Last year began with a hospital stay. On New Year’s Eve 2013, I took Gracie’s gloves off after daycare and her right index finger was red and swollen. Since she didn’t have a wound on that finger, I thought maybe it was injured and decided to take her to her pediatrician for an x-ray. The next day was New Year’s, and the doctor’s office was closed, but I called on the morning of the 2nd and made an appointment for that afternoon. By the time we got there, Gracie had a fever. My heart sank — redness and swelling with a fever is the hallmark of infection. Gracie was admitted that day and spent four days in the hospital.
This year is starting differently. It’s already January 5th and we are not even close to a hospital stay. Gracie has a couple of minor wounds that I’m keeping an eye on, but so far nothing that will require antibiotics. In fact, it has been nearly 3 months since her last dose of antibiotics. It’s hard to relax completely — we have been through too much not to wonder when the other shoe will fall — but the calm has been amazing.
Our whole family has benefitted from the relative normalcy. We are able to have a somewhat normal routine, without the constant interruptions of doctor appointments and hospital stays and medicine doses and wound care. The weight of the constant worry when Gracie is so unwell brings all of us down and stresses us out, sometimes to our breaking points. But now that she’s healthy, that stress is lessened, the weight is lifted, and we can just be a regular family. It’s amazing.
We have been through this too many times to expect it to last forever, but I am enjoying it while it does. We need it to last a few more months at least — Grace needs several months off antibiotics so they will maybe start working for her again. The longer she can stay off the medicine, the better. So, for Gracie, I’m keeping my fingers crossed, and looking for lucky clovers, and not letting any black cats cross my path, and collecting horseshoes. Good luck, Gracie!