Thursday, December 15, 2016

Post Thanksgiving Health Scare

Thanksgiving Eve took us to my sisters home for our annual Thanksgiving Eve Slumber party.  We stayed up late sipping wine, chased by coffee so we could stay up later, enjoying one another's company and being entertained by the kids.
Thanksgiving Breakfast
Thanksgiving day we had a leisurely breakfast as we prepared dishes for a lunchtime feast.  After spending the first part of the day at my sisters, we ventured to Scott's parents for the remainder of the day and to eat just a little more.

As the Thanksgiving weekend came to a close, I noticed that Lila's hearing wasn't quite normal.  If she was looking at you, she could hear seemingly fine.  If she had her back to the speaker, she was completely unresponsive.  I pointed it out to Scott and he mentioned it probably had to do with a cold she battled on and off for the past month.  She hadn't had so much a sniffle in a week, but we agreed to watch her closely and see if it improved.

Scott and I had our trip to Fort Lauderdale booked for that Wednesday.  Tuesday morning, Scott agreed that Lila's hearing hadn't improved and we should have her looked at.  A quick trip to the pediatrician was arranged and within a few hours we were sitting in the brightly painted room waiting to have her ears examined.

As the Dr. came in and listened to the issues we had noticed, she kept her stethoscope on Lila's chest, moving to her back, then again to her chest.  She looked in her ears and confirmed our thoughts.  She had fluid on the ears that was causing her hearing to be affected.  She prescribed amoxicillian and then asked the question, "have you ever been told she has a heart murmur?"

Without pause I said "no" and the Dr. continued speaking.  She was hearing a loud murmur, which she explained to me as turbulence in the heart.  Since a murmur had never been detected in our girl, and suddenly this very loud murmur was present, she asked if we could go upstairs to the children's cardiac unit and have an echo performed.  She asked us to sit tight and she stepped out to make a few calls and get everything set up.

I sat there staring at Lila when my phone buzzed to life.  Scott had sent a text asking "How's her ears?"  It was one of those rare moments in life that I had no words.  Here in front of me sat our sweet little girl whom 5 minutes ago my only concern was a little fluid on the ears.  Now my brain was taking me to the worst possible places. I needed to deliver the news to Scott of the echo that was to take place in the next few moments.

He must have picked up on my fear, or maybe it was the little bubble of the beginning of my text that just sat there, because within a minute he called.  I explained that a murmur was heard and she needed an echo.  He said he was on his way but I told him that he didn't need to be there at the moment and just to hang tight until we knew more.

A nurse appeared in our room and asked us to follow her as we navigated the halls into the pediatric unit of the hospital.  Once inside the room with the echo, we laid Lila back on the table and the technician began sticking the soft sticky patches to her skin.  Lila, whom does not like strangers, was not happy with the current situation and was very vocal in expressing her unhappiness.  I felt helpless as a parent as she was forced to participate in something she didn't understand.  I was successful in not allowing her to see how scared I was despite my insides being on the verge of melting down.

The echo took roughly 35-40 minutes.  Halfway through Lila settled down and watched the movie that was playing in front of her.  I stared at the monitor showing her little heart and the blood flow.  I didn't know what I was looking at, but watched the face of the technician hoping for a sign that everything was ok.  Maybe it was the desperate look on my face, or perhaps she could feel my helpless stare burning into her, but she offered some information.  She started with the disclaimer that she was not a Dr., nor was she trained to give a medical diagnosis on what she sees.  However, as a professional, she did not see anything glaringly wrong with her heart.  She explained that the Dr. would factor in Lila's height, weight, and a few other things to calculate if her heart was beating and blood was flowing exactly like it should.  I thanked her for easing up my fears a little.

As the echo was completed, the technician explained the sticky patches are extremely sticky and she recommend removing in the bath with a little oil.  However, our headstrong little girl refused to put her shirt back on until those sticky things were "off" her skin.  With the count of 3, the tech grabbed 2 of the patches, I grabbed 2, and we pulled them off at the same time.  Lila grimaced but didn't make a peep.  With 2 patches remaining I asked Lila if she wanted me to pull them off or wait and she instructed me to pull them off "NOW".  With that, all the patches were removed, leaving raw red patches of skin across her chest and sides.  We quickly dressed and were instructed the Dr. that reads the images would be in touch.

I drove home with a mind full of worry while speaking to Scott about the events of the morning.  I had already written off the trip to Fort Lauderdale, there was no way I was leaving the state when I was sure Lila's heart was going to explode at any minute. *Worst case scenario*

At home Lila and Paisley played like normal while I paced the floor and performed google searches on the different medical terminology that I learned hours earlier.  When an unrecognized number appeared on my phone, I quickly answered it, bracing myself against the counter.

The Dr. introduced himself and said he had just looked over the images of Lila's echo.  When he said there is absolutely nothing wrong with her heart, I almost fell over.  He explained that when little people have a cold and/or sick, it can cause this turbulence to occur.  He also explained that if she was anxious or scared, this could have also contributed to the turbulence that was heard.  Based on the visual information he had, she had a completely normal, perfectly performing heart.  He did ask to bring her back in the following week because they wanted to listen again, but otherwise, there was no concern.

As I thanked him profusely and hung up the phone, the terror that I had felt for the first half of the day erupted out of my body.  The tears that had been kept at bay were finally allowed to stream down my face.  I was so grateful for the news.  So grateful that we have the technology available to us to tell us with certainty that she's fine.  So grateful that Drs are cautious and work quickly to take care of their patients.  With a quivering voice I called Scott and told him the results.  His response, "I think we just earned our trip to Florida tomorrow."

Less than 24 hours later we were on a plane headed to Florida.  A trip that just a few hours before we had already cancelled in our minds.  Unbeknownst to us, a different health issue would brew in Lila while we gone....


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