If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that I normally just share creative projects and very little personal information. However, this post will be different. So many of you have emailed, called, texted, facebooked, etc. that I wanted to try to answer as many questions as possible here for those that want to know what is going on in our lives.
Bella, our 5-year old daughter, started having some tummy problems about six months ago. She had experienced some major changes—start of preschool and her child-care provider retired–so we assumed she was just adjusting to those changes. As chiropractors, we know quite a bit about nutrition, so we started her on some probiotics and made some necessary dietary changes.
Now, I know that 6 months sounds like a long time, but she would have periods of improvement, then everything would flare-up again for a short time before returning to "normal". None of her symptoms were what we would call "red flags", until about 2-1/2 weeks ago.
After she returned to school from the holiday break, she started running a low fever (100 degrees or less) each night for about 2 hours. It would go away almost as quickly as it came on. She wanted to be held while she had the fever, but would get down to play as soon as she felt better. We also noticed that she was starting to become more lethargic; however, she has always been a sleepy child. It wasn't unusual for her to tell us it was her bedtime and put herself to bed. Even at 5-years old, she still takes a good nap daily.
Last week, she started having some difficulty in the morning before school…crying, wanting to be held more, not eating well. By Wednesday, we decided to call her doctor. My husband picked her up from school and when she got home, she crawled up in my lap like a limp doll and fell asleep before eating lunch. We knew something was wrong and the doctor's office told us to bring her in right away.
Her doctor was off that day, so we saw a physician's assistant. All of the normal stuff was checked—ears, throat, rapid strep test, blood work, urinalysis. Her fever spiked to 104 degrees while we were there, so they knew something was wrong, but wouldn't know anything definitive until some of the lab results came back. We were told to bring her back on Friday for a recheck with her doctor.
On Friday, her doctor went over the lab results with us and it was decided to send her immediately to the local ER for IV fluids to stabilize her vital signs. She would then be transported to Peyton Manning Children's Hospital in Indianapolis to be admitted. Needless to say, it was a long and stressful day.
She was allowed to rest on Friday night, but on Saturday the process of truly finding out what was wrong had begun. A pediatric GI doctor has been assigned to her case and performed an upper and lower GI in the afternoon. It confirmed that she has advanced Crohn's Disease, which is a chronic autoimmune disease affecting various parts of the gastro-intestinal tract.
Her lab results on Sunday gave us the big picture. She is VERY SICK. She is malnourished and will remain in the hospital for at least a week before being allowed to go home. We have a long road ahead of us.
Now, let me just tell you that in spite of this, I feel so very blessed. We have had outstanding care throughout this ordeal. It seems like the right people have been in the right place at the right time for all of our needs.
The nurses here are AMAZING!!! I could not do their job and I have so much respect for them. I would not have made it through the weekend without Sarah and Suzanne. Sharon allowed us to get lots of sleep last night for which I am thankful.
You may have heard that doctors and chiropractors don't get along. We have not found that to be true at all. There is mutual respect and the doctors have explained everything to our satisfaction. We are confident that they have a well-planned course of treatment and that they are doing everything possible to return Bella back to her happy self.
Our friends and family have been great support. That includes all of my blog readers, newsletter subscribers, facebook fans, and twitter followers. I've read every comment and email, and I apologize for not responding to each one. Just know that your kind thoughts and prayers are appreciated.
Now I have just a few stamping loose ends to tie up and I'll be done:
And thanks again, for all your love and support. Hopefully, we'll have Bella lighting up the world with her silly, toothless smile again soon.