it was a crazy thing

i am always reluctant to take my kids to the e.r.
i feel like i’ll end up sitting there for hours
to listen to someone tell me my kid has the flu
and to do all the things i know and am already doing

so i usually don’t take them

this time i did

26Jan2011 2:48pm

timmy was with us because he had stayed home from school
one more day
after getting over the flu himself

(he took this first set of pictures)

26Jan2011 3:29pm

benjamin was a little dehydrated so they put the i.v. in to give him some fluids
(and some anti-nausea medicine)

then asked him to drink 2 cups of apple juice
(not his favorite to begin with and it probably tasted like crap because it had a bunch of contrast dye in it)

26Jan2011 3:51pm

poor kid kept trying to wrap his little head around
he had to keep drinking when he was “done”

but like the trooper he is he got it all down
(it only took an hour or so)
and they wisked him off to “take a picture of his belly”

26Jan2011 5:56pm

shortly after they brought him back the surgery team came in to tell me that he did have appendicitis
(after hearing all day “he’s really young for appendicitis” i should have known that was the only possibility!)

that his appendix had at least perforated
and that he’d be going into surgery as soon as they can secure the o.r.

thankfully at this point he was asleep
so i scrambled to find someone to come and get timmy
(who was wishing he had gone to school that day so he could be home already!)

it wasn’t long after timmy finally left that they came and said they were going to move him up to prep for surgery
i walked up with him
met the nurse and anesthesiologist
gave him a kiss

and they whisked him away

(i think about 7:30pm)

and then i had time to think
had a moment of being overwhelmed

said a prayer of thanks that it was only appendicitis
and that he was in good hands
getting fixed

and waited

chris came so i ran home to take a quick shower and get some stuff to stay
and made it back right after he came out of surgery

26Jan2011 10:16pm

everything went as planned

they were able to take care of it laproscopically
so he just had 3 small band-aids on his belly

they moved him up to his room
and thus began the time of recovery

he slept well even with nurses coming in every couple of hours
and when he woke up he wanted something to eat
so they gave him a grape popsicle

27Jan2011 8:38am

it was the last thing he had to eat for awhile

he spent most of that day just lying in bed
his belly was really sore and he cried every time he had to get up to go to the bathroom


view from the bed -- taken by benjamin 27Jan2011 8:45am

the infection that had leaked out of his appendix before the surgery caused his digestive system to essentially shut down so any time he tried to eat or drink it came right back up
the doctors told us this was an expected part of the recovery and that he would seem to get worse before he got better

27Jan2011 6:37pm

he was on a regimen of about a bazillion antibiotics
the pump to his i.v. seemed to be running almost constantly
if we were lucky there was a 2 hour window every so often without something
(either antibiotic or pain meds) pumping into his little body

that evening he was still throwing up
a lot
(in frequency not volume as he was not ingesting anything to throw up)
so they put an n.g. tube in to drain his stomach until it started working again


28Jan2011 9:17am

i was again amazed at his ability to tolerate medical procedures
every time someone ws done sticking him or shoving a tube down his nose
they marveled at his seeming nonchalance at the whole ordeal

it was this stoicism (as the nurses started to term it) that gave him problems at times too

he was reluctant to tell them when he wasn’t feeling well
and i realized that the first day he probably could have benefited from more pain medication

i’d ask if his belly hurt
he’d say no
so i’d just let it be

then he’d cry if i tried to sit the bed up

then he asked me with a worried furrow to his brow
“do i still have the flu?”

and i realized that he was probably saying he felt better than he did

maybe out of fear of what would happen if he said he didn’t feel good

or maybe because he suffers from the same disease as his mom
where it’s easier to say your fine and deal with it
than to deal with people trying to help you

whatever the reason i stopped asking him
and just watched carefully for signs that he was getting uncomfortable
and had them give him more meds

28Jan2011 12:05pm
with the extra medication he felt good enough to move enough to paint and color for a bit

and he took one long walk down the hall to the nurses station
(maybe 30 yards)
then momma carried him back to bed
and he was somewhat reluctant to even walk to the bathroom for the rest of the day
but he soldiered on and did it with the promise that moving his body would help him get better faster


28Jan2011 6:19pm

chris brought the boys up for a short visit
i expected this would make him feel better
but it seemed to have the opposite effect

he seemed genuinely saddened

maybe it broke through that stoic mind
and made it real that he was sick
and stuck in the hospital
and really didn’t feel good yet

but it was good for the boys to see him
and i think he was glad to see them
even if it made him a bit sad


28Jan2011 6:44pm

then everyone left to go home and celebrate zachary’s birthday
and benjamin and i just snuggled in bed for awhile
until he fell asleep


29Jan2011 11:10am

the next morning he was obviously feeling better again
(rest and morphine will do that for a body)
the  boys had brought up some toys
so we played awhile in bed

29Jan2011 11:29am
later on the boys came back for another visit
i had purposely kept him in bed most of the day
in hopes that he wouldn’t be tired out by the time they came

he was still feeling good so he got to go to the playroom with them


29Jan2011 4:04pm

after some air hockey and video games he seemed to be in much better spirits


29Jan2011 4:14pm

he was feeling good enough to enjoy his brothers this time
much more the outcome i was looking for

they played for a good hour before he started to wear down
so then the others left and benjamin and i returned to our small
home away from home
and rested some more


29Jan2011 5:11pm

and that was pretty much how it went from there

30Jan2011 1:57pm

he was able to get the n.g. tube removed
and they wanted to start him on a clear diet

31Jan2011 9:28am

as you can see he was not happy at the prospect

they finally realized that he wasn’t going to cooperate
(the boys is truly stubborn)
and gave him the go ahead for a regular diet

they switched him to oral meds late afternoon on feb 1st
and that evening we were able to take him home

he still wasn’t 100%
but he was home

he kept asking me
“am i all better?”
“do i still have the flu?”

i was reluctant to tell him he was all better
because then i had no leverage
to get him to take all the antibiotics he still had to take

but after 10 days i finally got to tell him
“you’re all better now!”

it was still a bit before he was completely himself
before people started saying
“that’s the benjamin i know”
and the smile and sparkle were completely restored

but it did come
and he was truly “all better”

and then he got a cold
and life went on

and for that i am truly grateful


One response »

  1. oh my, oh my.

    you’ve captured the event beautifully.

    what a raw and tender time.

    i know that disease all too well as well.

    sweet boy.

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