Sunday, August 08, 2010

Choices

My Littlest Love is under the weather, so it is girls day at home. Yesterday I was getting her out of her carseat after an outing to Ikea and she was burning up. Surely, I thought, it's because it was too hot in the back seat. I mean, it's August in Houston. The heat index today is supposed to be 109.

We put Annabeth down for a nap and I took Jackson swimming. A thunderstorm cut that short and we returned home with ice cream treats from Sonic. I had just gotten out of the shower when Annabeth woke up. She was still burning up. Two thermometers told me she had a 103 degree fever. Bless her heart. There's a new pediatric urgent care clinic nearby, so I threw my wet hair in a bun and we made our way there.

Being a parent is so tough. Half of my brain was telling me to get her to the doctor as fast as possible and the other half was saying, "It's just a fever. You're overreacting." I let my cautious side triumph. I wanted to take care of it when the clinic was open rather than end up in the ER if she got even worse in the night.

An hour later, I had one of the worst experiences I've ever had as a parent. The doctor couldn't find anything wrong with her ears or throat, so he needed a urine sample to rule out a urinary tract infection. "You need to put a bag on her?" We'd done this once before. I felt so bad when they'd had to remove it from such sensitive skin. The doctor gave me two options - a catheter or the bag, which he emphasized was not as accurate. But it was my choice, he said. He downplayed the catheter, even though I was about to throw up at the thought of it. I did not know what to do. Honestly, I didn't think it would be a UTI and I wanted to just leave! But I said yes to the catheter because it was more accurate.

It was horrible. As long as I live, I will never forget letting my baby be put through that. I looked down and saw the iodine, which I thought was blood, and thought I was going to be sick. "Are you okay, Mom?"

Never again.

The doctor came back in with a Cinderella sticker for my little princess. I didn't think she would give two hoots about it, but she seemed to like it.

In the end there was no UTI. I left without knowing the cause of the fever, but with a raging case of mommy guilt. The only thing that eased the guilt was thinking of the parents all over the world who are being forced to make much tougher decisions. Their doctors are explaining the choices of cancer treatment or types of brain surgery - none of which are perfect, all of which are painful - and saying "It's up to you."

God help us.

The only plus side about yesterday was all the snuggle time I got with my girl. At 18 months old she is already too busy to sit in my lap or to let me rock her!



53 comments:

Longmeadow Mama said...

I so get this, Amanda! I had a similar experience this week in the ER with my 6yo. He's as tough as nails and woke up in agony with his side hurting. I, as well, as the drs. at first, thought it was his appendix. To make a long story short he was just, ahem, clogged up. I had a couple choices and decided on what the dr thought best...a "catheter of sorts", if you know what I mean! How I regretted that decision...my poor boy! And then they still ended up putting him on the medicine that had been my other choice! Mommy guilt in full force!
Thanks for putting it all in perspective. I needed that!
Prayers to you and Annabeth,
Kelli

Beth said...

whew. I just cried along with you there, dear! I don't have children, but I can't imagine doing something like that. I pray your sweet Annabeth is better soon.

Uncanny Colleen said...

Oh, I am so sorry that you both had to go through that! I have had similar experiences with our little ones...and the same mommy guilt!

tricia said...

I can so relate to this. My 10yr old has a brain injury that happened when she was 18mo. old. She was a typical toddler and now is full care very similar to CP. It is awful watching your child go through all the many tests to figure things out. We have been dealing with chronic pain for months now. The doctors have run tons of test but no conclusions. Natalie can't speak, is in a wheelchair but is such a blessing and brave girl. The pain and agony that she goes through burdens my heart. I have to go to Jesus ALL the time covering her in prayer. Her life is difficult, but we hold onto the hope that one day she WILL receive a new body and I will see her healed! Praise Jesus. Our family shares with others that life even through hard critical heartwretching times Jesus is there. He is faithful and loves us so much!
Glad to hear you got some snuggle time. Cherish your treasures!

blessings,
Tricia
radicallyblessed.com

Sister Lynn said...

What a precious lil pumpkin!
Praying for her speedy recovery and for your tender heart.

with love,
sister Lynn

Kristen said...

I totally understand where you are coming from. On July 20th my daughter who is turning 2 today had to be airlifted to a hospital 30 miles away. It was so scary. Praise the Lord she is fine and we were on our way home that afternoon. I too thought of parents everywhere being explained procedures for cancer and other illnesses. Since this experience my heart is so tender for those moms and dads. I will be praying for little girl!

Deidre said...

Bless your heart, Amanda. Mothering is tough. My 8 yr old just had her tonsils removed and I told my husband the single toughest thing about being a mother is the 'guessing'. Never knowing what the right choice is. Thankfully, God fills in the gaps where we fall short :)

Praying sweet Annabeth is all better.

Lydia said...

When my oldest was 16 months old, he was running a 105 degree fever so we took him in to urgent care. They also did a catheter, after first trying the bag with no success. That was SO hard to watch and hold him down for. And of course it wasn't necessary because he did not have a UTI, but bronchitis. I feel your pain. I hope she's feeling better today!

ChelseaSalomone said...

Hang in there! You are such a good mommy!

Bobbie said...

I'm so sorry Annabeth had to go through that, poor baby, but I'm glad you were able to rule out a UTI. I'm with you about taking her in tho!! It's better to be safe than sorry. She probably enjoyed the snuggle time with you as much as you did.

Praying that she'll be herself very soon and ready to see Bibby and Pawpaw when they get home!

Courtney (Women Living Well) said...

So sorry :-( Motherhood is so hard. Hang in there!!! We are all on this journey together.
Courtney

Mrs Lemon said...

Oh, that would break my heart.

If it's any consolation to you, at nearly 2 1/2 my son is coming back to his snuggle bug roots and is eager to sit on my lap and be loved on. Maybe your sweet baby will get back to that when the novelty of walking and running around has worn off a bit.

Kiki said...

Oh Amanda! Bless both your hearts! That sounds awful.

And I love those pictures of her! And the one of you and her, so sweet!

Kelli said...

So sorry you had to go through that Amanda! Even being a nurse it is just plain never easy when it is your own kid. My father-in-love loves telling stories on me- I ran my oldest to the ER at midnight for a high fever that was nothing, I called 911 when I thought she was choking on Motrin when every piece of my RN logic told me that was not medically possible, I took my middle child to the ER in the middle of the night because (being an RN with TOO MUCH medical knowledge in this case) I was convinced she had meningitis (nope) and just last year I fainted when my youngest cut her eyelid and had to get stitches!

I love your perspective on thankfulness that it's not something much worse.

My girls (especially my youngest two) are notorious for "fever viruses" which is (I've decided) what the pediatrician calls it when they have a fever but they can't find anything else wrong. Kids get such high fevers so fast and it is SCARY! I always tell my friends who call me and ask for nursing advice (why you may ask would anyone call such a paranoid crazy lady but they do) anyway, I always say go with your gut instinct- if you would feel better taking them in, take them in. Fever viruses for my girls usually run 3-5 days- from what I hear that's pretty typical..

Prayers to you and your sweet girl to get better soon!

The Taffs said...

Such sweet pictures - I pray she starts feeling better soon!

Sarah said...

Sorry she is sick--she is such a cutie pie! :)

Charlow Family said...

We have done the EXACT same thing, and it was absolutely the worst moment of my two years of being a parent. The doctor suspected she had roseola (spelling?), which causes a high fever with no other symptoms. The pedi said if that was it she would break out in a rash within 24-48 hours. That was it! So, if AB breaks out in a rash don't worry!!!

annalee said...

i hope sweet, beautiful girl is feeling better in no time. God gave her the exact momma she needed.

Angela said...

I had to do the same thing with Ava once! It turned out negative too! She screamed for what seemed like forever! It is hard being a parent at times like these. I hate seeing her hurting!
Your a good momma, she is lucky to have you. Hope she is feeling much better today!

Ps. Love the pics!!! She gets cuter by the day. (I wish Ava's hair would grow!)

Amy Beth @ Ministry So Fabulous! said...

I know you're going to get a ton of comments saying this, but I know what you mean! When Olivia was in the hospital so long, sometimes Ryan would go sleep in a family suite at night since I would drive in each night. He was letting me help him figure out what to do with Olivia and there were hard, hard decisions to make. The had to do a catheter and bag on her and I would just sit in the chair and cry, cry, cry. The worst was when we could tell she could hear us even when she was knocked out... when I would sing her songs, she would wiggle her little toes and try to reach up for me -- but she was strapped to the bed. Just thinking about those few weeks makes me sick to my stomach. Little babies, oh the love they need.

Missy said...

Oh, I am so sorry! This brought back VERY vivid memories of doing the same thing with Ellison when she was like 8 months. High fever, nothing else noted, so we had the "choice" to do the catheter. NEVER EVER EVER again. I'll take a high fever and pray for a rash any day. Funny thing is, I haven't taken her back for a fever since.

I think you made the right choice. Being a mom is so hard, but you would have second guessed all night if you didn't do it.

Kelli said...

Ain't that the truth! How do those mamas make such huge choices when the smaller ones are so painful!

Praying Annabeth feels better today and I bet that through the tears she was feeling such comfort through her amazing mamas voice and hugs!

Gayle @ thewestiecrew said...

Oh, Amanda. :( You poor thing, it is so tough when a Dr. pokes and prods and hurts them when all you can do is stand there, helpless.

I'll never forget the time they put a rookie on my son to draw blood. It was HORRIBLE. Truth be told, I wanted to pummel that dude in a bad way! And in the end, they gave us an inaccurate diagnosis, to boot. :(

((((Hugs)))

Marc and Charity said...

That was us this last time Addie was sick, we did the bag and waited ages. But then it ended up being Roseola, which I've already told you about. She looks so precious in blue!

Heather said...

I am so sorry AB is not feeling well and you not knowing what is wrong. When AJ was just 2 months old, we had to rush to Vandy cause he spiked a fever. Vandy is a very experimental hospital and they used a catheter and an IV on him. It was HORRIBLE! The cry was one I'll never forget, it breaks our momma's heart when our kids don't feel well, especially when they are young and can't verbalize yet what is wrong.

On a another note, I love these pics of your girl, so cute and I love the backgroud. Hope she feels better soon.

~ Laurie said...

we had to agree to let the dr's do a spinal on our son four years ago when he was 11 weeks old...they botched it the first six times (b/c it wasn't a peds ER dr) and when the ped dr got there she showed them how to do it. It was AWFUL listening to him scream...he was treated for meningitis and would have been spinal or not. The thing I had to keep reminding myself was that he will NEVER remember that...I may, but thankfully he will never remember it.

Dionna said...

She is so precious. I'm so sorry for what you went through. I remember my oldest daughter (who is now 13) having to get tested for rotovirus. Besides wanting a sample they wanted some blood. Couldn't get any of out her chubby arms because they couldn't find a vein and they tried her legs/feet. I left bawling at what my daughter went through as she was bawling too at all the poking and prodding.

And no - she didn't end up having rotovirus.

KR said...

It's so difficult no matter what the injury, illness or ordeal. Our 2 year old had open heart surgery at 5 months old...followed by a heart attack a couple months later while I was alone with him at the mall. All I can say is that God gives us the grace to do what needs doing. You did make the right choice because at least you know the negative result was accurate. We go for monthly blood/cardiology appts and I always try to focus on how blessed we are to have good healthcare. Somehow makes me less guilty and more grateful. I'll be praying for Annabeth and all of you.

Fran said...

Oh Amanda...I'm so very sorry. And, yes...there are so many scenarios worse than that but honey when its your baby it just kills ya.

I'm so thankful that AB is ok and I'm stopping to say a prayer for all those momma's and daddy's who are dealing with so much more. Breaks my heart.

Hugs,
Fran

Barr Family said...

Oh, bless your heart! We had that happen with my first one when she was about your little Annabeth's age. My husband and I had to help hold her down. I was trying to sing "Jesus Loves Me" to her but could barely get the words past my tears. By the end, my husband was a little weepy-eyed too. It was awful. Parenthood is just hard...and wonderful all at the same time! So glad she ended up okay!

Heather said...

OH I am so, so sorry. Being a Mommy is so tough. These are hard choices!!! Here's hoping AB is on the mend today!

Tabaitha Kaye said...

Hope the sweet little girl feels better.

Andrea said...

Wow, Amanda, this is timely. I've been beating myself all week about letting the pediatrician put a catheter in my 3-month-old baby girl, because she suspected her 101 degree fever might be a UTI. It wasn't. I did spend a lot of time thinking about parents who have many tougher choices to make, too.

Tara G. said...

Bless your hearts!

Reese Ray said...

:-( Im sorry! I hope she's feeling better. She is so cute!

ThirtysomethingMom said...

I am so sorry that you and Annabeth had to go through that. I just cried for you...been there and done that.

I hope she is feeling much better today.

God Bless you today.

Sunni said...

I think we've all been through something like this. You are a great mom!!!

JottinMama said...

I hope your little one feels better today :) When our kids are sick - of course it is tough on them...but it it can be REAL tough on us Mama's, too. Bless your heart. I like to snuggle with my babies when they are under the weather as well - but I'm embarrassed to admit that I'd like to where a medical mask when I do :) Because I DONT want to catch it. Lord, help me!

Reading your blog encourages me. Thanks :)

Blessings,
Kate :)

katiegfromtennessee said...

Wow, that is tough Amanda.

Kristen said...

Poor mama! I feel your guilt, with every doctor and every test we put Price through. It's not easy.

Erica said...

Oh, girl...I am so sorry! That sounds terrible, and I hate that you had to make that choice. Just remember that you were doing what you thought best~you would never do anything to hurt her!
We are home with 2 little ones with strep today.

Skubaliscious said...

So sorry you both had to go through that!

Hope she feels better soon.

Ashley N said...

Poor baby and poor mama...that story left me teary eyed. Having been catheterized myself twice for my c-sections, I *know* what an unpleasant, invasive, painful experience that is. To have to watch your daughter...well, I'm just so sorry. When they hurt, you hurt. The good news is, with her being so young, you're likely that will remember it in the long run.
Those pictures...she is a breath takingly beautiful child.

Alana said...

We went through the same kind of thing when we were trying to decide if Mac really needed to be recircumcised. Knowing you are about to put your child through a painful experience is a horrible thing even if you are trying to help them....

Mommy guilt is hard.

Leyla said...

Sorry about Annabeth not feeling well and that horrible experience! Hopefully she will get better soon! I LOVE the pictures of her. That outfit is so cute...where did you get it?

Also, I really enjoyed Curtis speaking at our church a couple weeks ago. It was a great sermon and he is a great speaker!

connorcolesmom said...

Oh bless your heart!
I feel your pain - I have had to take connor to the urgent care for the past 2 weeks
It is awful to have your child in so much pain
Praying for sweet AB to feel better soon!!!

Amanda said...

Leyla, we got that outfit at Gymboree. I hate that I missed you at your church! I wondered if you'd be there but wasn't sure with the new baby and all. Thanks for your sweet words.

Catalina Booth said...

We had the same experience with urgent care and a catheter last winter when my daughter was about 15 months old. She had a 104 fever of unkown origin. Awful experience to watch her get that done. Next ER visit we went to TCH where they avoided the catheter at all costs. Of course she only had a mild 102 fever that time.

Beth@Not a Bow in Sight said...

Amanda,
I got the chills as I read this post because I faced a similar (slightly more intense) situation with my son when he was only six DAYS old. He had a fever so we had to take him to TX Children's Hospital ER (as they are the only ones who accept newborns). They asked us if we wanted to do a spinal tap to rule out meningitis...our choice. We decided not do it at first but the doctor finally made us consent to doing it. I couldn't watch. My husband stayed with him though. It turned out that he just had a simple virus that happened to have a fever associated with it. But to be given that choice of inflicting pain...it's so hard.

Siesta OC said...

Oh Amanda - where was YOUR sticker?!!

So glad she is better, she is a DOLL!

Tiffany Lockette said...

I have never commented before but this subject is very dear to my heart right now. I too have had to make a decision, bag or cath. So far I have chosen the bag (which hasn't worked in 3 attempts). I don't want to have a cath inserted in my baby girl but just not sure what to do. She is not running a fever but she keeps saying it hurts down there (she is 2). We are currently trying constipation medicine to see if that will help, maybe she is constipated and it hurts for her to go. If this doesn't work, I am afraid the cath is next. Was it a long procedure? What exactly do they do? Poor babies, it just breaks my heart. I am so very sorry you had to go through this. Hugs to your little trooper.

Amanda said...

Tiffany, I am so sorry that you are having to deal with this too. The procedure took about a minute, I think. They insert a catheter into the urethra to cause the urine to come out. If you really are suspecting a UTI, the only way to deal with it is antibiotics (according to the doc we saw), so it would need treatment. I would have felt better about doing this if there had indeed been signs (other than fever) that AB might have a UTI. I'm saying a prayer for you guys right now.

Erin said...

I had this same experience with my 6 mth old...not fun, and extreme guilt.