The scariest thing that a parent can experience is the uncertainty of their child’s health. So, I think it is safe to say, that I have lived through the most terrifying moments of my life.
This past week was exhausting, scary, and still feels like a bad dream.
On Tuesday, November 30, Hailey woke up a tad bit congested, but by 11 a.m., daycare said she needed to be picked up due to a low grade fever, lack of eating her typical amount, and overall, Hailey not acting like herself.
When we arrived back at our house, I was prepared to take the next day off of work. Little did I know, I would be taking the next 8 days off of work and my typical life as I knew it.
Hailey fell asleep in her highchair, just as I was about to feed her. I waited a little while, bathed her, and by the time she came out of her bath, she was tugging and pulling really hard in her chest. It was clear that she was working extremely hard to get a simple breath into her lungs. A month and a half prior, she was hospitalized for viruses that caused upper respiratory issues. So, without questioning, back to the hospital we went.
7 hours were spent being monitored in the emergency room, until she was finally moved to the pediatric intensive care unit. Hailey was given the maximum amount of oxygen. I worried that if it was not enough, she would be progressed to other treatments, and my mind immediately went to negative spaces.
We were greeted by familiar faces. The staff remembered us since it was not long ago that we spent a few days with them. But Hailey was back, she was a repeat offender.
Hailey tested positive for a bad strain of the cold. But, her fevers kept spiking and the doctors and nurses were concerned. Between that and her difficulty breathing, more cultures and tests were completed and sent out.
She tested positive for a bacterial infection that children with low immunity often get. So the question became whether or not she was immune-compromised..
In the meantime, I had gone home to shower and see my son before returning to the hospital. I was driving in my car when my husband called me to tell me they had suspected she may be immunodeficient. I felt like I was experiencing what Hailey was because I was short of breath, too. It felt like all the air had been sucked out of my lungs, yet when I pulled over, I screamed and used up the rest of my arsenal in my body.
WHYYYY? WHY US? WHY HER?
The already altered picture of what I thought my life would look like became even blurrier.
Back to the hospital. Sitting in her room, seeing her eyes peering through the grates of the crib. The image was blurry as my eyes tried hard to focus past the droplets of tears. Her hand reached out of the crib, and I grabbed it, and reassured her that we would always do everything and anything we could to keep her safe, healthy, and happy.
The next day, I did not leave the room as I awaited the infectious disease doctor’s arrival. At about 3 p.m. she finally came in and told me that Hailey’s numbers were a little low, but she was not concerned about her being compromised.
I tried to play it cool, but the wave of relief moved throughout my entire body. I felt tingling sensations of reassurance from head to toe, to the inner most points of my marrow and soul.
The following day, Hailey was also diagnosed with a UTI. It was never ending. The doctor informed me that not only was she essentially septic when we arrived to the emergency room, but had we arrived a day later, we would be looking at a very different situation. We could have had an incoherent, intubated, extremely sickly child. Time is truly of the essence.
After 8 long, grueling days, the wait was finally over and we could go home. Now, I can return to watching my reality television and living through their drama, instead of our own.