It’s been a long week. We’ve been dealing with urgent care visits, emergency rooms, needles, and medications…all because my girl is sick.
Isabel started complaining last week of pain and a lump in her right breast. By Monday morning, she was in enough pain that we decided not to wait any longer. I took her to urgent care and they diagnosed mastitis.
I heard that, and both the doctor & I had the same reaction…”Huh?”
Mastitis is something that is most commonly found in nursing mothers. It is a skin infection that gets down into the ducts of the breast. Anyone who knows Isabel understands that the only way she could be less pregnant were if she were a boy!
We were sent home with prescriptions for an antibiotic and pain medication. We were also told that if Isabel ran a fever, or noticed any changes in the lump for the worse, we were to return.
That night, Isabel developed a wicked headache, and couldn’t tolerate the pain medication. By Wednesday Morning, she was running a fever off and on. We went back to urgent care at lunchtime. Another doctor saw us, and though he didn’t disagree with the diagnosis, he did think we needed to head over to the emergency room.
We live almost across the street from a good hospital, Del Webb. Unfortunately, we are becoming all too familiar with the hospital, and specifically with their emergency room.
On this particular day, it was busy; a and because there was no obvious trauma in Isabel, we were in for a long haul. We were there for a couple of hours before they took blood and started a line, just in case. It was another hour before they took her down for an ultrasound. Then we waited, only to be told that they wanted to take her over to the Women’s Center for another ultrasound and to have a specialist review it.
We went over to the now-almost-deserted Women’s Center, and they called in the radiologist. She examined Isabel thoroughly, and told us that there was most definitely an infection, but that there was vascular flow into the lump. This could mean several things and she didn’t want to speculate. She said that they would need to do a biopsy, and possibly drain the infection. They could do it that evening, though. She would confer with the ER doctor and they would give us our instructions.
Back in the ER, and another wait. The ER doc finally came in, apologizing profusely for the long wait. He said that we were to get a different type of antibiotic, a new pain medication and nausea medication; but, more importantly, we were to call the Women’s Center first thing in the morning and get in right away. He said that, though it probably WASN’T, given her age and family history, they had to rule out breast cancer.
He thought that Isabel would be more comfortable at home, so he didn’t think it necessary to keep her; but, he did stress that when I called first thing in the morning, I was not to hang up until we were in rotation that day.
Off again to the pharmacy, where we were told that they only carried two of the three medications we needed to get filled. We got those and headed to the second pharmacy. Thankfully, though the gal at the counter was skeptical that they carried the antibiotic, the pharmacist looked, and they did.
Thursday morning, I was up early, ready to turn into Mama Bear, in order to get Isabel in. I had two numbers to call…a nurse and the scheduler. In texting with Lisa that morning, we discovered that this specific nurse was a friend of hers. She reached out to her before the center opened, and it turned out that the ER doctor had called her the night before, giving her Isabel’s information. Though the schedule for the center was completely booked, she worked quickly to make a spot for us. She called us as soon as it was time to go over, and we headed in.
During all of this, poor Isabel has been uncomfortable, and suffering from a nasty, drug-resistant headache. She wasn’t worried about the specifics of the procedure…she just wanted it fixed.
The nurse met us at the admitting desk and took us right back. She assured me that she would be in the room with Isabel and would bring me back the minute they were done. The doctor came in, and met with us after reviewing the ultrasounds. He explained that they’d numb the area first, then take a couple of samples. They’d also try to drain out the infection built up.
Soon, they took Isabel back, and the ultrasound tech from the night before was there. Everyone was kind to Isabel, and made sure that she was as comfortable as possible. I was told to plan for forty-five minutes to an hour, and was escorted to the waiting area.
Quicker than I would have expected, the nurse was back out, telling me that they were done. They’d taken sample, but they weren’t able to drain the mass. It wasn’t liquid enough to pull anything out. We’d have to wait for the cultures to be done and the biopsy results to come back.
Once again, we were sent home. I made an appointment with our family doctor for next Friday, and got Isabel something to eat. We had just settled down to watch a movie when all hell broke loose on our street. As I’d posted yesterday, we were in the middle of a police standoff.
Though it was surreal, and disturbing, it was a distraction for Isabel from pain.
Today, Isabel has been in pain. I explained that, in addition to the original issue, she’s also had someone poking around in there. Pain was to be expected.
She doesn’t have to work this weekend, so I’m going to keep her quiet and keep the antibiotics going.
Our family is sincerely ready to be done with 2013. Thirteen has certainly been an unlucky number for us!
This year, as in the past couple of years, I’m participating in Susannah Conway’s “The August Break.” It’s an opportunity to just be present, look around your world, take photos, and post them to your blog. There are no rules, other than to use this as an opportunity to recharge your batteries a bit.
If you’d like to participate, join in…there are some amazing friends out here, just waiting to meet you.