Today (Tuesday) has been a good day for Lizzy. Overnight her hemoglobin dropped so she received a blood transfusion this morning. With more red blood cells running through her body, all of her muscles and organs are getting the oxygen they need. And with more oxygen comes . . . . . you guessed it – more energy!!! The girl has been a little dynamo all day!!
Now that we’ve had more time to reflect on yesterday’s events, Lori and I have realized what an incredible “God moment” we experienced yesterday with Lizzy’s stubbed toe infection. With our four older children, we had experienced any number of stubbed toes, all of which basically healed themselves and we really didn’t think too much about them. So, when Lizzy stubbed her toe, I can honestly say I really wasn’t concerned about it. Even when she woke up in the middle of the night Sunday night, I wasn’t that concerned.
But now I realize I should have been, and how blessed we were to have a clinic visit on Monday. After we had arrived at the clinic yesterday, the nurse performed the “routine” functions and went ahead and accessed Lizzy’s port so they could collect some blood samples. A short time later, the nurse practitioner came in to perform the “routine” exam we’ve grown accustomed to. As part of that exam, the NP always asks “are there any other issues or pain or problem Lizzy has complained of?”. So, when the NP asked that question, (thankfully) Lori said “Yes, she stubbed her toe on Sunday and has been complaining that it really hurts”. So, the NP looked at it and immediately had a concerned look on her face.
After looking at the toe and comparing it to the big toe on her other foot, the NP said it was possible the toe could be broken, so she might order an x-ray. Then she looked at the toe some more, and then felt the toe and said “You know, there might be an infection going on because the toe is red and it actually feels a little warm to the touch”. She asked us if Lizzy had run a fever and we said “No.”. The NP said she would talk to the doctor about it and have him come look at it before deciding what to do, but she would probably send us home with an antibiotic.
About 15-20 minutes later, the doctor came in along with the NP and case manager. When the doctor looked at her toe, there was a red streak running from her toe, up her foot. That red streak had not been there 20 minutes earlier. He finished the exam and looked at the NP and said “What’s her ANC?” He was told it was 20. He then said, “We need to change the plan. She needs IV antibiotic. We’re going to need to admit her.”
While that wasn’t the news we were expecting when we left the house that morning for what we thought was going to be an outpatient treatment, we were in total agreement. After seeing the red streak starting to go up her foot, Lori and I were both very concerned.
So, the clinical staff got busy setting everything in motion – the doctor ordered the IV antibiotics and the nurses got everything ready to administer it. In the meantime, Lori and I watched as Lizzy became more and more lethargic. All along the way, the nurses kept checking her temperature. And sure enough, her temperature started to rise.
The thing to remember here is this – Lizzy basically has no immune system right now. So, what would be a “minor” infection to you and me can become a life-threatening situation for someone in Lizzy’s condition. Thus the decision to get IV antibiotics started.
By the time everything was ready and the first dose of antibiotics was being administered, Lizzy’s temperature had exceeded 100.4, which is the critical reading that is always the threshold where we know we have to get her to an ER. Fortunately (i.e. God moment), we were already at the hospital, her port was already accessed and in fact, she was just beginning the antibiotics. From the time the red streak started going up her foot until the time she received those antibiotics, it was the absolute shortest time possible. As a result, the infection was stopped in its tracks and within an hour of receiving the treatment, her fever was gone, the red streak was gone, and her toe wasn’t hurting any longer.
But What If. What if we hadn’t had a clinic visit on Monday? What if she hadn’t already been accessed when the red streak started? How long would it have taken before we noticed a red streak if we were at home? How long would it have taken to get to the ER, get her accessed and get antibiotics started? And during that time, how far would the infection have spread? And with no immune system, how would that have impacted other parts of her body? And the What If questions go on and on and on.
But thankfully, we don’t have to play the What If game. God knew all along that we needed the 3 week delay of treatment we had just gone through so that Lizzy’s next clinic visit would be yesterday – the day after she stubbed her toe and the day an infection would start to infect her body. She was in the exact right place at the exact right time to get the exact right treatment that she needed. Coincidence? Give me a break. There’s no such thing. It’s called God Timing – and it’s always on time and it’s always perfect!
Thank you, God!