Well, Rory is sick. She woke up with a fever Monday, threw up, kept coughing, runny nose...just generally a mess. I decided I needed to go to the doctor with her. She is very rarely sick beyond a cold and I figured it was better to check it out and know.
A little history...Rory pulls out her hair. It's not a secret, she does it in public. We're dealing with it. She started doing it around her third birthday, that's the original reason behind her short hair cut. When Rory had long hair, she'd put a piece in her mouth, twirl it around her tongue and then swallow it. Cutting her hair solved the issue for a while then she started pulling it out. It's a pretty common "tick" in kids. Some kids bite their nails, pick at their cuticles or suck their thumb. Rory pulls out her hair.
She does it mostly when she is bored, scared or nervous. Her teacher and I had a long talk about it yesterday. Rory doesn't seem to pull her hair out at school, at least her teacher hasn't noticed. (This isn't saying she doesn't do it while at school. Rory is very smart and does it in secret sometimes.) While at school, Rory is very stimulated. There's new toys, lots of friends, singing, projects, learning...it's nonstop stimulation. She loves to learn and being in that atmosphere excites her. She has no need to pull.
At home, it's just the same old toys and her brother. Though they play great games, imagine full on scenarios and stories, we read books and color, go outside...it's still all the same. Intellectually, it's not stimulating, new or exciting. It's comfortable and fun, but it's not advancing her knowledge.
The same goes for dance class. When she is in the "baby class" (Pre-dance) she pulls non-stop. She LOVES dance and has my mom, the beloved Gaga, for her teacher. That should add up to a not stressful experience but it is for Rory. She is bored and doing things she's been doing for 2 years, since she could walk honestly.
Well here's the deal.
Rory potentially has a hairball in her stomach. We had preliminary xrays and blood work on Monday. Blood work and urine test were clean (thank goodness) except a bacterial infection. Her xray showed stomach distention. At that point, we couldn't tell if it was in fact hair or just some gas or food. This morning she had more xrays and had to drink Barium. (Let me tell you how much fun THAT was. About as much fun as pulling your own teeth out without Novocaine.) Anyways. Our beloved PA Jan called me this afternoon and I got the news I was fearing.
The barium xrays were inconclusive. Jan and the Radiologist are not comfortable saying she's clear of hair and at this point, there's a really good chance that the hairball is there and infected. (That is what I am praying is causing the infection anyways and not something way scarier...) Tomorrow (Thursday) we head to Pittsburgh Children's Hospital for more tests with a pediatric Gastroenterology specialist. This is extremely comforting to me. We had several visits there with Trace when he was having his choking episodes in summer, 2011 and were thrilled. Excellent care, great facility. I know that we are going to get answers in a few days, even if that answer is surgery.
Because yeah, if there's a hairball it has to come out. And that means surgery. Hopefully it's small enough to just have a laproscopic surgery and not a full "cut her open" surgery. At this point though...I just want to know what is going on.
Please, pray. Pray for Rosie not to be scared tomorrow. Pray for me, I selfishly ask, that I can stay positive and upbeat for my precious Rory Beth-Ann. She is my baby girl. Mommy's girl. Oh now I'm crying.
Okay. Thanks. I love you.