Monday, November 7, 2011

I Mean It, I Can't Do Cartwheels

We’re somewhat experienced with hospitals in our family.  I’ve had 2 babies, 4 pregnancies, and 2 surgeries, Cory has been hospitalized for a blood clot, and Drew has been under the knife 3 times.  Samantha is the only one who has skated by without drama but as a witness to most of the above, it has caused her a bit of anxiety to think about what might land her hooked up to an IV.  Well, now she knows.

When she woke up Friday morning with stomach pain we considered all of the obvious possibilities and treated it accordingly with Advil, TUMS, and a full DVR.  Nothing seemed to be working and by noon, the pain was getting worse.  I made an appointment to see her Pediatrician and by the time we showed up she was managing the stabs to her gut with short breaths, a firm grip on the door jam, and tightly shut eyes – like watching Courtney Love wake up in the morning.  He proceeded to ask her all the questions that challenge one’s dignity – when was your last period? Last bowel movement?  ARE YOU SEXUALLY ACTIVE?  I knew it was coming, that question, and I knew the answer.  But to interrupt the gentle yet humiliating exchange that was happening between daughter and Doctor with “Of course not Doc, she is perfect.  SHE GETS IT FROM HER PARENTS,” didn’t seem like the right move either.  So I kept my mouth shut and let her answer “No,” on her own.  Even though I already knew it, hearing her say it made me do a little cartwheel inside.  That’s how I do all my cartwheels since doing a cartwheel OUTside would require safety gear and a body double, and perhaps a life coach to build me up afterward.  Following the Spanish Inquisition he probed her stomach in all the right (and therefore wrong) places and after peeling her lifeless form off the ceiling, determined that she needed to go to the ER.

One CT scan, urine sample, pregnancy test (What part of “Not sexually active” was confusing to you?) and 40 MINUTE ULTRASOUND (“I’m sorry, it’s just that her hips are casting a shadow,” were the tech’s precise words) later, they decided she would need an appendectomy.  We were to meet with the surgeon in the morning and in the meantime, morphine would get Samantha through the night as I slept on the fold out couch made of bricks and toilet paper.

Morning came…wait a second.  To simply say “morning came” makes it sound like we dreamed of butterflies for 8 hours and woke up to the song of birds outside our window.  More accurately, I slept for 3 hours before the heretofore mentioned sleeping on bricks routine trumped my exhaustion and I was no longer able to abide trying to spoon the arm of the sofa under the coziness of my blankets manufactured by Kleenex so I got out my iPhone and watched Friday Night Lights on Netflix at 2:00 am.  Have I shared my testimony of iPhones lately?  Because I know they are true.  With every fiber of my being.  But this isn’t about me it’s about Samantha, who is 15 and smart and beautiful and not sexually active who happened to be sleeping…like one of the bricks that made up my bed. 

Good for her.  Even more good for her was when she woke up and her pain was gone.  GONE!  She was a little sore, probably from the lady trying to cast Samantha’s hip shadows into outer darkness but the pain that had played the role of the Exorcist only hours previously was gone.  Her white blood cell count leveled out and after further observation the surgeon determined that operating was no longer necessary, the new theory being that she had merely suffered from inflamed lymph nodes.  Only one more thing – they wanted to make sure she could hold down a regular meal.

Samantha had me call room service immediately.  Four French toast, two eggs, a piece of toast and some apple juice later, we got our discharge papers.


Rachel said...

Glad to get the deets on this episode. We've been worried about/praying for Samantha all weekend.

Welcome to the Garden of Egan said...

Oh my heck! That never happens! Was sure I was going to read about the removal of the useless organ that no one needs.
Glad she is better!!!! three more weeks I'm going to be converted to the truthfulness of it myself. I have a lot of questions to ask Siri.

Stefani said...

Thanks for starting out my morning right (that and the bowl of Cornflakes awaiting me).

I too have a burning testimony of iPhones. I know they are true, beyond a shadow of a doubt (and I'm not talking about hip shadows)

I'm glad everything is ok

Jillybean said...

Glad to hear she's OK, scary stuff.
Was it the appendix? How do they explain her getting better overnight?
I have the same feelings for my iPhone. It has changed my life, I'm not sure how I ever survived without it. (seriously, Facebook anywhere I go!)

Vern said...

Jillybean - how embarrassing that I forgot to explain the real diagnosis! I amended the post, but it was inflamed lymph nodes.

Thelissa said...

I have slept on that same bed made of bricks and tissue, many nights! With all the geniuses in the world why hasn't someone come up with a more comfortable "side bed" for the anxious parents of patients to sleep?

I'm glad that she is better. I'm glad her pregnancy test came out clear:), and that she is not on drugs. You may have slept bad at the hospital, but you can sleep good tonight with a clear conscience that your babe is a good girl! (Not that you questioned it, but still.:) Good to know!

Ria said...

What the heck are inflamed lymph nodes? That is weird. Did they give you any explanation for that? Just curious. Some of Zac's lymph nodes have been bigger than normal for a couple of years now. The doctor says it's normal as long as they don't get any bigger. Weird, huh?

Meg said...

I'm glad she's ok and no I don't talk to my mom everyday and didn't know about Samantha(which is suprising since she always calls about things like this) and I guess I'm glad that I heard about it on facebook. The pregnance test is funny. Also glad the answer was NO!!!

mormonhermitmom said...

Gah! Hate those hospital rooms. Glad it worked itself out.

Emily said...

That's one expensive pregnancy test (and sleepless night). Glad she's okay.

Susie J. said...

Glad she's okay! Did they check for ovarian cysts? My best friend went through pretty much this same thing, but she was 17 and had a steady boyfriend. They made her take about a DOZEN pregnancy tests, because they didn't believe her and kept assuming that was the only possible explanation. Lo and behold... ovarian cyst. The size of a grapefruit. And because they'd taken so flipping long to diagnose it, it burst during surgery. Lovely and painful. She's had more since then (and I've had a few, too), and they always seem to get reeeeeally horrible (that's the bursting part) and then the pain just... goes away.

Vern said...

Ria: I'm assuming inflamed is a little different than enlarged because inflamed suggests that they're irritated. She said it was probably due to viruses that have been flying around our house since we have all been fighting illness. Except Cory, our resident freak of nature.

Susie J: Yes they did, hence the 40 minute ultrasound. Thanks all for your concern!

Mom of Three said...

So glad that she turned out OK!

Mortensen Baby Farm said...


Few questions:
1. will it come back?
2. why didn't you have me bring you an air mattress?
3. my iPhone is an addiction, no worries, i use the handy dandy timer to limit my game time.
4. how do you make such a horrific story funny? how?

Sherise said...

Wow, poor Samantha! Poor mom! I'm so glad she's ok.

ganelle said...

Just glad she's ok. A poor night of sleep is a much easier recovery than surgery!

anitamombanita said...

wow. Sounds like quite the adventure. Glad it turned out the way it did and she's all better. As for the mine, but did you know that you can't blog from it? That was my discovery of the week.