Friday, October 29, 2010


Tornado (n.) is defined as a localized and violently destructive windstorm occurring over land characterized by a funnel-shaped cloud extending toward the ground; a movie produced in 1996 featuring fierce competition between storm chasers with a strong romatic undercurrent; a metaphor for my life this week.

I hate tornados. When I was pregnant there were three separate occasions when the local tornado sirens went off and I was home alone. I immediately took my cell phone and hid under the bathroom vanity in our powder bath which I considered the safest room. This may seem drastic, but when you live in a little redneck town the suburbs, tornados are an actual possibliity. Oh, and being 8 months pregnant may have shifted my perspective as well. Imagine cramming that belly in a space designed only for a trash can and maybe a few magazines. It wasn't pretty, but it was safe.

This week we had tornados again. Actual tornadoes and destructive metaphorical tornados in the form of pneumonia in my sweet baby girl.

Tuesday on my way home from work I got a call from daycare that Madelyn had spiked a 102.6 fever. I picked her up and we went straight to the urgent care. After an hour of observation because her breathing was so rapid they deemed her illness "a virus" and sent us home. It didn't sit well with me, but they said her lungs were clear and as someone who has always had asthma and respiratory issues (and who has made several trips to the ER in respiratory distress) this is always my first concern.

That night I got up constantly to check on her. She was panting like a dog she was breathing so hard but I just kept telling myself that they had checked her and she was fine. Trust the doctors, don't be a paranoid maniac like you always are.

The next morning we woke up and I knew something was wrong. After 2.5 hours at the doctor, x-rays, breathing treatments, and a big shot of antibiotics we were sent home with a diagnosis of pneumonia.

Chalk one up to mother's intuition. And thank God for it.

Proceed to cancel all work appointments, head to Target for antibiotics/juice/tylenol/a new toy as retribution for all of her pain and suffering, and hibernate at home for two full days of snuggling and resting. Worry, worry, worry all day and all night. Feel terrible that I ever put my parents through this. And pray that this is just a fluke and she doesn't end up with asthma like me.

It doesn't help that our pediatrician has urged us to go see a pulmonologist because it's "not normal" for a child to have pneumonia twice by the time they're a year and a half.

I'd like this to serve as reminder for everyone out there, parents and not, that doctors aren't always right. They see A LOT of patients every day, and they don't know your body like you do. They don't know your children, how they act, how they react, their normal tendencies. Be your own advocate and if you think something is wrong, pursue it.

Tornadoes are often unexpected and cause major damage. Watch for the signs in the air and in your life. And remember next time you have to take cover to grab snacks. With Madelyn I can conquer anything as long as I have snacks.


Kristin said...

Snacks make everything better. Hope monkey feels better soon, so we can play for a bit on Sunday! xoxoxoxo

Jenn said...

Hope she feels better soon! So scary! And you were by yourself, right? That stinks...

Jenn said...

Thanks, Girls :) Yes, Jenn, he is gone until next week. When I talked to him last night I told him he owes me a girl's night and a spa day when he gets back ;)

Hollie said...

yes, i firmly believe that sometimes doctors are WRONG, simply b/c they do not know your body or your child like you do! definitely go with your gut, or mommy intuition! :-)
hope she starts feeling better soon! both of mine have been sick for the last couple of weeks and it is NO fun. makes me feel kinda helpless. :-( but i do believe that snacks make everything better. lots and lots of snacks! (mixed with a lil' bit of crying)

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