Friday, October 12, 2007

Big Scare :(

Hello All,
I'll start by telling you that Maddie is fine, but yesterday we did have a big scare. Gabe's Mom, Sandy, and I took Maddie to her 1 year appointment for a check-up and shots. Well, I already knew it would be a hard day because it's really hard to see and hear your baby cry (especially when they cry like that). The check-up was great. Maddie is now 18lbs 9oz, and 28" long. She's still in the 10th percentile (she's miniature). But, she's met every milestone and has even exceeded some, so the doctor was pleased. At her 1 year appt. she is supposed to have her finger pricked for the first time to look at her blood. That was pretty terrible. She flipped out and hated the woman who was doing it. So, the visit was over and we left and went on with our day.
Maddie and I were shopping for her new car seat when I got the call. It was the doctor from the morning saying that the number for Maddie's white blood cell count was really low and she needed us to come back so they could take her blood again and re-check it. Okay, "breathe" I thought. I seriously had a moment where it felt like a dream/nightmare; "this isn't happening." I asked her what "low white blood cells could mean", and she said "the first thing is to retest, and if that produces the same results then we need to find out why her bone marrow isn't making enough white blood cells." I told the doctor I would rush there with Maddie and I called Gabe to leave work and meet me.
The drive to the doctor was unlike anything I've ever felt. The worst ran through my head-"does she have cancer? is it because I've heated her bottles in the microwave? how will I be able to handle this?" I started to cry and pray "please let her be okay...she needs to be okay...please let her be okay...she has to be okay..." I felt like I was going to throw up and to be honest have NEVER been so scared in my whole life. She's so healthy and watching her get shots that morning had been incredibly stressful; I couldn't imagine watching a child go through any kind of medical treatment for a disease.
Maddie and I got to the doctor's quickly and they saw us right away. The doctor kept saying she was sorry to worry me and that Maddie seems so healthy, so it's probably nothing, but we need to retest to be sure. So, off we went to get her finger pricked again. That was a nightmare. As soon as Maddie saw the woman who pricked her finger earlier, she started to scream. She already knew what was going to happen. They took the blood and Maddie and I waited in the waiting room for the results and for Gabe. Gabe got there, and we waited for 15 minutes while Maddie played with another baby who shared her birthday. We made small talk with other parents, but I couldn't get my mind off of the results we were waiting for. I continued to pray in my head "she has to be okay..."
The doctor came out of the lab room and she gave us the thumbs up! "thank you, Lord," was my first thought. She came and told us that the number was totally normal and that it must have been a lab problem (like her blood clotted too soon in the tube before it was tested). She said the number is exactly what it should be and there's no need to retest in the future or follow up with anything. She's completely healthy.
I think facing that yesterday should remind us of several realities. I think we all take our health and the health of our children for granted, that life is truly fragile, and that the outcome of things is out of our hands. I'm so thankful today that she is a healthy little girl.


MOM said...

Amen to everything you concluded with! I'm really sorry that you had to go through that scare. Thank goodness our precious little one is fine. How could she not be? She's growing (okay, slowly but steady!) She's smart and funny! It does make you think about how hard it has to be for parents when there really is something wrong. What strength it must take to deal with serious illnesses in babies. I'm very thankful that we haven't ever experienced that and let's pray we never do. Sarah, you did GREAT! You kept your cool even when you were the most frightened you'd ever been. That is huge and it should show you how strong you really are. I love you and wish a happier, easier day for you and Maddie today! Mom

elisabeth said...

Scary story. I am so thankful it turned out ok and she is healthy and normal. I can't imagine. Sounds like you handled it as well as you could. Hope both you and Maddie had a better day today. Love you.

Anonymous said...

Sarah, when Ryan was little, 18 months, maybe barely 2, he had pneumonia.

This was before HMOs; we had a family doctor. He sent us to have x-rays taken at the lab and while I waited in the lab's waiting room, Ryan limp in my arms as I listened to him breathe, the doctor viewing the x-rays came to get me. He looked very concerned and my heart lurched inside when I saw his face.

He said Ryan had a serious heart condition based upon what he saw, his heart was enlarged or something, I can't remember the details now.

He vanished into his office to speak to my doctor on the phone and I just sat there waiting with little Ryan in my arms. Listening to him struggling to breathe, so oddly limp and still. And, atheist though I was at the time, I prayed so, so hard. I had tears in my eyes as I bent over him and I prayed to God, please don't let anything be wrong with my baby.

Well, the doctor came out a bit sheepish and said Ryan was fine. I'm not sure what happened and I wasn't as confrontational as I am today. Back then you just accepted what a doctor said. Today would be a different story; I would insist on details, etc.

He was obviously evading my questions so I just dropped it and took the x-rays back to my doc who confirmed Ryan had pneumonia and started him up on a new antibiotic they'd just gotten in. I had to use samples on him, several tiny tubes at once.

Within hours he was sitting up and much better.

Still. I'll never forget that wave of cold, stark fear in my stomach when the doctor said there was a problem with his heart.

So glad it was just a scare for you and Maddie too. :)

Annie, Laura's Mom

SARAH said...

Thank you Mom, Lizzy, and Annie for your comments. It was definitely scary-though not as scary as Annie's story about Ryan. It's something I never want to feel again, I'll tell you that. I remember when I was pregnant and everyone saying, you just hope for a healthy baby (doesn't matter if they are a boy or girl) and now I know the true meaning of those words.