January 8th, of 2018, our life was almost turned upside down.
Last night, right before bed, we noticed a lot of small bruises on Teddi’s legs. At first they looked like rashes, but darkened as the night went on, and by this morning, I was certain they were bruises. There was no reason for them to be there, and didn’t hurt her at all, so immediately I get the gut feeling that something terrible is wrong.
Our appointment was at 1:45 and I stopped myself from searching Web.md all morning knowing I would just find any information to further my fear. But I couldn’t shake it.
By the time I got to the doctor, I was shaking so bad that my voice was cracking during check in and it took everything I had to keep myself together.
Teddi had to go potty so I knew enough to grab a urine sample while in there and we headed to the exam room. The nurse was our normal nurse we see often, and was her normal self. Asking about the boys, being super sweet with Teddi and asking me the normal questions and said, “I hear we have a rash.” No. Bruising. “Look at her legs” was all I could say. And that was when I knew she had the same concerns I did. “Oh.” was all she said. And that was it. The small talk stopped the exam stopped, she was out of that room so fast saying the doctor would be right with us.
Normally I get annoyed because I have to wait another 15 minutes for the doctor to make his appearance, but not today. Today he was there within a minute. No chipper hellos, or asking Teddi about Christmas or her brothers as he normally does. Just facts.
Has she had a fever lately? Yes.
Has she complained of not feeling well or her body hurting, specifically headaches? Yes.
Loss of appetite? Yes.
Sore throat or night sweats? No…. oh good I got a no. Some relief.
Nose bleeds? No, another no…good
Skin rashes? Yes….shit.
More questions making me ask myself why the hell did I not have her in here earlier. Total mom guilt. I knew something was off yet I didn’t follow my mother’s intuition but figured it was this nasty fever and flu going around. But I knew…I KNEW she wasn’t herself. Teddi Jo plays me like a fiddle and can manipulate me so easy that I can’t always tell when she truly doesn’t feel well or she just wants to stay in my bed a few hours. But I knew… I’VE KNOWN, she hasn’t been herself.
Teddi gets examined and my innocent little girl is smiling away, proudly telling the Doctor that she’s taking showers now because she’s so big. I tried my best to keep it together but she knew I was worried, or at least knew I wasn’t myself. She even asked why I wasn’t taking a picture like I always do. Crazy how much these little ones internalize. At this moment I’m glad Ace is at school. He would know something was up. He’d be asking questions.
After the examination, that took only minutes, but felt like HOURS, it was the first time I was able to make eye contact and the tears flowed.
“Is it bad?” Was all I could say.
In a monotone voice I got the ‘what we hope it is’, and ‘what it could be’, but we’d need to get her blood checked to determine anything.
1. It could be a disease called…..heldjfjioueroiu
I had no idea what just came out of his mouth, I just knew it started with an H (late to learn it was Henoch Schonlein Purpura,HSP). This is something non-life threatening that we hope it is. Could effect kidneys….. skin rash… loose bowels (shit she’s constipated), etc.
2. The next test would be to check her white blood cells, and platelets. I stared at him, crying, waiting for him to tell me not to worry. That this was going to be a test for some other disease or virus I can’t pronounce that just needs an antibiotic to fix. But that didn’t happen. Instead, I heard.
“I want to tell you it is nothing, but we do need to check for cancer/leukemia. Her glands look good, but with the bruising and other symptoms she has, you need to know that leukemia is unfortunately a possibility we must test for.”
And that was that. The words I dreaded to hear were not just talked about, but I’m now taking my daughter to the hospital to be tested for it. I still want to throw up thinking of that sentence: Leukemia is unfortunately a possibility.
I asked for a percentage on the likelihood it is nothing serious? But they can’t give that. Of course they can’t because too many assholes sue if they’re wrong, so I get no percentage, just hope.
My thoughts and saving grace was simply, ‘it can’t be that bad right, because she doesn’t have all the symptoms, she’s just got some. And we’re not getting rushed to Children’s so they’ve got to think she’s fine” Yes, I held on to that. We aren’t getting rushed to Children’s so she’s going to be fine.
I load up Mac and Teddi and try to joke and not let them see me crying behind my sunglasses. We rush to Sherman, where there’s no parking and I’m thankful I have the umbrella stroller in my car because how the hell am I going to contain Mac while holding Teddi getting her blood drawn. That and Pez. I grabbed a bunch of Pez and dispensers before we left the house to be prepared for this exact moment.
Blood is drawn. Teddi is a trooper and barely cries, and will proudly tell you all how she saw her “blllooooood” go in a tube from her arm.
We get ready to leave and I run back to remind the ladies that these are very important and please send back asap. One lady confirms she’s running them right now and will send the results over within minutes. Ok. The Doctor said he’d call by 8 at the latest with the results. It’s now 3:10 so I should hear back soon. I’m totally overreacting right? But then why did both ladies not make eye contact with me? Did they see something already? Am I totally over thinking?
By now I’m not just
praying, I’m yelling. I believe in God, don’t get me wrong, but I often pray to my loved ones looking over us and I am now demanding action of our Grandparents up there:
Fritzy this is your girl, you have to make her ok! You left so she could live…. (that story is a whole other blog)
Grandma and Grandpa Walker I know you’re watching…. you can’t let this happen! Please!
Grandpa Seltin your first Great Granddaughter cannot be sick!! Make her ok!
Grandma & Grandpa Mikos, (whom I’ve never met) You can’t take our Teddi Jo. We named her after you! Make her be ok! Make her be ok. Please, please, let her be ok.
I’m seriously yelling my prayers over and over again constantly looking in my rearview mirror at Teddi and Mac giggling at each other. My life is turned upside down and their little giggles almost makes me smile. These 2. Mac scared the crap out of us when he was born. His first 48 hours of life was a fight. Each time he was supposed to get better, he regressed. But he is here. He is fine. He is a beast. Teddi will be the same!
7pm still nothing so I call…. he’s with patients so he’ll call you soon.
Some relief, If it were bad we’d be called right away right? No one would wait this long, we’d be at Children’s by now right? Or does he need time to get things set up for us? Or get the hospital prepared? No, she’s fine. No matter what I tell myself, I won’t be ok, until she’s ok.
8:17. the call.
The generic, “Hi Tori, how are you”
In shear panic, “I’m ok is she ok?”
Relief. Tears of relief. My mom hugging Chris crying as I try to keep up with what I’m hearing on my phone. But nothing matters….she’s ok.
She has what we hoped: Henoch-Schonlein Purpora. HSP. A disease causing inflammation of the blood vessels, causing aches and pains, fevers, joint pain, and possible intestine and kidney damage. For the next 3-6 months we will have weekly check ups with the doctor to test her urine and blood pressure, but other than that, nature will run it’s course and soon she’ll be 100% healthy. (her kidneys and intestines are currently NOT affected!)
So she’s fine. She’s fine. Thank you God. Thank you to our angels, thank you for keeping my little girl healthy.
Tonight our girl who is NEVER allowed to sleep with her parents, is not only sleeping in the bed with us, but eating toast with her momma 2 hours post bedtime, controlling the TV and getting way too much iPad time. And I don’t care.
Tomorrow we go back to schedules and rules, but not tonight. Tonight I hug her, I cuddle her, I cry tears of joy looking at her and my boys, and remind myself on what really matters. And make a promise to myself, to never take health for granted. If my babies are okay, everything else will be fine.