Warning: I've tried to be as polite as possible in my descriptions but if you are particularly squeamish, you might want to skip this post.
Y'all know how my last big planned absence from Lucy went - not well. And besides a quick trip to the grocery story or library, or a girls' night at Neighbor J's where I was less than 5 minutes away, I haven't really left her since. More so because I haven't felt up to leaving the house than anything else but this week, it was time.
Neighbor J and I were planning on going to a homeschooling conference. It is a little less odd that Neighbor J would want to go since she is actually homeschooling her older child but I love all things schoolish so I couldn't help but want to tag along. Craig was coming home early on Thursday to watch Lucy and we would take off, having enough time to browse the vendors before hitting a seminar. But a couple hours before I was set to leave, I noticed something very odd when I was helping Lucy with her pottying. I started to panic but then decided to call a good friend of mine who happens to be a nurse. She told me to text her a picture but when I went to take one, the "oddness" was gone. Because of my background, I have a fair amount of knowledge in the medical field so between my description and her real medical knowledge, we were pretty sure we knew what had happened. It wasn't a great thing but since it had quickly remedied itself, we thought we were in the clear. Craig came home, I gave him an update with the info I had from my friend and google and told him to keep me updated. I had called our doctor and she was supposed to be getting back to me soon but still hadn't. Then Neighbor J and I left.
Fast forward a little over an hour and I got a text. It had happened again and wasn't fixing itself. Neighbor J was a good sport and since I think we had both been maxed out by curriculum and textbooks, we called it an early night. By then, our doctor had called back and said that she could see us first thing in the morning which, at the time I talked to her (before text), seemed soon enough. This time, we got a better view and a picture and yep, just as we suspected - rectal prolapse. It is what it sounds like and it is as incredible horrifying as you would imagine. High fevers - scary. Dog bites on your child's face - really scary. Seeing your child's insides on the outside - really really scary.
After some panicking, calling and texting our friend the nurse and Craig's sister (also a nurse) we were just about to pack up and head into the ER when it finally fixed itself again. By then, Lucy was upset so even though it was already past her bedtime, we snuggled and watched a Caillou before finally putting her to bed. The whole thing wore her out and she slept really well; me - not so much. I think I got 10 minutes of sleep the whole night. Not quite the evening I had planned.
And instead of spending Friday shopping with a friend and her kiddos then finishing up the closets, we spent the day going from one doctor appointment to another. First we saw our doctor who immediately passed us on to a pediatric surgeon. I started having heart palpitations at the word "surgeon" but "nurse friend" (I think she needs a better blog name :-) said that was pretty common for a consult so don't panic, it doesn't mean she needs surgery. We had a few hours to kill in the city since it didn't make sense to drive home just to drive back so we decided to let Lucy have a little fun at the zoo. I'm so sad I didn't bring a camera with us (although who takes a camera to the doctors :-) because Lucy loved the zoo and has been talking about it since. She normally tells me she is swimming like a fish when she takes a bath, but tonight she said she was swimming like a penguin - how cute is that! It was also a nice way for mommy to calm down a bit.
The pediatric surgeon turned out to be great. The office was fun and Lucy actually played while we waited. She didn't care for the more invasive parts of the exam but he was great with her and us.The whole thing was so much different from our last unplanned visit with medical personal. I left feeling much better about the situation and Lucy waving goodbye to the doctor and jabbering about her new puppy stickers. Of course, I was still worried about her but we know had a plan and information on how to deal with it in the future.
The plan is to monitor her and hope it improves on its own.Since she didn't have a normal presentation (if it happens in little kids, it is most often due to constipation but if anything, she had the opposite problem) the best suggestion for why it was happening seemed to be that the stomach bug she had last week upset her system and since her young muscles are still forming, they were just overtaxed. At least, that is the hope. They also want to run a test for another cause that is more serious but the likelihood of that is pretty slim. The test is non-invasive so we will do it just to be extra cautious, but I'm not really worried about it.
Of course, it didn't happen all day but we had two more episodes in the few hours between when we got home and when she went to bed. Having a idea of what was happening and what we were supposed to do about it helped, but not that much. Doing anything in that area with a toddler who doesn't really understand what is happening but is surprisingly strong is not fun and each episode is a bit traumatic for mommy and baby. Craig seems to do better about staying calm and keeping it all in perspective so I'm glad he has been around for the bad ones.
Of course, I am more determined than before never to leave my child again. Last time I tried she got mauled by a dog, this time - her bowels start to fall out. Seriously! I couldn't even make this stuff up.
Current Update: Saturday and Sunday were problem free and I was just about to let my guard down and think it was over but Monday night brought another episode. I do think the changes we have made are helping as is the fact that her system seems to be "better." Hopefully, these oh-so-unpleasant episodes will get more and more rare until it isn't an issue. Then we still have to deal with Lucy's (very legitimate) fear of going to the bathroom. Parenting certainly isn't for sissies.