The Anders Update – Viral Meningitis

Many of you know, my sweet little 3 week old Anders is currently hospitalized with viral meningitis. I wanted to share a little bit more about what lead up to the diagnosis/hospitalization.

Anders is the chillest baby ever, we really never heard him cry until Saturday. On Saturday he seemed very uncomfortable and restless. He was “fussy” which is SO not my little peanut. He would arch his back and get really red, it was almost like he was trying to bear down and have a bowel movement but never did. He was also very sensitive to any lights, loud noises, or bumps. He wold startle very easily and it would make him cry. Again, this is just so not like my Anders.

In hindsight, I see the symptoms a little clearer now but I just thought, well, he must just be acting like a normal baby now. I assumed maybe had some gas or some cramping, his belly was kind of swollen/distended and he hadn’t had a bowel movement in a few days. It all added up to constipation/gas.

Sunday, he had all the same symptoms but worse. More sensitive, more fussy, more restless, and he kept arching his back when he would cry. He hated laying flat and would cry even more. He would grimace a lot too. His belly seemed even more distended so I thought, it must just be gas and constipation and gave him some apple juice and a suppository. I’m no stranger to constipation as you may recall that’s what Gannon had lots of trouble with.

In the afternoon I went to get him out of his car seat and he felt hot. I checked his temperature and it was 100.4. Any newborn under 3 months with a fever really needs to be seen in the ER but I thought, well let’s let him rest, and I’ll check it again when we both wake up from a nap. Sure enough, two hours later when he woke up, his fever was 101.8. Now there was no doubt, he really needed to be seen.

I took him to the local ER. As an ER nurse, I HATE these kinds of patients – these poor tiny babies with fevers have to get every kind of swab and poke, they have to get an IV and blood drawn and sometimes a catheter and a spinal tap. I just hate it because these sweet tiny babies are subjected to such torture but I knew it was serious and needed to be done.

My sister was working so she finally got to meet him. It was around this time his oxygen started dropping and he would have long pauses of time where he wouldn’t breathe. He did much better with some oxygen but I knew that we weren’t going to go home at that point. An xray of his belly that showed concern for an early bowel obstruction, his spinal tap (lumbar puncture) was concerning for either a viral or bacterial meningitis as well. He tested positive for rhino/entero virus (the common cold) and the decision was made to transfer him to a larger facility about 2 hours away for a higher level of care.

Anders was taken by ambulance and Craig and I finally made it to the hospital at 4 am. They started him on many different medications when we got here and he’s been closely monitored. He was still very sensitive and uncomfortable yesterday (Monday) and we didn’t even want to hold him much so he wouldn’t be disturbed. He was still having fevers as well.

Here is today’s update (Tuesday):

Anders is doing SO much better today:

✅ off of oxygen
✅ more awake and less irritable
✅ finished one round of antibiotics
✅ fever free for 12 hours

AND best of all, his CSF culture came back and he got the official entero virus meningitis diagnosis – this is a much better bug to have than most other viruses and bacteria so this is a WIN! 🥳 If he were to have bacterial meningitis, he would have to be in the hospital for at least three weeks.

And YES rhino/entero virus is just the common cold for adults – the boys were sick earlier last week with just a cough and runny nose and likely gave it to Anders who’s teeny little body just couldn’t handle it.

So please, wash your hands as often as possible, stay home if you’re sick, don’t kiss the babies, and take newborn fevers seriously! That will be my motto for the next couple of months! We are still waiting for the cultures to come back so we will likely be here until Thursday or Friday receiving antivirals.

His belly looks much better and he is pooping now. When kiddos have a virus sometimes their intestines shut down to preserve energy for the rest of his body to fight the virus which is probably what looked like the early bowel obstruction.

He’s still having periods of apnea (where he stops breathing) but his oxygen isn’t dropping anymore like it was when he needed some extra oxygen at the first ER. This can also be caused by a virus and we’ve got 3 more days to make sure he isn’t going to continue having apnea at home so I’m not too stressed about it.

We are so so so so so so so thankful for my mom and my brother and my other siblings who have offered to help with the boys at home, as well as our very good family friends Kelli and Sofia who watched the boys so mom could come pick up Craig. There is a lot of sitting and waiting here at the hospital and Craig really needs to be in the combine this time of year so he’s back home and trying to keep things a little normal for the boys (getting them on the bus and putting them to bed etc.)

Craig actually had the boys in the combine with him while I took Anders to the ER on Sunday. Apparently farming can be really boring because look at how these two fell asleep in the combine:

You can read more here about our crazy few days on mom’s blog:

Thanks for reading friends and for all the well wishes!

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  1. Carolyn.Sulliva
    October 11, 2022 / 9:20 pm

    OMG can’t trust those kids!

  2. Joy
    October 11, 2022 / 10:26 pm

    We hope and pray you and little Anders will be home soon!

  3. Maxine
    October 12, 2022 / 12:01 am


  4. Nancy White
    October 12, 2022 / 12:34 am

    Great to hear that things are looking up! Continued prayers for Anders and the family.

  5. Carmen Montmarquet
    October 12, 2022 / 1:28 am

    So happy to hear Anders is doing better! I pray you both get to go home real soon! It is a blessing you have such a wonderful family and friends who are able to help at a moment’s notice! Thanks for the update!

  6. Beryl in Owatonna
    October 12, 2022 / 1:55 am

    PTL! So happy to hear he is doing better! will continue to pray for al of you. Thanks for the update.

  7. Sonnie
    October 12, 2022 / 3:07 am

    Praying for sweet Anders and strength for his mommy.

  8. Samantha M
    October 12, 2022 / 6:56 am

    I’m so pleased for you that Anders is doing better. You must be exhausted with all the emotional upheaval. Thank goodness for your amazing family support.

  9. Martha W
    October 12, 2022 / 3:22 pm

    So so so glad Anders is doing better. Loved the sleeping kids in the combine. Our kids usually lasted one round because it is BORING. I’ll keep Anders and the whole family in my prayers.

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