Where The Hell Have I Been?

No, I haven’t stopped blogging. I’ve just had a tough couple of weeks. It seems on or around Valentine’s Day, is the perfect time for my daughter to scare the shit out of me and need to be in the hospital overnight. I’ve been needing to blog about this or be doomed to up my Zoloft back to 50 mg. when I’ve so valiantly recently reduced it to 25 mg. Any pharmacologist in da house? Y’all know what I’m talking about! Yes, I was sliding through life on just a whisper of Zoloft, making a deal for Naptime Is the New Happy Hour (due out next spring – YAY), registering for and dismissing preschools based on their smell, and redesigning my blog (okay, not me but the crazy talented, fun on the phone, I wish she lived in my neighborhood, Izzy ). Yes things were fine.

That is until E, who is usually full of insanely cute banter and boundless energy, woke up last week with a fever and wouldn’t walk. Not wanting to be overprotective, I decided to wait a little while and see if she would pencil walking in to her schedule when she was feeling a little better. But by the afternoon, she still wouldn’t put any weight on her feet so I called the pediatrician.

We brought her in “right away” as we were told to do by a receptionist with a worried voice. When the on-call doctor saw her, she made a preliminary diagnosis of Toxic synovitis -which sounds much scarier than it is – hence the link and we were insructed to give her Motrin every six hours and by the next day she should be fine as wine. “But, if not, bring her to Urgent Care because she’ll need to be evaluated further.” The next day she was not fine. In fact her fever was up and she was in no mood to be upright.

Rather than just rushing her to Urgent Care though, I opted to email my pediatrician and see what he thought. Being that I live in LA, my pediatrician was spending his weekend giving physicals to kids who were auditioning to be cast on a kid’s version of Survivor – I’m not joking. I wish I were. But my pediatrician whom you may have heard me talk about before, is such a saint that he told me to bring her down to the Doubletree Hotel and he’d have a look at her immediately. Past the Sunday Jazz Lounge in the atrium was my doctor’s suite which he had pimped into a makeshift examination room. Due to the magic of Motrin, E was in decent spirits but still wasn’t walking and after a thorough evaluation, my doctor determined that she would need x-rays to rule out anything more serious.

So my husband and I were off with our sick kid for the dreaded Urgent Care. After a ninety minute wait surrounded by ill but walking children and healthy but angry parents we finally got in to see Dr. Chen. Let me say this, I’m normally fairly laid back when it comes to E. I don’t cut up her hotdogs into a kazillion pieces for fear of choking, nor do I chase her around the playground yelling “be careful…careful…CAREFUL” but this doctor took me from a four to a ten in the anxiety department in record time. He opened with “this is very very serious” and closed with “could be childhood leukemia.” In between was septic hip, bone infection and a few other but all my husband and I heard was blah, blah, blah, SHE’S DYING OF CHILDHOOD LEUKEMIA.

We were rushed to the hospital to be admitted overnight for tests. To say my daughter’s a pussy when it comes to taking blood would be an understatement but to say that I’m a pussy when it comes to my daughter experiencing an ounce of pain would be a huge understatement. My husband accompanied her into the treatment room for an IV and blood test. An hour and half later, I was sobbing uncontrollably, E was sobbing uncontrollably and the male nurse was sweating so much he could’ve filled a Big Gulp cup. That’s never a good sign. He couldn’t get the blood no matter how much he tortured her. And he blamed her. Apparently, she was too “anxious.” Really? A two year old being anxious while being held down and running a high fever in an impersonal room filled with flourescent lights and no mommy in eyesight? Ya think? I kept trying to go in and console her but because I was sobbing so much they felt it would be a bad idea. Personally, I felt that they were the one’s full of bad ideas. They ended up stalling the blood work until the next day and, finally, at 11:30 p.m. Elby fell asleep, Jon and I calmed outselves with National Enquirer stories of Anna Nicole and finally fell asleep with our daughter.

Monday morning at 7 a.m. the doctor arrived to inform us they still needed blood. I argued with the doctor that E needed something to calm her down before being subjected to another round of needles and perhaps due to my strong personality, I finally convinced them to give her a little dose of something called Versed (which I heard a reference to on ER last Thursday). Turns out we all could’ve used a bit of this and if anyone knows were to locate it on the black market – I’m in.

Blood was drawn with a minimum of tears and trauma and sent for results. Other than the fact that our daughter was acting hilariously tipsy – and on a side note, I thought of those people who got their kid high and had the tiniest moment of sympathy for them. Then, I went right back to wanting them to get the electric chair. But still…it was kind of funny seeing her acting like a sorority chick.
Two hours later we were told that all her blood work came back clean and perhaps it had just been Toxic synavitis afterall. I wouldn’t gone on a rampage but, by then, E was not only walking but escaping her room clad only in a diaper and wandering into other kids’ rooms saying “hi!” as brightly as can be, climbing on the scale in the hallway, and touching all the pictures of crabs and seahorses on the wall. Luckily we took her home before she contracted a strep infection.

So all’s well that ends well but, let me tell you, I appreciate every second with my daughter even more than I did last week if that’s even possible. Everytime I look at her I thank God that she’s mine, that I made her, that I willed her into this world. I’m not usually the corny sentimental type (at least on paper – at home it’s a different story) but DAMN, I love this child like my heart’s in a vise, like every part of my being depends on her happiness and well being in this world. It’s a huge job being a mommy and it comes with buckets of tears that I didn’t even know I had in me. Luckily, there’s Klonopin! Not to sound like a bumper sticker but hug your babies today – for me.

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on February 26, 2007 7:56 pmUncategorized27 comments  


  1. Shannon said,

    OMG Stef! I was wonderng what was going on with you guys since we haven’t talked in a while. I am so glad to hear she is O.K. Yikes. I can’t even imagine how scary that must have been. Hugs to you guys.

    | February 26, 2007 @ 9:42 pm

  2. Mrs. Chicken said,

    O MY GOD! I am so glad all’s well that ends well. That must have been so scary.

    Funny how this kind of thing shows you just how precious they are.


    | February 26, 2007 @ 10:18 pm

  3. gingajoy said,

    That is just gut-wrenching, Stephanie. What a shit ride to be on–it’s the one we all fear above all. And poor, poor little E. I am SO glad that everything is ok now.

    I hope you get a chance to take care of yourself a little now too.

    | February 26, 2007 @ 11:47 pm

  4. LaLa said,

    WOW..rough time. I cannot imagine anything worse than a sick child. We are so blessed that our children are healthy but we can never take it for granted. Glad all is well.

    | February 27, 2007 @ 1:05 am

  5. Suzy said,

    I’m glad E’s all right. This explains so much about my own mother. I was sick from the age of 13 on and even today she clings to me like a vine. And she lives in France so that’s not easy.

    On an otherwise insensitive and totally LA note, congrats on the new book, great title! But back to E, glad she’s fine. Where do I get Versed?

    | February 27, 2007 @ 1:27 am

  6. BlogWhore said,

    i have nothing witty to say. glad all is well now.

    | February 27, 2007 @ 2:27 am

  7. Melissa R. Garrett said,

    I’m so happy that everything turned out to be okay with your daughter, I know how scary it can be when you don’t know exactly what’s wrong and doctors are uttering the dreaded L word. We in a similar situation with my daughter a few years ago when she was 5 (turned out to be mono), and all the blood tests and days of waiting were agonizing. My heart goes out to you . ..

    | February 27, 2007 @ 2:49 pm

  8. gmcountrymama said,

    So sorry you all had to go through that, it must have been very scary. Being a nurse I see sick people and kids all the time,and I don’t freak, but when it’s my kids I forget even the basics of nursing care. I am so glad E is is doing better and you too. Congrats on the book, can’t wait to read it.

    | February 27, 2007 @ 3:00 pm

  9. toyfoto said,

    I hate doctors who sound the alarms before the know anything. Hate. Them.
    I’m so glad there was not fire to put out.

    | February 27, 2007 @ 3:43 pm

  10. Scoutj said,

    Oh that’s some scary stuff. I’m glad she’s okay. Last December we had to take our daughter to the ER with croup. There’s nothing like seeing your child’s lips turn blue and struggling for breath. Loads of fun!

    | February 27, 2007 @ 4:45 pm

  11. Domestic Slackstress said,

    I live in L.A. too. Your pediatrician is so showbiz. The kid cast of kiddie Survivor?! OMG. That’s so H-wood.

    | February 27, 2007 @ 6:23 pm

  12. surcie said,

    I’m glad she’s okay, and I hope you feel better talking about it. At 2, my son had an injury that involved a lot of blood and a trip to the ER. It was a while before I could even talk about it without feeling ill. Mama’s always more traumatized than everyone else. Hate that!

    (PS: Cant wait for your new book!)


    | February 28, 2007 @ 12:30 am

  13. cry it out! said,

    Holy sweet jebus — what kind of fucking crackpot tells you it might be cancer before knowing anything? So, so sorry!

    I’m glad all is well — just so I can say, what a great title!

    | February 28, 2007 @ 2:47 am

  14. Guwi said,

    I’m so glad your daughter is okay. Reading a story like yours makes me appreciate our children’s good health even more than I do, if that’s possible. I can’t imagine how scary that must have been for you and your husband, but am so glad to hear everything worked out.

    | February 28, 2007 @ 2:45 pm

  15. Kris said,

    JEEZUS-you don’t throw “childhood leukemia” around without doing a few tests. Morons. So glad everything is okay.

    | February 28, 2007 @ 2:54 pm

  16. mad muthas said,

    oh bloody bloody hell! of course the only word you registered was leukaemia – that’s how our ears work when we’re parents. like when i phoned to tell my husband our son had a heart murmur and need and ecg – he freaked out completely and burst into tears at work. (he’s fine btw – both son and husband)
    anyway, i’m glad e is back to her normal self. don’t drop the zoloft just yet!

    | February 28, 2007 @ 4:19 pm

  17. K said,

    Wow. How scary. I love how she was up and walking again before the test results came back. Typical.

    | February 28, 2007 @ 5:34 pm

  18. Stefanie said,

    Trust me, the Zoloft is not dropping down to nothing anytime soon. Thanks for all your supportive comments. I know that many of you have been through this and much scarier. I don’t pretend that this is dramatic in the big scheme of things but, damn, you don’t realize how precious your child is until you are scared for them. I can’t stop kissing her and hugging her. She’s probably sick of me!

    | February 28, 2007 @ 6:01 pm

  19. Meena said,

    Oh, how scary. I’m so sorry, but very glad everything turned out fine. We had a somewhat similar terrifying experience when my son was 6 months and the ped thought his spleen was in a strange place. After a catheter (dreadful, dreadful, dreadful experience), blood draws, and x-ray – everything was normal!

    Congrats on the book! I look forward to it.

    | March 1, 2007 @ 4:06 am

  20. sweatpantsmom said,

    Geez, Stefanie this was so heart wrenching. I’m so glad E is okay. You seemed to have handled it well – I would have had to be locked in the janitors closet during the whole blood-draw episode.

    I love the Survivor story. Only in L.A.

    | March 1, 2007 @ 8:40 pm

  21. slouching mom said,

    How awful. With each of my boys, I’ve experienced 1 or 2 moments that make you never want to let them out of your sight again, as my mother did with me and my brother, and her mother with her and her brother…

    It goes with the mother territory, I guess. Glad it turned out as it did!

    | March 2, 2007 @ 10:01 am

  22. willowfae said,

    This story took me back to a long night in the ER with my 3 year old son who had 105 fever and was gasping for air. NEVER have I been that frightened in my life. I am sorry you had to go through this but am so glad for you that your precious girl is OK.

    | March 3, 2007 @ 8:24 am

  23. Y said,

    Oh my God. If a doctor ever utters the word “could be CHILDHOOD LEUKEMIA” to me, I would fall over and die right there.

    So sorry you all had to go through that. Wow.

    | March 3, 2007 @ 3:21 pm

  24. Lena said,

    Good God. I am so glad she’s back to her spunky self.

    | March 4, 2007 @ 1:32 am

  25. Anonymous said,

    Just started reading your blog and I know this information is to late but may help someone in the future.

    They make Elma cream to numb the skin before a blood draw that you can request and if all else fails beg, plead, do what ever you have to for a Life Flight nurse. They can get blood out of anyone in a heart beat!

    Sorry you had to go on the emotional rollercoaster with your daughter! Glad it all turned out well!

    | March 5, 2007 @ 6:16 pm

  26. Melissa said,

    A few days after I read your post on toxic synovitis, my co-worker arrived at work with tears in her eyes describing how her 5 year old son woke up with hip pain and a severe limp. The symptoms her son had were so close to the ones you described that I had to pull up your blog to show her and we quickly clicked on the link that talked defined it. They went to the doctor this afternoon and came back with the exact diagnosis, though her doctor called it ‘transient’ synovitis.

    Thank you for writing about your experience. This is, I believe, the best example of moms helping moms.

    | March 7, 2007 @ 7:51 pm

  27. sarah said,

    OMG! How terrifying. I was hyperventilating just reading this. I’m so relieved that she’s feeling better and sans devastating illnesses.

    I must go kiss my sleeping baby now…

    | March 20, 2007 @ 1:53 am

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