Today I had to take Moana in to her doctor's office for a blood test. Her third one this month. I was choking back the tears as I drove the car toward the office, hoping that her tests would come back normal this time.
At her 9 month appointment she had her first routine blood draw. I didn't think anything of it, even when her doctor called the following day and told me that her white cell count was high. Doc wanted to know if it seemed like Moana was getting sick at all? I looked at Moana, who had just finished eating a good lunch and was smiling as she was crawling around on the floor and playing with her toys. Um, no. Not exhibiting any signs of sick. Doc said really it was nothing to worry about but why don't I bring her back in again next week so they can check again and see if the counts were in the normal range...
So back again the following week. 3 vials of blood this time instead of just one. Again, I did what I could not to worry about it, because seriously, how could my happy perfect little girl be sick?
But once again the phone call from the doctor came. Um, white counts still high. Not distressingly high, but out of range. No, Moana's still not exhibiting any signs of illness. In my calmest voice, I asked the doctor what the extra vials were for. She said she did a SED-rate test and another test to see which specific white cells were the ones out of range. The SED-rate test came back very low, which was good, she said, because it means that there is no underlying cause of inflammation. Rules out any auto-immune diseases or anything like that. Doc says that she wants me to wait another week and then bring Moana back again for another CBC to make sure her white count wasn't continuing to escalate. She told me that the hematologist didn't think it was anything to worry about unless it continued to go up.
Hematologist? She sent Moana's lab results to the hematologist?
So then, again in my calmest voice, I asked what we might be concerned about. After a brief pause, in her version of calm reassuring voice, she said it.
She said that we only start to worry if her counts continue to climb. That's why we need to check again next week.
I'm truly amazed at how I kept it together at that moment on the phone. Instead of bursting out into tears and hyperventilating, I told the doctor briefly about my history of Hodgkin's Disease. Doctor thanked me for the information and said she would also then order a chest x-ray for Moana.
I thanked the doctor for being so thorough, hung up the phone, cried, and then spent much of the next few days online researching childhood leukemia.
So it was a tough week in some respects. I kept looking at this happy little person and thinking that there's just no way I'm going to have to take her in for a bone marrow biopsy or a spinal tap or chemotherapy treatments.
So today was the day I had to take her back for the third blood draw. I vowed myself to be strong while we were in the lab because no one really wants to deal with an hysterical and out of control mama.
Turns out, Moana is really quite a little champ when it comes to having her finger pricked. Neither of us cried. That was, until she got strapped down for the chest x-ray. Who would have guessed how much babies HATE being restrained for something like that. She protested BIG TIME. The tech said that all babies do. I held her hands while they took a snap shot of her lungs.
For the next several hours I tried tried tried so hard to think of something else, anything else, while waiting for the results to come back. Finally, an email came through to my phone that said there were test results waiting for me to view online. I held my breath while waiting for that page to load... come one... come one... load already... I should have guessed that the results were going to be normal because my doctor wouldn't have released them for online viewing if they weren't normal... but in my panic state that didn't occur to me until about 30 minutes later. For future reference, when the results come via email, it's probably good news. :)
So PHEW. False alarm. Phew.