The longest day

Some of you may have heard that our youngest, Justin, had acute appendicitis and underwent emergency surgery Wednesday night. The Reader’s Digest version: everything is just fine and he came home this morning.

He’ll be going back to school on Monday but no P.E. until at least the following week. His nurse said she was amazed at how easily he recovered. I think his happiest point today was getting his IV taken out and Terry and I are grateful to no longer have to deal with a seemingly defective IV monitor that alarms every 15 minutes or so.

Basically, he came into my room at 7am Wednesday morning complaining of a stomachache, and soon started throwing up. At about 9 he was writhing in pain on the floor so I called the doctor. They weren’t able to get him in til about 11:30, and then Doctor recommended a CT scan which we went to at 2pm. I thought maybe he had some sort of bowel obstruction but by 3:45 I received a call confirming acute appendicitis and a recommendation to take him to the emergency room for surgery.

We checked in to Banner Desert Children’s Hospital at 4:55PM and he was wheeled into the OR at 9:15PM. Overall not too bad for timing, I’d say. He was in his final hospital room by 11:00PM though we didn’t get much sleep (I stayed with him on a cot the nurses wheeled in for me). Terry relieved me at 6AM so I went home, showered and by the time I returned at 9:30AM he was wide awake and eating cherry Jello.

We spent all day yesterday in the room, though I wasn’t able to get any shuteye because of interruptions (“Moooommm, can I get some grape juice?”) but that’s OK, I was happy to be there with him. Terry decided to take his turn sleeping on the cot last night and even though I slept at home in our bed (like a rock I might add), when I woke up this morning it didn’t feel like I had slept at all. I made it to the hospital by 7:30AM to find out that he was being discharged and we all were home by 10AM.

I cannot say enough about the wonderful staff at Banner Desert Children’s Hospital. They were all pediatric-specialized, including the anesthesiologist. Each one was wonderful at interacting with Justin (not treating a 10-year old like a 5-year old) and explaining the procedure, answering questions, etc. No matter how many times we asked the nurse to silence the IV machine’s alarm, not once did she treat us like we were being a pain in the butt. They were always 100% professional, cheerful, and it was obvious that they truly care about their patients. Hopefully we won’t ever need to take our kids to the hospital again, but if we do, that’s the first place I’d go. I wish I had the ability to donate something meaningful to them, and perhaps someday I will.

Anyway, tonight for dinner we had Justin’s request of NYPD Pizza (Sicilian style) and chocolate peanut butter cup ice cream. He is happy that he’ll be sleeping in his own bed, and soon returning to normal – and so are we!

PS – Happy belated birthday to my appendix-less brother in Japan!

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