There are many things in life that stick with us. Our memories from high school and college, the time before you get married, married life before children, and the birth of your children…just to name a few. We have a few things in our life that have left imprints more than others…11 lb baby, multiple surgical procedures and hospitalizations….one of the worst scares of our life was when Girly Girl suddenly got sick during October 2004.
During October 2004, our family decided to take a trip to Clanton, AL, to the Grand Ole Pumpkin Patch for a day of picking out pumkins and doing activities as a family. We had a wonderful time! We picked out our pumpkins and rode the hay ride. We visited the petting zoo and even allowed Girly Girl to ride the ponies. Button Boy was about 18 months old, and just ran around a lot…he loved the freedom of a giant field!
On our way home, our little thumb-sucker (aka Girly Girl) fell asleep with her thumb stuck where in normally was found — in her mouth. About 2 days later our baby girl began having horrible stomach cramps and diarrhea. We allowed this to go on for about 2 days, until she began running a fever and was becoming lethargic. We quickly took her to the pediatricians office, and they tested her stool for salmonella. I honestly don’t remember how long it took to get the test results back….the days from those two weeks are forever going to run together in my mind. The test results came back as positive…she was unable to walk to the bathroom, I was carrying her…her fever was getting higher and the Tylenol and Advil we were giving her was not working very effectively…we had to evacuate Button Boy to my parent’s house because of his medical issues he could not affordto get sick…the night that her fever hit 105 — Mojo and I were in the van getting ready to head to Children’s Hospital when the pediatrician’s office called and said not to. Honestly, that was the biggest mistake we had made through this entire illness. The next morning (which, if I remember correctly, was a Saturday) we were in our pediatrician’s office with a VERY sick little girl. Our doctor said that he wanted her to have a blood culture and it would take 24 hours to get the results, it was EXTREMELY rare for the culture to come back positive, but if it did, he would call us and we would need to go to the hospital. We immediately let him know (not that it was necessary, he already knew our feelings toward the Pediatric Unit in the hospitals in Montgomery) that we would be driving to Birmingham’s Children’s Hospital.
We remember the call vividly. Not the time or where in the house we were when it came in…just the fact that the voice on the other end said Girly Girl’s culture was positive and we needed to head to Birmingham. I levitated. I know I did. I blacked out. I don’t remember the drive to Birmingham. I remember carrying her into Children’s Emergency Room. I don’t remember triage. I remember being in a curtain, which was a first for us in the ER @ CHS. We had a wonderful ER doctor, of course, and nurse, of course. We have never had a bad experience at CHS, even though I know that exist. The nurse looked like she swallowed a basketball was extremely pregnant, and so good with our very sick little one. I remember knowing that we would be admitted, and having to explain what an I.V. was to Girly Girl. From what I remember the basketball nurse was the one that came up with idea of describing an I.V. as a “straw”. It made perfect sense to her. She was so sick that when the “straw” was placed she barely fought. That was a sick sick little girl.
We ended up spending just around 10 days in the “Penthouse” (for those of you not familiar with CHS-Birmingham, that would 7th NE) of Children’s. There was an outbreak of E-Coli in North Alabama at the same time, and were at least 4 children there and one that we knew of that was on dialysis. We were very fortunate to have nurses that we already had experience with from all of Button Boy’s issues, so they knew me and Girly Girl rather well. And I can never say enough about the residents from UAB that work at Children’s…they are always wonderful!!! The ER resident that we had the evening we were admitted actually became our Infectious Disease resident during our stay because of a change in rotation, so he was GREAT!!!
Girly Girl did finally get better. She was out of school for a little over 2 months total. We finally realized that if we had gone on to Children’s the night we wanted to, she probably would not have been as ill as she was, but we have our doctor’s for a reason. We do trust their opinion. And with everything we have been through, we have learned that medicine is not exact, it tends to be a guessing game…and thank goodness we have been exposed to doctor’s as intelligent as House, but with much better bedside manners!!!
We also realized just what a life threatening disease/contagion/bacteria salmonella is. If Girly Girl had not been treated when she was, there is a very good chance we could have lost her. It is something that to this day haunts us.
Please, take the new salmonella outbreak seriously. We do. We *are* still eating peanut butter, but we are very aware of where the links are, and are continuously watching the news and internet for new information. Mojo is extremely cautious when it comes to food now, and with good reason.
My dear sweet nephew has been ill with a stomach bug for over two weeks, and was tested for salmonella on Thursday of last week. It sent chills through us!! We were terrified, and tried not to let my brother and his wife know how scared we were….I tried not to ask too many pointed questions at his symptoms, but it was very difficult! Praise God the test result came in Saturday morning and it was NEGATIVE! Even Girly Girl was terribly concerned, and she jumped up and down in joy when we told her!