It's official, Ella is sick. We took her to the doctor yesterday morning after she complained about her mouth hurting several times the night before. They did a strep test, but it was negative. Our doctor said her throat looked a little red though. Then this morning she has a sore throat, coughing, stopped up, runny nose, fever... :( This is only the second time in her 3 1/2 years that she has been this way, the first time post Fontan. Please pray. So far her oxygen is staying stable, although it was boarder line low this morning, it also hit a near record high! Her heart rate however is high. 150's-160's (normal for her being 108-130). This is the first sickness without oxygen support in our home, I'm nervous. I am encouraged that her oxygen is hanging in there, even if it was pretty low this morning, I'm not crazy about her heart rate though. I'm sure the fever, stuffy nose, and discomfort all are playing a role in the elevated heart rate, but I still don't like it. Her fever is not high at all and I expect it to climb, if it does, her heart rate very well may climb higher as well. High heart rate for long periods of time wear on the heart. With half of a heart that is already going to wear out long before it should, the last thing we want to deal with is something wearing it down even faster.
I am 99% sure I know where she picked this sickness up. At dance class, week 3. I noticed one of the other little girls in class coughing and sniffing quite a bit. I mentioned it to the teacher, and Ella was only near her a few times. Of course we did our usual antibacterial gel, Lysol, and even a bath as soon as we got home, but it wasn't enough. Now we can only hope that Ella handles it well, and that this builds her immune system so she will be stronger later without doing too much damage. We did our best only short of walking out of class altogether. I decided to let her stay. I prayed for her protection. She still got sick. One simple truth remains, God is still in control. He allowed her to get this sickness, I know He could have stopped it. I also know that Ella does have to get sick to build her immune system and that Ella is stronger now then she ever has been so it's time to let her do things like dance class and just do our best and let what happens happen. Is it easy? Absolutely NOT! I've cried, dealt with guilt, knowing I could have made her skip class and she would be well right now. I've dealt with anger towered the parents who chose to send there child to class sick, I've dealt with anxiety for what this means for Ella's future. I've felt fear of continuing on in our journey of letting her participate in group events. It makes me want to curl up in our safe little bubble and never see or touch another human ever again, maybe that sounds a little crazy, but that's just something you wouldn't understand unless you had been through what we have. The truth is I am human and I feel all of these things, but It's also the truth when I say I trust that God is in control. I choose to speak truth to my scared self. I choose to believe truth.
Ella is in good spirits. Smiling as usual. She is self-limiting in play and there are a bit more snuggles. She is breathing a bit heavier plus a little bluer when she plays, but overall she is handling it like a champ. God was good to give her some rest last night with minimal coughing. This whole thing may very well be just as hard on her mommy's heart as it is on hers. My goodness I love that girl. The unknown is so yucky sometimes. Please be praying! I know this is minor in comparison to open heart surgery, but it is scary. We just don't know how long this will stay in her body, and we don't know what all it will entail before it's over. Please pray that we have wisdom, that her body holds up, that her oxygen stays acceptable, that her heart rate comes down, and that this ends quickly. Thank you all so much for the support and prayers. This is a new season, a season of sickness, a season of stretching our comfort, and a season of continuing to choose trust.
Please also be praying for my niece Brooklynn, she is 7 months old. This is the little heart buddy that Ella has in our family. She is also battling a worse illness and has a very high heart rate (180's-190's) and has a doctor apt this afternoon.
You are all such a blessing to us, thank you for praying!