Wednesday, November 24, 2010

when life happens

funny how plans can change in a moment.

a week ago sunday i noticed what looked like a large zit on jilly's bottom...it burst open while i was changing her diaper. it keep randomly draining until tuesday morning, and at that point it was more of a pocket or cyst, no longer draining, and my sweet pumpkin was running a low fever. so we headed to the pediatrician to have it checked out. the pediatrician determined that it was actually an infected abcess...lanced and drained it (ugh...NOT FUN!)...and had a culture sent to the lab. we came home with an antibiotic and the expectation that it was going to quickly shrink and heal.

wednesday it still wasn't shrinking. jilly was still running a fever, fussy, clingy, and obviously very sore when it came to her bottom.

thursday morning it had definitely grown...but it wasn't hot or overly red, so it wasn't showing signs for concern. because of her fever the nurse suggested i go ahead and make an appointment to come in that afternoon. the assumption was that the "spreading" was most likely due to the pressure put on it during draining. however, by the time we arrived at the pediatrician she had received the results of the culture, and they weren't good...it was, in fact, MRSA...and there was only one antibiotic they could treat it with. while the abcess had grown (to approximately 9-11 cm...in other words, her entire left "cheek") it didn't have a pocket accessible for draining. her recommendation was that we immediately be admitted to the hospital for IV antibiotics.

i'll admit it...i cried. and then eventually pulled it together enough to call mike (who was at home with libs and kate), get the girls taken care of for the evening so he could meet us at the hospital (HUGE thanks for incredible friends!), and make it to the hospital. by that point jilly was very lethargic and in pain; she didn't do anything by lay against me while i rocked in the chair in the room. the nurses informed us that we would be in "isolation"...meaning one parent could choose to stay the duration and not be constantly "gloved and gowned" but anyone else who entered the room would have to constantly wear gloves and a gown. at that point they guessed the shortest possible stay would be 72 hours. my head was reeling...i couldn't begin to imagine leaving the hospital room for any reason, but then my knight in shining armor showed up after getting the older girls settled. we talked and decided it would actually be much wiser for him to stay the duration...1-6 month pregnant me (already not sleeping well at home) would likely not sleep a wink, not to mention what i could be exposed to by being closed in a hospital for days on end; 2-whoever stayed was the most at risk for contracting MRSA as well...not a great idea for pregnant me; and 3-kate...we weren't exactly sure what three days without mommy would mean for our sweet 3 year old.

in retrospect i am so thankful my husband made the decision to stay. he is such a trooper...so much more logical and handled beautifully all the "ick" that came with that decision. besides that, i ended up having to sterilize/disinfect the entire house with a 10% bleach solution (thankfully my mama offered to come help!) and did at least 15 loads of laundry...doll clothes, stuffed animals, blankies, bedding, towels, rugs, shower curtains. oh my!

anyway...the hospital stay ended up being 4 days. it was full of decisions. they tried draining the abcess again, but the incision healed before it could fully drain, so they had to open it back up and pack it with gauze to keep it open. (the other option was transferring to the nearby children's hospital to have a flexible drain surgically installed or to have it surgically removed). thankfully the first option worked! i spent my time running back and forth between the hospital and home, cleaning, trying to keep home running (and elizabeth and kate feeling some sort of "normal")...and mike, well, he sat at the hospital with jillian, never leaving the room, taking complete care of her. he was AMAZING!

we went from a mostly lethargic girlie who wanted to constantly be held (that is me with the gloves and gown holding her)

but even in the midst of that she was a trooper and still flashed us her jilly smiles

to this....a tater tot stealing daddy's girl...seriously, she and mike did some bonding during the four days. she didn't want him out of her sight...even if mama was around!

by the end of day 3/beginning of day 4 we started to see her personality return...and, oh my, she just wanted to be set free!

back at home we cleaned like madwomen...elizabeth and kate had lots of fun playing with the gloves!...they were good helpers too! our sweet, dear friends took fabulous care of us...meals, prayers, helping with the girls before my mom arrived at my house...and on and on...in fact, they are still taking care of us!

kater talking to daddy via phone

and now we are home. diaper changes take much longer than usual, lots of cleaning and disinfecting (trying to keep a very dirty area of the body clean is rough!), and lots of monitoring to make sure healing is complete. under doctor orders jillian is not to go anywhere or be around anyone but immediate family until the incision is completely healed--also due to her weakened immune system...and the seriousness of potentially spreading MRSA to others. we are to be watching elizabeth and kate very closely for any signs of infection...and at the sign of the slightest fever they are to see a doctor.

but we are getting back to "normal"...although lets be honest, "normal" always has its share of chaos anyway! diaper changes take far more time than usual, as does wrestling disgusting medicine into jilly 3 times a day....but otherwise she is our normal like 15 month old. yesterday the big girls and i made play-doh while she napped...and they definitely enjoyed getting to do something fun after all the upheaval. even in the midst of craziness i am so thankful we are all five under the same roof again.

play-doh making

play-doh playing

sisters playing :)


our Thanksgiving plans had to change. we usually look forward to celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas with mike's family at his parents house over Thanksgiving weekend. unfortunately traveling with jillian is not an option at this point, so we will spending Thanksgiving at home. my sweet friend jill even insisted on bringing us all the sides for a Thanksgiving feast...how incredibly sweet is that!

obviously the past week of our lives was disrupted...life happened. but we are incredibly aware and thankful for the way things turned out. we are thankful to have jillian home with us...we are incredibly thankful that she did not have to have surgery. we are thankful to have quality healthcare nearby...and health insurance. the disruption to normal was exhausting--physically, emotionally, etc.--but we are seeing it as a clear illustration of what is the most important in our lives. in the past week the Lord carried us...His grace, His mercy, His sufficiency, His Word. i am poignantly aware of why we spend time in the Word and drawing near to Him in the "normal" days...because when crisis hits His Word and Truth has to be hidden within us. yes, i had time to pray...time to read my Bible...but not nearly what i would have liked...so i am beyond grateful for what was hidden and treasured in my heart already, for the body of Christ--praying for us, holding up our arms, reminding us of truth, showing us compassion and bending over backwards to help wherever help was needed--even from afar.

...coming soon...a whole long list of thankfuls...and not just because 'tis the season. :)

8 comments:

Rebecca said...

what a week for you guys! i'm so glad everyone is home again. and kudos to mike for staying with jillian that whole time...what a good daddy. and kudos to you as well. so glad we got to chat via phone :). that video of jilly is super sweet...i adore her little dance.

Go Long! Go Green! said...

Wow, what a week! So thankful you are back together again! Be blessed on Thanksgiving!!

Nikki said...

I've been praying for you through this rough ride, and I'm so glad that you guys are all better and home together! Yay for no more hospital time!! Praying that Jilly's bum continues to heal.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Rick and Beth said...

I loved reading this, Amanda. Life does happen. Praise God for His abundance of grace. Praise Him for a husbands that love their girlies. I'm sure it was difficult for you to step aside and let him care for Jillian. That would have been hard for me! But it was sweet encouragement,I'm sure, to see him doing daddy duty. Hope your thanksgiving is lovely!

Amy's Blah, Blah, Blogging said...

I'm so glad to hear that she is doing so much better and is home. How scary it must have been, and I would have totally cried too. From just thinking it's a pimple to all that? It's a mama's perogative to cry my friend!

Anyway, glad you guys get to spend Thanksgiving as a family of 5 1/2. Enjoy your time together!

JODI said...

oh amanda!!! i will call you this week...let me know what you need. this brownsburg neighbor would LOVE to help out. i'm thinking dinner for you guys for SURE to give you a break....love you and praying for you ALL!

Jamie said...

I'm so glad Jillian's safe! Praise God for giving you the strength. I'm teary reading this... what a difficult ordeal. We'll be praying she continues to heal.

Misha Leigh. said...

amanda - this made me cry! I had been following on facebook and praying but hearing the whole story... I am so glad she is home safe and sound!