Tuesday when Cailin came home from school she said her hand hurt and she couldn't use it even to write. Beginning mid-afternoon while in school, she described having shock pains shooting through her hand to her fingertips, and severe pain. From that point on, she held her hand in one position, whether sleeping or awake, and couldn't tolerate even the slightest brush of fingertips to the skin.
I assumed it was just something minor, but sent her to the school nurse just in case, Wednesday morning. She thought maybe a pinched nerve, suggested we see the Dr. if it still hurt Thursday. Now this is all going on while Rusty is out of town, so I am wondering if she is more sensitive since daddy is gone, and this is how it is manifesting itself. However, by Wednesday evening when she came home her hand was swollen and ice cold. There was no doubt something was wrong, but I was baffled as to what it could be. She hadn't injured it in anyway- it made no sense!
Thursday I took her to urgent care, where they x-rayed her and said basically there was nothing they could see wrong; just see if it got better over the weekend. By now I was really getting concerned, and so Friday morning we saw the pediatrician, who was immediately alarmed and began calling neurologists and vascular surgeons to see if anyone could see her Friday afternoon- HA! She referred us to see a pediatric specialist anyway, which would mean traveling to another hospital, and seemed as though would be the next week before arrangements could be made. She sent us to the ER so we could go ahead and start having some preliminary tests done, and so off we went.
After arriving there at noon, and learning that it would be sometime that evening before we were seen, I was really starting to feel overwhelmed, partly because I am so germophobic and ER waiting areas really freak me out, and partly because I was supposed to pick up Cailin's friend after riding for a sleepover while her mommy went to a charity function. How irrelevant those concerns would become....
As we sat there, a friend text messaged me, which is the first miracle, because I don't text message! I replied that we were in the ER and I would call her later. This friend was the first step in God's amazing plan, as she obeyed His prompting and came to be with us and see if we needed lunch. As we sat there, she scrolled through the list of doctors on her blackberry, saw the name of a surgeon she knew from church, and called his office. She described Cailin's symptoms to his nurse, who said she would have him call us with a suggestion on whom to see. He called back, said bring her to me immediately, and off we went- hallelujah!
He looked at her hand, and then listened to her pulse in her wrist on his doppler. Finding a pulse only on one side, I assumed his Doppler was broken, which is why he took us to a vascular surgeon to use his Doppler. Wrong! The Doppler was fine, her pulse was not to be found on the ulnar side, she had a blockage (meaning a clot somewhere) and we needed to find out where. As the two surgeons are conferring over my head, I began to see the seriousness in their expressions, and wondered out loud if we had time for my husband to arrive from work before we did the test. They explained, ever so gently, as we rushed back to the first office, that we would be transported to a medical center two hours away, because Cailin would need to be admitted to a pediatric unit while they administered "TPA's"- drugs given heart attack and stroke patients with such dangerous side effects they must be give in ICU. At this point I started to grasp the severity of the problem, and it is only through God's grace that I managed to remain semi calm while we waited for Rusty to arrive.
The surgeon prayed with us, and I sensed God's presence, and knew He was in control- I just wanted resolution, and fast! We were told it would be 24-48 hours in the PICU before we would know any outcome, and rushed to pack before heading to Charlottesville for the weekend. Again, God provided as Cassidy was staying with a friend and wouldn't need to know or worry about her sister; we saw a friend in the neighborhood who pulled over and prayed for Cailin on the spot; and as word spread, calls started pouring in of people praying for us. The doctor we were headed to see was previously the chief of the vascular dept. at the Mayo Clinic, one of the best in the country- we were going to be in the best of hands. God was overwhelming us with His provision of everything.
We enjoyed the drive, laughing and praising God, (Cailin still doesn't know how serious her situation was) and preparing for battle. satan was attacking and we were not giving in- as I told Rusty, "It's on!".