him something to treat "everything").
They discovered that the virus attacking his system was Group A Strep (more specifically Streptococcal Toxic Shock Syndrome), and it's very uncommon for it to react this way. The doctor said that he's only seen a case like this 6 times in his career and that it is usually fatal. Needless to say we were all relieved to find out what was going on and that they were going to be able to treat it directly.
On Sunday they drained the fluid from around his right lung (there wasn't nearly as much) and started administering penicilin to fight the infection. Today, I found out from my brother, they took out his breathing tube. He's still under heavy medication and minor sedation, but if he does well without the respirator then he may be out of ICU by the weekend. Last I heard they were thinking they may have to put him on a dialysis machine, but I haven't heard anymore on that.
I can't say enough good things about the staff at Comer Children's Hospital. All the nurses were so nice and attentive, they answered all of our questions and when they didn't know the answer they found someone who did immediately. Anyone who's been in a situation where every minute something changes, knows how important that kind of response can be.
Aside from the atrocious drive home on Sunday (which my mother handled expertly, even after she had been driving all day) through patches of dense fog and heavy rain (in which the windsheild wipers would stop sporadically in mid-swipe), not getting home (or taking a shower) until Monday afternoon (night, for the shower), and doing a butt-load of laundry the second I got back, I'm actually starting to feel better. I had a slight breakdown at the laundromat. I think the stress of everything finally caught up to me and hit me when I wasn't expecting it. Thankfully Jen came to my rescue and helped me not make too much of a jackass of myself. (Thanks again, Jen, you don't even know how much that meant to me.)
I tried to knit a hat for my nephew, but between going in and out of hospital rooms and back and forth from the Ronald McDonald house (which is amazingly nice!) and the hospital I wasn't able to finish it. I think it might be too big anyway, so I'm going to start it over and mail it to them.
A little love, in every stitch.