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Rory Gardiner's Webpage

21, May, 2010

Friday 21st May 2010


Rory is on the Children’s Ward at Whangarei Hospital.  He has been through so much, suffered so much, it seems unfair he has to endure more.  It makes me alternately angry, sick, and heartbroken.  I wasn’t satisfied to leave Whangarei Hospital on Tuesday without any answers so I emailed the Medullo mums.  One of them emailed me and said it could be shingles (same virus as chicken pox).  Several of the children got shingles 4-6 months after completing treatment due to their weakened immune system.  I looked on the internet for images and they were very similar to what Rory had so I called Starship and spoke to Dr Stephen on Wednesday night.  He said it was likely, and while we were at Whangarei Hospital for Rory’s surgery on Thursday morning we should see the Paediatrician to get a prescription for oral Acyclovir (anti-viral medication).  We should start giving it to Rory if the swab results came back positive on Friday afternoon, provided there was no change in the rash (the testing is being done at Starship). 

Yesterday (Thursday) morning when Rory woke up the rash had spread along his scalp and down into his right eye.  I spoke to Dr Stephen early as we drove to Whangarei Hospital.  He said Rory needed to be seen by a Paediatrician and admitted for iv Acyclovir.  While Rory was in pre-op the Paediatrician arrived and arranged for Rory to be admitted after surgery.  Rory was calm before the surgery.  Sean went in with him while I waited outside upset (as usual).  About an hour later it was finished and we were able to see him.  He was sore but otherwise ok.  Sean went home and I stayed with Rory reading him stories.  Gradually he took some water, then jelly, then lunch.  He managed to have a pee but it looks sore down there.  A bed was available for him on the Children’s Ward around 1.30pm.  We saw the Opthalmologist (Eye Dr).  He said there is a lesion on the outside corner of Rory’s right eye, and lesions will likely spread into his eye.  He said it is the second worse place to get shingles, and there is a risk to Rory’s eye sight.  He gave Rory some drops and he has to be seen again in Taranaki in two weeks.  The Nurse started the IV Acyclovir at 4pm.  Fortunately Rory had a line put in during surgery, although it is temperamental and in a sensitive place (top of left hand).  It is causing him some pain on and off when it is used.  Rory and I spent the afternoon reading, playing games and watching DVDs.  We got a terrible night’s sleep (as you always do in a hospital).  This morning the shingles had spread further.  Rory is feeling pretty lousy and is on pain relief.  When it wears off he has excruciating pain in his head and right eye as the lesions are following the nerve along his right temple, through his forehead and down to his eye.  We are trying to distract him and comfort him as best as we can.  It is likely he will be in Hospital until Sunday.  Sean is on duty tonight. 

I was angry the Doctors didn’t pick up the shingles on Tuesday morning, as treatment could have been started earlier, and Rory suffered a lot less.  It reminded me again of how never to accept what they say, and to dig deeper for the correct answer.  However, I am glad the boys got to enjoy their last day at school on Wednesday.  Sam gave his class a Freddo each before the bell rang, they were out having PE on the field.  The members of Room 6 lined up and each gave Sam the secret class handshake.  There were tears in my eyes.  Rory gave out his chocolates, tattoos and erasers to Room 3.  Kody had made Rory a neat card, and Rory had a small present for him.  After school we said goodby to Miss Hallett.  Rory had made her a card and chosen a small present for her.  She presented Rory with a big green teddy named Smudge and a beautiful pounamu.  He was overwhelmed and virtually speechless.  We made sure we said a proper goodbye to Mr Russek and Whaea Danielle.  We will miss everyone very much.  It was a very emotional day for the boys and I.  Sean came back in one piece from the aerial hunting as exhausted as we were.  Everyone was in bed early!