August 20, 2008

It all started one week ago today....

My daughter began suffering from severe pain on the right side of her abdomen. She was crying and daycare called us concerned. Hubby picked her up and she soon started vomiting. A couple hours later she was in urgent care undergoing blood tests. The blood test showed her white blood cell count was about 3x normal levels. They sent her to the hospital for further tests.

At this point Hubby called to let me know what was going on. I was on my way home and a bit panicked. I wanted to be there with her! I picked up my son from daycare and headed to the emergency room. I got there around 5:30 PM and she was resting comfortably after some anti-nausea medicine and an IV drip. I could tell she was exhausted but Sponge Bob on a little TV right above the bed kept her entertained.

The hospital needed her to have a full bladder in order to do an ultrasound. Of course she was pretty dehydrated at this point so it took a long time to get her full again. The hospital staff decided to put in a larger IV line to force the fluids into her faster. That was a mini-ordeal in itself since putting a larger IV in a smaller child is a bit more complicated. Luckily the nominated "expert" was able to do the job and she tolerated the poking well without moving her arm around. Her face on the other hand was making a silent scream.

They decided to proceed having her drink a LARGE amount of contrast fluid for them to perform a CT scan. Occasionally this is needed in addition to the ultrasound in order to diagnose appendicitis, plus the fluid would work to fill up her bladder for the ultrasound. She did an awesome job drinking the lemony flavored liquid in the alloted hour time frame.
(I don't even think I could have drunk that much!)

They performed the ultrasound and followed with the CT scan. I stayed back in the room with our son. They were gone nearly an hour it felt like but they were able to confirm that she had appendicitis. Only problem? The hospital we go to no longer operates on children younger than 13. Say what?? Apparently this lovely new children's hospital that was completed a little over a year ago is now the place to go for that. So, here it is 10-something at night and we are going to have to go to another hospital!

The emergency room staff arranged for her arrival at the children's hospital and we headed over there. They were expecting us but we still had to go through some additional intake forms for them. The tests had been sent over so those didn't need to be repeated.

Then the wait was on for the surgeon. Around midnight the surgeon was ready and we moved to a new floor on the other side of the hospital. Hubby and son left for the night and I stayed behind to be with our daughter when she woke up. The surgery didn't begin until around 12:30 AM Thursday morning. I went down to the waiting area and tried to sleep on a rock hard couch. The OR nurse called to give me updates. The surgery took about an hour and then I was able to go up to the recovery room to be with her. The surgeon was able to get the appendix out without a problem, but he looked exhausted! When I commented that "that was quick" he had a very strange look on his face. I hope his night wasn't just beginning.

There were two nurses in the recovery room and only my daughter to care for. One of the nurses tried to get a response by calling my daughter's name about 9 times right in her ear, but nothing. I said "Let me try." and I spoke her name and she opened her eyes and as I asked if she wanted to get to her room so she could rest she rolled over and nodded her head and went back to sleep. Pretty cool that mom's voice was all it took.

It was a little after 2 AM when we finally got a room and then I had to answer about 3,000 intake questions about our family, whether or not we had smoke detectors in the home, etc., etc. and around 3 AM I was able to finally go to sleep.

Thursday was a quiet day spent watching cartoons and trying to get her to eat. She was doing well with the pain and we were ready to take her home by early afternoon. Even though she hadn't eaten much yet there wasn't anything the hospital was doing that we could do at home. It took her about two days to get back her appetite.

She became a little mini-celebrity at daycare. All of her friends drew her a get well picture and she was given some balloons and a stuffed animal. Now she's pretty much back to normal and will be able to start showering again so that her bandages can start working their way off. We go back for a follow up on Sept. 2nd.

It happened at a great time of year - before school started - and we caught it early so this went as well as it could have.

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