Monday, January 31, 2011

SaraGrace's Abdominal Misadventure

Poor SaraGrace got a tummy ache Saturday night and was moaning and crying. I originally thought it was from the ibuprofen I had been giving her for her fever and cough she had all week. I was tired, impatient and just wanted the kids to go to sleep. When the kids are sick, we sometimes let them sleep in our room (we have a little room off of ours, but it's still our room). She was lying in there and continued to cry and moan, making sleep impossible for all of us. Being the nice mommy, I got annoyed. After trying to help her feel better with no success, finally at 1AM, I lost patience. I truly thought it was just some SaraGrace drama. I ended up moving her back to her own room. Then at 1:30 she and Jake were both crying...but he was burning up. I was trying to deal with him because he has febrile seizures when he gets fevers and I didn't want that to get started. So I rubbed SaraGrace's tummy and covered her up and told her to try to go to sleep. Sunday morning, Jeff told me that he had been up in the night with her and that she was really sick.

Oh the guilt.

I went and checked on her and she definitely seemed to be sick with more than just a flu bug (she had thrown up a few times). Jeff and I both started to wonder about an appendicitis. Of all weeks, I was supposed to teach Sunday school and I didn't want call and cancel at the last minute so I went to church while Jeff stayed home with SaraGrace and all the other sickies.

As I was leaving church, my phone rang with the news that Jeff had taken her to the local hospital. I sped through a drive-thru to get lunch for everyone, dropped the kids at home and raced to the hospital. Poor SaraGrace was lying in bed in tears. She still hadn't been given an IV or any pain meds. They had just ruled out a bladder infection and said she needed an ultrasound to see if it was her appendix. However, there wasn't anyone at the hospital who could do an ultrasound for appendix's so what to do? They decided they would do a cat scan and wanted to give her the dye to drink, telling us it would take two hours to work its way into her system and then they would do the scan.


Jeff had told them she had a heart condition but I'm not sure the doctor understood completely because he insisted that they could do the surgery there if she needed it. I knew that because of her heart, there was no way it could be done there and that she was going to need transfer to Children's. Thus began the battle to get her moved.

I explained to the doctor that she didn't just have a small hole or minor heart condition. She has tetrology of falot and pulmonary atresia. Ohhhhh....the light started to dawn and he paused. I handed him our cardiologist's business card and he disappeared down the hall to make some phone calls. Thank goodness! {Using medical terminology gives parents more credibility, apparently.}

In the meantime, I could tell by SaraGrace's pain and the way she responded when moved that she had an appendicitis. The memories of my own appendectomy two years ago are still fresh in my mind. From there began the saga of Mama knowing what was wrong and having to wait for the doctors to do all the 'necessary' tests to come to the same conclusion. I'm glad I didn't know how long it was going to take for them to reach a diagnosis because I was already feeling a little desperate to get her into surgery before it ruptured.

They finally got an IV in her and gave her some morphine. They arranged to transfer us via ambulance to Children's hospital, so off we went.

Four hours later....

They finally diagnosed her with appendicitis.

I was so frustrated because the doctor put her through an unnecessary x-ray for constipation and asked her to try to 'go poop.' The poor kid had to strain and push with her side in so much pain. {Any of you who have had an appendicitis will appreciate how much that hurt. ARGH. I was holding her abdomen, trying to help, but she was still really hurting, in spite of pain meds.}

The ultrasound tech told me it looked like her appendix was enlarged and then the radiologist came in to look again. He told me that it was ruptured.

Heavy sigh...

I was later told that they weren't overly concerned about a rupture because we had brought her in so early on...that most kids don't rupture until the second day and she was still under the 24 hour mark.

I guess I should have told them that SaraGrace never does anything the way everyone else does it.

Much discussion ensued over the next few hours as they tried to determine the best course of action. The surgeon wanted to take her into surgery but the cardiology fellow on duty wanted to just give antibiotics until more heart tests could be run to ensure that she could tolerate anesthesia. I was quite uncomfortable with that plan--as was Jeff. SaraGrace gets antibiotics just to go to the dentist because of bacteria in her mouth, I couldn't imagine that it would be a good idea to let ruptured appendix bacteria go coursing through her body.

Thankfully, an hour or so later, the senior cardiologist wanted her to have the surgery. Jeff had to go home because he had the older girls with him when he brought my suitcase to me, so he wasn't able to be here during her surgery. Thankfully, all went well and she came out of surgery around midnight and I was able to see her a half hour later. We were in our room by around 2AM and SaraGrace slept peacefully all night.

She will need IV antibiotics for about 10 days due to the rupture, but they are talking about putting in a pic line so that she can go home and I can give them to her. We are not sure how long they will keep her here. I've been told 5-6 days, but I have a feeling it won't be that long. We shall see...

We are so grateful for everyone's prayers. I posted on Facebook that she was having surgery and it was so comforting reading everyone's messages. I read a lot of them to SaraGrace and really seemed to like that.
In the emergency room at hospital number one.

Strapped in for the ambulance ride

My brave baby girl

Sleeping during the ride, thanks to pain medication

*Note to time Kate or SaraGrace need to go to the hospital, take them directly to Children's.


Kim K. said...

Please know that I'm thinking of you both. Extra hugs today!!! That ToF does complicate things...doesn't it!!

Kristin Ferguson said...

Oh the life of a Mom with lots of kids. Never a dull moment my friend. I'm praying for a speedy recovery for Sarah Grace and for extra strength for Mommy!!!

James, Dawn and Family said...

never a dull moment when your a mom of many. praise GOD for evrerything coming together. prayers for strength and recovery!

Waitingfaithfully said...

Breathing a sigh of relief for all of you that SaraGrace's surgery is now behind her. Praying for her recovery, and for strength for the mama.

Blessings ~


Cindy said...

Know that many prayers are being said for Sara Grace. What an ordeal for all of you! Glad she is doing much better...
Many hugs sent your way,
Cindy Whaley

Lori said...

Oh my word, what a crazy experience! I'm SO GLAD she is okay!!

Angie said...

So glad to hear that SaraGrace came through surgery well, and sorry to hear that it took so long for them to get to that point. Ugh! Hope she's home very soon!

Joy@WhenDoesDaddyComeHome said...

You know... I do the same thing when my kids are sick and I'm tired. Makes me feel like a bad mom! But we're just human.

And I liked the last line: take them to Children's! I'll keep that in mind. ;-)

Sharon said...

Poor little sweetheart. So much to go through for her and you guys too. So glad the worst is behind her and she's on the road to recovery. Hugs to you all!

trustandobey said...

Oh Karin,
You do lead an exciting life up there in Boston! So sorry to hear of SG's weekend. Sounds like she had the Great Physician's attention the whole time. Praying her out of there sooner than later:)

Anonymous said...

Continued prayers for SaraGrace and family...dealing with doctors would drive a SAINT wild! When you have 2 or more doctors of any speciality, together, talking about the same patient you can pretty much bet it's going to take forever for them to reach any kind of consensus. Good grief! So happy she's doing well and may get to go home sooner with you in charge!

:)De said...

Poor kiddos. I pray for quick recovery for all that are ill. I pray for added strength for mom and dad as you juggle it all. How long will she be in the hospital?


Sean and Lisa said...

You are a superhero in my book! Rejoicing that she is doing much better and praying a quick release from the hospital.
SaraGrace you are such a trooper!!!
Also praying healing over all the fam.
Much love!

Kimberlie said...

I just checked in and saw this. I will pray for SaraGrace and for your whole family!

Difference2This1 said...

Prayers for your sweet girl. Hope you are feeling well very soon SaraGrace!!