Monday, November 17, 2008

It burns! It burns!

Abby has what I guess you might call a "nervous stomach." She's had problems with heartburn and since 4th grade and was my spewer when she was a baby. No kidding, that kid could hit a target across the room with her projectile barfing. We tried all the expensive formulas, etc. and put her on cow's milk at 10 months out of sheer desperation. (Shhh....don't tell her former pediatrician. He'd scold us for sure.) Between 10 months and 4th grade Abby rocked along fine and dandy with a perfectly normal stomach.

4th grade, if you've been around here awhile, was the year we wanted to sell her to the gypsies, the year she developed an attitude, the year she called her teacher "dude." We're not sure if she was struck by lightning, abducted by aliens or if she just developed her own sense of self that year, but that's also the year that the worrying took its toll on her tummy. She'd been a worrier pretty much her whole life, but the worrying never had physical side effects until then. Her PA put her on Zantac syrup twice a day, though, and the heartburn and indigestion magically disappeared.

Until this morning.

This morning when she stumbled into the bathroom, rubbing her eyes, the first words she said were, "Man, I've got some serious heartburn this morning." I said she was probably just hungry, her stomach was too empty and she needed to eat. She nodded in agreement, went up front to get a banana and we all continued our morning routine. About ten minutes later, though, she literally lurched up the hall to me, her hand clutching her belly, the other groping for me. You should know that Abby is not like her younger sister who is a natural-born drama queen - Ab's quiet, understated and non-dramatic. So to see her coming at me like a dancer in Michael Jackson's Thriller video accompanied by the look on her face that immediately told me something is very wrong was disconcerting to say the least.

She laid her head on my shoulder and quietly said, "Oh burns. Bad." After getting her to show me where it was burning (right up the middle, you know - Heartburn Avenue) I sent her to the couch where she promptly curled up, knees to her chin. And then I called my momma. Because that's how I deal with crisis. No one can advise like Momma. Mom suggested someone with more of a degre than "Dr. Mom" so I called the insurance's Nurse Advice Line where I was informed she needed to be seen TODAY if not IMMEDIATELY. That always makes one relax. She advised me to call Ab's PA and if he couldn't see her to call the Advice Line back and she'd refer us on to the ER. So I kept hitting redial until I finally got through to the PA's office where I was informed he's out of town. Well, of course he is. She made me an appointment with the office pediatrician for 2:30, but told me to take her to the ER if I felt it necessary. I had been feeling it necessary for about half an hour at that point. Eventually the burning turned into severe pain.

Abby spent the next six hours curled up in a ball in the recliner while I fretted over whether or not to take her to the ER. She ate ice chips off and on, tried some Jell-O and a few saltines, but anything other than water made her hurt again.

The pediatrician poked, prodded, pressed and then scratched his noggin in utter perplexedness. (Is "perplexedness" even a word? No? Well, I just made it a word, so use it at your leisure.) He asked if there was a family history of gall bladder problems (yes), kidney stones (yes) and/or appendicitis (no). Then he scratched his noggin some more. He checked her urine because he was leaning toward kidney stones, but it came back normal. He said he knew we'd come there for answers, but he couldn't really give us one. He took her off the Zantac, put her on Prevacid, gave her some Levsin for abdominal cramping in case any should occur, sent us home with instructions to take her to the nearest ER if she developed a fever and told her to call her PA on Thursday if she was still having pain.

I hate going to the doctor and not knowing any more than I did when I went in.

While we waited on her prescriptions to be filled we decided to go to Walmart to get Sam's birthday presents. She was hungry so I asked if she thought she could eat a grilled cheese from Sonic. She warily ate it and within an hour was writhing around in the front seat like a maggot in a meat house.

After talking to my momma, my cousin and my sister, we, the Mom Alliance, decided that if she has any more pain tonight she's going to the ER where hopefully they can run some tests and figure out why in the world my 12 year old is hurting like she is. My numerous WebMD searches have me leaning toward appendicitis or a rotten gall bladder. The fact that she eats and then has pain is my reasoning there since that's a sign of both.

Right now she's propped up in her bed like the Queen of Sheba while I listen for any sign she's awake and hurting.

Sometimes being a Mom is hard. I want to fix her. Now. Anyone out there in MomLand have any advice? Feel free to share. I welcome it.


Anonymous said...

About two months ago, I took Andrew to the ER at one in the morning. He was in a fetal position, curled up in a tight ball, unwilling to move his legs without screaming. I was worried that it was appendicitis. Three hours later, the verdict was gas and a need to poop (x-ray told us that). I hope that this is as simple for you!
BTW, Andrew is my constant stomach issue child. He,too, was a spitter (not projectile, fortunately) but was never diagnosed with reflux,
Have you tried a mega dose of Gas-X or Phazyme (both contain simethicone)?

Sam said...

Writhing like a maggot in a meat house? If I pee all over the couch from laughing it is all your fault. No advice here, the Chicken never gets more than a snotty nose from mild allergies.

Anonymous said...

It could be as simple as Blondie's story.. when did she last poop? Does the Levsin help? Does she hurt all the time and just worse after eating? So many things it could be.. from gas to a bum gallbladder.. which would be kinda strange for a 12 year old.. there is a stomach "bug" going around she might be uniquely reacting to, but I'd really guess gallbladder from the symptoms.. course, I'm not looking at her,so that's really not helpful!! Sorry.. I wouldn't hang around and wonder if she starts hurting again.. just head for the er.. heck with 'em!

Carmel said...

Yep, the whole pooping thing has my vote. Hopefully, nothing more serious. Child No. 3 was our stomach problem kid. We rushed her to the ER at least twice in her life, convinced her appendix or other organ was ready to rupture, only to be told several thousand dollars later that she just needed to poop. Being Mom is the toughest job I've ever had. We're supposed to KNOW everything, right?

Jill of All Trades said...

Oh my goodness poor thing. My bet would the poop thing too. My youngest A has always had that issue too although not quite that bad as well as I when I was young. Hope she gets better.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I think she absorbed her twin in utero and now that she is nearing her teen years, the angry spirit of that absorbed twin has been awakened and is wreaking havoc upon her hormone-weakened body in an attempt to wrest control of her psyche away for itself, and take out it's revenge upon the unwitting family who never even knew it existed.....Or, you know, alot of poop. Whatever.

Anonymous said...

I used to get exactly the same pain you describe whenever I ate food in a new country - I used to move around a lot. I always carried these with me:

I imagine they're nonexistent in Oklahoma, but you can order them on the internet. They are the Chinese pepto-bismol. The great thing about them is that they are all natural. Now that I've moved back to the US, I always have a pack in my bag just in case. Hope Abby is feeling better!


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