Saturday, March 22, 2008

The final piece of the puzzle...or is it?

Josie (my 5 yr. old) was sick with a low fever and just plain down for a couple days last week. Then, suddenly, she was better. Then suddenly, she wasn't.

She woke the next day with a rash all over her body. At first, I thought we had chicken pox (notice I say we because, as a mother, I think I experience a little of the infliction as well). But she had the vaccine at 1 yr. And yes, I know you can still get chicken pox even if you've had the shot, but this rash was WAY to heavy for a light case of CP. Plus she wasn't developing the all too familiar "pox". So I call a nurse and we decide (again with the "we") that it is hives. From what, we don't know but she tells me what to watch for and things to make her feel better.

My poor baby is just scratching and itching and scratching. These things are all over!!

The next day, the rash is even worse and she has a purple-ness under the rash. Now, purple is a color I was to watch for. For what reason and what it meant, I did not know at this point. I was soon to find out.

Back to the phone I go. The nurse (this is a nurse thru our insurance 1-800 number) tells me I need to get in contact with her doctor "NOW." Ummm...ok. It's a Sunday night, can I wait until Monday morning and just take her in?"NO!!" Ummm...ok.

So, I place a call to the clinic's number and of course, the answering service answers. The operator informs me that she will have our doctor call us.

A nurse calls us. I once AGAIN explain what's going on. No, no new foods. No, no new soaps No, NOTHING out of the ordinary.

She asks about the purple that has now spread all up her legs, her arms, even her face, although it is a very light purple.

She too says I must take her in. "NOW!" What is the urgency I ask. Well, turns out that lovely shade of purple could be, could be a sign of meningitis. Ummm.... NOT ok.

And just how do you test for meningitis? "A spinal tap is sometimes necessary so be prepared."

Be prepared? BE PREPARED?!! Ummm..... SO NOT OK!!!

Off we go to the ER. My heart pounding, Josie crying. I am praying like never before.

The triage nurse writes down all the important info, takes a look. And sends us to the waiting room. Where we wait. And wait. And wait. We're talking 2 hrs. with a 5 yr. old that is up 2 hours after her bedtime. At first I was angry that we were waiting so long. Until I asked WHY are we waiting so long? I was informed that the triage nurse decides the severity of the patient and who gets seen first.

I was never so relieved to be waiting!! At this point I figured that the nurse must not have thought Josie had anything too serious or we'd be seeing a doctor by now.

We finally did see a doctor who said it was just (ha! just) a bad case of hives. And we may never know what they were from.

We got home at about 2 a.m. where Josie says "That was fun!!" Oh, sweetie if you only knew what COULD have been.

I was so relieved all was well, I didn't care I only got 4 hours of sleep. I didn't care my child looked like a freak and people stared at the pharmacy the next day.

I knew already that as a parent,nothing, NOTHING matters more than your children. Their health and happiness.

Life is such a puzzle of emotions and feelings and ups and downs. And for me especially, I sometimes get all caught up in the tangible stuff. The housework, the bills, the tantrums and the fatigue (ok, fatigue is not tangible exactly but when I finally pass out at night I AM tangible).

But life is about much more important stuff. Life is thanking God about what COULD have been, but wasn't.

As far as the rest of the puzzle, THAT was in my shoe the other night. Seriously. You know, those wooden puzzles with the little red things that stick our for toddlers to easily grab? Yeah, about 20 pieces ( I think A-T) were in my tennis shoe.

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