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Audrey’s Big Adventure

Well! Things for Audrey took a dramatic turn yesterday. We visited her pediatrician on Monday afternoon as a follow-up to last week’s ER visit, and my concern (and the dr’s) was that after 5 days of amoxicillin, there was no change at all in the swelling along her jaw. She was acting mostly normal- maybe a little more tired than she usually is?- but eating, drinking, playing, and sleeping just like always. The pediatrician recommended we make an appointment asap with an ENT (ear-nose-throat) specialist at Children’s Hospital, just in case.

So yesterday afternoon, Dan met us at the hospital (he works 10 minutes away so it was an easy trip for him, and I was thankful for his help with both girls) I really thought it was going to be a quick visit- maybe some bloodwork, another ultrasound, and a prescription for a new, stronger, different antibiotic.

Instead, I had to hold Audrey down while the doctor stuck a GIGANTIC needle into her neck to see if any pus came out. It was… awful. I have never cried during a medical ANYTHING with my girls (I don’t cry much. Just ask Sam! I am dead inside. Robot! ha) and I’m able to keep my cool during shots and when Maggie needed x-rays a few times and even when Audrey has been FREAKING OUT at regular doctor visits lately. I just don’t let it bother me (much) But this… the needle. In her neck. I couldn’t watch. I locked her legs between mine and held her hands down and the nurse held her head to the side and the doctor went in with it… I squeezed my eyes shut and tears streamed down my face. My BABY.

Thankfully, there was no pus- almost totally ruling out an abscess or an infected cyst, which would require admittance to the hospital and surgery. Next on the list was a CT scan with contrast dye- requiring an IV in her hand and being strapped to a board. EXACTLY what every 19 month old would LOVE to do! oy. I wasn’t in there for this part- I took Maggie down the hall to play and Dan went in with her. He said there was screaming (duh) and she fell asleep in between the two scans while the nurse was rocking her. But overall, she did great. No need for sedation during the scan which I was really worried about.

After the CT scan was over, we were taken to admissions- which COMPLETELY FREAKED ME OUT, because so far, nobody had actually told us what the diagnosis or plan was. And we’re being admitted? What? We have never ever (thankfully) done this before. Was it still just an infected lymph gland? Or was it something else? Something… bad? Like, really really bad? I was exhausted and emotional and my brain was starting to wander to those dark places again… I prayed.

Post-CT scan (hand is wrapped bc of the iv)

It took about an hour to get our badges and info and to be transported up to her room. That’s when we finally (!!!) heard the plan: an infection, like we thought- a nasty one- and it would require a few days of IV antibiotics to make sure it didn’t turn into something more serious.

DEEP EXHALE.

(Just a note: the delay in the communication was actually because of a good thing- a MIRACLE! perhaps- which the doctor explained today. Turns out he wasn’t expecting radiology to be able to squeeze us in immediately like they were able to (woohoo!) and was waiting for a call BACK from them, telling him when we were scheduled, etc etc. So. Yay for expedited service? heh)

We got Audrey settled into the room and placed an order for her dinner tray once we were given the all-clear that she could eat (it was nearly 8pm and she was huuuuuungry, but since we spent a few hours not sure about what Things Might Need To Be Done, they didn’t want her to eat or drink) No joke, she was dancing while she ate her chicken nuggets.

She literally was just dancing over her chicken nuggets. She is SO my daughter. I love her.

I think she was just SO RELIEVED to get a break from the poking and prodding and annoying doctors for a while. Poor kid.

We called the grandparents and gave them an update and figured out plans for the next day or so, then Maggie and I left and headed home. We stopped to pick up dinner then I ran into the house to grab her some pajamas and clothes for school today, then we went to my parents’ house. And we ate tacos.

Made a quick stop on my way home to get clothes. Because today was LOCO, YO.

As much as I wanted to hurry and get clothes and stuff from home and get back to the hospital before midnight, I just needed to take a break and sit for like TEN MINUTES. Plus I wanted to give Maggie a bit of attention. She was seriously AMAZING the whole evening while we dragged her through the hospital while her sister wailed and screamed, and she was rewarded with a creamsicle and a sleepover at Grandma’s house. I think Maggie won the day!

After tying up some loose ends at the house (almost forgot I had a wet load of clothes in the washer and MAN would THAT be fun to come home to in a day or so! GAG. But I left the counter and sink full of dirty dishes because WHATEVER, DUDE.) and frantically packing up some overnight stuff for Dan, Audrey, and me, I made it back to the hospital around 11pm. Audrey was already asleep, and she’d had her first dose of antibiotics around 8pm.

I passed out around 11:30. I was DONE.

Around 2am she had another dose of medicine, so that interrupted the night a little bit, but eventually we all zonked out again. This morning, the doctor came by to check her and we all noticed a significant change in the size of the swelling, after just two doses. Very encouraging. She’s had a very good day so far today- she slept in a little bit:

Yelling at doctors & nurses for 6 hours is EXHAUSTING.

And then we got her cleaned up after her morning IV and explored the halls and found the playroom.

Jammin'

I’ve had a few people ask me about the cause of all this, and the doctors haven’t even ventured a guess. There’s no real way to know what caused the infection- just that it exists. They did say that there is no reason to worry that it will happen again- it seems isolated and the CT scan was clear everywhere else. So for that, I am extremely thankful.

(Also thankful to everyone sending sweet messages on Twitter and Facebook and texts with happy thoughts and prayers for Audrey. We feel very loved.)

If things go well and she continues to improve, we should get to go home tomorrow sometime. My fingers and toes and all my things are crossed.

I’m also eating cake from the cafeteria.

I didn't have time or energy to eat my feelings last night. So today? I FEAST.

20 Comments

  1. Katrina
    @katrinaRavioli

    That cake looks delicious. And I’m really glad Audrey is doing well!

    May 9 2:44 pm


  2. What a journey your family has experienced these last few days. Glad to hear the infection seems to be clearing up and that both girls have been super stars!

    May 9 2:49 pm


  3. Tracy
    @overmom

    Hugs! Thoughts! Prayers!

    May 9 2:50 pm


  4. Sunshine
    @littlemisssun

    So glad to hear she is doing better! Been thinking of you all lots the last few days!

    May 9 2:53 pm


  5. Steph
    @littlepunkypie

    Thinking of you all! Hope and pray she continues to get better quickly!!

    And I cried reading about her getting stuck with a needle. It was the holding her down and screaming…. ugh. makes me tear up even now!

    May 9 2:57 pm


  6. Rebecca (Bearca)

    So scary. I would have cried with the needle in the neck, too. OMG. So glad she is getting better so fast. xoxo

    May 9 3:05 pm


  7. Jesabes
    @jesabesblog

    SO glad things are getting better. I hope she continues to heal fast and you can go home soon!

    May 9 3:16 pm


  8. Erica
    @Polkadot_hippo

    What an ordeal! So sorry!

    May 9 3:25 pm


  9. Melissa
    @sempremelissa

    Man, what a weird thing for her to get, and what an exhausting couple of days it must have been. Hope the antibiotics continue to work quickly so you guys can maybe go home tomorrow! Hugs and prayers!

    Also – That cake looks pretty awesome for cafeteria food!

    May 9 4:25 pm


  10. Wendy

    I actually teared up reading this for some reason. It’s nice to read about it from the other day and it makes me look at it differently from the scary patient/parent perspective.

    May 9 4:30 pm


  11. Becky

    And you *should* eat that cake- you earned the crap out of that.

    So glad Audrey’s getting better. I teared up reading this too. It’s the helplessness you feel when your child is in a situation like this. It’s a terrible feeling.

    May 9 4:33 pm


  12. I got weepy just reading about you having to endure someone jabbing a needle into your baby’s neck. I, too, am not a crier, but some things, oh man, that’s just beyond my ability.

    SO happy your girl seems to be on the mend. I hope she gets to go home tomorrow!

    May 9 5:32 pm


  13. K
    @twoadults

    Hospitals just blow. I’m sorry you are having to have a sleepover there. :(

    May 9 6:02 pm


  14. What an ordeal! I hope she gets to come home soon!

    May 9 6:16 pm


  15. Carmen
    @CarmenDHF

    You deserve that cake. That is quite an ordeal. I had to hold my son down while a doctor scooped a tumour off the corner of his eye, so I can empathize with you. I hope this infection clears up quickly so Audrey can come home and everything can return to normal.

    May 10 1:10 am


  16. Doesn’t look bad at all, for Cafeteria Cake. Dig in!

    Hoping all the best for Audrey…

    May 10 10:58 am


  17. The hospital is always scary, but it sounds like all is going to be okay. I’m jealous of your Doritos taco, btw.

    May 10 11:32 am


  18. Kris

    Been thinking about this little-peanut-with-all-the-hair a lot in the last little bit. I’m glad she (and you guys) are doing so much better. :)

    May 10 3:45 pm


  19. Elisabeth
    @Epsnider

    This sounds just so stressful! I’m glad it’s all over now and you guys can go back to life as normal!

    May 10 4:24 pm


  20. Oh my goodness. you poor thing, and poor Audrey. I’m glad she healed quickly and is on the road to recovery.

    May 10 5:26 pm