Sunday, April 4, 2010
Bagel Is Missing Her Appendix!
"You just never know what God has in store for you" could not ring more true than what ended up happening to our family on Good Friday. We really had no idea when we were helping Bagel feel better on Good Friday afternoon that by that night she would be in an ambulance on her way to Texas Children's Hospital. We thought that like every Good Friday it would mean special prayers, finishing shopping on Easter outfits, late night watching of the Passion with the older kiddos, and then because it was Possible's birthday a late night adventure for fast food once Holy Saturday arrived. It didn't quit happen that way at all. Let me catch you up! Bagel, aside from being the most adorable 5 year old on the planet, has been extra grumpy lately. We all have our moments so we didn't pay much attention to it. Then on Holy Thursday while mom and the older girls were out getting Easter outfits Bear called to inform us that Bagel was getting sick. Always seams to happen near a Holiday that someone gets the flu and then we spend the entire Holiday waiting for the next person to get it. Friday I went out with the older kiddos after not having got much sleep. Bagel was up most of the night getting sick or hurting. Her pain was all over her tummy area and we thought it had to do with a flu bug. After getting back from finding the outfits we gathered in my room around Bagel and prayed the rosary. It was a beautiful emotional rosary focused on the sorrowful mysteries. We talked about the way of the cross as we prayed. It was a beautiful time huddled around mom and dad's bed. After the Divine Mercy chaplet dad and mom worked on some computer work. After dinner dad and I were going to head to the store again to finish Easter shopping, we thought we were cooking a turkey with all the extras as our big family meal. The plan was to have treat time on Sunday evening with several friends to join us. We wanted to make Pooker's birthday (Easter Sunday) and Possible's birthday (Good Friday) extra special this year because their days fell on these major days in our church. So after we cleaned up from our big turkey family dinner friends would join us for the pies and cakes to celebrate the birthdays. I must have said that plan out loud and made God laugh because that is not what happened. Before J and I left again Pooker pointed out that Bagel was extremely hot. We took her temp with a thermometer that we have now thrown away. It said she had a slight fever of 99.1. Nothing to get upset about except she felt much hotter than that and her pain was now centralized into one spot near her right hip. We decided to call the doctor and after describing the situation he said we needed to go have her checked at the ER to rule out an appendicitis. Bagel's sisters, brothers, dad and I all had a gut feeling that it wasn't going to be a quick visit to the ER. The kids packed a bag of toys to distract her while she waited and we left. We went to an Emergency Room that stands separate from the hospital. Our doctor advised this because it would be faster on a Friday evening and they could rule stuff out pretty fast. With the hope to be back home soon. That wasn't the case. Every test kept coming back indicating that she was in fact going to need surgery. This is when decisions had to be made. In the end because she is only 5 we decided, with the encouragement of the ER doctor, to have her transported down town to Texas Children's Hospital. The scary thing is that because she was already under their care it would need to be done by ambulance. This freaked us all out a little. We called home and relayed the situation to the other kiddos. We ask for some overnight provisions to be brought to us before the ambulance got there just to be on the safe side. I thought Pooker would show up herself at 10:20 with our bags but that wasn't the case. Every single one of them demanded to be let into her ER room to wish her well, to kiss on Bagel, to say a prayer with her and to encourage her. I loved that each one acted jealous of her getting to go in an ambulance. That gave her so much peace. We sent the kids away when EMS arrived with the ambulance. As she was begin wheeled out while strapped to the bed we saw the van. The kids were still there waiting and praying for their baby sister. She waved as best she could being strapped down. I felt so very blessed to have a family that cares so deeply for each other. As we drove out the van turned away as dad pulled in behind us. Bagel could see out the back window and said goodbye to them and grinned when she saw dad behind us. From the inside, during our long ride Bagel called the other kids and talked to them for a good portion of our long ride. Jumba had watched us pull away and apparently was very upset over this. He demanded to talk with Bagel and asked her "Are you ever coming home!" It was so cool to see her lovingly respond to her baby brother. When she first heard the surgery word she was very upset but as she spoke with him she was very gentle. "Don't be silly Jumba, I have to go to 'ospital' (missing the h sound of course) and have surgery but you can come see me after . . . then I will come home." So grown up and it helped her feel more comfortable telling him. The ER room at Texas Children's Hospital was very small and very uncomfortable considering we had not slept much the night before. We tried to sleep anyway we could through the night all while growing more and more concerned over Bagel.We arrived at midnight. We saw a nurse and then the first doctor we saw was actually a surgeon. Our St. Luke's doctor had called over to his contacts that were surgeons. They examined her and we instantly gave permission for surgery. They didn't need any more tests, we concluded. On paper we were then admitted to the hospital and would be under the care of the surgical nurses as we waited for surgery. She was on the mornings lists. She received antibiotics and some pain medicine with some fever reducers. Around 5 am I started to loose it. I had to walk around to clear my head. J was sleeping "in the sink"so I walked around. This is when I saw someone wearing a "Natalia's Crew" t-shirt. I must tell you that seeing this offered me peace. I felt like Natalia was sending me comfort from heaven, no matter what was going to happen, I knew that Bagel's soul was not in danger. She would be OK, no matter what! (If heaven is the goal then even a ruptured appendix can't keep us from it!) Shortly after that we were moved into a room where we all got a little sleep before she was called to surgery. She is just so beautiful. She was sleeping so soundly before surgery. She was away from us for just an hour and a half. We were so tired and so relieved when she went back. We felt like she would finally be getting better and we would have a better idea of what we were up against. At this point we were still hoping that it was about to burst and that they would catch it in time. That wasn't the case, her appendix had already ruptured. The doctors found that even though it had ruptured the toxins had not gone every where. This girl has an incredible pain tolerance. I admire her so much. It takes a lot to get her down. Maybe it is the 4 apples she eats every day! Anyway her appendix had ruptured but because of it's location (a little farther back on her than most people) it meant that the infections were contained in a small cavity and away from all major organs. Thank you God!!! We were so relieved. J let me shower before he headed home. At about 3 pm he finally headed home to do the rest of the Easter preparations. The kiddos set up skype for Bagel and I so we watched them dye the eggs and listened to them giggle and laugh. We felt like we were there but we didn't get dirty. That evening she surprised the nurse, after some encouragement, she actually jumped down from the bed (then gave herself a shot of medicine) then took off. We actually walked the entire floor and went to explore the library. It was closed but she gave herself one more dose of medicine when we returned. She climbed into bed and slept 9 hours. She woke me the next morning saying that she really had to go potty. The nurse tried to help her while I was asleep but she told them to leave. She is so modest. We walked the floor again and the doctor then let her try some liquids. It was now Easter, she had slept all night (and all day the day before). After our second long walk she tried to sleep but couldn't it was just too quiet. She really missed everyone so much. We decided that mom would shower and then we would go for another walk. We wanted to surprise them by being in the lobby when they got there. Sadly we couldn't find our nurse and the poor Bagel was getting tired. We instead camped out by the elevators. I can't say if she was more happy to see them or if they were more happy to see her! All in all there was great rejoicing. As we celebrated the rising of our Savior we got to rejoice in the healing of our Bagel. I think I will post some more pictures to describe that day. Make that more of an Easter post. Bagel was healing at a rapid rate. No fever since surgery and she was walking all over. We even ran into her doctors down by the trains. The one doctor told her to go ahead a sneak a few bites of her chocolate bunny. She was thrilled. We had some wonderful visitors. The K family came to see us. We thought it was cool that the dad is a police officer that works for the hospital every weekend. We just felt safer and less isolated knowing someone on the campus. Then the rest of the K family stopped by. It was a full room but they are Bagel's buddies so she liked to see them. She was very quiet with them but later spoke of how cool it was that they visited her and had sent their dad in to say, "HI". The T family came by as well. It was a hard day for them as they are missing Linda right now so much. It was so cool that they shared in our day and we were all able to help each other in that way . . . I suspect that would be just the way that Mrs. T would have wanted. ( I miss you Linda too. But she got to spend Easter in paradise and that is what Easter is all about!) The poor Bagel was worn out when I took the other kids home that night. Bagel called later to tell me that dad was way more fun than mom. He was playing games with her and watching movies and all kinds of cool stuff. She slept soundly again and the next morning the doctors could not believe how good she was doing and how little pain medicine she needed. They ordered breakfast and lunch for her. After she did well with those meals, they gave her one more does of antibiotics, some pain killers for home and sent us on our way. She was so happy to head out that door. Bagel we love you so much and we were so happy to have you home again! We also want to thank everyone who helped us to entertain Bagel by sending messages. We were told that she broke the record for the most notes sent in one day. It really helped us all feel loved and encouraged her until she was able to return home to the chaos we call normal life. Thank you so much for those notes. Thank you God for calling us closer to you through our love for this precious little Lady!