When I’m Gone From Theo: The ER

I’ve already posted about this story, but I thought I would rehash it with a little bit more detail and add it to my When Theo is Gone series.

In the midst of this entire adventure, Theo said (on the phone, because of course we weren’t together!), “You know, you can’t title this story When Theo is Gone, because technically you are gone from me.” Hence my title…When I’m Gone From Theo.

Back in the winter, we decided that one of our summer goals was going to be to visit each of our grandparents. We don’t know how long we left on this earth with each of them, and we wanted to make sure that we made at least one trip to visit them and introduce them to Tera. You can read all about that here.

My grandparents live in Florida and several months beforehand, we booked a flight for me to go visit them. It was too expensive for both of us to go, so we decided I would just go and take Tera.

Florida! Vacation! Laid-back, easy retirement village with a pool and bikes and a golf cart! Yayyyyy! I thought I was the lucky one, and poor Theo was going to be left behind in boring ‘ol Ohio.

Hahaha. Jokes on me.

I was incredibly nervous about our flight down, but Tera did GREAT! She fell asleep about 30 minutes into the flight and groggily behaved well for the remainder of the flight, the trip through the airport and the two hour drive to my Grandparents house. So good! She did so well! So unlike her.


Hmmmmm….my Mom intuition has a way of failing me when I most need it.

The only problem with the entire trip as that she refused to take a bottle. But that wasn’t unusual, so I just ignored it and figured it was because of the stress and excitement of traveling and being around so many new faces.

Our first day in Florida, I thought that Tera looked flush, but nobody else thought so, so I just ignored it. Again.

That evening my former dorm-Mom stopped by because she heard I was visiting. I opened the door and said something along these lines:

Aunt Brenda! It’s so good to see you!! Do you have a thermometer?

You know…just skip right to the good stuff. Instead of asking how she was, how she was doing, thanking her for the patience to live with me and love me back when I was a teenager. Nope. None of that. Thankfully, Aunt Brenda did indeed have a thermometer and when she brought it over, Tera had a slight temp. 101.5. Nothing to be worried about, and a temperature that point could be from traveling, from teething or even from mild dehydration. Tera still had refused to drink her bottle…..going on 24 hours. I tried a bottle one more time with little luck, and then Tera fell asleep on my chest.


Mom intuition kicked into HIGH gear. What did my child just do??? For the first time since she was able to lift her little goober-head off my shoulder, she hasn’t taken a nap on my chest! Something was wrong. We tossed around the idea of urgent care or the ER, but it didn’t seem like a big deal. So I took her temp one last time. 103. 103???!!? In the course of 25 minutes her temp had shot up. It was obvious that my poor girl was sick, sick, sick.

Annndddd urgent care was already closed. I called Theo. No response. I texted Theo. No response. I called again. No response. Panic. PANIC! PANIC!!!!!!!!!

Calm down. Call Theo’s Mom. She is with Theo. Talk to both of them about what we should do. It’s a toss-up. No one can decide. So we call my father in law (a doctor). He says take her in.

So here we were a little after 9:00. In Florida. And we head into the ER. Grandpa, Tera and myself. Grandma stayed at home to rest (and I’m sure she spent a significant amount of the time praying).

We get to the ER and the place is a ghost-town. We go in straight away and the most wonderful, kind nurse talks to us. A doctor comes in. A nurse. They look at my child like she has some rare medical condition that they are unable to even be around. They look at her like she is a three-headed girl.

And then it dawned on me. We are are Sebring. A retirement town in Florida. These people don’t see kids very often! But, boy, they sure did treat her like royalty. They did so many things to her to try and figure out what was wrong. They gently told me that if any tests came back positive, they would be admitting her. But they wouldn’t be admitting her to their hospital, they would be transporting her two hours away to a hospital with a NICU.


Trust me….I tried to stay strong. But I bawled and bawled. I talked to Theo on the phone and begged and pleaded that he come down. I held Tera’s feverish, lethargic body and hated every minute of being in that hospital. I thought about the parents who go through so much more with their kids, and my heart just broke for them. I thought of my Grandpa and Grandma who lost one of their children, and how my Grandpa was sitting in a hospital waiting room with a very sick great-grandchild. At one point when they were inserting a catheter, I was sobbing so hard that one nurse had to reprimand me and threatened to send me out into the hall until they could finish everything. Later she apologized and I knew she wasn’t trying to be rude, just trying to do her job.


This whole time Theo and I are thousands of miles and at least 14 hours apart. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I can’t think of many ways to put a funny twist on this story, as the whole ting was pretty horrible from beginning to end. But! There are so many little things to be thankful for in this story! First, I was with my Grandparents. I’m thankful that I had family I was with. The staff at the ER were so kind and like I said, they treated Tera like royalty. Tera got fluids and antibiotics and within an hour was perking up and trying to pull her IV out. We did not have to be admitted or transported, and I’m so thankful for that, because that would be one heck of a bill!!!

Theo and I decided that this is one adventure we would not like to re-live, and we will make an effort next time to travel TOGETHER! Hopefully there won’t be any more of these “When I’m Gone From Theo” posts!


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