It’s that time again. In two days I’m taking Little Miss Junior back to the friendly neighborhood Phlebotomist to have her blood drawn, and I can nervously await the results into the afternoon. LMJ has been doing great. She’s crawling around and grabbing lots of things she shouldn’t. She tries to put everything (and I mean everything), into her mouth. She’s teething incessantly, so we get treated to the drooling baby monster who will happily munch on your hand. Unfortunately teething normally comes with low grade fevers, which is a flag for a problem when your child is neutropenic.
Thankfully, LMJ has been given a reprieve from regular blood draws. Her last two counts were both in the normal range (she’s on meds to keep it that way). One of her recent counts was even extremely high, giving us a quick feeling that maybe she’s outgrowing this condition. The levels came down again after that draw. This time around, Red will not be with me, or even waiting at home, as she is taking Little Miss across the country to visit our friends out in Portland. Originally the whole family had planned to go, but LMJ is neutropenic, and we’re not taking her on any planes yet.
Day to day, I can almost forget that my little girl has a serious blood condition. Almost. But there are needles. And there are bottles of purell around the house. Outwardly she’s terrific. She’s also an excellent decision maker, as ‘dada’ was her first official word…. And I’m not counting a stream of da da da da’s as official… she’s greeting me in the mornings with ‘dada!’… I can almost forget she has a serious blood disorder, but she shouldn’t go on a plane as it not the best environment for someone who’s potentially immune compromised… and we haven’t been to Walden Pond this summer, because lakes breed bacteria… and then there’s the blood draws.
The blood draws generate anxiety because you can’t ignore your reality at all on those days. You take your 9 month old to the hospital, you have her blood drawn for the umpteenth time, and you wait for the results. Given our vague diagnosis, and the possibility that she will ‘just grow out of this’, I can’t help but sit on pins and needles for each and every blood draw. We have seen her white blood count rise and fall. We hope for high numbers. For the moment, LMJ is doing great. She’s mischievous, crawling, babbling, and quite the little cutey. Hopefully she will have grown out of this condition long before we have to have serious talks with her about safety and life restrictions that will become our ‘normal’ if she doesn’t grow out of it. In the meantime, there will be another blood draw… and I will wait for the results.