Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Wild Ride...

My absence from my postings can only be explained, dear readers, as one big wild ride taking the form of life. It has been such a ride that I barely can remember where I left off. So, do forgive if I repeat or leave off anything. Friday morning I went for a 30 minute run and when I returned I called the doctor's office to make an appointment for Ladybug because she had something on her bottom that started out looking like a bug bite and had swollen to the size of an extra large egg, and both Thursday evening and Friday morning I had squeezed out a large amount of pus... due to past experience with Angelfish, I was pretty sure she had a staph infection. I got a 10:30 am appointment for our darling, worked until 9:45 am, and then left thinking we'd be visiting the doctor and getting a prescription for an antibiotic. But, life had other plans.

When I picked Ladybug up from daycare (the area was covered and not oozing, and these things are not contagious unless you get pus in an open wound and don't bother to wash and your body doesn't get rid of it first) she was limping because she was in pain. She was a trooper and waited for 1/2 an hour to see the Nurse Practitioner who after talking to me and taking a look at the area told me that we needed to go to the ER at Arnold Palmer Children's Hospital to have it surgically drained. At this point, Ladybug was in pain so much that the Nurse Practitioner told me they would probably need to sedate her as well. After pulling myself together, getting directions to the hospital, and calling Mr. Darcy we were off to the hospital. The staff at Arnold Palmer was awesome. They were kind and gentle with Ladybug, answered all of our questions and even took care of us a little bit... which was a good thing.

The doctor took a look at Ladybug and said she needed a consult from another doctor because the location and size was border line on needing surgery versus just a draining. Luckily, the other doctor determined that it just needed the draining. We had to wait a little while for them to drain it because Ladybug had a cookie and juice at her Valentine's Day party that she finished when I picked her up. But that was ok because Ladybug needed a nap and I got to hold her in the hospital bed (she wouldn't lay on her back because it hurt) and nap with her for a few hours while Mr. Darcy worked via his blackberry. The doctors explained the twilight drugs they were going to use, how the procedure would be performed, who all would be in the room (2 doctors, a respitory therapist, a nurse, and a tech), everything she would be hooked up to, etc. We signed all the releases and were allowed to stay in the room (after promising not to freak out and to remain seated throughout the procedure) during the procedure. It was a little bit of an out of body experience in watching it - I think my brain made me distance myself from the fact that they were cutting into my baby and pulling a tube through the abscess while draining junk out of her. But I couldn't leave the room and leave her alone in there with people she didn't know (even if she didn't know what was going on and wouldn't remember anything because of the drugs).

She came out of the medicine just fine and the procedure with no problems. They were able to drain enough stuff out that the abscess was now 1/2 the size from when they started. We were given care instructions and stayed several more hours to make sure her vitals stayed where they needed to be, her heart rate decreased (the medicine caused it to speed up - it does that with everyone), and we made sure she could not only keep Gatorade (or "alligator juice" as our girls call it) down but whole food too. We left around 6:30 pm and she was her happy, normal self and didn't limp anymore. More stuff has drained and warm compresses and warm baths have been used - along with that prescription for antibiotics that I initially expected. She is left with a blue plastic loop in her leg that leaves it open for draining, and is not able to go to daycare because we have to do those compresses and baths throughout the day to ensure the infection goes away.

Turns out that it is true that the medicine didn't let her remember anything - I had my doubts. But, Monday morning she and Angelfish were playing and decided to take off their pullups. When Ladybug took hers off, she saw the blue loop for the first time and completely freaked out. She was holding her legs and body strange, crying and looking panicked. Explaining why it was there, that it would not stay there forever, etc. calmed her down but was a little traumatic for Mommy to see her little one so panicked. I had the day off from work, so bringing supplies with me, Ladybug & I headed to Disney for a few hours... I figured she needed to be spoiled a bit after all that and it might help Mommy to relax a bit too. We had a lovely time - I let Ladybug do whatever she wanted (activity wise)... so we watched a show with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and the Princesses and some dancers; went to story time with Belle; met Princess Aurora, Cinderella, and Belle; met and hugged Minnie & Mickey Mouse; loved on Goofy; ate lunch; and rode Cinderella's carousel before heading home. She was so tired that she fell asleep on my shoulder while waiting in line for the monorail... and she LOVES riding the monorail. When we got home and she woke up she had play time in a warm bath.

Despite all this, I still made Saturday morning's team workout (no, we didn't go out of town for that romantic weekend while the girls stayed with Mr. Darcy's parents as originally planned ... I had a hard enough time going to my team workout, let alone sticking with the idea of an overnight trip away). A 15 mile bike and a 3 mile run. It was good to work some of the stress and concern out.... even if I did check my cellphone 3 times to make sure no one called telling me to come home or meet them at the hospital. Afterwards was a bike clinic, which was good - I learned a little about bike maintenance and talked with a woman who is an accomplished cyclist about bikes, etc. (And saw yet more bikes to lust after.)

Monday night's swim workout didn't happen because Mr. Darcy had a meeting run long at work, but my shin splints are back (although not as bad as the last time) so instead of doing the 4 mile run Tuesday, I did the swim workout to give my body a chance to try to repair itself. My mother-in-law has been wonderful to come and stay with us this week, which has also helped. She is spending the days with Ladybug while I work and stays with her in the morning after Mr. Darcy leaves and I train for the triathlon. She is amazingly patient and kind, even when Ladybug is grumpy.

This morning I did a 15 mile bike ride (note to self don't forget the 3 sets of pushups you need to do!), and part way through the ride it dawned on me.... today is February 18th.

(Rebecca & Angela - taken by Liz Owen)
My dearest friend Angela, the one I've written about and who died from sarcoma and inspired me to do Team in Training, would have been 34 today. Normally, I would have sent a card, an e-card and perhaps even called to at least leave a badly sung rendition of "Happy Birthday" on her voice mail. And now, I don't even know what to do. I miss her and am contemplating having birthday cake after dinner in her honor, but that just seems like such an empty gesture... I just have no idea what else to do. I know she is happy and pain free where she is now, but I miss her so. Her sister Anna wrote an ode to her sister on her blog today... and it brought tears to my eyes because I know how much I miss Angela, but I cannot even imagine what pain her sister, her husband, her mother, and her father are feeling today and feel so helpless in that there is nothing I can do for any of them. And then at the same time, I feel like Angela would be touched but would tell me to stop being so sorry for myself... so, I think I will have that birthday cake for her and celebrate the life that I have because I know that Angela would want that for me. Happy Birthday, Angela. I love you.

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