This weekend John became very jaundiced. We took him to the doctor's office on Sunday and they had us get some lab work at the local hospital. We headed home to wait for the results which turned out to show high levels of jaundice and low red blood cell count.
Yesterday we met with Dr. McLean at Brenner Children's Hospital in Winston-Salem, NC. Dr. McLean is a Pediatric Hematology/Oncology specialist. The good news is that Dr. McLean and several of his colleagues all seem to agree that this is not cancer, just a blood disorder. John's hemoglobin is 4.2 (normal is 10.4-13.2) and his bilirubin level is 7.2 (normal is 1.0). He has also developed a heart murmur from all the stress he's putting on his body. Dr. McLean seems confident that John will out grow this "blip" in his system, but in the mean time we are forced to have blood transfusions to keep his bilirubin levels, red blood cell counts, and anemia under control.
Dr. McLean asked if he could take pictures of John for a research presentation he's doing at the upcoming AMA conference. Apparently John's skin color was "pallor" which is rare and is a combination of jaundice and paleness. I agreed. He also had several medical student come in to listen to John's heart because he had a "great murmur" It took several hours after all this for me to realize that he was having students look at my son and taking pictures because he was a medical anomaly...
Dad cancelled a business trip and rushed up to the hospital to be with us during the transfusions. He had a total of 3 transfusions equalling 100mL over the course of one day and one night. We checked out of the hospital on Tuesday late morning after getting cleared by the heme/onc clinic.
On a side note, John's blood type is A- and neither Matt nor I are a match. A- is not one of the most common blood types, so if you are A-, make sure you donate!