Sam left for his first {and maybe last} golf trip with his friends on Thursday.  I made all kinds of plans for Lulu and I to keep busy while he was away. After an activity packed Friday, I stopped by my parents house to visit. Lulu had been exceptionally clingy all day. When we were at the library she hung onto my leg and wouldn’t participate in a lot of the activities. At the park, she would have normally loved running around with the other children but instead she chose to sit in her stroller and watch. When I tried to get her to walk around she refused. When we got to my parents house her eyes lit up when she saw the big yellow ball that she loves playing with. I put her down so she could get it and she screamed in pain. I assured her it was ok, held her hand and tried to walk with her but she fell down when she was trying to take a step. I picked her up and tried to stand her up but again she screamed and fell down. After several failed attempts to have her walk or even stand I decided to take her to the Urgent Care. Luckily, my mom offered to come with me because my Mama panic was setting in hard.

When we got to the Urgent Care, we were asked by at least three different people if she fell or if I knew how she would have injured her leg. I really didn’t know how to answer that because she falls ALL THE TIME. She is an incredibly active child and she is also very accident prone. I sign at least two ‘booboo’ reports a week from school. Could she have fallen or hurt her leg and I didn’t even notice? I was feeling like a pretty horrible Mama. To top it off, while we were waiting for the doctor we noticed she was very warm and when the nurse checked her she had a temperature of 101 degrees. The doctor checked her ears and reported she had an ear infection in the right ear but this would not cause her inability to walk. They ran x-rays to check for any broken or fractured bones in her legs. It was heartbreaking to hold her down on the cold x-ray table. All she wanted was to cuddle with her Mama and close her eyes. The fever and ear infection was starting to hit her.

The doctor showed us all of the x-rays and thankfully, there were no signs of any broken or fractured bones. He also assured me that it is very difficult for a child to break their bones and if she was to have broken a bone it would have been from a very obvious injury. He explained that given the ear infection and no sign of trauma to her legs he believed she had Acute Reactive Arthritis. This is a type of arthritis that occurs in children or adults when they suffer from an infection. The symptoms appear as very severe as it can cause significant pain and limit mobility. However, the arthritis is temporary. The best case scenario would be that the pain would begin to lessen as the infection cleared and she would be able to walk again within the week. The worst case scenario would be that the pain and inability to walk would last months. Of course I was worried but I was also so incredibly relieved that she didn’t have any broken bones that the full flegged Mama panic didn’t set in until I went home and talked to Dr. Google. Do NOT ever talk to Dr. Google. When will I learn?

That night she slept in bed with me so I could monitor her fever and so she could get the extra cuddles she deserved after such a long and trying day! The following days she slept A LOT but still had trouble walking. It has now been five days and she is able to walk fairly well. In the morning she walks with a very obvious limp and she still stumbles more than usual but it doesn’t seem to be bothering her anymore. I am so thankful that we got the ‘best case scenario’ as it seems that the pain and immobility has lessened as the ear infection has improved. It’s impossible to explain the feeling of having your child look at you with pain and sadness in their eyes because they can no longer move around without their limbs burning. There was no way to explain to my 14 month old that this was only temporary. There was no way to explain to this very active child that she needed to just sit and play and couldn’t walk around like she loved to do.

Just my luck that this would all happen the one weekend that Sam goes out of town. Mom life.