Friday, April 6, 2012

"Red Man Syndrome"

  • His chest pain is back, so they've repeated the battery of tests on his heart.   Thankfully all of the tests came back normal, so they've attributed the pain to either pleurisy or costochondritis, both painful but harmless conditions. 
  • Spence has a fever of 101.3....his first fever since the first round. :(   I had forgotten how fast things happen around here with fevers.  Within a half hour of the fever developing he'd already had blood cultures taken, Tylenol given, and antibiotics started.    His ANC is 0, so his immune system is at its most vulnerable.  We're praying that the cause of the fever turns out to be nothing serious. 
  • Shortly after receiving his intravenous antibiotic (vancomycin), Spencer developed an itchy, bright red rash covering his head, neck, trunk, and back.  It was a pretty intense 15 minutes, while the nurse and resident came in and stopped the infusion, administered Benadryl, flushed his lines, and observed Spencer as he grabbed his neck in pain.  Thankfully his oxygen levels remained fine and they actually do not believe it is an allergic reaction, but a common reaction to vancomycin called "red man syndrome".  Basically it means that he will need future infusions of vancomycin to be prefaced with Benadryl and to be administered much, much more slowly. 
  • Spencer's 17th birthday is coming up on April 30th.    He'll almost certainly be in the hospital on that date, so our idea is to  shower him with cards and letters from across the country and we need your help.  Feel free to send him kid-drawn pictures, notes of encouragement, cards, funny quotes, etc.    (No gifts please.)   Please email me at or my sister Kristina at if you need our address.  (Shhhh...don't tell Spence!) 

Here's a pic I sniped of Spence yesterday while he tried to grab the camera from me.    Surprisingly he really liked it and posted it of his own free will to his Facebook account.  With him feeling miserable today, I find myself looking at it a lot, in hopes that he will be feeling like this again soon. 


"Look to the lighthouse of the Lord. There is no fog so dense, no night so dark, no gale so strong, no mariner so lost but what its beacon light can rescue. It beckons through the storms of life. The lighthouse of the Lord sends forth signals readily recognized and never failing. "  
 ~Thomas S. Monson~


K said...

I am so sorry Spence is having another pain filled rotten day! Dang it! I wish he could have a few days off from feeling bad! We are going to say an extra prayer for him tonight! Hugs to everyone!

Steve-Rosanna said...

Poor Spence. No sooner than it seems like he has turned a corner-than something else crops up. No doubt that all this shall soon pass and he will begin to fully recover. In the meantime poor poor baby boy.

We love you Spence! Lots of prayers coming your way.

K said...

After reading about "Red Man Syndrome" could all of his symptoms tonight be caused by it? Just wondering.

R said...

Poor Spencer. He leaves isolation and comes up with new problems. We'll be praying extra hard for him tonight.

annalisa said...

I hope Spence recovers quickly. Just in case I haven't told you recently your family rocks :)

I also like that picture of Spence.

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