Monday, November 5, 2012

Jace In the Hospital

Friday evening I had big plans to eat an early dinner, bath the kids and get them to bed by 7:00, then I was going to take the longest, hottest shower in the history of ever, alone, crack a beer and sit down to write a funny story about how one of my worst nightmares had been acted out in front of my eyes. Jace found an apple that had been thrown FOR THE CHICKENS, on the ground and when I found him, he was sitting in the wet grass, omg it makes me gag thinking about it, sharing it with Brians parents DOG!! BARF!!! As in, he takes a bite, Leda takes a bite, he takes a bite, Leda takes a bite.

Instead, I was sitting in emergency, alone with Jace, hoping and wishing for the best possible outcome.

Friday morning I noticed that Jace had an odd looking, tiny little bruise on his forehead. A while later I noticed another. Then another. Then another. Then tiny little red dots around his mouth, but I chalked those up to teething. Then more bruises. Then a few that were raised on his head. As I washed his hair in the bath I saw that his head actually had quite a few on it, so I decided to give his body a once over and see exactly what I was dealing with. Upon closer inspection I realized his entire little body was actually covered in these little pea sized bruises so I called the nurses line to see what they thought. He suggested checking the inside of Jaces mouth and what I found was scary and gross. Big-ish purple bumps. He told me to take him in. I hung up the phone and panicked. Then I got my shit together, grabbed Maizeys blanket, put both kids in the truck and left. I dropped Maizey at Angs'. Oh my Missy knew something was up, she told me We don't go to Corbs house in our p.j's moooom - so I played it cool for her, but inside I was sick and worried.
Emerg, as it can, took forever. I forgot to put shoes on Buddy, but he was too restless for me to hold after an hour of waiting, so we wandered the halls, sock footed and waited some more. When we finally saw the resident, she did the assessment then left to call the doctor, her boss, and see what he said. More time went by before she came to tell us that Dr. McDonald was on his way (love him) and that in the mean time blood work was being ordered. Cue panic once again.
I held my baby down as a man barely more than a child himself, stuck Jace four times with very little success. It hurt no one more than it hurt me. His eyes pleaded with me to make it stop and as his screams muffled into my check, I dripped tears down his neck and wished it would be over. The success he had was enough though, and there in the middle of the emergency, as I clutched Jace to my side, I heard words like, blood cell counts and leukemia be thrown around with Jaces name attached. I think my heart actually stopped beating. I can hardly remember what was said, but I do remember him saying they had ruled out Leukemia and anything bone marrow related.
Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura. Thats what he said. ITP. He said "Idiopathic" meaning "they" are idiots and can't figure out why it happens. (A little link here with a much better explanation than I could ever try to give). Basically it was decided that since Jace had a cold (which he got on Halloween) when his body produced antibodies to fight it off, the antibodies decided the virus looked exactly like the platelets in his blood and attacked them too. The tiny amount of blood they managed to get showed his count to be around 6000, while a normal persons should be closer to 150,000. The risk is, excessive bleeding and not being able to stop it. 
Dr. McDonald decided on a plan of attack and was in contact with a Pediatrician in Vernon.
He gave me a choice to drive ourselves or take an ambulance. I opted with drive ourselves.
At 10:40pm I left the hospital and called Ang. Then the real panic set in. She asked me what I wanted to do and I literally, couldn't think of anything. Nothing. She made the plan for me and I just did what she said. I stopped quickly at home and then went to pick her up. Thankfully, for like, the first time ever, her husband is working close to home so was there with her two kids and Maizey. When I got to her house, she had coffee, food and a phone number to try and reach Brian, who naturally, was on a train and unreachable. As we left town Ang called the number and pushed buttons until a real person picked up. I told someone, somewhere, that I needed to talk to my husband. My voice shaking and probably not even making any sense. I thought he put me on hold and I was quickly approaching the part of the highway where cell service ends. I pulled over to wait, but when he didn't come back I realized we had been disconnected. I weighed the odds and decided to keep driving and try to call again when we were back in service. 30 minutes later Ang connected with a worried Brian. He was two hours outside of town. When he got in he would drive straight to Vernon. 
We got to the hospital at 1:00am. 
More medical jargon and official names were thrown around.  We met the pediatrician. Once again I held my baby down as needles went into his soft skin. Two pokes and no luck with the IV. We waited while the anesthesiologist was called in. It had been six pokes so far with what I consider only one half success. It was so so sad. My poor Buddy
At 3:30am and another two pokes later, he had a working IV in his foot. It was waiting time for the meds. 4:00 the meds were started and Brian arrived. I have never felt more relief. Jace finally got to go to sleep and the nurses wheeled in a recliner for Ang. Brian and I curled up, end to end on the bed/couch and we all attempted to sleep. 
I couldn't take my eyes off the heart rate monitor on the screen. I watched his pulse rate and blood pressure rate blink at me
Why didn't I take a shower today? Honestly. Never waiting until the evening to shower again. Ever. 
Leukemia? Fuck. 
I would take every single one of those needles for you if I could, Buddy. 
What if I didn't notice the bruises? 
What if he had fallen and hurt himself and started bleeding and we couldn't make it stop?
I should call Brians parents
I should send an email.
I should send some texts. 
I should call my parents. 
I should call Mark and see how Maizey is doing.
Should I take a picture of him? Do I really want to remember this?
I should take his picture. 
Oh my god, why did his heart rate dip like that?
Why is his blood pressure so low? I know whats normal. This isn't normal. I should ask the nurse why she hasn't noticed how low it is.
I should text Cartwright.
Whyyyy didn't I take a shower??

My mind raced all night and not a wink of sleep was had. At 6:30 Ang took our car and drove home. 
No one has a better best friend than me.  No one.

It took 10 long hours for the meds to go in. At some point I drove to Brians grandparents house to take a shower and get some sleep. We traded off and he went to get some rest. Jace was antsy and bored and cranky and just wanted to walk around. Finally at dinner time they took his IV out and he bled all over the place. He was so done. 
We needed to have blood work done to see what his counts were at. 
It took a very long time for 9:00 Sunday morning to arrive. Of course, it would be the day Daylight Savings ends. It literally took an hour longer. Ha. 
I sucked in my breath and closed my eyes as one last time I held him down so he could be stuck with  not  one but two more needles. It didn't get any easier and as his
eyes pleaded with mine to make it stop, I think I died a little inside.
It felt like forever before his doctor came to tell us that he was good to go. We collectively sighed in relief. I don't think I have ever been washed over with more gratitude or exhaustion as I was at that moment. We could go.
It's not over yet. We have some follow up blood work mid-week and see where we are at after that. He is a million times better. His cold is almost gone, his bruises are turning yellow so should be gone within the next few days. He slept for 13 hours last night. He is so happy to see Missy and she, him.
The holes in his chubby little hands won't scar. Nor the ones on his feet, ankles or elbows. But there will be scars on my heart forever. I won't soon forget the look in his eyes or the feeling inside. So completely helpless and sick.
Maizey was so well taken care of. I can't even begin to express my gratitude. Ang took care of me and Jace all night and then for the next two days took care of Maizey. She can't stop talking about the campout with Corbin and Danica and all the fun things she did. Thank you Ang, a million times over. Thank you. 

Turns out I am writing a story about one of my worst nightmares being acted out in front of my eyes, it just doesn't have anything to do with half rotten food or dog slobber. In hindsight, I would take my kids sharing food with a dog any day over them being sick and in danger. Not to be confused with me wanting them to share food with a dog, okay? 

Thank you all for the texts, calls, facebook messages, coffee, food and well wishes. We felt all of your support and truly appreciate it.  


  1. I am so happy that your family is back home safe and sound!! I can only imagine what you and Brian went through. Your words and descriptions paint such a clear picture. I cried through this entire post. I love you guys so much and the thought of your family hurting breaks my heart!

    1. Thank you Chels, for your thoughtful texts and offers to help. We love you too.

  2. I am with Chelsea on the crying part. Somehow, seeing everything in print and feeling your fear and anguish through your words brought the tears. Also glad that you did not put a photo with it.
    ps personally know many people who have shared food with a pet (well maybe not something rotten) but everyone is fine, a little weird though

    1. Thanks Trudy. I thought of adding some photos but decided that for now, we will keep those to ourselves. Thank yoyo for the thoughtfult .messages and for checking in with my mom. It all helps. xoxox

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