Sunday, March 22, 2009


This has not been a great month. If you talk to some of my friends, they'd be quick to tell you that I haven't been having the best of years either! I just got home this afternoon with Elijah who spent 3 nights at the hospital. He had his appendix out on March 6th and recovered very quickly. He resumed his regular physical activity on March 16th. Three days later I had to pick him up from school because he was complaining of abdominal pain. I tried to keep constant positive thoughts in my head while driving up the Taconic in the rain from my job. "Please let it be a pulled muscle from basketball" I kept saying to myself. After frantic calls to my pediatrician and then the surgeon, I was told to take him to the ER for a CT scan just to make sure it wasn't serious. What were the odds that it would be something serious? Well, the way things have been going for me lately, the odds were definitely pointing to a problem.

The nurses in that ER are the nicest. We had Linda who was so funny and couldn't stop commenting on how handsome Elijah was. He was a trooper drinking that contrast solution AGAIN! She let him stop when it was about 3/4 empty. We were sharing a room with a woman who had been there since 9 the previous evening! Her family was coming in with bags of McDonald's and poor Elijah hadn't eaten since that morning. I didn't either. My body went into emergency mode. We finally were called up to radiology where he was popped into that donut of an x-ray machine. About 1/2 hour later we got the news. He may have an abscess or a hematoma at the site of his former appendix. Something was filling with fluid. He didn't have a fever and his white blood count was only 13,000. When it's over 15,000, that meant the infection was definitely there. The problem was what do we do with it? Our surgeon was off for the weekend. Our pediatricians weren't on call. The ER doctor was considering transferring us to a children's hospital about 30 minutes away because they had a pediatric surgeon on call. It ended up that they spoke to the doctor there and he/she said that we should start with IV antibiotics. We found a pediatrician to admit him. The ER wouldn't let us go up to a room until he got a full round of antibiotics in him. Neal went home around 10 because Ben was all alone with the dog.

I fell asleep with my head resting on Elijah's bed. The lady next to us was already in a room. The nurse woke me about 3:30 AM to tell me that we're going to be going up to a room on the floor Elijah recovered on when he had his operation. I felt relief knowing that I was going to see familiar faces. As we were wheeling out of the room, the doors from the ambulance bay opened and we heard this loud noise. The helicopter was taking off the take a patient to a hospital in Albany. The debris that flew into the place was like from a tornado and the sound of that copter was so loud.

We got settled into a room that had a bed for me! I was thrilled yet very upset at the same time. I couldn't believe this was happening to my son. The nurse was so kind and told me to sleep in the next bed. She promised that no one would be coming into the room and that they want me to stay with him. The last time I slept at the hospital is was stretched out over 3 chairs and I used my coat as a blanket. I laid down in my clothes and covered myself with my coat again. I didn't want to go under the blanket. I don't know why. I do know that as I laid there, I started to feel sorry for Elijah and myself. I blinked away the little tears and I must have fallen asleep because the next thing I knew there was a nurse taking Elijah's vital signs. I sat up to ask her if he was okay and she assured me that he was.

For the next 2 nights, I was Elijah's roommate in the hospital. I helped him go to the bathroom while towing his IV contraption. I walked with him in the hallways to get his blood moving and to help the antibiotics get through his system. Neal came and relieved me for 4 hours so I could go home, shower and pack clothes. I slept in sweatpants and a t-shirt and finally went under the covers. I would wake up at 6 AM. The surgeon on call came in and told us that she wasn't sure he needed surgery. We would have to wait until Sunday for him to have another CT scan because the radiologist on duty would be able to drain whatever was in Elijah if necessary. I knew they were going to wake him up early that morning so I made sure I popped out of bed and got dressed as if I was working alongside the nurses. We got Elijah up around 6:30 but had to wait for the kitchen to open so Ramil, the best nurse in the world, to sweeten up the contrast solution so it goes down easier. This would be Elijah's third scan. The boy is a trooper. He swallowed down three-quarters of the liter and at noon, we went to radiology. In less than 10 minutes, we got the good news that whatever was there shrunk and he would need no drainage or surgery. It was the best moment. I called Neal quickly and told him! We both called everyone and spread the good news.

When Elijah was back in his room, our pediatrician called to tell us that he could be discharged that day. I wasn't expecting this. I thought we would have to stay until Monday. This caught me off guard. I spoke with Ramil to get his opinion and he said that we could definitely stay but he would like to see Elijah leave. He said that the nurses loved him but he should go home. So, we started the discharge process. My sister, brother-in-law and niece stopped by for a visit around two. My niece was thrilled to sit on my bed and watch the little TV that came right to your face. They still haven't met Shadow. They will. He's not going anywhere.

So I just want to thank Shibi, Mahdavi, Ramil, Marcela, and everyone else who was so nice to my son, not just once, but twice. They treated him like he was a king and put up with a mother who lost it a few times. I'm glad we're home.

1 comment:

AlisonH said...

How did I miss this post earlier? My stars. Hug your boys for me, would you? Hematomas are scarily bad. And you can tell your little guy that when I had to drink that stuff for a scan, I complained, and I'm not usually a complainer--he totally outdid me there.