another late night in the er

Things started going downhill on Thursday. We were on our way to take Matilda to a nearby town to have her labs drawn when she started vomiting. She was covered and sitting in a pool of half processed milk and banana. We headed back home to bathe and soothe our sick little dolly.

On Friday, she had a slight fever and diarrhea. But was her normal happy self. I was worried and started questioning all of her public exposures. Questioning why she needs to see the world outside our home, questioning her safety. Questioning everything.

Then, Saturday night, as Parker was bathing, Matilda and I made cookies. While I put the last batch in the oven, Matilda snuck a taste of dough right from the bowl. She was happy with her mischief. I tossed her cookie hands and face into the tub.

But as Tyler set her down in front of me to be lotioned, panic set in. Matilda's lips were swollen. Really swollen. I called 911 and after a minute of waiting, someone finally answered the phone. I explained what happened and asked what we should do. In the meantime, Tyler got both kids dressed and was heading out the door. The 911 dispatch lady said, "Well, what do you want me to do?" I don't know about you, but when I am in a situation like this, I want some guidance. I wanted to know if waiting for an ambulance was best, or if we were okay to make the 30 minute drive to the nearest hospital. Then I remembered, there was an emergency clinic. So I asked if it would be best to go there. Her response was, "Oh, I don't know if they are open." She shouted to the rest of the room, but nobody knew if the after hours emergency clinic, just down the road, was open. I told her we were on our way out the door. She then said, "Well, if she does stop breathing, go ahead and call back so I can have someone meet up with you." I was not impressed.

We drove to the clinic, they were open, but "didn't have any medicine" so we piled back in the car and drove to the next town. Matilda's lips were huge. We gave the Benadryl I had grabbed on my way out the door. I called the transplant team and left a message. I called the hospital and was transferred 4 times before reaching the ER.

Parker was asking a million questions, while recalling the last time this happened. We were all calm. All collected. And answered Parker's questions, while assuring him that this time would be different. This time wasn't about Matilda's liver. This time we would be home within a few hours.

They got us in right away. I explained all about the cookie dough and was certain it was the egg. They gave more Benadryl and a steroid on top of that. Then, we waited and watched. Everything was fine. This time was different. Instead of lying limp and still, Matilda screamed and cried. Instead of transferring us to a children's hospital, they gave a simple dose of medicine. Instead of leaving us for three and half months, Parker snuggled his sister and sang her songs. This time was different. It was scary, and frustrating, and worrisome. But it was different, Matilda was fine.

The truth is that I can't always know what is best for Matilda. I can't see into the future and know for certain that things will turn out the way I think they should. Or hope they will. I won't always be able to tell the difference between a virus and something more serious. But I do know for certain that I will always do what is in her best interest with the knowledge that I have at hand. Each and every day. I do know that I handle tough situations with a calm and rational mind. Each and every day. I do know that as long as I am her mother, I will be by her side fighting. Each and every day.

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