We all have those moments. Where everything just seems to stop as a parent. The moment you know something is wrong with your little one but you can’t fix it. The moment where you feel as if all your concerns are being dismissed and no one is listening to you. The moment you end up in the middle of your kitchen floor just sobbing because your child asks you “Why am I so sick mommy”. That was me a week an a half ago. Broken hearted, frustrated, hurting for Little Miss who was miserable and feeling like no one cared.
But let’s back up a bit. First this post is going to be hard- so many emotions I have held in because I could not let it show. I had to be strong for my baby girl. But it all started in February. One Sunday Little Miss complained of extreme stomach pain. The pain seemed to disappeared by the morning but we still kept her home from school. She was fine again and we thought maybe she is starting to have more severe reactions to her gluten issues. But then the following Sunday came, we were really careful with food, yet the pain came back. Stronger and this time she threw up twice. We kept her home on that Monday and she refused to eat or drink. She was dehydrated that Tuesday but we got her situated and she went back to school that Wednesday, the 2nd. All was fine. The pain was gone for over a week. Then Thursday the 10th came. The pain came back. Stronger than before. That was it- I had enough. We took her to our local doctor. She was throwing up more and more as the time came. Doctor drew blood and did an xray- and was convinced it was just constipation. It couldn’t be. She was in so much pain and misery, and getting worse. That is where I was- Friday night- her crying asking why she was so sick, why wont the pain go away. I stayed strong. Got her laid back down and went into the kitchen and cried.
The next morning I had enough. We went to the closest ER and told our story all over again. The doctor, thankfully, actually listened. He told me he wanted to do a CT Scan, said it could be one of 3 things, the less likely- twisted bowel or intussusception, then the most likely option- appendicitis. 2 ct scans later- we had a confirmed issue. Intussusception. That is where a child’s intestines start folding up on itself, like a telescope lens or as explained to us- like when you take off your socks and they start to ball up. This actually isn’t uncommon for young kids, like under 3 and is normally caused by a virus, and is more common in males. . Off to a bigger hospital we go for a hopefully easy and non invasive fix.
Unfortunately that fix did not work. As you can see we ended up rushing 2-2.5 hrs away to our closest Children’s Hospital. It is 8pm Saturday night by the time we get there. Made it in record time- I joked it was a good thing the Popo knows everyone between the two cities. After that time was a blur. So many doctors coming and going but they knew before we even got there- surgery was going to be done. They needed to know what caused this because of her age. A 9 year old should not be having this happen. So I believe it was around 10 when we were being taken to the OR. My heart is heavy, I want to cry. I can’t though. I have to stay strong. My poor little girl going into surgery. But, she wont be in pain any more. I knew it was best. I knew we were in a good hospital. But I couldn’t be with her. I had to let my little girl go with strangers even though she was scared and crying.
Finally sometime after midnight they came down. Surgery went well and they fixed her intestines. But, yes there was “but”, while in there they found a mass in colon. That was when my heart stopped. I honestly don’t know what all they said, I clicked back on when they said the word benign and that the pathologist didn’t think there was any cancer cells in the mass. They reassured us, they are positive it is nothing to worry about but still- that small part of you won’t relax until the official report comes back.
The next few days were a lot of recovery. The only time we could get her to do something willingly was if her big brother was there. I am so glad we kept him out of school for the first two days. He made her smile, sat with her, got her to the play room. He made a difference for her. Finally Wednesday morning we were on our 2 hour drive home. That was the longest 5 days I have ever been through. A lot of emotional ups and downs. A lot of stress and frustration. But the nurses and doctors were nice and helpful. And before we left Wednesday morning the official sigh of relief came- pathology report came back- the mass was for sure benign. It was a juvenile polyp.
We have been home for almost a week now and things are starting to get back to normal. Little Miss is mad that she can’t “do anything fun” and can’t ride her horse. There will be lots of healing. Today she goes back to school for half a day, and I return to work at the school for the half day as well. We have a follow up in a week. We will have to go back in 4 months for a colonoscopy but I will gladly do so. I am just so thankful for that original ER doctor for listening to me and thinking out of the box. He really thought we would find an issue with her appendix but because of him we found something that could have been more serious. And every day I am thanking God for guiding the doctors and for making my daughters recovery go quickly. We are having a hard time keeping her limited!
So that is my story. That has been our month, and our past few weeks. I am still emotionally exhausted from the ordeal but I know we will make it through this. I am so glad the Popo was able to take time off to help us through all this. And I am so glad I listened to my gut and pushed for answers instead of settling for the ones they were trying to give me.