Sunday, March 21, 2010

Dear God: Please No More

At the end of it all, I found myself thinking "Please, Lord, let this be the end of it! I can't do this again!"

What is "it all"? Just the whole ordeal I hinted at in yesterday's post. Before I start, let me just say that I barely have the energy to think about it, let alone write it all out. So, if this is disjointed or otherwise confusing, please forgive me. I think, in the interest of my OWN sanity, I'm going to give you some background info, then the details, followed by me living up to this blog's name: rambling. I'm just going to post what's on my mind – whatever it might be. Should be fun! (Oh, and this is taking me HOURS to write the whole thing, because of how drained I am.)

Background: Natalie has had a rough winter. She's been sick a LOT – and some of it was pretty bad. From ear infection to pneumonia back to ear infection (times 5, I think) back to pneumonia – again. She has been on a few different meds, but more often than not over the past few months, she's been on Omnicef. It has done its job – the ear infections have gone away as expected. We've just had either more ear infections settle in or something else take their place.

And here begins our tale: Thursday night was AWFUL. But, she was still on the Omnicef, so we didn't even consider anything wrong with her ears. In fact, I remember thinking that it must be viral because she was on the meds. But, I also remember wondering if she was having trouble with her lungs. The issues she was having reminded me of when she had pneumonia. I brought her in to see the doctor that morning. He looked her over and said it was "impossible" that she had strep because of the meds she was on. He ordered a blood test and let me know that, while in the normal range, her white blood cell count was high. Apparently it was indicative of bacteria somewhere. He said to bring her back on Saturday (he was in, praise God) if we had another rough night on Friday.

Friday night was AWFUL, too. So, back to the doctor we went Saturday morning. He took another blood test, but her fingers were ice cold and it was very hard for the nurse to get a sample. We were sent to the lab, where they took blood from her arm. Back at home, she finally was napping when the doctor called. He said her WBC was up from 16,000 to 18,000. He wanted to make sure there wasn't bacteria hiding in her blood, bladder, or lungs, so we were sent to the hospital (the peds department, not emergency or anything) for some tests.

This was the worst part. The worst thing I've ever been through. The time I almost broke down and wept with my child. Almost. But, I didn't, because I felt like I needed to be strong for her.

The hospital was OK. First the chest X-ray, which she didn't like but she cooperated OK. Next, was the urine collection – via catheter. Poor baby, this was the part I was almost crying through. My poor sweet baby clearly didn't like it – and I can't say I blame her. She cried and cried and screamed in a way I'd never heard before.

But it didn't stop there.

Next (as in almost immediately) they went ahead and gave her the shots of antibiotics – yes, two. This was immediately followed by another blood draw. Again, I almost broke down. This was when I found myself thinking "Please, Lord, let this be the end of it!"

We were sent back to our temporary room (to make sure she didn't react to the meds), where she was hysterical. VERY hysterical. She was screaming and crying like I hope to never hear again! She wanted to go home – REALLY wanted to go home. NOTHING would calm her – NOTHING!

I finally decided to take her for a walk in the hallway, hoping to distract her. Praise God, that worked! They have an ocean-themed mural with fish (and bubbles, which she pointed out), whales, etc. That caught her attention, calmed her, and helped restore her to the usual happy, easy-going, cooperative Natalie I'm used to!

The doctor was on the phone while I was in the hallway, so they just had me talk to him there. Basically, the urine culture was negative, but the chest X-ray resembled what he'd expect from a VIRAL infection – not bacterial. With the blood work, he was still concerned that there was some bacteria somewhere, so he set up an appointment for us to see another doctor in the practice this morning. I was told to take Natalie home, treat the symptoms, and let the other doctor know how things are in the morning.

Trying not to think about my worst fears – what else (and far more serious) could cause the white blood cell count to be up – we headed home. On the way, I again found myself thinking, praying, BEGGING, "Please, Lord, let this be the end of it! I can't do this again!"

It really is OVER: Last night was possibly the worst one yet. And she had another fever. We went to the doctor at the appointed time. They took her temp, which was close to normal. They also took more blood, which she HATED. (I can't say I blame her, of course!) But, the test went in our favor. Her WBC was DOWN, PRAISE GOD!

The doctor said he is confident in calling it a viral infection, and that we should just treat the symptoms and report back to our usual doctor tomorrow. Apparently, at the beginning of a viral infection it's common for the WBC to spike before returning to normal. Makes sense to me – the body's initial immune response before knowing exactly how it needs to respond.

Words cannot express just how relieved I was – I still am! I had allowed myself to consider my fears – to research what I was worried the doctors were thinking. I refuse to name it, but I'm guessing you might be able to figure it out. (Hint: It begins with the letter L.) I refuse to name it, not because of fear, but because I refuse to give it any sort of hold in my family at all. It is NOT welcome here, so I think just ignoring it is the way to go. (Please, if you do figure it out, don't post it in the comments. I truly don't want it here on my blog.)

God is so good. I praise Him and thank Him for watching over us – over my baby girl. I feel so much lighter – and have since leaving the doctor's office. Now I just pray this sweet angel of mine STAYS HEALTHY!

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