This post has the potential to be a long one, and as I’m just sitting down to start and type it all out now, just know that I tend to be a bit wordy (!!) but will try my best to keep it to the somewhat condensed version.
SO…my poor babe, Alex.
A week before Christmas, I picked Alex up from daycare as I normally would, and when I went to put his shoes on, he was totally not having it. I didn’t really think anything of it, but even after we got home, he kept pointing to his big toe and was very cranky. Because I was so focused on the big toe, I don’t even know if I looked at any of his other toes at that point, but he calmed down a bit and the rest of the evening was normal.
That night, he slept terribly – was up on and off almost all night, and I wound up sitting with him from basically about 1am-4am. Again, not really thinking anything about his toe.
The next morning as we were getting him ready to go to daycare again, I noticed that his one toenail looked a little swollen, and he still wasn’t having it with the shoes. Everything else with him seemed fine, so we brought him to daycare again, but I called his pediatrician just to be safe. He said to bring him in, and we got an appointment for late that afternoon.
My assumption was that it was something like an ingrown toenail or maybe a hangnail that got infected, and his pediatrician was on the same page, so he prescribed some antibiotics and sent us on our way, with a request to follow up with him and let him know how things were going over the next day or two.
When Alex woke up on Wednesday, his toe looked even worse…
We sent him to daycare again since he was still acting fine, but I also texted his pediatrician a picture of the toe later that morning and told him I was concerned. About the same time, our daycare provider also called me to let me know she thought it looked like it was continuing to get worse, and shortly after that, she reported that it had split open and was “oozing.”
At this point I had just gotten into work, so Jay left work to pick Alex up and bring him to the ER. I’ve never been much of an alarmist and, honestly, at this point I assumed it was just still in the process of getting better and figured that since he was on the antibiotics, he’d be fine.
I tried working but I just couldn’t concentrate, especially after getting updates from Jay like this one.
So about an hour later, once Jay said they had been checked in and were just waiting, I got talking to a few of my incredible co-workers, who forced me to leave to go be with them. My plan was to go over there shortly anyway, but they told me to leave NOW (they’re so great). So I did, assuming that I’d just be back in a few hours, and never even logged out of my computer.
We ended up waiting in the waiting room of the ER for about 1-1/2 hours (I think?) before being escorted back to a room. We lasted in that room for about 15 minutes before being asked to relocate due to another little girl coming in with a more urgent issue. Totally and completely understandable. Since there were no other open rooms at this point, we hung out on a gurney in the hallway.
Every once in a while, the attending would stop by and give an update. At first, she said they’d likely want to do some blood work, and a little while later, she said they wanted to do an x-ray of the foot to make sure there was nothing in the bone.
At that point, Jay and I were totally caught off guard, not really thinking that anything that was going on would have warranted an x-ray?? But we went, Alex hated it, and then we went back to wait again. Maybe an hour or so later, she came back and said that something looked “off” on the scan, so they wanted to do another x-ray of the other foot so they could compare.
So a little while after that, we went back for x-ray #2, Alex still hated it, and we went back to our gurney to wait again.
At this point, it was way past Alex’s nap time, and he thankfully wound up falling asleep in my arms while we sat in the hallway waiting for someone to come and give us another update.
Some time later (no concept of time at this point), the attending came back and started explaining that it looked like there was some sort of infection in his toe, and that it could possibly be “eating away” at the bone in the toe, because the x-ray was showing that part of the bone is missing. She said that the next step would be for him to get an IV put in and draw blood so they could run some labs to determine what type of infection we were dealing with. And last, she hit us with the fact that we’d likely be getting admitted.
Admitted?? I was FLOORED.
Eventually, we were ushered into another room where a couple of nurses came in to put in his IV and draw some blood for the labs that were ordered. This entire process was miserable for all of us and I’m pretty sure I cried the whole time for my poor little guy, but we made it through.
And we waited some more, trying our best to keep our antsy little guy occupied.
My dad surprised us by stopping in around this time, too, but since we were only allowed two visitors in the room at a time, he didn’t stay too long. Just the fact that he took the time to stop by after work to check in meant so much.
Eventually, we were told that a room was ready for us up in the PICU, so we were escorted up there from the ER. Once we were settled, Jay left to head home and pack a bag for me and Alex since we were far from prepared.
And Alex and I hung out for a bit in the playroom and mingled the halls of the PICU to pass the time.
On a real quick note…some of you may remember the book drive that I held with Usborne Books back in October, which was for our local children’s hospital.
Which is where we wound up. Funny enough, while organizing the drive, I said that we had been fortunate enough to not have to utilize the services of the hospital, and now, here we were. I hadn’t thought much about it, until we walked in the playroom and I saw the bookshelf filled with some of the new books that we had donated.
I was just so happy to see the books out on display and being put to good use. And the fact that they were now there for us just meant so much more. <3
So a little later that evening, Jay arrived back at the hospital with our things but only stayed for a bit so he could get back home to put Lucas to bed. Thankfully, Lucas had been with my MIL that day, so Jay was easily able to drive back over, but we both agreed that someone should be with Lucas, too.
Since Alex was due for surgery the next day, he wound up being hooked up with some extra fluids, in addition to the original antibiotic he had previously been prescribed, so we were sporting extra tubes and lines, and things that made me all sorts of nervous. So I did what I could to keep him laying with me in the chair throughout the night, and we’ll just say that the two of us definitely didn’t get our best night of sleep.
The next morning, Alex was prepped for surgery, but because this post is already getting too long, I’ll share the rest of the details of the surgery, our stay, and how things stand now in a second post!
Although I don’t want to go leaving any serious cliffhangers or anything, so I WILL say that Alex is doing great, and we recently got some very good news <3