Thursday, April 10, 2008

Just in Time, Too!

Seems like no sooner than we get approved for medicaid, I had to take Oldest to the emergency room.

Tuesday afternoon, she complained of stomach pains and picked at her food. I gave her some ginger ale and she burped and said she felt better. Put her to bed and then I went to bed early. Early meaning 11:00. That's early to me! Not long after that, Oldest is standing by the bed shaking my arm to wake me up. Said she didn't feel good and I told her to go to the bathroom if she needed to, gave her some water and then Hubby gave her some children's Pepto Bismol.

An hour or two later (the time is starting to blur here), she is back by the bed saying she still doesn't feel good. I get up and give her some more ginger ale. One sip and she projectile vomited across the kitchen! She grabbed the towel and her cheeks puffed out with more vomit. I rush her to the bathroom and she vomits some more. Feeling better, she goes back to bed with freshly washed cheeks and hands.

Some time later, I feel something heavy by my feet. I realize it is Oldest trying to get into bed with me by starting at the foot of the bed and working her way to the top. I move over to let her under the covers with me but Hubby turns on the light and tells her to go back to her own bed. I take her back to bed and sleep next to her for a little while, holding her close until she falls asleep.

After Hubby wakes up around 7, Oldest takes his place in bed and sleeps next to me until I wake at my usual time, around 9am. She complains her tummy hurts still and it seems to come and go in waves. She's fine for a little while, then rocking and moaning for a bit. She picks at breakfast and lunch, but seems well enough to play outside a couple hours. By dinnertime, she looks terrible and can't find a comfortable position. It's hard to watch her squirm and rock and she asks me to go with her to the bathroom. On the toilet, she keeps moving and I can see she has cramps and cannot poop. She refuses to eat and I get frustrated with myself for feeling so helpless. I want to take her pain away and make her better, but I don't know how.

Is it her appendix? "Does it hurt here? Where does it hurt?" we ask her. I lay her down and prod her belly to see if any one spot hurts more than another, but she seems to hurt all over. A quick search on the internet tells me that milk will help and symptoms for this and that are similar to what she has. She refuses to drink milk. We decide to take her to the emergency room. Hubby stays home with the other two and I take her myself. Hubby has a weak stomach when it comes to bloody situations, and I was prepared for the worst-- emergency surgery for a burst appendix.

Getting to the hospital took 30 minutes (I timed it for my future trip when it's labor time) and the average wait is 2 hours. She seems to get better and I am almost tempted to take her home because I worry about how much this will cost us. I ask her if she wants to go home and she tells me her tummy still hurts, so we stay. She signs to me that she needs to poop and has an urgent look in her eyes. We hurry to the bathroom and she has an explosion in the toilet. "I feel better," she says. But about 15 minutes later, she starts to get uncomfortable and starts whining again. I ask at the front desk how much longer and am told there is one more patient ahead of us.

We finally get called in and when asked to point at a chart to express how much pain she is in-- from a smiley face to a crying face, she points to the picture right next to the smiley face. I am aghast! If only they saw her 2 hours ago when she was crying and writhing in pain. The doctor prods her belly and listens with a stethoscope, asks her some questions and tells me it is a stomach virus. The symptoms come and go and none of the prods cause her pain if it was an appendix or some other organ problem. He gives her a dose of medicine and some juice to wash it down with and keeps her for a while to observe her and make sure she does not react adversely to the meds. Meanwhile, with all the stress of worrying about her, my bowels chose that moment to let loose and I am torn between leaving her alone in the room and running around the corner to poop. I poop. Come back. Gotta poop some more. Come back. Oop! Gotta poop again. Think I got it all out. Oldest wants to go home, and I tell her we can't go until the doctor says so.

After an hour in the room, we can go. I get a prescription for pain meds and we are back in the car. Oldest falls asleep almost right away and it is a quiet drive back home. The meds have done a number on her, she climbs on the table instead of walking past it. I stop her and take her coat and shoes off. I ask if she needs to pee and with a nod of her head, I lead her to the bathroom. She turns around and bolts into my bedroom. When I turn on the light she is disoriented and surprised to see where she is. After the bathroom, I help her change into her jammies and she is asleep quickly. It's an uneventful night and I wake in the morning to find her in bed with me.

All is well, with her stomachaches not as painful or as frequent as yesterday. I am relieved it is only a stomach virus and nothing worse. Now I wait for the bill and hope it won't be too much. I'm not sorry. Her health comes first, and money can be replaced.

On a funnier note, when the doctor asked if she had any brothers or sisters, she said she had 2 sisters. "I have one little sister, she is 2 and one medium sister, she is 4." I think I better stop referring to them as 'small, medium and large'.


Karen Mayes said...

Whew, it is just stomach virus, not a burst appendix!

Hope she is feeling a lot better today.

barefoot gardener said...

There is nothing worse for a mother than to watch your child be ill and not be able to help. I am so glad that nothing serious is wrong with her, and hope this bug goes away soon.

LaRonda said...

Your story is every mother's story. It is always a guessing game and a process of discernment about when to take them in to see a doctor. Better safe than sorry. Hoping she and you are feeling better. Hugs.

~ LaRonda

sufferingsummer said...

So sorry for the sickies! It is the let's cross our fingers that she is the only one to get this virus, our problem of late has been the passing back and forth of sickness and never getting rid of it! I spoke too soon with my little one, I thought we were over the sickness but last night was up all night with her with a croupy cough...when will it end!
So glad you found a clinic. I feel your frustration. I wanted a home birth too but after Indy was a c-section I couldn't even find a mid-wife to take on a v-bac in a hospital none the less at home, apparently it is illegal here. Now I have a GP who will deliver as natural as I request but in a hospital and that will have to do!