Last Tuesday was a busy day and emotional day in this house. Not only was it the first day of back to school, it was also the day we had to go for Audrey’s repeat blood work after her stay in the hospital.
Wednesday morning we had an appointment with our family doc for Audrey as her pediatrician is currently out of the country and those lab results were going to tell us a lot. I walked into the appointment already knowing the test results (I picked them up late Tuesday afternoon) and with a list of questions. Here’s what we learned:
– Audrey’s results came back improved. All of the numbers that were low when she was discharged from the hospital had risen slightly. Most of them barely squeaking over the line into normal, but still normal!
– Those test results were in themselves an answer to prayer. The increased numbers told us that her bone marrow is indeed still functioning and doing its job.
We’ve had the same doctor for the past 6 years and I trust him. Dr.M has been with us through the entire pregnancy with Audrey and her whole health journey. He’s an excellent doctor, the “mellow” in often a storm of crazy and not one to over react. I trust him, we trust him and I really needed to ask him some of the questions that have been plaguing me. I knew he’d be honest with me, even if the answers were things I didn’t want to hear.
Question 1: How concerned do we really need to be when it comes to germs? The doctors always tell us when they discharge Audrey from the hospital that we need to avoid the germs as best as possible. That her body isn’t capable of handling them properly and illness of any kind could be detrimental to her. I wanted to know from Dr. M’s perspective – is it really something we need to be concerned about?
Answer 1: YES! He said we absolutely need to be concerned about germs, we need to do everything possible to keep her away from illness and to protect her body from having to work to hard to battle anything. While we can’t “wrap her in cotton balls” and need to let her live a normal life going to school, and playing with friends, it’s imperative that we (and all those around us) do the best we can to protect her. Any illness, even a common cold runs the potential of landing Audrey back in the hospital again.
Question 2: Did we do the right thing? Again, we’ve been told by (4 different) doctors both in Abbotsford and at Children’s that should Audrey spike a fever we need to move and head to the hospital. We’ve always done that, and it’s always proven to be a good decision but sometimes I get afraid that maybe I rushed too soon.
As much as I feel like I’m in control of this situation, that I know what to do and can just do it, sometimes I worry I don’t. One of the biggest things I don’t want to become is an over reactive parent. I don’t want to jump the gun or be “paranoid”, but every time she’s been sick my heart has screamed run, get to help NOW!
It’s a hard question to ask, the potential was there for him to tell me I was being over protective and I knew that, I just had to know. This last time, with us not ever even getting a definitive answer as to what caused the fever & subsequent issues, I wondered – did I do the right thing?
Answer 2: YES, you absolutely did the right thing! Dr.M confirmed what everyone else had said, fevers in Audrey’s body are serious business, especially ones that have no apparent cause. For her body a fever of the magnitude that we’ve seen indicates danger and he said, if it was his daughter he’d do exactly the same thing.
He reassured me that Corey and I have been doing exactly the right thing and that being “on guard” to the fevers and all that comes with them is what we need to do. He also said, that even if she has other symptoms (cold like ones that would normally cause us not to be so afraid of the fever) to be aware of how high it goes. If it rises quickly, hitting the numbers it so often does the ER is where we need to be. The risks of what are happening aren’t worth the risk and the worst that could happen is they check and determine that she’s OK to go home.
I needed to hear those things. It was important….the thing is I kinda didn’t want to hear them. I wanted him to tell me that I could relax, that we didn’t need to be so germ-aware, that we didn’t need to rush to emergency rooms – that this wasn’t going to be a big deal any more.
He didn’t say that, he couldn’t say that, and I’m thankful for his honesty but it also made me a little sad. I want nothing more than for life to be normal for Audrey and these things make me feel like “normal” won’t ever totally happen.
I know one day it will come, I’m trusting God that it will, but for now we sit in limbo. We judge every situation, every interaction, every move by its germ risk, by its distance to a hospital, by its many “what if” scenarios.
This road may not be easy, but it’s one we’re going to walk together. We have our girls here, home with us, safe in our arms tonight and that, no matter how hard everything else may be, is something to be thankful for.