Tuesday, March 18, 2008

"Stomach hurts"

I am currently slogging through my fourth (or is this the fifth? I lost count) cold this year. What is going on? I hardly ever get sick! But nevermind my runny nose, instead let's talk about what led me to the pediatric ER on Friday.

If you recall from our last episode, Cman had an ultrasound appointment on Friday morning. It was at 8:30 am and my poor baby had to be fasting for it. That was a little hard for him because he usually has a bottle of milk as soon as he wakes up in the morning (anywhere from 5:30 to 7:30 am). Instead we had to dress him and put him in the car and promise him that he would get his milk soon (HA!).

Once at the hospital, he behaved like a champ and let the tech do the ultrasound. He didn't really like the gel ("no like the cremita") they were using, but he was really well behaved. Thanks in part I think to the TV screen above the bed playing cartoons and the endless amounts of stickers that he received. The tech scanned his upper abdomen at which point I told her that his stomach ache complaints were all below the belly button, so she should look at that part. She told me that this one was only for the upper abdomen at which point I thought we were wasting our time then. She got clearance from someone and came back to do the lower abdomen at which point she noticed some bubbles around his appendix. She then called the pediatric radiologist to have a looky and that he did. Poor Cman was fed up with having people probe him, but he remained calm, which was more than I could say for myself.

Basically the doctor said that there was some inflammation around his appendix and he should go to the pediatric ER to get it looked at by the surgeon to see if appendicitis is at work here and whether surgery would be necessary. I couldn't believe what I was hearing...we went from a little stomach ache to the possibility of my little boy going under the knife! Ren and I were a mess and my little man kept asking for food and water and cereal and milk and you name it. We couldn't give him anything as per the doc's orders...you know...in case of surgery.

Once at the ER he was given a gown (that didn't go over well) and blood was drawn and an IV placed. That was horrible. They had to pinch him twice to get the vein and he hated having that tube attached to his arm. It pained me to see him crying and calling out to me and the only thing I could do was hold his hand. How do you explain to a 2 year old that he has to have this done. It was heartbreaking. They also stuck a urine collection bag to his privates and he hated that as well. Every time they tried to console him by offering him a band-aid he would scream "don't wanna band-aid" (he hates them because they remind him of blood draws I guess). I can't even imagine what he must have been thinking...why did you people bring me here to get tortured? I promise I will never ever tell you that my stomach hurts again.

Fast forward several hours and the ER doctor finally came in and examined him and she said that she didn't think this was appendicitis, much less a surgical case for appendicitis, but that the surgeon would have to come and give his opinion anyway. This set us at ease a little bit; I hoped the surgeon wasn't one of those let's take it out anyway just in case types.

Finally at around 1:45pm the surgeon came and basically said what the ER doctor had said. He said that this was probably a virus that was causing the inflammation and that he certainly did not think an operation was called for. He gave us his card with instructions to call (and come back) if things got worse and sent us home. The IV and urine collection bag were taken off (more screams) and my little man finally got to have some juice (and yogurt and grilled cheese and fries and chips) after 17 hours of fasting.

When we got home that afternoon I was overwhelmingly relieved. Not only because we (he)had avoided surgery but because inflammation is the only thing that they found on the ultrasound. I thought about the fact that so many families of children get much worse news on a daily basis and I could do nothing but cry with gratefulness to God that that wasn't the case this time.

Cman is back to his old self now (no fever, no cold, eating so-so). He has not complained of a stomach ache since later that day. I wonder why...

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Blogger elizasmom said...

Finally, get a moment to check in and, Woah, what an experience!

I'm so glad everything's OK, but that doesn't reduce the emotional upheaval of a visit like that. And you're right — imagine being one of the folks who DON'T get good news. How awful.

12:09 PM  
Anonymous Meredith said...

Oh wow, I am both so relieved and so sorry that you had to go through that. It is so hard when they are too young to understand.

I hope you are all doing well now and little Cman is feeling so much better.

2:02 PM  

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