It’s been about five weeks and my four year old is still bleeding every time she has a bowel movement. Where before she had a BM once or twice a day, now it’s 4-5 times a day. She has no pain though most of the time she has diarrhea. There is still no fever or vomiting. This is obviously a good thing but the lack of symptoms means no one knows for sure what she possibly has.
I reached out to her pediatrician and told her the probiotics she prescribed hadn’t solved the problem. With no other symptoms and nothing new to go on, she suggested I take her to a gastro specialist at a children’s hospital.
We made the appointment and got advice from people about what it could possibly be. We heard about polyps and how they can be easily removed. We heard about Crohn’s disease and how it’s genetic and is associated with chronic pain. My husband’s biggest fear was that it was some kind of cancer. I feared that she would be admitted to the hospital, neither of my babies had ever had an extended stay there. All I knew was that I wanted my baby girl to be okay and I wanted us to get past this.
Because we had to wait a couple weeks for the appointment, I was able to squeeze out one day to take off because I was determined that I would not miss another one. My mother came with me and we arrived for our appointment on time and ready to get some answers.
I was never nervous and didn’t even feel anxious, I don’t think. I walked in there feeling confident. My little girl was content watching Paw Patrol in the waiting room and life was normal.
Before the doctor came in the room, a nurse took her vitals and asked us some standard questions. She said her heart rate was a little high and she checked it a second time. The doctor came in and asked us questions about our recent travel and any changes in her diet. Then we had a spirited conversation where I had to describe her poop by comparing what I see in the toilet every day to a chart depicting what healthy and unhealthy poop look like. (I pray you never have to do this as it was strange and weird for me to even type that such a conversation took place.)
I answered all of her questions and when my ladybug had to go to the bathroom, I was able to bring the tissue to the doctor so she could see how bright and red the blood was. She instructed me to get a stool sample at home and to retreat to another floor of the hospital to get a blood sample, something that wasn’t done at the emergency room.
We left the hospital, grabbed some lunch, and headed back home. My ladybug ate her applesauce, while my mother and I filled in my babysitter on what happened at the hospital. My phone started blowing up and I discovered it was broken.
I could see calls coming in and I could hear it but I could not answer and if by chance I was able to answer, the person on the other end couldn’t hear me. I didn’t recognize the number so I didn’t worry about it.
My mother’s phone rang and it was my husband. The hospital had been trying to reach me.
LIFE LESSON: There is no way to prepare for the unexpected.