Friday, October 14, 2011

There and Back Again: A Hospital Tale

Since it's been kind of hard to get everyone caught up on all of the details of the last week, I figured I'd write it all up in one place for everyone. Brilliant, I know.
Early last week, Lydia started getting sick. Not anything unusual, just a cold. But by Sunday we were getting concerned because she had had a fever for several days and it wasn't going away. So on Monday we set her up with a doctor appointment for that afternoon and I gave Lydia a bath (gotta be clean to go see the doctor, right?) and put her down for her nap. By the time she woke up, it was time to go. I was wandering around grabbing any and all items we would need while Daniel changed her diaper. After a moment he called me in. She had a large lump/swollen area on her groin. Obviously something to be worried about, especially since it wasn't there (at least not noticeably) when I gave her her bath earlier. Good thing we were going to the doctor.
When the doctor took a look at it, it was immediately obvious he was worried. He told us it was probably one of two things: a hernia that something had gotten caught in or an infected lymph node. Either way it'd be likely she'd need surgery. So we sat there in the room trying not to panic while waiting for him to get ahold of the ER so we could go in and get an ultrasound done. He wanted it looked at right away because if it was a hernia and something (like an ovary or a bowel) had gotten stuck, it could cause some serious problems. So off the the ER we went. I think I made it out of the doctor's office and all the way to the elevator before I burst into tears.
We spent about 3 and a half hours at the ER. We were only in the waiting room for a few minutes, but the rest of it took forever! And we had to go through the same questions (does she have any allergies? Is she on any medications? blah, blah, blah...) with at least 5 different people. All of whom entered the information into the computer. Why they can't share that information, I don't know. The whole time Lydia is crying because she's tired and hungry...did I mention that they strictly forbid food and drink? Try explaining that one to a 13 month old. Eventually we got back to the ultrasound room. Ultrasounds are much more exciting when you're eagerly looking to try and identify a head and little toes. After the ultrasound we headed back to the room to await the results. Fortunately Lydia got to cuddle up with Daddy for a bit and fell asleep. It lasted maybe 15 minutes. I think the nurses were hovering around the doorway waiting for her to wake up because as soon as she did, several of them converged around us with needles. They had to hook her up to and IV and draw some blood for some tests. As you can imagine, this was not fun! It took 4 of us to hold her still while they searched and searched for a vein to go for (I think she inherited that from me, poor girl). Finally it was over, but I think she lost all trust for anyone there. Soon after, the surgeon came in and told us that the ultrasound indicated that it was not a hernia and was most likely an infected lymph node. Our options at that point were to go ahead and do the surgery and get it drained or removed, or put her on some antibiotics to see if that would do the trick. Apparently there was some disagreement over whether or not there was any fluid. He said there might have been, but the radiologist said there wasn't. In the end, he suggested that antibiotics might be the best course of action. This was good news for Lydia because it meant she could eat! So, up to her room we went to be welcomed by a crib (which we affectionately referred to as the gorilla cage), a twin size hospital bed and a wooded rocking chair. On the up side, there were two for the Food Network, and one for Fox News. Yes, we are that lame.
Other than the fact that I was unable to sleep until about 2 am due to the fact that I got freaked out and paranoid every time Lydia moved, and the fact that the IV pump would beep every time the medicine emptied 50%...or 75%...or 90% of it, and the fact that the nurses came in several times and checked her vitals, and the fact that I was sitting in a wooden rocking chair...the night went well.
The next day went well, and we were hoping that the doctor would let us go home that evening. Lydia, apparently, thought she'd like to stay a while longer. Her heart rate was consistently high (although I think she just got freaked out any time a nurse came near her) and she still had a fever. It was clear though that the antibiotics were working, so they wanted to get her some more of it before sending her home since the oral ones they'd prescribe wouldn't be as good. The second night was even worse...hard to imagine, right? Lydia woke up literally about every hour. It was not fun. When the surgeon came by in the morning, he said it was time to do the surgery and see just what was going on since there was obviously something else that needed to be fixed.
Once again, we had to tell Lydia that she couldn't have any food or drink. We didn't have to wait that long before we were heading back to the OR. The poor girl spent the whole time pointing to her mouth and saying "vooo? vooo?", which is her way of saying "food". We all pretended to be completely ignorant of what she was saying, so she started asking the nurses as the walked by. We did eventually get her distracted by having her sing. Thankfully this kept her occupied until they came with a mild sedative for her. Then she just got loopy. She continued singing, but started looking around wide-eyed at everything with a goofy grin on her face. Finally it was time. I got to go back into the OR with her until they put her under, so that meant I got to put on a freaky blue suit, a mask and the whole bit. Oddly enough, Lydia kept looking at me funny...although she managed to keep singing! I probably should have stuffed the surgical mask with tissue, because I was a wreck and couldn't wipe my nose. Finally, I had to say goodbye to my little girl and go wait in the waiting room with everyone else. The surgery didn't take that long (only about 30 min or so), but it seemed like forever! Finally, the surgeon came back and told us that it was done and it was successful. Turns out there was an abscess full of nastyness that they drained and she was in recovery and as soon as she woke up I'd be allowed back there with her. A few minutes later, I was headed back there and could hear her crying as soon as they opened the door. Of course when I saw her I couldn't blame her...they had her wrapped up in about five blankets! So I untangled her and sat down with her. She was sleeping within seconds. After about half an hour, she woke, saw me and immediately started singing! Then we made the trip back to her room where she smiled, waved and said "hi" to everyone we passed. I think she was still a little loopy. From there the change was amazing. Soon she was sitting up, playing and talking...and of course begging for food! When the doctor came by that evening he was impressed with her progress and gave us permission to go home. Once she was off of the IV, she started walking up and down the hall, smiling and waving at everyone. This time she wasn't loopy, I think she just knew that it was time to go home!
She's been doing great ever since, she is almost completely back to her normal self and doesn't seem to be in any pain. She had a follow up appointment today and seems to be healing up very well. Although the antibiotics give her diarrhea which gives her a horrible diaper rash and gets on her bandage! She has one final appointment on Tuesday where she gets the drainage tube taken out...and then we'll be done!
Thank you all for your support and prayers, we really appreciate it!

3 comments: said...

She won't remember much of it, but boy it was quite a time for Mom and Dad to go through! And maybe a couple of Grandma's too. Oh, and don't forget the aunts.... we all just hated seeing her not feeling well! I am so thankful for the good ending, and that she has a family that cares so much about her:)

Melissa said...

I love that you filled us in on all the details! And I want to hear her sing =)

Taylor said...

How scary! I am glad she is ok!