Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Greatest Fear, Met, Survived, and the Lessons Aquired Therein

It never fails, when my husband is out of town, something comes up that I wish I didn't have to handle on my own. But I have managed to do just that most the time. It also seems that each time he leaves, one of the kids gets sick. Again, usually I handle that fine, with a few nights of worried sleep and lots of darkened fever checks or fitful worried internet symptom searches. Usually by morning, things are better, and the day goes on.

But this time, when morning broke, things were not better. The tummy ache just kept getting worse. And more localized. Lower right quadrant. Hmmm. I really I kept trying to tell myself I was probably over-reacting out of fear, hormones, lack of sleep, whatever. But a wise lady told me, "It is better to feel stupid than to be stupid", so I decided to head over to our local walk-in care clinic. Plus, the mom-sense that I now acknowledge as powerful, was in full alert mode. So off we went.

The medical professionals there concurred with my worries regarding the symptoms pointing to appendicitis, but couldn't diagnosis it there, so off my little charge and I went to the ER. There they ordered a CT scan, and my little girl (the newly minted 11 year old) started to get afraid. She drank the contrast liquid, and waited. Then had the CT, then waited. Then the diagnosis was confirmed: acute appendicitis, surgery was needed ASAP.

(Waiting for the surgeons visit)

Now we get to the part I had been refusing to think about all day. Surgery, one of my children, me alone. Oh my.
(Waiting to go into the OR)

Lesson number one:
the people at hospitals are nice, want to take care of the patients, and try to be as comforting as possible. At least that was my experience. Everyone we encountered was kind, helpful and professional. Nothing scary about any of them.

Lesson number two: Even when I felt alone, I wasn't. Not even close!

Lesson number three: Sometimes, it is awesome to live in this era. I am so grateful for the technology that kept my daughter from getting seriously ill. I am so grateful for my iPhone, that kept me in touch with friends, family, and most importantly, my husband.

Lesson number four: I can count on so many people for help and support. I always know that, but when push comes to shove, and to see it in action, is such a gratifying and heart warming experience.

Lesson number five: I am able to handle more than I thought. It was such a relief that I was also brave, when I really wasn't certain I would be. Yay me.

Lesson number six:
Not everyone thinks I am a weirdo for my counter cultural, large family, home schooling life style. Actually, as I had to explain over and over to the different people I encountered at the walk-in clinic and hospital regarding our family size and what not (it kept coming up), I didn't even get one negative look or comment. Not one.

Lesson number seven: Dread is far, far worse than the actual event, at least in my experience so far. God helps you when you are encountering real challenges, but not so much when you are imagining just how terrible something will be.

Needless to say, the surgery went fine, I survived alone, my daughter and I were well taken care of, and my friends and family truly are a huge blessings to me. What more could I ask for? I now know what people mean when they say, "I felt the power of prayer holding me up." And truly, it was. And is. And will.

(The day after surgery, sitting up and reading)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're awesome! So glad your little patient is recovering well. Give her a kiss from me.


April 15, 2011  
Blogger Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

I'm glad all went well. Prayers for both the recovering mother and child :-)

April 15, 2011  
Blogger priest's wife said...

wow- how wonderful that all went well. I must tell you that MY 11 year old girl had the same surgery when she was FIVE (sob). We went to my husband's hospital and we asked the nurses which surgeon out of the three available they would chose- they said Dr. Smith. He did a great job...but he probably did the surgery in his sleep it was so easy for him. The surgery he did the night before was saving the life of a man with 22 bullet wound (yup- I have no idea how he survived- and his brother with 1 wound died)

Even though our surgeon was a super star, I still was so worried- you poor mama to go through that...I hope you had some hospital jello afterward

April 15, 2011  
Anonymous jen said...

it was a joke at work that my pastor husband going away was a BAD thing. during a few of his absences, i had:

-a fractured ankle/sprained foot
-debilitating migraine so bad i was hallucinating
-emergency c-section at 29 weeks when i developed hellp syndrome (during holy week -- if it's going to happen, it's going to be during holy week)

one thing i learned during my hospital stay with the last one is that you are truly never alone. (echoing #2 on your list.) i had parishioners coming down to be with me until my husband got back, my mom flew to montana for the week, and the hospital staff was awesome.

God gives us the grace to handle things that are completely unimaginable to us.

April 15, 2011  
Blogger Mimi said...

I am so thankful everything worked out well, and know you had our prayers during your ordeal.
She looks so much happier in the last photo!

April 15, 2011  
Blogger TomcatmojoMom said...

Renee, I am so proud of you, and so thankful that you shared this story with us. I was seriously getting "ocular mist", especially looking at the pictures of my sweet niece at the hospital.

Big Hugs,

April 15, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As always Renee, you impress me with your practical and impenetrable faith and fortitude. You are a model I try to duplicate. Give Cece my a hug for me.

April 15, 2011  
Blogger k said...

Sorry, last comment was by your brother Steve. Still haven't figured out this process I guess.

April 15, 2011  
Blogger Melanie Bettinelli said...

I'm so glad she and you both made it through so well. Wish I could have done something more; but I was very happy to be able to support you with prayers. God grant her a swift recovery.

April 15, 2011  
Blogger Barb Szyszkiewicz said...

Glad she is OK--and that you held up so well.

April 16, 2011  
Blogger Jennifer in TX said...

I would feel the same way if I were you. So glad that everything went so well and your little one is now healthy and safe... and that you were shown so many obvious signs of God's grace and mercy! :)

April 19, 2011  
Blogger Roalgeroc said...

A wonderful account of a scary mom-incidence and well handled by everyone - especially God! I'm glad she's okay and so are you.

I've always worried about getting appendicitis thinking time is of the essence and the fear of waiting too long to do something about it - but all I ever "lost" was my gallbladder...

April 29, 2011  

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