Monday, June 16, 2008

Okay, stop me if you've heard this one

For the past week Sam has complained off and on that his stomach was cramping and hurting. He didn't have any diarrhea or vomiting or even any nausea, so I kind of just let it go. I know, I know....Mother of the Year, blah blah blah.... However, yesterday from the time he got up, all through church, the entire time we were at Braum's for lunch and after we got home, the child was in pain. At home he was on the couch, knees to his chest, writhing and moaning. He was also running a fever. I called my mom, she had no clue what to do. I called the insurance company's nurse advice line and after running down the list of symptoms, the nurse said, "Oh, girl, you better git that boy to tha hawspital quick!" Only in Oklahoma do the anonymous advice line nurses call you "girl". I think. I could be wrong, but it just seems so right. She had way more twang than your average Okie, anyway. Instead of outsourcing to India, maybe they outsourced to Texas?

So I called Mom back and asked her to call my new stepsisters and biological sister and cancel our Father's Day dinner which was supposed to be happening about an hour and a half from then. I got Paul off the mower and gave him the option of staying with the girls or going with us. Since Kady was wound for sound and holding her own Redneck Diva Idol in the living room wearing only her underwear, a tiara and a feather boa, he decided to stay at home for the time being.

Sam and I drove to the ER (The second time in FOUR DAYS that I've been to our local ER, mind you) and we began our wait. The last time I was in the ER on a Sunday we waited over 3 hours, but we were the only ones in the waiting room, so I didn't think it would be too long. After about 30 minutes of Sam rocking, moaning, whining and me obsessively feeling his forehead to see if his fever was any higher, we were taken back to a room. The nurse asked a bunch of questions, felt around on Sam's belly and when she hit the right lower area and he scrunched up in a ball, she gave me this look that said oh so much. She said she was going to start and IV, do a urine culture and check his white count because she said we'd probably be doing an appendectomy.

Yeah. Did you catch that? We dodge a kidney stone surgery only to dance with a possible appendix removal? The two men in my life are going to drive me mad, I'm tellin' ya.

Sam was a real trooper while she put a hep lock in his hand, drew blood and had him pee in a jug, which he thought was cool. (This nurse was absolutely amazing with him and I will definitely be sending a letter to The Powers That Be at our local hospital to tell them how amazing she was.) Then he settled in to watch Disney Channel and complain intermittently about his belly. In the meantime, Mom and Pops showed up, the doctor came in and pretty much dismissed the appendicitis notion. Not long after he left the room, though, he was back to poke around on Sam some more because his white count was indeed elevated and his urine was clear, thus ruling out bladder/kidney issues. We were again entertaining the appendectomy. Sam started hollering for his daddy, so we made arrangement for the girls and Paul got around to come in.

Then my phone chirped and announced to me that Ottawa County was under a tornado warning. Now, you know that when the wind even thinks about blowing, we go underground these days. Yet here I was in the Emergency Room with my ailing son, my husband was driving (DRIVING!!! Right into the tornado, in my mind) with my daughters, my mom and stepdad were eating dinner somewhere (in my mind, right in the tornado's path) and I was impressed with myself for not climbing under the bed right then and there. Instead I calmly went to the nurse's station and asked the nurse if she was aware we were right in the path of impending destruction. She assured me that we were nowhere near the path of the tornado and it was actually moving away from us and that if we needed to take cover, they'd take care of us. While it wasn't the comfort of my concerete and steel underground 'fraidy hole, it was strangely somewhat calming.

Around 5:20 the Best Nurse Ever came in with a cup of radioactive yumminess for my son to drink because he was scheduled for a CT scan at 7:20. She said at 6:20 she'd be back with another cup, too. Now, if it had been Abby or Kady, they might've complained, but they'd have drank it because that's just how they are. But Sam? Sam is not a try-er, he is not adventurous and does not take kindly to change or anything out of the ordinary - especially food or drink. He is a profound gagger. It took $9 and five stickers, but he got both cups down. Of course, the extra goop in his belly and the stress of drinking it made him hurt, so he got 1mg of morphine to knock the edge off. Good gosh, that was funny.

Mom, Pops and Paul were all there by 7:15, but it was nearly 8 before the guy from Radiology came in to get Sam for his scan. (Sam also earned five more stickers by calling the Radiology guy "Mr. Sunshine" because evidently Best Nurse Ever and Mr. Sunshine exchange insults regularly. Sam thought it was hilarious to be in on the joking.) The nurse had told me there was an enema involved, so I tried to give Sam a clue-in, but I think there is just no adequate way to prepare a 9 year old for that. Poor kid.....again, he was a trooper. A freaked-out trooper, but still a trooper.

The CT scan showed his appendix to be perfectly healthy and the doctor declared it to be a severe stomach virus. She sent him home with some phenergan for nausea, put him on a clear liquid diet for the rest of the night and the BRAT (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast) diet for the next few days. He has declared the BRAT diet to suck first thing this morning when I wouldn't let him have a donut for breakfast. The pain is still intermittent and he's spent the entire day on the couch, playing PS2 and watching cartoons. I have slept because I'm hoping that the more I sleep, the faster time will go by and possibly we might avoid more:

a) household disasters, ie. electrical freakouts and busted water lines
b) raging cases of strep
c) kidney stones
d) tornadoes
e) fake appendicitis
d) ANY more trips to the ER, period.

You know, for years I have been afraid of the 3rd of July. Now, June isn't looking all that great either.

But, man my house is clean. I'm a stress cleaner and I've obviously had a lot of stress to keep me motivated.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad I didn't bet with you because when I first heard what was going on I would have bet my paycheck it was strep instead of virus that did that to him! We got an ambulance ride, CT scan and tons of extra crap when IHS thought B was having appendecitis.

Anonymous said...

*moan* I have your boy's virus :'(

Glad to hear that he is all taken care of though!

Robin said...

So glad no surgery for the boy!

WE had hail that destroyed the garden and Holy Moses..break out the ark!! The water was running down our driveway in to the ditch that ran down the hill towards town and Wow! If every one that didn't live on our road NEED to drive up and down it thru the high was amazing!!
Post a "Road Closed" sign and watch idiots drive around it!!

Stewed Hamm said...

See, I'd have thought all you'd need to get a 9 year-old to drink something radioactive is to remind him that it's pretty much the same way Spider Man and the Hulk got their starts. (though I suppose it helps to have a really geeky kid whose life's ambition is to shoot webs out of his hands...)
Also funny: Radiation in nuclear fallout was briefly measured in "Sunshine Units." The Best Nurse Evah is even wittier than you thought.

We....the people

Originally published in The Miami News-Record, July 2020 Everything is different now. I’m not just talking about masks and social distancing...