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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Enough already!

I don't even really know where to begin this post. I guess I could begin by saying that I'm exhausted, sick, overwhelmed, and have been pushed to the brink of breaking. If one more thing goes wrong in my life, I will truly lose it.

Essentially, I have spent the past 5 days in the hospital with Allie. Two weeks ago Allie and Addie both had fevers and a virus for several days. Addie bounced back but Allie never really seemed to get back up to full speed. She wasn't running a fever anymore, but she was irritable, cranky, and lethargic. I just kept thinking she would surely get over it soon.

Last Wednesday I came home from work and the nanny said Allie had been very tired and listless all day. She did not have a fever or any other symptoms of illness, but she was definitely not herself. She took a morning and afternoon nap (hasn't done that in months), and cried if she wasn't being held. When I fed her dinner that evening she refused to eat and was acting tired again. I put her down at 6:00 (a very early bedtime)and she fell right to sleep. I was very worried because it wasn't like her to be so lethargic and out of it. I was checking on her every 5-10 minutes to make sure she was breathing because I had a gut feeling that something was very wrong.

At 7:00 I woke her up to change her diaper and she was in better spirits. We were all sitting on the couch reading books and she was interacting well with Addie. All of a sudden she started moaning and writhing to get away from me. The next thing I knew, her body went limp, her eyes glazed over, and her lips turned blue; she was unresponsive to me calling her name. Within a second she was back responsive and moaning, but then it happened again. And again. I had a vivid flashback of the night Andie died, as this is how he looked when I rolled him over in bed that night. I panicked and called 911 fearing that she was having some sort of seizure. By the time EMS arrived she was back to normal. Her blood pressure and oxygen saturation were normal and she had no fever. They said she had a febrile seizure. I didn't believe them because she hadn't had a fever, but they insisted this was probably what it was.

I immediately took her to an ER to be evaluated. While we were waiting for test results to come back she started having episodes of clamminess and was passing gas that was strong enough to be smelled across the room. I thought maybe she was starting to get intussusception again (something we had a scare with back in August). The ER doctor said her head CT was normal, all her blood work was normal except that she was mildly anemic, and he did not feel she was having intussusception because she was not screaming and in extreme pain- a classic symptom of intussusception. He said to follow up with her pediatrician the next morning. We got home around midnight and until 2:30 Allie could not get comfortable. She writhed around and changed positions about every 10 seconds. Something she had done the first time she had intussusception...I had a gut feeling again that this was going on, but no verifiable symptoms to prove it. (It's usually diagnosed with a bloody stool, and crying bouts of extreme pain- which she had not had).

The next morning while waiting for the pediatrician's office to open so I could call them, she had a huge bloody stool. We rushed her to the ER at a children's hospital in San Antonio where it was such an emergency situation that they made us bypass triage, and got us set up immediately for ultrasounds to confirm the diagnosis. The ultrasound showed what looked like an atypical presentation of intussusception. Being that it was atypical and looked more swollen than a regular intussusception they said she must have emergency surgery to correct the situation; the usual protocol was an air enema but would be too dangerous in this situation and could risk perforating her bowel.

Thursday afternoon she underwent surgery and did remarkably well. The surgeon found that she did not actually have intussusception, but instead had something called Meckel's Diverticulum. He resected that portion of her bowel and she should have no further complications. Turns out that what happened on Wednesday night wasn't a seizure, but was the result of her blood pressure dropping suddenly when she started to bleed internally.

She has been such a tough girl through all of this. She has had a great disposition and is healing up very quickly. Today she was able to start a liquid diet and if all goes as planned she will be discharged home tomorrow. We will be so excited to have her home!

Unfortunately, in all of this I have developed the worst chest cold I remember having in the past 10 years. I'm positive it is from all the stress. Sleeping in the hospital with her and traveling back and forth to spend time with Addie has been demanding physically and emotionally.

I am so very grateful to all my wonderful friends and family who have stepped up and provided immense support over the past five days. And to my boss who once again has been very understanding about my need to miss work.

I have so many emotions flooding around my head in regards to all of this. I was so terrified in the beginning and having bouts of PTSD. Thankfully, I am feeling relieved that she is okay, and grateful for good medical care. I feel like there is a dark cloud of bad luck looming over my head- I mean, how much more can one person take? But, then I am shown the love and support of all those around me when I am in need. I feel guilty that I am always having to call on someone or rely on seems it's time for me to be paying back those in need, not still be the one who is always needy. I am frustrated that I had to go through all of this without my husband to support me. I am sad that I can't be with both of my kids at the same time. I am overwhelmed with being pulled in too many directions at once. I'm irritated that I was just getting back on my feet and independent again, and something happens that leaves me struggling to keep my head above water and relying on others to save me. I'm scared that people will get tired of always having to help me out and will just stop associating with me because my situation is too high maintenance, and there is "always something"...
I am exhausted.
I am tapped out.
I am at my breaking point.
I've been pushed too far.
I can't take one more thing...


  1. oh brooke...
    it is NOT time for you to start paying back those in need.
    receive help. i know it's so hard for me to do.
    and as for that cloud of bad luck- I think this is a normal thing to feel given the trauma you're undergoing and have undergone. but...does not mean it is true. i find myself much more fearful lately as well of "one more thing..."

    focus on getting the help you need- so you can get better- and take care of the girls- i know you're such a strong, independent person- but just keep asking for and receiving the help. perhaps you have already given and given and this is your time to receive.

  2. Your true friends and family will not think you are too high maintenance. You can pay all their wonderful acts forward someday when you are in more of a position to do so. I'm so sorry you are going through this. And so relieved to hear that Allie is doing better.

  3. I'm so thankful that Allie came through her surgery so well, and that you will be home soon. I am so hopeful that you get an early release tomorrow.
    Brooke, you have touched so many lives in so many ways. I personally know of situations where your actions made a difference in the life of a child or in the life of one of your colleagues. Knowing you, has made a difference in my life, and I hope I've made a difference in yours. You listened to me when I needed it, and I listened to you when you needed it.
    Your friends and family are so thankful that they are able to do something for you. It gives them joy to know that maybe they have made a difference in your life, maybe they've been able to take on just a little of your frustration. Our lives are filled with the ebb and flow of times when we provide support and times when we need support. This is the time to welcome the gifts your friends can provide, knowing full well that there will be another point in the future when you will be the listener, the giver of support or the provider of care.
    I pray that you & Allie & Addie can all rest well when you get back home together.
    Much love,

  4. Brooke, I read this entire post holding my breath, prickles going up my neck and my tiny hairs standing up. My heart feels for you and my prayers go out to all of you. I am so glad you have amazing friends and family to buoy you up right now. Hugs, prayers, positive energy all going out to you tonight and always. Sabrina

  5. Sweet Brooke, I wish you still lived in Dallas so that I could be one of those helping to take care of you and your sweet girls. I know your family and I know that they consider it a privilege to help you and support you in any way they can. We're all supporting you and lift you up. /Becky Hansen

  6. We love you, you know...that won't ever stop. No matter what. No matter how much you need. We all pray that we know what to do, and when to do it. So ask! Please. The new Brooke is just as much a part of our family as the old Brooke was. I haven't gotten to read your blogs in a while, but looking back on them, I wanted to tell you that I would be honored to lecture my sweet nieces about grades, talk to them when they're mad at you, hold them when they cry, and love them to pieces. See you soon. Hang in there!

  7. Wow...enough already, indeed. That is a crazy ride. I had no idea it was that bad from your FB postings. Thank god she is healing so well and that it was caught in a timely manner. Thanks to your quick action.

    Love ya. Hugs.

  8. Just checking in on Baby and Mommy...Hope all are healthy and enduring. Kerri