Friday, June 19, 2009


Okay, so here's how I spent Wednesday night and Thursday.

Wednesday Adam was complaining of a tummy ache and didn't want to eat (which I realize now started on Tuesday evening). Throughout the day he wasn't quite himself and complained off and on of the pain. I really didn't think much of it. He had a little cold and cough and I thought it all went together. Until about 4:00 when I saw him walking down the hall very slowly, hunched over so it wouldn't hurt. I asked him where it hurt and he pointed to his right side just under his belly button. Uh oh. I felt the scar that I have there just to make sure I remembered right. Yep.

So after Arrty got home I told him what I was thinking and we googled appendicitis. Lower right abdominal pain...check. Loss of appetite...check. Hurts to walk...check. Doesn't feel better after a few hours...check. So Adam and I headed into town to the after hours clinic at 7:00 Wednesday evening. We got right in to see the doctor and he asked his questions and did his exam and told us that he thought it was appendicitis but that we'd have to go to the emergency room at the hospital so that they could do blood work and an ultrasound to make sure. I was worried, but had expected that diagnosis. Adam was worried and did not expect anything like that at all.

So at 8:15 we walked into the e.r. and checked in. I called Arrty, my dad and my sister to tell them what was going on. Then we waited about half an hour before going back to an exam room. During that time Adam asked me how long we'd have to wait. I told him that I didn't know but that we were going to be doing a lot of waiting throughout the night. Once in the exam room, they had Adam put on a way to big hospital gown. (Which, by the way, had a "property of Shoshone hospital" tag in it. Umm...we were at Kootenai Medical Center.) He is very modest and was a little disturbed about being so exposed. I teased him that I would ask them if we could take it home since I knew he loved it so much. From there it was a parade of nurses and doctors and lab technicians. Temperature taken, blood drawn, examinations. I was so glad that my dad had come down to be with us. After the blood test and a very painful ultrasound, they finally determined that it was, in fact, appendicitis. They were calling a surgeon. Yikes. I knew it, but until then I was still holding out hope.

Then the real fun began. They got Adam all set up with an IV, which he was very curious about, and prepared him to go up to the operating room. Dad said a prayer with us and I was glad again that he was there. The surgeon came into the room and explained everything to us. (When the surgeon explained how they were going to remove his appendix, Adam looked at me and whispered, "But I like my appendix." Typical Adam.) Then the anesthesiologist came in and explained his part. They were both really good with Adam and talked to him in words he could understand. Then up we went. When we got to the big double doors, the nurse who had wheeled Adam up told us we should say our goodbyes. No!!! my mind screamed. But I walked over and laid my hand on his cheek and told him I loved him and that it was all going to be okay. Dad kissed his forehead then I kissed his forehead and they wheeled him in. Letting him go was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. Just in the doors stood the operating room nurse. And she told us we could come in to the little lobby. I was relieved that I didn't have to let him go yet. But knew that we'd have to go through the goodbyes again. And we did. And it wasn't any easier the second time. The worst part wasn't knowing that they were going to cut into my baby or knowing that he was going to be in pain afterwards. The worst part was knowing that he was scared and that I wasn't there to hold his hand. What got me through it was remembering that he was going to be asleep soon. And remembering that he wasn't alone. I might not be holding his hand, but God was. And better yet, He was holding his heart.

Dad and I went out to the empty waiting room. It was 11:40 pm. We talked and waited. And waited and talked. We met the night custodian and let him vacuum under our feet. And since we were right next to the birthing center, we saw one expectant mom walking the halls to speed things up. And we saw one expectant mom being wheeled in screaming, wishing things would slow down. We reminisced about the five births that we had experienced in the last 9 years just down the hall from where we were sitting. We talked about those children's pasts and futures. And I was glad again that Dad was there with me. And that he is such a big part of my kid's lives. At 12:33, I looked at the clock and told Dad that they had 7 minutes, then I was going in to find out what was going on. Surely an hour was long enough. After two minutes, the surgeon came out and told us everything had gone perfectly and that there was no doubt that it was Adam's appendix causing all the trouble. I was relieved but still anxious to see him. He was going to be in recovery for awhile though. So we waited some more. Dad wanted to be there to see him when he came out, but had been up since 4:30 Wednesday morning and had to be at work by 6:00 Thursday morning, so at about 1:15, he headed home to get some much needed sleep. I was so thankful that he had been there through everything. I don't know what I would have done without him.

Finally, after another 45 minutes, the recovery room nurse came to get me. I had been staring down the hall saying, "come on, come on, come on..." for what seemed like an eternity. I knew Adam was fine, but I wanted to see him and hold his hand again. He was still sleepy. Very sleepy and hardly knew what was going on. They wheeled him up to the pediatric ward and got him settled into his room. He was only half awake during it all even when they took his blood pressure and temperature and oxygen levels. He hardly stirred even when they gave him a breathing treatment since his oxygen was a little low. I just wished that they would leave him alone and let him sleep. At 3:03 am, I fell exhausted on the chair/bed they had brought in for me. But I didn't sleep for a while. I lay there listening to my son breathe and watching the numbers on all the machines he was hooked up to. I lay there praying the prayer of thankfulness that a mommy prays after something like this happens to one of her children. After I was asleep for what felt like a nanosecond, Adam called my name and needed to get up. (I won't tell you why, because he wouldn't want me to mention it. Remember, the modesty thing.)

So at 4:00 am we were up and around. The nurse came in to help. Then she took Adam to Andrea's Closet to pick out a toy. She did not know what she was getting herself in to. It takes this child 5 minutes to decide between a vanilla or strawberry milkshake. And she opened a cupboard with 50 toys and told him to pick. At 4:00 am. When he had just had surgery. And was still medicated. Let's just say it took awhile. He finally chose a building set. And we went back to bed. (I was thankful for that building set the next day. It gave Adam something to do and was a distraction from all the other stuff going on.)

Over the next three hours, I vaguely remember the nurse coming in to check on Adam. All was going fine. At 7:30, the surgeon came in to check on him. I sat up still half asleep and tried to act like I was going to remember what he was telling me. Luckily the nurse repeated it later after I had been awake for awhile. The next few hours went quickly. Adam ate fine and took his meds fine and was up and around so a little after noon, we walked out of the hospital. It was 17 of the longest hours of my life. We got home and all got some much needed rest.

Today Adam is doing fine. He has three little bandages on his tummy, which are annoying him, but isn't in much pain. Through this whole thing, he never shed a tear. He never uttered a complaint. He never whined or argued. It was pretty amazing. He was so brave. I am extremely proud of him.

So I guess I've made it through some kind mommy initiation thing. I just hope I never have to repeat it.

As a very big aside, I have to mention how God was working through all this. We had not had health insurance for the past nine months. Until June 1st when our new policy started. I just knew it was time even though our individual policy is costing a lot. Good timing? No. God's timing!


Katrina said...

"But I like my appendix." Funny boy! If he'd asked, I bet they'd have sent it home with you in a little jar. (Aren't you glad he didn't ask?)

I'm so thankful for God's timing, and Adam's quick recovery. May He continue to hold you all in the palm of His hand, precious friends!

Alyson said...

I'm glad Adam is doing well. It's hard to see your kids even a little sick. But I'm glad he was put into good hands that could fix him and make him well. And I'm glad he has a great mommy and daddy who know how to take care of him!

Ada said...

He is a trooper. No tears. no complaints. this is amazing. glad he's doing better.

April said...

So glad things worked for the best! Good luck with the recovery.

Jen said...

Katrina, we actually did ask what they did with the removed organ. They send it away to be tested to make sure there's nothing else going on with it. I totally would have let him bring it home just so that he could take it for show and tell next year! I'm sure Mrs. T. would looove that!

Alyson, you are so right. It was hard. I wished I could take his place and told him so.

Ada, he was amazing. I think it would have been a lot worse had he been hysterical. It kept me from being hysterical.

April, thanks for your well wishes. He's doing really well.

kathy said...

mrs.t would love that. maybe i should request some of t's lung or something and then the boys could swap war stories during recess. i just don't want to be the one to find adam's appendix in his backpack six weeks after he brought it to school.