Monday, September 5, 2011

My Scariest Moment as a Mother and My Greatest Relief

I remember laying in bed with my mom one Friday night when I was a kid. We had been watching something on TV and a commercial came on for St. Jude's Children's Hospital. The commercial was quite long for a young child who wanted nothing more than to get back to the TV show we were watching. I happened to look over at my mom during the course of the commercial and I noticed she was crying. For the life of me, I couldn't figure out what was so darn sad. I mean, those weren't her children so what did she have to cry about?

It wasn't until I had a child of my own that I could understand her tears. The tears were happy tears and sad tears all at the same time because she was so thankful that it wasn't her child and her family going through something so awful and because her heart broke for the child and families who were experiencing that pain. Every time I hear of a child with cancer or some other horrible disease, my stomach hurts and I want to hold Abigail just a little bit closer. We think it won't happen to us but I'm sure the parent's of sick children thought the same thing at some point too. I just couldn't and don't want to imagine what life would be like if something like that happened to Abigail. But today, I had to...

It was the absolute scariest and worst moment of my life thus far. Abigail has had a nasty sounding cough for a couple of weeks now. I know you're wondering why I hadn't taken her to the doctor sooner but it was just a cough and she had no other symptoms. I figured it would run it's course and it would be over with. I had already planned on calling the pediatrician's office this morning to make her an appointment (forgot that it was a holiday and they probably wouldn't be open) but in the middle of the night she woke up crying with an earache. I felt for her. I had terrible earaches when I was growing up and have had several since I've been grown. They are the worst and there isn't much you can do for them. Anyway, she was up most of the night, as were we, in pain, running fever, and eventually throwing up. So, first thing this morning I called the pediatricians office and was notified by the answering machine that they were closed for the holiday. I quickly got myself dressed and ready and did the same for Abigail. We made it the Doctors Urgent Care of Slidell just after they opened.

We were taken back pretty quickly. They initially did a swab of her nose and throat, checking for both strep and the flu. Not long after that the doctor came in. After discussing what had been going on with her and my concern that the lymph nodes in her neck have been swollen for some time now, I noticed a slight change in the doctor's demeanor. This was not Abigail's first time at DUC and she had also seen this particular doctor on a previous visit so I knew him to be a easy going, goofy, but professional doctor. He was saying things that I didn't really understand, that was until he told me he wanted to draw blood and have it tested. He wouldn't even say the word cancer but we both knew what he was talking about. He also ordered two chest x-rays.

Fear gripped me causing my belly to ache and my hands to shake. I was still sort of in a daze when the two nurses came in to draw my baby's blood. I kept thinking, "what are they doing? She's way too young for this." I didn't have my own blood drawn, that I can remember, until I was 13 and getting ready to have my tonsils out. She is only three for crying out loud. One nurse drew the blood, while the other held her arm still, and I stood beside her rubbing her head for reassurance. Let me just say that my child is AMAZING! She didn't flinch, she didn't cry. She laid there as calm as can be. Even the nurses were shocked and amazed. They let her get two toys out of the toy chest in addition to the stickers she already had. But as they stood there, taking my baby's blood from her body, I had to turn my head away. One because I can't stand the sight of blood and two because tears were falling and my lips were quivering. The one thing that I NEVER wanted to think about, I was being forced to think about.

I quickly dried my eyes and put on a brave face for my brave little girl. We went down the hall for the x-rays. Same thing. She did awesome. Going back to her room and sitting there waiting on the results was terrifying to say the least. As the doctor entered the room I tried to search his face for a clue. Were our lives about to change? Would I have to face one of the biggest fears we have as parent's?

The answer was NO. My relief was great. It never tasted sweeter or felt so good. The doctor went over the results with me, showing me numbers, explaining their meaning, and reassuring me that my daughter was OK in the greatest sense. Of course there was still something going on with her little body which was diagnosed as an ear infection and a touch of bronchitis. Nothing a trip to the pharmacy, some rest, and TLC couldn't fix.

And this is how my scariest moment as a mother and my greatest relief was experienced and felt in the same day.

Trip to Urgent Care = $35
Prescriptions and OTC Medication =$30
My daughter not having cancer or some other horrible disease = PRICELESS

Thank you Lord!


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