Monday, September 21, 2009

Adalynn Update & Lesson Learned: Don't run with a toothbrush in your mouth....well, at least don't fall!

Before you all come knocking down my door for an update on Adalynn, I figured that I'd better post something....so here is the story

play by play

doctor visit to doctor visit

ER visits #1, #2, and #3

and ending with a 3 day hospital stay.


Monday, September 14
 8 a.m.
The boys were sent to the bathroom to brush their teeth while I was getting socks and sweatshirts for them to go to school. Camden thought he would be helpful and gave Adalynn her toothbrush so she could brush her teeth as well. I straighten up their beds and then hear her scream. She was laying on the hallway floor holding her mouth and the toothbrush was next to her. Camden is saying "sorry, sorry, sorry" and blood is starting to drip down her chin. She fell with the toothbrush in her mouth while she was running away from Camden.

I get her cleaned up and she calms down. The neighbor takes Broderick to school and Camden, Adalynn, and I do some work in the yard. She was acting fine! I wasn't too worried.

9 a.m.
She starts screaming out of the blue. At first I thought she had been stung by a bee again, but then she started holding her neck and saying "owie mouth". I called the doctor, explained to them what had happened and they scheduled an appointment for 10:15.

10:15 a.m.
Doctor looks in her mouth and says he sees the bruised spot....nothing to worry about and to give her Tylenol and Motrin and she should be fine.

11:15 a.m.
She won't eat or drink anything for lunch. She really wants to and keeps taking drinks and tries to take some bites, but then either spits it out or lets it drip down her chin. We take Camden to the bus stop and then come home and she takes a nap

3:15 p.m.
I wake her up to go get the boys from the bus stop. She is super fussy, even despite being on meds. I notice that she drooled a lot while napping and by the time I got to the bus stop her shirt was soaked. She still won't eat or drink and now she is not even swallowing her own saliva. I called the doctor back and they said to take her to the ER.

4 p.m.
We head to the ER. They take some X-rays, look in her mouth (and don't see anything) and send us home with instructions to alternate Tylenol and Motrin every 3 hours.

Tuesday, September 15
It was a fairly uneventful day. She is on meds continuously and still eating very little. She did drink slightly better, but definitely NOT NORMAL!!! We can't let up on the meds or she is miserable and will not drink at all. If she is medicated, at least she is getting some fluids in her.

Wednesday, September 16
8 a.m. 
She is still super fussy. Still taking the meds around the clock-even waking up in the middle of the night in pain.She ate about 2 bites of pancake and drank about an ounce of juice for breakfast.

11:30 a.m.
She doesn't eat lunch at all. She was restless for nap and would barely let me lay her down. When she did wake up from nap, I noticed that she was now running a fever. I called our doctor's office back and they scheduled her an appointment for around 4. They called back a little bit later and said to just take her back to the ER and that more testing probably needed to be done.

3:30 p.m.
I give her more meds and wait for John to get home so I can take back to the ER. She now has a visibly swollen neck and you can feel a golf ball sized knot in her neck (around the spot where you would typically take your pulse). We get to the ER and they don't do anything besides take a urine sample. They look in her mouth and do not see anything. When I asked about a CT, they said it was too dangerous to do on someone her age and it would subject her to too much radiation. They sent us home with a script for Amoxicillan and said she had lymphadenopathy (or swollen lymph nodes).

Thursday, September 17
7:00 a.m.
Adalynn wakes up with a slight amount of dried blood on her lips. I honestly didn't think anything of it. She ate a little more than previously and as long as we stayed on top of the meds she acted okay.

9:00 a.m.
We go to my MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) meeting. She goes into her classroom and does great. Still acting slighly fussy, but I thought we were on the mend. Didn't think that she truly had swollen lymph nodes, but was hoping that the antibiotics would do the trick.

11:30 a.m.
Lunch at McDonalds. She ate about 3 bites of a cheeseburger and then played. I didn't take meds with me, so she didn't have her usual next dose. Seemed to be acting okay, so I came to the conclusion, that maybe the doctors were right. They are doctors! Speaking of doctors, her regular pediatrician calls and schedules an appointment for that afternoon.

12:30 p.m.
We drop Camden off at kindergarten and she falls asleep on the way home. I still don't give her more meds, since she was feeling well enough without them to go to sleep. She is restless and fights going back to sleep when I move her inside from the van, but eventually does fall asleep.

2:45 p.m.
Adalynn wakes from nap crying. I go into the room and am shocked to see blood pouring out of her mouth. It is all over her shirt, the couch, and running down her chin. I race her to the car and head to back to the ER for the third time.

7:30 p.m.
We are sent home again. They aren't sure where the bleeding is coming from, but suspect she just opened up her old wound. We leave without any additional testing and are told to follow up with our ENT on Friday with the idea of possibly doing a scope to see what is going on in her mouth.

Friday, September 18
8:30 a.m.
I call the ENT's office as soon as they opened, yet can't get an appointment until 2 in the afternoon. We take it easy at home. She is still obviously in pain and the swelling in her neck has not subsided (despite being on antibiotics).

2:00 p.m.
We meet with our ENT. I explain the whole above story. He looks in her mouth and like everyone else, still does not see anything. I tell him about her being diagnosed with the swollen lymph nodes, but how I am concerned that it might not be. He is surprised to hear that we were sent home after the bleeding incident without any additional testing. He then feels her neck. Immediately I see the expression on his face change. He says for me to go home, pack a bag, and go back to the ER. He wants Adalynn to be admitted this time and for a CT to be done.

2:30 p.m.
I guess the ENT noticed my hesitation about going back to the ER because he called me on my way home and told me to just go straight to the Ped's Floor-they were expecting me.

3:45 p.m.
We arrive at the hospital and as promised, they were waiting for me. Within minutes we were in our room and not long after that they were putting an IV in (well, attempting to put an IV in. Adalynn has very small veins and it was quite difficult). Three sticks, two nurses, and one doctor later she finally had her IV.

5:15 p.m.
We go for a CT. They attempted to do it with her awake and she was great until the bed moved. They ended up calling the doctor down and sedated her with Versed. I was able to stay with her the entire time and I even held her hand during the CT.
6:30 p.m.
We are back in our room where Daddy and Camden are waiting (Broderick went to Cub Scouts with a friend). Adalynn is still very out of it and had a slight allergic reaction (hives and red eyes) to either the Versed or the contrast dye that was given for the CT. She stays hooked up to her monitors and slowly wakes up. John stays with her and Camden and I go downstairs so I can eat some dinner.

8:00 p.m.
The boys leave to get Broderick and we finally get an answer. The swelling in Adalynn's neck is not a swollen lymph node, but a hematoma. A FREAKING hematoma.....yes, at this point I am MAD!!!! A hematoma!!! Go ahead and google "hematoma of the neck" and you will see why I am so mad. This is a potentially life threatening condition. A hematoma can cause swelling in the neck severe enough to compromise her airway. And we waiting 5 days before finding out that is what her swelling was. By now, the swelling had pretty much stopped, so we were fairly safe, but what if it wouldn't have stopped? We were scared to death, nonetheless. She was placed on IV antibiotics and monitored throughout the night. Poor thing had cords coming from her arm, her chest, and her foot. She kept saying "untangle me, mommy". It was a rough night and they did give her some pain meds, but her stats were fine.

Saturday, September 19
Adalynn wakes up with dried blood on her lips and a large spot on the bed. The nurse seemed slightly alarmed, and let the doctor know. They come in and still can't figure out where the bleeding is coming from.

We continue to be monitored, she is seen by the ENT on call, and continues to get her IV meds. Mid afternoon, she starts acting like she feels better and is much harder to contain in the hospital room. We make several laps around the floor pulling her IV pole with her.
She unhooks her IV twice throughout the day. The doctors decide that another few doses of IV antibiotics would be best and we stay another night (as long as her IV holds up). She doesn't like sleeping in "the doctor's bed", but doesn't fight it. I think she is enjoying the special attention, the presents given to her, her own laptop, and the HUGE Elmo balloon that one of the nurses gave her. She sleeps much better throughout the night and wakes up without any evidence of bleeding.

Sunday, September 20
HOME.....we made it home right before lunch. She was sent home with a script for more antibiotics (stronger and different than what she was originally on). She was so happy to see her doggie and really seems to continue to feel better. She does find the stethoscope and starts pretending to be the doctor telling Broderick to take a deep breath. She also chases the dog around with the flashlight telling him to "open wide". It was too cute! But we could also tell how much better she was feeling.We were shocked to find TONS of blood on her pillow and on her sheets when it was time for bed. Guess that was from Thursday morning, but we will never know.

TODAY......Monday, September 21
She is back! I can't believe how much better she is feeling today. I called the ENT and we go back to see him on Friday. The swelling has subsided, but you can still feel the knot (which I am assuming is the hematoma) in her neck.

We are praising God that she is happy and healthy. Hopefully this is where the story ends.

All of this from falling with a toothbrush in her mouth. I feel like I need to lock them up in the medicine cabinet.

Thank you for all of the prayers. We really appreciate it. Just knowing that there are people all over the country who care about a little girl they have never met is amazing! We are so truly blessed!

And don't you just love the AWESOME quality of the photos?   ....they were all from our cell phone.

Many Blessings,


  1. I am so glad she is on the mend....and I admit I would be wanting to have a little chat with the ER staff!!

  2. I've been checking constantly for updates! I'm so happy to hear she's getting better!

    You should give those ER docs a little talkin' to!

  3. Wow! What a horrible experience for all of you. So glad to hear that she is doing better and on the mend. Very scary when you can't even trust doctors....

  4. THANK YOU THANK YOU for the update. I have been praying daily for her recovery and had no idea how much my prayers were needed. When you originally wrote about the whole incident I immediately yanked the toothbrush out of Aiden's hands and he hasn't had it since then (Yes, I am still brushing his teeth but nothing unattended at this point). Praying she continues down the recovery path with no more incidents. Way to go mama for being persistent. Sometimes I just shake my head at the ignorance of the medical community.

  5. What a ride, Shannon! And for poor little Adalynn! Sheesh. Glad she is home and doing better... and yes, the toothbrush will NOT be going in Aidan's little hand anytime soon. I can't believe how many times he's been on the stairs with something pointy in his hand!

    Still can't believe she had the hematoma for FIVE days without a correct diagnosis. Ridiculous. Sometimes doctors are right... and sometimes they are so VERY WRONG.

  6. So glad she is doing better! How great it is to have such a wonderful outcome with what could have been SO scary!

  7. Oh my! What a experience your family has been through! It sounds like you handled everything very well and Adalynn was such a trooper through it all. How very scary it must have been for you, though. I would have been a wreck. I agree with you - the ER docs screwed up big time and you have every right to be angry. I had a similar experience at the ER when I had appendicitis. I made 3 trips to the ER after being told twice that it was just a UTI and Tylenol would help. On my third trip, they finally figured it out and had to do emergency surgery as my appendix was about to burst. (That's when I found out I was about a week or two pregnant with Gavin. Ha ha!)

  8. I am SO glad that you got things figured out -- I'm learning that we as mothers really have to trust our instincts!! Hope she's back to her happy self!!