Sunday, January 29, 2012

The E.R {croup & other concerning ailments}

 Four days ago I put Maisie down for a nap and upon tucking her in, blowing her a kiss and shutting the door I realized that I too, needed a nap. Normally I spend Maisie's naps cleaning up or having "me time" blogging, pinning, facebooking, or watching a documentary or two, but I was beat. I slept fine the night before, but for some odd reason I needed to "recharge my batteries" so to speak.

Next thing I know I am being woken up by groggy little Maisie complaints. I had the blinds open and as I stretched myself up, I noticed the sunlight had dramatically decreased since pre-nap. "What time is it!?" Maisie went down at 12:30pm and slept until 5:30 pm! And I by default, since she was my alarm, slept that long too. Um wow. I thought this was odd until now, but I will get back to that. 

That night around 8:30 I was going through Maisie's bed time routine. Every thing was normal except Maisie was fighting me about going to bed probably because of her long nap. Maisie was so happy all day. No signs of being sick at all. Fast forward 2 hours... I was out in the living room watching a movie when all of the sudden I hear two very deep, alarming coughs. Immediately I run into her room expecting to find her choking {that's what it kind of sounded like} but instead find her sitting up with her hands raised with a frightened expression on her face. I think the cough scared her just as much as it did me. I took her into my bed and comforted her until she fell asleep in my arms (which I loved because she never does that anymore) Austin came home about an hour later to me and Maisie tucked in bed. I sent him a text to be quiet, but as soon as he tried to get into bed with us, Maisie sprung up. The rest of the night was downhill from there. Austin put her back down, but about an hour later she was up, very uncomfortable with labored breathing and of course the signature "barking" Croup cough. Austin gave her a blessing before we spent hours in the bathroom breathing the steam, on the phone with an advice nurse {at 2 am} and consoling our very unhappy Maisie.

The next morning came way too soon. Maisie was still very uncomfortable, but during the day her coughing definitely decreased. She was exhausted, breathing fast and heavy and you could see her diaphragm under her chest being pulled in.  I called her Doctor and she said to try a humidifier, but seeing how Croup is viral, there isn't any medication that can help. If her breathing became so labored that she develops Stridor ( a high pitched sound when breathing in because the airways are so narrow) I could take her in for a steroid treatment. Maisie seemed to be ok. Definitely not her normally healthy chipper self, but I wasn't worried for her life. This went on for two days.

Late afternoon yesterday Maisie started to get a faint sound of Stridor, so we called the Doctor and they wanted to evaluate her and get her some steroids to decrease the swelling. The appointment went fine. They could hear her labored breathing and Croupy coughs, so they prescribed us the steroid and we went home. The Pharmacist told me to make sure Maisie had a full belly before giving her the pill because it could cause an upset stomach. Maisie's appetite went way down while being sick and I don't blame her. It was hard for her to breathe and chew at the same time and if she started to cough, she would end up spitting all of her food out. As I was cooking a dinner full of some of Maisie's favorites {to ensure she would eat a good amount} Maisie started to fuss so I went to check on her to quickly smell she needed a diaper change. I won't go into all the details here, but as I was disposing of her bowel movement I noticed maroon globs of jelly in her diaper and surrounding her excrement. I was so confused at first "girl, what did you eat?" but as I began to examine I was quickly shocked to realize that they were blood clots. Tons of them.

I called Austin, but he didn't answer because he was at work, so I called her Doctor {again for the 3rd time} completely freaked out. I just couldn't fathom why there would be old blood, "That means she is bleeding internally somewhere? Right?". My brain was going a million miles an hour. I felt nauseous and started to wonder if I missed something. Has she been in pain all this time and I just dismissed it as being uncomfortable because of the Croup? After being on the phone for over an hour she said that we should go to the Emergency Room, to get Maisie checked out, for peace of mind and to get the ok, if Maisie should take her steroids. I finally got a hold of Austin and I started telling him what was happening and he immediately says "I'm coming home".

So off to the ER we went. The second we got there our stress level went through the roof. Sick people everywhere, stressed out ER attendants running back and forth, but luckily we didn't have to wait too long before they called us back. We started going through all the details, I was scared and exhausted and all I wanted were some answers, comfort in just knowing what is happening to my sweet girl. Maisie had already been the Dr's earlier that day and she had had it with being poked and prodded. She was yelling "no" at any one who came two feet from her while tears streamed down her face. I was bombarded with questions like "Has she been eating normally?" "Have you noticed her in pain?" In my mind I was thinking "She has had Croup for a couple days, people! She is really sick, she barely has an appetite and she has been miserable all day and night long for the past few days. I don't think those things are abnormal for kids with Croup, and I am sorry I haven't realized if she is crying out of sheer frustration of feeling overall terrible and achy or if her stomach is actually hurting her." I ended up saying that it's quite possible she has been in pain because she has been inconsolable all night, but we may have dismissed it as just being uncomfortable from Croup. I felt like a bad parent. Like I wasn't observant enough, that my answers weren't detailed enough.

 They ended up doing a full body check, pressed on her belly to watch for signs of pain, checked her little bum to check for cracks that could have caused the bleeding, but nothing. They ended up doing a rectal exam and a "chemical test" aka a probe and smear and sure enough there was more blood. The ER doctor told us that since she wasn't currently writhing in pain or we hadn't noticed her in extreme amounts of pain before, that the further testing would be abrasive and could be for nothing. They wanted us to take her home and keep an eye on her and if the bleeding continues or we notice her having abdominal pain to bring her back in for further testing. I came home unsatisfied. I wanted answers. I mean they did the rectal examine and there was in fact blood, so I wasn't crazy. I was just confused why they didn't seem to be too worried with it, when I was sick with worry. 

They assumed that since she has Croup, that her fluid intake hasn't been the greatest, which I will give them that because I would assume that to be the case most of the time, but Maisie has actually been doing quite well with her fluids. The Doctors were and still are convinced she was just constipated and that her bowels were irritated and bleeding because of passing firm stool. Let me tell you, Maisie has been constipated before and the bowel movement that had the blood in/on it wasn't extremely hard. It wasn't the softest either, but in my mind I don't know how it could have been the culprit behind all of those blood clots. 

Today Maisie seems better. Her cough has settled into a loose mucousy cough, not the deep barking coughs she once had. Her breathing is much better as well. Her appetite still isn't much, but we have doubled her fluid intake and she's been pretty cooperative. No signs of blood or extreme amounts of pain. She was even able to take a nap today and a good one too. So I feel much better about things, but I can't help but worry about the whole blood ordeal. I am telling you, if you would have seen it, you would have been shocked. It was a imagine the worse case scenario, my baby is dying, panic. I am praying that if something is wrong that it presents itself sooner than later, but most of all I am praying that nothing is wrong, that it was some fluke blood-clots-in-stool-and-diaper situation, but the more I think about it, the more I become worried. It just doesn't make sense to me.

So that ridiculously long nap mentioned at the beginning of the post? {Admit it, you forgot all about that part.} I now know that my body was getting prepared for a you're-not-going-to-get-any-sleep-in-a-long-time-so-stock-up-now mode. Makes sense right? I'd hate to imagine how bad off I would have been without that glorious amount of shut eye. Oh, what I would do to be that rested right now sigh.

This post has turned into a novel and I would apologize, but the way I feel is, that the people who care about our family and little Maisie would like to know what's going on no matter how many words it takes me to spill it out and I love knowing that people read this because of that very reason. I know who most of you are but, you secret readers out there, I am glad you find us interesting enough to take time to read about our family {lets face it mainly Maisie though, she is by far the most interesting}. But this is a seriously long post and I feel a twinge of guilt because how could you not read a post with a title "The ER". I know, that for the blogs I follow if that were the title, I would most definitely want the run down. I may need to work on my editing and only keeping the need to know details or even just to work on sticking to the main story, but I am a detail oriented, sleep deprived mama. And my mind is racing with the events that have transpired the past few days. I am still processing everything and this blog helps to settle me down and take things in.

So, that's it for now. I hope I have nothing else to report other than Maisie being 100% better in a few days, but know we appreciate all the prayers and well wishes that have been said for us. It's great knowing we have support in times of need. It is truly a comfort and a blessing. 

 Sorry to those of you who don't have kids, but when you do, you will realize that "poop" becomes a daily topic of discussion and something that parents willingly talk about with just about any one. It's the norm, I promise. 


  1. Oh Sammie. Don't apologige for the long post. It was informative and completely transparent. I could hear and feel your "mother's heart". I'm glad Maisie is feeling better. Al and I are praying. Love you.

  2. Oh, poor girl! This sounds horrific! I hope she recovers quickly!

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