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a lump in the throat. or on her neck, actually.

I was just leaving work on Wednesday, headed to my car. I noticed I had a missed call on my phone, 2 minutes before… then I checked the number and realized it was the daycare.


I listened to the voicemail, and she said Audrey has a big lump on the side of her jaw by her ear and we just noticed it after her nap when we were wiping her down after snack and she cries every time we touch it and can you come and get her asap?


I was headed there anyway, but I definitely hurried and called Dan and OMG WHAT??!

When I saw her, I relaxed a little bit because she was acting totally normal and didn’t feel hot or feverish or anything. But there was a definite lump under her right ear by her jaw and it was HARD. And… kinda gross, I’m not gonna lie.

We headed to urgent care since it was after work hours (missed being able to see her pediatrician by like 20 minutes, dangit!) and Dan met us there. It was a quick visit and ultimately they said it was likely either an abscess or infected or clogged lymph or salivary glands. The only way to know for sure was to get an ultrasound, so they suggested we head to the Children’s Hospital emergency room.

Dan really wanted to come with us (love him) but we really didn’t want to have to bring Maggie along (sitting in the emergency room for hours with a toddler is bad enough, but add a tired 5 year old to that? No thanks!) My mom is awesome and was nearby at Target, so we met her in the parking lot and she took Maggie for the night, got her dinner, and brought her home for bedtime.

I’ll fast-forward to the end: it’s nothing serious. It’s a cluster of inflamed lymph glands, either because she’s fighting off an infection or they themselves became infected somehow. She had a fever of 102 at one point in the evening. Either way, the recommended treatment is antibiotics for 10 days. And of course yogurt because MAN, amoxicillin is wicked on the belly after only one dose!

Hard to see it because she's CHUBBY, but on her right side, below her ear. It's HARD. ew.
You can kind of see it on her right side. Tough to get a good picture because she’s always moving.

All is well that ends well (assuming the medicine works and it’s all better in a few days) but I’ll tell you what. Seeing your baby with a huge lump on the side of her neck and not knowing what the heck it is? It’s kind of freaking scary. She WAS acting fine, like I said, so that made me feel better. But your mind goes to some pretty dark places pretty quickly when you’re sitting in a hospital waiting for the third doctor to come and take a look and ask the same questions and nobody is really saying anything. We have been so blessed with healthy kids (THANK YOU LORD) and my heart just stopped a few times when I let my head go too far down that scary road. I just… oof.

But. She should be fine. The only lasting effects will be her continued hatred of any person equipped with a stethoscope. And any room with an exam table in it. (My ears are still ringing from all the screaming. She is way too smart, man.)

She did like the wagon ride in the waiting room, though. And snuggles with Daddy.

Getting a free ride in the waiting room with Daddy

Audrey thinks today stinks.


  1. Rebecca (Bearca)

    So glad she is OK!

    May 4 4:19 pm

  2. red pen mama

    BIG HUGS! I kept seeing you talking about this on Twitter, but I’m so glad you summed it all up here. As Dan (my Dan) always says, “You don’t know what ‘weak in the knees’ means until your child is hurt [or sick]‘” God bless A for being a trooper!

    May 4 4:20 pm

    • Jen

      AbsoLUTEly. Dan gave me a funny look when I said ‘Do you want to come with us?’ He was like HELL YEAH I’M COMING WITH YOU. He cannot take his girls getting a paper cut let alone having something strange like this. I love him for that (I sadly know a few dads who may not have been so okay with the evening upheaval of the plans)

      May 4 4:24 pm

  3. My husband is a pediatric nurse for a surgical unit. Anytime our son gets a fever or something is off, my husband’s head goes straight to the “he’s got a chronic disease” place. Our son has already had an MRI that about killed my husband. Thankfully, it was nothing. I think every parent goes through the “what if” fear at some point in our lives. May it continue to be nothing for all of us!

    May 4 4:26 pm

    • Jen

      oh my GOSH, I can only imagine the places HIS brain would go! God bless him for the job he does. It takes a special person to be a nurse or a doctor, but even moreso to work with the kids. Here’s to Nothing Major as the diagnosis!!! :)

      May 4 4:36 pm

  4. I’m SO glad she’s ok! That must have been terrifying.

    She is so beautiful!

    May 4 5:08 pm

  5. Melissa

    So glad it’s nothing serious!! Hope she’s doing well on the antibiotics.

    I never understood why my parents got so worried about stuff until I became a parent myself!

    May 4 5:24 pm

  6. Melissa

    Yee gads! I can only imagine how frightening that would be. I’m like you, easily able to “go there” to those dark places in a nanosecond. Glad she is OK … here’s to a quick recovery (for both of you)!

    May 4 8:17 pm

  7. I’m so glad that she is ok! Hope she is doing well on the antibiotic.

    There is nothing scarier than a sick child and trips to the ER are scary no matter what. I never realized how scary until I had kids. I can honestly say that the scariest moment of my life was when we took Jack to the ER last month for breathing problems. I called the triage line. The nurse said that we needed to take him to Children’s right away. Then she proceeded to tell me that if his breathing got worse to pull on the side of the road and call 911. I held it together on the phone, but as soon as I hung up, I burst into tears. Thank heavens for my husband. He is my rock. He calmed me down and everything with Jack turned out just fine.

    May 4 8:34 pm

  8. SO glad she’s okay.

    May 4 8:51 pm

  9. Jane

    oh wow.. can not imagine how I would react. Glad she is OK!

    Culturelle for Kids is a great probiotic to mix in foods. I usually do 2 packets a day when the kids are on antibiotics.

    May 5 10:51 am

  10. Sounds scary. so glad she is okay!

    May 5 7:08 pm

  11. Erica

    So scary. Whew. Glad she’s fine.

    May 5 8:34 pm

  12. So SO glad everything is OK. This stuff is so scary. We went through something similar a couple of weeks ago and man … I’ve got nothing but awe and respect for the parents who support their kids through serious illness. I was just about undone at the thought of my kiddo going for surgery. Thank goodness for overall healthy kids. What a blessing!

    May 7 12:31 am

  13. Michelle

    Aww. Glad she is doing OK.

    May 7 1:04 pm