Briella Medical Update

2021 has started out interesting for our family with a not great first impression. However, I am confident that first impressions can be decieving and it will continue to get better from here! We have stayed home since March 13, and took social distancing to the extreme besides Michael’s missions and me working at the hospital in full PPE always. Briella started with intermittent abdominal pain and a low grade fever on New Year’s Day. The fever and intermittent abdominal pain continued over the weekend and on Monday. On Tuesday, she still had a fever with a Tmax of 105.2 (verifed with two different types of thermometers). It responded well to Motrin and Tylenol and her fever came down to 102-103 her baseline since Monday. She was able to maintain taking in fluids well considering she did not have much of an appetite. Wednesday, was not much different with the fever, fatigue, and decreased appetite. On Thursday, we returned to the pediatrician. This time, due to the prolonged fever, Briella had a lot of tests.

She came back strep negative, flu negative, Covid negative, blood cultures were sent out, and a lot of other blood work was sent off. On exam, the only thing abnormal was enlarged lymph nodes in a few areas. I had been carefully monitoring everything from home as well. On Friday morning, the pediatrician called us and told us the labwork had all come back and it was abnormal. Her liver levels were over 13x greater than an appropriate range and there were abnormal cell shapes/types mixed in with her blood work. The pediatrician had been consulting with hematology, oncology, and GI specialists who all agreed she needed to be seen immediately in the ED. Luckily, I happen to work at a great pediatric ED so away we went.

Briella had a repeat covid test done, hated it, but it came out negative again. Chest xrays looked great. She had an IV, fluids, and more blood work drawn.

My coworkers totally spoiled her with toys and made the visit a little more enjoyable for her. Her repeated labwork, showed some abnormal cell shapes at this time, her liver labs were even worse, and it showed that she is in an early active phase of mononucleosis. We are hoping that is the cause of the abnormal morphology. All of this led us to a hospital admission for fluids, ultrasounds, specialist visits, repeat daily lab work, and monitoring.

Although, she is still sick and has at least 4-6 weeks of recovery at a minimum, her smile is back. The continuous fluids alone helped her so much.

She is excited to be back home with all of her family. After 12 days, she still has a fever and fatigue. We have to follow up with weekly lab work/ultrasounds and pediatrician appointments and bimonthly GI appointments until her levels are normal again. Her labs and ultrasound show her liver, spleen, and pancreas are enlarged so we are just waiting for her body to fight it off. She can do it from home as long as she stays hydrated. She has repeat cancer labs in 4 weeks since her cell shapes were weird. They think it’s just the mono making everything wonky with her lab work but want to make sure. We are unsure of where she got it from since nobody else is sick and we are have been homebodies since March. The GI specialist says it is relatively rare in this age group. However, most likely she caught it from Michael or myself. We both had it as teenagers and it can lay dormant until your body is stressed. We both crazy hours at multiple jobs, constantly are taking on home improvement projects, and caring for our family. It’s a lot on any day. When you add in the stress of a pandemic, a country with political uncertainity, so many unknowns, etc it can only exasparate things. We are so grateful that my Mom, the other kids, Michael, and myself are healthy and asymptomatic. We are thankful that Briella is getting a little better each day.

Thank you for all the prayers, love, and support during this time.



3 Replies to “Briella Medical Update”

  1. What a scary time that must be! She is so lucky to have an RN as her mom! Sometimes though, it is especially scary to have so much knowledge knowing all the ins and outs of diagnosing little ones illnesses. I hope she continues to improve – mono can be handled with time. Hopefully she will be a good patient and lay around and let all her siblings be her nurses. Good luck and God love all your children! Thanks for the update!


  2. I will continue to pray for her and you and Michael. Plus the other children and your mom. Keep us posted how to pray for her. You are all in our Lords hands.


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