She had been complaining off and on for months of pain in her leg. We thought it was growing pains. She’s tall, she’s eight, and she would complain in the evenings, nights, and morning.
Looking back now, of course it makes perfect sense, but at that point, we had no idea. And we were scared. A swollen knee for no apparent reason makes no sense. My neighbor’s sixteen year old daughter came over to get her little sister, and I made her look at Kyla’s knee just to get a second opinion. I didn’t care whose opinion it was. I just needed someone to say, “Yeah, you should get that looked at.”
It was 4:30, our clinic was closing, and they weren’tno one was picking up my call. If I stayed on hold, I would never make it to the clinic anyway, so I hung up and thought, “I only have one choice.” I was panicked, and all I could think was Children’s ER. Even if our clinic was open in my gut I knew Children’s was exactly where I needed to take her.
So I contacted my neighbor to see if she wouldn’t mind looking after the “wee ones” so that I could go the ER. After some discussion about whether or not Children’s ER was the best option, we determined that it was. My neighbor cancelled her Ash Wednesday plans for the evening to let my kids play at her house and to eat McDonalds. I brought my kids over to their house without so much as a goodbye except from Jack who screamed and carried on as I left. With a breaking heart, I turned and left. However, my neighbor texted me that he was fine by the time I got back to my house.
By this point it was 5:00 and we were starting to get hungry. I didn’t want to think about that, so we got into the car and left. I kept thinking what if she needs to be NPO (nothing per oral=no food or drink). I didn’t want to think about it, but I knew that I should be prepared.
We got to Children’s and ended up waiting for an hour before we were called back to an exam room. I promised a Shamrock shake to my hungry 8 year old when we got out of there. Then, once we got settled in a room, complained about hunger, were told to just hold off a little bit longer, we were abandoned. Not intentionally, but some major emergency came up and we didn’t see our nurse for hours.
Kyla was scared about being put to sleep and about getting an IV and blood draw. My worry fluctuated between thinking I had overeacted for a swollen knee and thinking something really bad is wrong with my daughter.
Neither of us were thinking about what was happening at home. I tried to keep Chris up to date with what was happening. But I couldn’t send home the vibe that I was feeling. And I was so overwhelmed with everything that I couldn’t express it either. To everyone at home, we were going to come home later in the evening. Except for Tori who shares a room with Kyla and even a double bed.
In her heart, she was very nervous and all out of sorts.
Why wasn’t Kyla home?
When is she coming back?
What is wrong with her knee?
Tori wasn’t settling down because she was so scared.
At 5:30 in the morning, Chris woke up to see that all the lights in the house were still on. That’s when he got my message that I had left for him at 11:45 pm that we were going to be admitted for at least the night and next day if not for additional nights.
Tori got up for school, and Kyla still wasn’t home. She got on the bus and went about her day except to her there was nothing normal about the day. She didn’t know what was wrong with her sister, and even though she knew where Kyla was, she didn’t know when she would see her again.
After spending the night in Room 16 of the ER, Kyla and I were finally transferred to a room on 7th floor at 8:30 am. My parents came to take care of the kids so Chris could go to work. They piled the boys in the car and brought me my phone chargers and a toothbrush and my contact solution, case, and glasses. It was around 10:30 when we got the diagnosis of Lyme Disease. Then, talk of discharging Kyla began. But no one at home knew that.
When I checked my email, I had received one from Tori’s teacher. It read, “Any news on Kyla’s knee? Tori is really worried.” I was able to relay the information that Kyla most likely would be home that evening. As I sent it, I felt relief for my youngest daughter. I knew that’s all she needed to know.
I am so glad that we got a diagnosis with a fairly simple treatment; Antibiotics for a month. Then, she should be fine with no residual effects, but the best part of all came at home after stopping for a Shamrock Shake. We walked in the house with exclaims of joy from everyone. Kyla made her way to her bedroom where she was greeted by a grinning Tori. Tori wrapped her arms around Kyla’s belly and squeezed with all of her strength.
Everything was going to be okay.