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Monday, December 26, 2011

I Was a Scaredy Squirrel!

Merry Christmas! (Even though on a technicality, that was "yesterday" I am posting a little after midnight).

There has been lots of Holiday Bloggy Love out there! In case you missed me (and I kind of hope you did), I was off line for a few days. I would like to say it was because I was so wrapped up in the holiday cheer and I was baking and decorating and shopping- but that was not the case....and I warn you now, this is where I actually get serious-

I spent the last 4 days at Vanderbilt's Children's Hospital in Nashville with my daughter!
It was the craziest thing. ( Even in my own head, it is hard to wrap my brain around it- so I am going to give the extremely short version...who am I kidding, right?)

She just wasn't herself- very tired, very pale, no appetite, a little nausea (and to boot- it was "that time"). And when I say pale, I mean like her lips were the same color as her face. So we took her into the children's clinic here at home. They in turn, sent us to the ER at Gateway (our local hospital) because her hemocrit  (can't get spell check to fix it) levels were low. They explained that for a woman they expect between 15-18. When it is "that time" 12-15. When it gets to 8 there is a big worry, need transfusion. Hers was a 4.6! So they were afraid she was going to go into shock!

Her bp was out of whack, and her heart was racing. So they put her on fluids and heart monitor while they do labs on her blood. Obviously anemic, but something more serious going on.

They come into the ER room and say, "We have called the ambulance to transfer her to Vanderbilt." I was in total shock! They said she needed a transfusion and needed to be under the care of a peds gyno (which we do not have here).

So I ride in the ambulance with her, Dad followed behind. It was soooo scary! We get into the Er and it took 5 hours and 2 units of blood, then they admitted us to the PICU (the pediatric intensive care unit) ! At this point,  I am in a zone. That is the only way I know to explain it. My body went on auto-pilot to keep her calm and listen to the Drs but I just could not get over the fact that everything was so serious and I didn't know- does that make sense? Like when you tell one of your children to go on to school because they will be fine, and then they come home by 10am because they have the flu or a stomach virus.....kind of like that, but only a billion times worse!

So she ends up with another unit of blood and they keep taking blood to make sure she was accepting it and checking for bleeding disorders and she never got to sleep for more than an hour or so at a time.  She as on IV estrogen and they had to check her constantly to make sure that was working okay. There was an ultrasound to see if it was a gyno issue- no results there. The final answer was "Anemia can lead to heavy bleeding and heavy bleeding can lead to being anemic, we just aren't sure where she fell into the loop"/ So we have to follow up. They are keeping her on the estrogen pills and we have to follow up.

We made it home by 7pm on Christmas Eve- in time for Santa to get the news that she was back home in her bed for the night.

It was the scariest 4 days of my life!!! I want to just wrap her in bubble wrap and keep everything away from her to make sure she is okay. The boys were worried sick! They came into see her one night  and were immediately silenced by the sight of her hooked to so many machines. They were also amazed when they looked around- and you are not going to believe this- well, you will, because I have pictures.
But they wheel her in the room in the PICU and as I am talking to the Dr, I look up. Here is  a shot of the wallpaper in the room:

(I waited until she was asleep and we were alone to take the pictures) These squirrels went all the way around the room.)    

And behind her bed was a masterpiece of a painting:
There were a few others, but my cell phone batt went out.
I told her there were squirrely little angels looking out for us!
Of all the rooms in that gigantic hospital!?!?!?!?

I have my fam back together (the Mr did a wonderful job of holding things down while I was gone with her) and that is the best gift I could have gotten this year!
I hope you and yours had a wonderful Christmas as well, and the best wishes for a happy and healthy new year!


  1. I'm happy to hear that your daughter came home and is okay for now!! That must have been so scary. I'll keep your family in my thoughts!!

    Marvelous Multiagers!

  2. Hi sweetie! I wish we could all reach out and give you giant hugs! Know that we are all thinking of you AND your daughter.

    I don't know if this helps, but years ago, something similar happened to me. I was 35 though. It was that time of month and suddenly blood started pouring out of me. Similar scenario - rushed to hospital, super low crit, pale, weak, transfusions, anemia, ... In my case, my uterus was lined with fibroid cysts - not dangerous on their own, but caused lots of bleeding. I was on birth control at the time and was taken off, plus given meds.

    But there was a happy ending ... I ended up fine! Hurrah for wise doctors!!!

    An Open Door

  3. Oh My heavens-to-betsy!!! {{{{{HHHHUUUUUUGGGGG}}}}} I have a daughter (who is only 2), but I can't IMAGINE what a mother goes through when that happens. I am SOOO glad she is ok!! And not that you were MEANT to be in those rooms (with squirrels), but "someone" knew you were coming, and was well prepared for you :) I am relieved to hear of a happy ending and that she was able to return home so you could still have Christmas as a family at home. Now, go take a nice long hot bath so you can come back to your normal blood pressure and stress level! :)

    ♥ Jen Ross
    The Teachers' Cauldron

  4. I am so glad your daughter is better. I know you were scared! I can be calm in almost any situation except when one of my children is involved!

    I pray you find out what is wrong and that it is something easy to fix. I had a similar situation several years ago and ended up with fibroid cysts (same as Camille above). So be sure to have the doctors check for that. I think it is a common cause for women to have excess bleeding and low iron levels in the blood.

    Hope you can rest and relax for the remainder of your break ((((hugs))))!

    Ms. McBee’s Kinderbugs

  5. I'm so glad she's ok! Isn't it amazing how God will just give us those little signs to show that He's watching over us?

  6. Oh my goodness - I am so sorry you had to go through this, but man...hug that little one nice and tight, right?

    You deserve a lot of rest and relaxation these next few days.


    Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

  7. Staci!!! How awful!!!! And yes, for the record, I did miss you! I am so glad things are better now. Wow. What a story!!!!!
    RELAX today!!!
    A Teeny Tiny Teacher

  8. Staci, I am so sorry for all you've been through the past several days! I am so thankful that your daughter got the medical attention she needed and is back home again! What a blessing!! Sending you huge hugs and love!
    Teaching First

  9. Staci So sorry to hear about your daughter..she is in my prayers as I know that is awful scary! (((Hugs))) and blessings to you all. God will give you strength and may he guide the doctors to the right answers for your little gal.

  10. There is NOTHING scarier (for squirrels or human) than a sick child. I am so glad everything turned out ok,and that she is safe at home. Although we may be miles away in distance and have never even spoke, mothers and teachers can always rely on each other in a time of need, and I'll bet everyone of us "bloggy buddies" would do whatever we could to ease your worry.
    Hugs from Oklahoma

  11. Thank you for all the thoughts and prayers. She is chowing down on some steak as I type- which is REALLY good!
    Her color is back to norm and her spunk is getting there:)
    I am still so lost- I was in that room for 4 days, I just found out 3 hours ago that it was Monday!!!!-

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  13. I just found your blog and I'm in love so I've started from the beginning and worked my way back... but I'm just curious a similar thing happened to me (I've been severely anemic for 8 out of my 20 years) and they JUST found I have Celiac Disease (not super serious, my body attacks my intestines when I eat gluten making it nearly impossible to absorb nutrients ie. iron... meaning anemia)... Did they ever figure out what caused it or has she ever been tested for the Celiac panel? Has she had any other issues with iron deficiency?


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