Monday, March 10, 2014

Tubes, a walking boot, and some thoughts

So this is not my normal health and fitness blog post. It's not my normal healthy recipe blog post.

This is a blog post to THANK each and every one of you that said a little prayer for my daughter on Friday and to THANK each and every one of you that sent your good thoughts our way.

A little background:

My daughter Piper is 20 months old. She is a PISTOL, just like her mama! Towards the end of January, I noticed that she was crying every time I tried to put her sparkly boots on. You know the boots. The cute ones that all the little girls wear. The cute ones that the adult women try to wear but should really leave to the kids? haha!

Anyways - I shrugged it off as Piper just being a turd. I mean, if she doesn't want to put her shoes on, she usually freaks out about it. On Wednesday, 2/12/14, our daycare provider told me that Piper REFUSED to let her put her shoes on. I, again, shrugged it off and shoved her foot into her shoe.

Two days later, on Friday (2/14/14), my mom was trying to paint her toe nails. When she got to Piper's left foot, P started crying and whining. She wouldn't let my mom touch her foot. Not her toes. Not her ankle. Nothing. When my mom told me, I started to connect the dots.

On Saturday (2/15/14) we went to Piper's cousin's birthday party. At the party she started acting funny. I felt her forehead and she was warm. I was about 100% certain she had yet another ear infection. This would make her 8th ear infection in 10 months. So, the hubby took her home from the party so she could sleep. She took a 4 hour nap.

On Sunday (2/16/14), I tried to repaint Piper's left toenails. That's when I realized that something was wrong. She wouldn't let me touch her left foot. She wouldn't let me bend her ankle. In fact, it looked like she had a golf ball growing on the inside of her ankle. It was that swollen! I hadn't noticed it being swollen before. Oh - and she was now limping when she walked. Yeah. I get mom-of-the-year.

Of course, I started to freak out. That's what I do. Things get rough or scary and I panic. Mike (the hubby) calmed me down and told me to take her to the doctor on Monday. I mean, I had already let this go for 3 weeks, what was another 2 days.

Monday morning (2/17/14) rolls around and I took her into the pediatrician. He checked her belly. Fine. He checked her throat. Fine. He checked her ears. Not fine. 8th ear infection in 10 months. He suggested we call the ENT at Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh to have her seen for possibly getting tubes in her ears. Then he checked her foot. He was shocked at how swollen it was. At this point she was really limping when she walked. She hardly wanted to weight bear.

Our pediatrician sent us immediately for xrays. When they came back clean (aka - no fracture) he sent us to the pediatric orthopaedic surgeon at Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh. I called and got us an appointment for Wednesday, Feb. 19.

Wednesday came and Piper and I ventured into Pittsburgh. After navigating the streets of PGH to get to Children's and then spending 45 minutes trying to find a parking spot, we made it up to the ortho's office. Good news. They were on time. Bad news. Our xrays hadn't been sent. Fast forward two hours and we had to get new ones done. Diagnosis - still no fracture :/

The ortho put Piper in a boot. You know those black walking boots? Well, apparently they come in teeny, tiny, baby sizes. It's the cutest and saddest thing you will ever see. We were directed to wear the boot for 2 weeks straight. The only time it was to be off her foot was when she was sleeping. We were to call if it got red, hot, or more swollen. Call back in 2 weeks if it's not better.

Ok. We got this. Easy - right?

Well, I fully expected Piper to NOT cooperate with this boot. Surprisingly, after the first day or so, she realized that her ankle didn't hurt anymore when she walked with the boot. She would wake up in the morning and ASK to put her boot on. She figured out how to run with it on. She figured out how to kick her brother with it on. He has the bruises to prove it. She figured out that if she sits on my lap, she can kick me and I cry because she hurt my shin. She then proceeds to laugh. I'm telling you - she's a turd!

A week comes and goes. By this point, it's 2/26/14. All of a sudden, Piper is refusing to weight bear on her foot. The swelling isn't getting better, in fact, it's getting worse. So I call the ortho. We play phone tag for a day or two. It's decided that we need to get blood work done on Piper. See, we didn't do the blood work originally because P was on antibiotics for her ear infection. Those antibiotics that were helping her ear would have masked a lot about her foot. Well, now her antibiotics were done.

The next day, I took Piper down to Children's North (a satellite office of the bigger hospital in Pittsburgh) to visit with the ENT about tubes. It was decided that she was a great candidate for getting tubes in her ears. The date was set. March 7th. 8 days. We can do this!

In the mean time, I got the prescription for Piper's blood work. It was faxed to me at work the afternoon of 2/27/14. The same day I had been down at Children's North for Piper's ENT appointment. Guess where they wanted me to take her to get her blood work drawn? YUP! Back down to Children's North. UGH! We were JUST there and we were going back next Friday!

BUT I really wanted that blood work drawn so we could have some answers for her foot/ankle. I called my mom, who just happens to be our Friday babysitter, and begged that she take Piper down to get her blood drawn the next day. Reluctantly, she agreed. She wasn't reluctant because she didn't want to help. She was reluctant because she had been through this a thousand times before with my sister, who has muscular dystrophy. My mom knows how hard it is to get blood out of a 20 month old.

So, Friday morning my mom dropped Wyatt (my son) off at preschool and then took P back down to Children's North. After they tried 4 times to draw the blood, they decided that it just wasn't going to work. She was too fidgety and apparently too dehydrated. They wanted me to pump her full of liquid and come back on Monday during business hours. HELLO!!! Not only do I have a full time job that I'm at from 8am-3:30pm, but do you have ANY IDEA how hard it is to get a 20 month old to do anything? Force fluids on her? UMMMM no.

By this time, I was really frustrated with the entire situation. When I took a few minutes to calm down and really think about it, I realized that it just might be a possibility for them to draw the blood while she was SLEEPING for her tubes surgery on the 7th. I do have moments of genius every now and then :) This was a genius moment!

After many phone calls between recovery nurses, anesthesiologists, and our ENT doctor, they agreed to try to draw the blood while she was sleeping. It really was our only shot to get this blood work so we could TRY to get some answers about her ankle.

As I got her ready to go to surgery today, I realized that I was more nervous about the blood draw than the actual surgery. I know that both are very common procedures. I was just so worried that they wouldn't be able to get the blood necessary.

We got to Children's North at 11:50am on Friday. We got checked in and sent back to the pre-op room. By 12:20 we were in the family play area, waiting for Piper to go back for surgery. 2:00pm rolled around and they took her back. Good thing they had a LOT of toys and some fun cars for the kid to ride in. And it was a good thing that I could distract her from wanting to nurse. She kept begging and I had to keep denying. I hate doing that!

Anyways - they took her back and it was seriously the cutest thing you would ever see. The nurse carried her and she just waved at me. No tears. No drama. It was like she knew she was going back to feel better!

I was told the procedure would take 5-10 minutes. I went into the family waiting area and we waited and waited and waited. Hmmmm. 5-10 minutes. RIGHT! Our wonderful ENT doctor came out after about 25 minutes and was laughing. PHEW. That meant that P was ok. The doctor informed me that it took longer to draw the blood than it took to put the tubes in! That little stinker of a daughter of mine! They pricked her on her hand and at her right ankle in order to get the 6 viles of blood they needed.

And apparently she didn't want to wake up. See, by this point, it was her nap time. She was just sleeping away in recovery. That's my girl :) She loves to sleep!

Finally the kid woke up and I was invited back to hold her and nurse her and comfort her. She had one big crocodile tear under her left eye. She saw me and flung her arms around my neck. I swear. There's no better feeling than having your baby give you a big hug!

I cannot even begin to describe the HUGE sense of relief that I finally feel, knowing that the fluid in her ears is draining properly and that we might soon have some type of answer or a plan of action for her ankle.

Do I have answers yet? No. Am I calling Children's hospital right now? Yes. Will they get back to me immediately? No. Until they do, I'm gonna love, hug, kiss, and just enjoy my little girl. My crazy 20 month old. My mini-me. My everything. I'm gonna enjoy listening to her fight with her brother. I'm gonna enjoy listening to her laugh with her brother. I'm gonna enjoy nursing her and not having to deny her food. I'm going to enjoy those arms around my neck. I'm not gonna worry until I have to worry. Hopefully, that's not on Monday <3

If you made it to the bottom of this story - thank you for listening. I REALLY needed to get all of that out. I dont' like to make excuses but these past few weeks have been rough on me mentally and emotionally. I have been behind a bit with my business but I promise to catch up now that things are hopefully getting back to normal. Once we get some answers, I know it will be even better!



  1. Prayers that all is well. Whata cutie! I have a 18 month old firecracker myself.

    1. Thanks for the prayers! We go in tomorrow afternoon for the blood work results and hopefully to get a plan of action!