Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Friday, January 18, 2008
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
No news is no news
To keep you abreast of the goings-on in my neck o'the woods, last Thursday's visit to DCF with J was an unmitigated success. They were reassured by her very healthy and happy appearance and A and I left there feeling much more reassured than we have since this whole nightmare began a few weeks ago.
As far as I know, we're still under investigation, however, I believe there is only one remaining piece of that puzzle and that is a home visit by the case worker. When we saw her on Thursday, she said she'd be contacting me sometime in the coming weeks to set up a date/time...I took it to mean very good things when she told me that there is no urgency to scheduling the visit. A mere formality perhaps? Hopefully, once it's done, this debacle will be done as well. We'll see.
In the meantime, we go on about our normal lives, albeit with a lot more specialist visits for D lately. She's seen the opthalmologist, hematologist, and neurologist all in the past week. No one has any answers about the febrile seizure--it may have been just an isolated incident given how quickly her temp spiked due to the viral pneumonia and how high it went. She may never have another one; however, since she's had one, and given her history at birth, she's now at a slightly higher risk than normal kids for another febrile seizure going forward should she become feverish.
As you can imagine, I'm under doctor's orders to immediately dose her with both Motrin and Tylenol at the first sign of fever and call our ped. I have also been given a rectal Diastat kit to administer to D should she have any seizures whatsoever. It's essentially Valium administered through the backdoor for quickest absorption and an end to the seizure underway.
D is still slightly anemic and the hematologist expects her to remain on an iron supplement for another month or so. Apparently, when kids (I don't know about adults in this case) deal with a viral infection, it often drains their hemoglobin levels so anemia results. It takes up to a couple of months to rebound so D is essentially being a normal kid in this regard. No worries.
Other than that, the show must go on...D's first birthday is on February 1st with the big party on February 2nd, and it's full steam ahead. I can't believe it's been a whole year already! Where did it go? A and I have a friendly wager going as to whether or not she'll be walking by then. She's thisclose and actually took her first unassisted steps today.
Nothing like taking your time (J started walking at 10 1/2 months; D, not so much) but it does seem like taking time seems to be a theme around here lately, as in, this investigation sure is taking time to be completed...but that's alright, cross their t's, dot their i's, and before long, they'll close it, knowing with 100% certainty that we had nothing to do with D's injury. My heart says it was from one of the handful of "cruising" accidents that she's had the past few months.
Of course, you know what this means now right? I'm watching that girl like a hawk as she makes her way around. No rest for mama.
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
My tax dollars hard at work
The fun has yet to end, friends.
Today I got a call from DCF telling me that, because of the unknown nature of D's head injury, they would like to see J in their office later this week for an evaluation. You know, check her over for bruises, contusions, and the like...'cause we're all about the child beating 'round these parts.
Sorry if my bitterness is coming through but this bullshit has gone on long enough. I feel dirty, like someone out there thinks we actually could have done this to D. Like A was saying to me earlier today, what sucks is that because our society is so judgmental, someone in the system probably thinks we did this. This is so offensive to me on so many levels, mostly personal ones.
Talk about a waste of time and taxpayers' dollars. There are tons of children in my county (and around the nation/world) who are being genuinely abused and they go unnoticed, uninvestigated, unknown. Here we are, with two children who are so NOT abused, but because of the unknown factor, we're made to feel like bad guys.
The good news is that, once they "evaluate" J, they'll see that she's fine, no marks, no abuse, nada. Just lots of love, kisses, and one happy 31-month old girl, to go with the happy almost-1-year old little sister they've already seen.
The other good news is that D had her opthalmology consult yesterday and the doctor pronounced her "clean as a whistle" meaning that she has no optical evidence of 'shaken baby syndrome.' Score one more tick for mom and dad in the NOT GUILTY category.
In the meantime, I sit and worry, with a bad taste for the system in my mouth--for the ridiculousnous of it all, for the unspoken blame, for the way we're being made to feel.
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
First of all, thank you all sooo much for everything...for your kind words, your thoughts, your prayers, all of it.
The best news is that Daniela came home today; to say that we are thrilled is an understatement. The docs seem to think the febrile seizure was likely an isolated incident brought on by the viral pneumonia they diagnosed while she was in the hospital. Given her history, however, they have put her back on phenobarbital as a precaution since she may be predisposed to future febrile seizures going forward. She'll continue to be followed by her neurologist and we'll see what happens in time.
Secondarily, by having the seizure, Daniela sort of did us a favor because, by taking her to the hospital, we learned that she had a head injury--however, how she got it is a mystery to us. It's a subdural hematoma in the right temporal area and this is the small bleed that showed up on the MRI. It was NOT caused by the febrile seizure.
This is an injury typically seen in abused/shaken children, drunks, or traumatic injuries. While it can happen from a trip or fall, it doesn't typically happen that way. We're inclined, however, to think that that is how it may have happened, as she is currently cruising all around and has taken a few good falls in the past couple of months and has also been bowled over by J once or twice when she's run around the kitchen island and not seen D playing underfoot. Her head injury is estimated to be about a month old.
So, given the nature of the head injury--which she is suffering no ill effects from whatsoever--we are still under investigation by the department of children and families (DCF) as well as the county sheriff's office since the injury is often one of abuse. The DCF doctor, however, met with us over the weekend, interviewed us and he basically told us that we don't have anything to worry about, he does believe us when we say we did NOT inflict abuse of any sort...the sheriff's detective is also under the same perception from his talks with the doctor.
Long story short, it's been five days of nightmare, but the experience hopefully will grow smaller and smaller in the rearview mirror until one day it is but a distant memory. We've got follow up appointments with some specialists (hematology, opthalmology, neurology) in the coming weeks, and an inspection of our home by the DCF lady, but we're confident that the criminal investigation will soon be closed once the DCF doctor's final report is in.
Just so damned happy she's home and her old self again. And so very happy that you all are here to support us in times like these, where terror reigns supreme, where my self-confidence as a mother has been pushed to the very brink--given the fact that my baby had an injury and I didn't even realize it.
I beat myself up about that for a few days but the rational side of me realizes that she had no external signs or symptoms--no bruising, no lump, nothing that would indicate she had taken a significant hit to the head. It still hurt knowing that I somehow let her down by not protecting her...and if I find out this happened at the day care she attends three days a week, well, what can I say?
Home again, home again, jiggity jig.
P.S. Daniela was, understandably, miserable during the first two days in the PICU. Sure, she was cranky, and tired, and slept alot, but--HAHA--because the universe is funny like that, she cut two new teeth those first couple of days as well, making her even more miserable and cranky; you know, because it's not like she had anything else going on.