After my last discouraging doctor's appointment, etc. I decided our best approach was to take action and make an appointment with an infectious disease doctor. In fact, the doctor we ended up seeing was a pediatric infectious disease doctor! Even better!
Two weeks ago this Thursday Courtney finished a 10 day round of augmentin and one week's worth of antibiotic drops. I was starting to either worry or hope, I am not sure which one, that her ear was going to be all cleared up and we weren't going to have any more problems. This would be good if it were really the end, but bad since we had the appointment scheduled with the doctor for today. Did the antibiotics really work? If it wasn't draining yet, would the doctor still take it seriously and move forward with an action plan? I just wanted a concrete plan.
I think with a little divine intervention, Courtney woke up this morning with drainage. I know this seems terrible that I wanted her to have drainage. It is kind of like that squeak in your car that you want fixed, but whenever you take your car in it doesn't do it! You want it to squeak, I wanted it to drain! And it did! So here is the plan!
We had blood work done today which wasn't easy, but she did it. Thankfully we did at Methodist Children's so they had tiny needles, yet it still took a stick in each arm to get enough blood for today. She has to go back again to do the rest because they are only allowed to take a certain amount of blood in one day. The bottom line is the doctor wants to check her immune system more thoroughly, boost it and find out why she can't clear up the infection completely.
To start off we are on two types of antibiotics for 14 days versus the normal 10. She is on a stronger dose of augmentin and rifampin. She did warn me, thank goodness, that rifampin will cause her tears, urine, snot, etc. to be orange so don't freak out! She is leaving drops to Dr. Not so Happy to prescribe tomorrow at our follow up from the ear infection that is already back! We will go back to her in two weeks to get all of our results and determine our next steps based on the results, etc.
In the meantime she ordered a regular ol' CBC which will basically measure the concentration of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets in the blood. She also ordered autoimmune deficiency testing for subclasses Ig C, Ig E, Ig M, Ig I, Ig G, and Ig A. In addition to that she did the pneumococcal titers (14 serotypes). This will determine if Courtney fails to make an antibody response to any of the 14 serotypes. One of the tests we have to still do is the allergy RAST test which will determine if the drainage is allergy related and the infection is really a secondary infection. Apparently this test alone takes up the one day allotment that can be taken from Sassy Pants. After the blood draw, she got a dose of the pneumovax! The thought behind this was to boost her immune system and cover more types of pneumococcus. And last, but not least she ordered a streptococcus pneumoniae urine test. From my understanding this will test if streptococcus pneumoniae is in her urine, but I don't know at this point, why that is important! This by the way, has to be done on a non potty trained little girl and taken to San Antonio on ice within 4 hours after she goes. Okay Heavenly Father, a little more divine intervention might be needed here!! Timing this between the commute to school, work, doctors appointments and a non cooperative 2 year old should be interesting!!!
The only other thing she would like to do is to have her vaccinated with the newly FDA approved Prevnar 13. This was just approved February 24, 2010 and will cover 13 strains of bacteria versus the 7. Because Courtney had the other vaccine today she wants to wait for one month.
Okay, that was more medical talk than I know what to do with!! I feel really good about this plan and really good about this doctor! She wants a handle on this, wants to know why she continues to have these ear infections AND she has a plan!! I will keep you all posted!