Trust your instincts

I was chatting with some girlfriends this morning about those times when you just ‘feel’ something isn’t quite right.  You can’t put your finger on it, but there’s just something amiss.  Call it mother’s intuition, or a sixth sense, but there are times when we all need to trust our gut.

Here’s my experience…

It was a Sunday morning and Stinky was only 15 months old.  She was a late walker and had just started, so I was excited to be going around to a friend’s for brunch to show off her new party trick.

She was a little whiny that morning and didn’t want to toddle around, despite the fact she’d been doing it non-stop for the past week.  When she was sitting she seemed ok…but there was a niggling feeling something wasn’t quite right.

We left brunch and headed home and I told Mr Handyman I wanted to take her to the Dr.  He told me I was over-reacting and to drop him off at home as he had some things to do.

Being a Sunday, we were hard pressed to find an open Dr’s surgery, but a few suburbs away I managed to get her in to see someone.  Not her usual Dr of course.

I told him what was going on and he examined her chubby little legs.  He asked me if she’d fallen or injured herself, and I said: “Not that I’m aware”.  He wrote a letter, sealed it in an envelope and told me to take her STRAIGHT to the Royal Children’s Hospital.  I was so alarmed I didn’t ask anything further and followed his orders picking up Mr Handyman on the way.

We arrived to a busy Sunday afternoon at the RCH Emergency Room and went up to the desk showing them our letter.  We were ushered straight through.  The senior Orthopedic Surgeon came in to see us quite promptly and advised that he suspected Stinky had septic arthritis.  I’d obviously never heard of it, but he went on to ask if she’d been sick with a cold recently.  She had.

He suspected the bacteria from the cold had caused a bacterial infection in her knee-joint that was slowly eating away at it.  They needed to get in quickly to flush it out and get her on IV antibiotics for a few days.

Mr Handyman and I were lost.  We were so alarmed, scared and frightened for our little one that we couldn’t even speak.

We were soon taken upstairs where I had to hold Stinky while they administered the anesthetic.  I’ll never forget her eyes rolling back before they whisked her away.  The surgeon could see my angst and told me not to worry, it was a simple procedure.

True to his word, we were soon visiting her in recovery as she slowly came out of the anesthesia.  I noticed straight away that something wasn’t quite right with her face but it was all so overwhelming I just held my little girl.

That night, and for the next 5 nights I sat in a blue vinyl chair by her cot in the RCH.  The nurses were amazing and I would sneak off at 1am to go home, have a quick shower and return before she woke.

She was hooked up to IV antibiotics for five days and then had several months of oral ABs afterwards.

It turns out she had a Bells Palsey due to the anesthetic but over time everything corrected itself.  For some time following the surgery her left eye wouldn’t close when she cried and her mouth only smiled on the right.  It was heartbreaking but not a long-term problem.

She’s fine now.  She is a budding little gymnast, loves to ride her bike and has not had any residual problems.

However, imagine for one minute had I not listened to my instincts telling me something was wrong?!  It doesn’t bear thinking about.

Listen to your instincts.  I’d prefer to be told I’m over-reacting than the alternative…


Linking up with Where’s My Glow for FYBF – check out some amazing bloggers  here.




  1. Oh my goodness Kim!! But I totally agree … just as we know our own bodies better than anyone, we know our own kids better than anyone. How lucky that the GP you saw was so on the ball!!

    I ALSO agree that it is better to ‘over react’ than to not!

  2. Anita Beattie says:

    Wow, we have just gone through this with our 2 year girl, however my little girl woke up one day running around and then next thing she started to limp, by that afternoon she could no longer bare weight on her leg. After 3 doctor visits, an x-ray and an ultrascan and 8 days later we ended up in Canberra Hospital which is 2 hours away from were we live. Once we got there they put her on IV antibiotics and then started to do tests like a bone scan and an MRI with still no answers. After the 4 day in hospital they said they think she has septic arthritis in her knee joint and she had an operation to flush out the knee. We waited for 72 hours to find out the results with still no answers to what bacterial infections it was due to them owning up, saying they forgot to take a blood test before starting the antibiotics. After 14 days in hospital we came home and are now onto our 4th week of oral antibiotics. She can now walk again however every couple of days her knee will give way and she falls over. Did you find that your little girl did this until she fully recovered?

    • Oh Anita, I’m so sorry to hear that. My little one was strapped into a half cast for a week after leaving the hospital and slowly regained her strength. A lot of the memories are quite faded now, but I do remember she favoured her ‘good’ leg for some time. She was on the oral ABs for about 3 months from memory and regular checkups back at the hospital for 12 months after that.

      Have they suggested any physiotherapy to rebuild the muscle mass in that leg?

      I hope your little one makes a speedy recovery ❤

  3. That would have been so scary, but good on you for listening to that instinct. I’ve never heard of that happening before.

  4. We hadn’t heard of it either! The things you learn when you have kids…

  5. Hi I’m over from FYBF. It is good to read these sorts of stories every now and again to remind ourselves that our motherly intuition isn’t fooey. I’m glad everything turned out okay for you.

  6. So much better to be safe than sorry. Thanks for sharing your story.

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