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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Deja vu all over again, part 1

Friday morning at VBS Alex came to see me after game time telling me he didn't feel well.  I told him he could just sit with me until he felt better.  Shortly after that he rushed into the bathroom and threw up.  I wasn't too concerned, just thought he got overheated out at game time and since snack time was right before games, I figured his cookie didn't sit well in his tummy.

He ended up hanging out with me the rest of the morning.  When we sat in the sanctuary for the closing, I asked him to just sit away from the other kids in case he was contagious.  We stayed at the church for lunch, but Alex didn't eat anything.  Once we got home, he curled up on the recliner chair and fell asleep.  We were all exhausted from the week of VBS, so, again, I wasn't really concerned.  He started to feel slightly feverish later in the afternoon, so I just kept giving him water or juice to drink.  He still wasn't eating.

Friday nights are popcorn and movie nights at our house and I was really looking forward to just relaxing with the kids after such a busy week.  We watched the movie John Carter (which I loved, surprisingly).  Alex stayed awake for most of it, curled up on my lap.  When he asked to go to bed, I took him up and tucked him in.  Nothing really unusual.

Around 4:30 in the morning he was standing in our doorway, crying and saying he didn't feel good.  He really felt hot so we went downstairs and got him some ibuprofen and a drink of water.  We snuggled for a few minutes on the recliner chair then went upstairs and snuggled some more in his bed.  Finally he asked me to leave so I went back to bed.

A few hours later he was crying again so Doug got up with him.  They went downstairs and Doug settled him in on the recliner chair where he slept for a while.  Keira told me he was fussing again around 7:00 but I must have slept through because I didn't hear him.  :)

When I finally got up around 10:00 (yeah, I slept in, it felt good), he was still in and out of sleep on the recliner chair.  He still had a fever.  A while later he started crying and told me he had an accident.  (He'll probably be mad that I'm putting that out there.)  So we got him to the bathroom and cleaned him up.  At this point he was complaining that his belly was hurting.

The symptoms were all starting to feel familiar (fever, vomiting, diarrhea) so I told Doug I was going to shower and take Alex to the ER for possible appendicitis.  (For those of you who weren't around back then or don't remember, Keira had a similar experience a couple years ago.  Hence the title.)

We went to our local hospital's ER, got taken back right away, and they started the tests.  The most traumatic part was getting the IV inserted.  My kids don't get immunizations (personal choice, not up for debate please), so the only shots Alex has ever had were when he needed stitches in his ankle last year.  They had to numb the area and stuck him about 5 times with the needle.  He was petrified to get an IV!  The nurses did an excellent job but couldn't get a good vein on his left hand and had to try again on his right arm.  That time they got it but not without lots and lots of tears.  I kept telling him to ask God to help him be brave enough.  And he was.

Once the IV was in they took 3 vials of blood for testing.  His white blood cell count was very high (they didn't tell me the number).  A little while later a radiologist showed up with a big cup of apple juice with contrast in it for Alex to drink.  After the first sip, he refused to drink any more.  But I convinced him because if he didn't get the contrast in his this way, they get it in from his bottom and that would be much worse.  The radiologist said it would take about 2 hours for the contrast to work its way through so she'd be back.  In the meantime Doug came in.  So we sat and waited.

Once it was time I went back with him for the CT scan.  He was scared but it didn't hurt him at all.  It only took a few minutes and we were back in the ER room.

Alex napping in the ER exam room awaiting the results of his CT scan.  (cell phone photo)

Another hour or so passed and the ER doc came in and said he had acute appendicitis and asked whether we wanted the surgeon on call to be called or if we wanted transferred to Children's.  Originally we said to call the surgeon (thinking it would be better to stay closer to home and away from all the busy stuff happening in Pittsburgh that day), so off he went.  After speaking with the nurse, who could probably lose her job for speaking so frankly about the surgeon, we decided it would be best to transfer.  When the ER doc came back after about 20 minutes, he said the surgeon on call never called him back so he was going to transfer Alex.  We told him we had changed our minds anyway, so that was great.

(On a side note, what surgeon on call doesn't call back?!  Isn't that the whole point of being on call?)

Anyway, a short time later Alex and I were in the ambulance on our way to Children's Hospital.

This is already pretty long so, to be continued ...


{Shannon} said...

Poor little guy!! I hope everything turned out okay!

Sarah Segovia said...

Poor guy! hope all turn out well! I was disapointed I didnt read the whole story!! hehe...I guess I'l be patient and wait..

Susan said...

Aww, poor guy! Hope he's feeling better!

Pieces of Sunshine said...

I wouldn't have thought of appendicitis, thinking it was just a virus. Thankfully you had been through it before and were alert to this. Looks like all has needed well.

Lisa Gordon said...

Poor fella!
Went through this with both of my kids just about a year apart to the day.
I wish you the very best.
Sending good thoughts your way.

Gina @ Gigi Marie Photography said...

Oh my word!!!!!! So very sorry to hear that. Hope he's healing now. What an event.

Laura said...

Aw man. This whole thing sucks. And saw on FB you will probably be there a few more days. :( I'm thinking that after you guys get to go home and get a week or two of good sleep in that you'll be ready for a girls night? I'm ready for one.

Melissa said...

Poor kid!! I'm sorry you're having to deal with this too! Ugh!