Friday, September 18, 2015

Hunger pains

Over the past little while Logan has been complaining of hunger pains. 

That in and of itself is not groundbreaking because he's a 10-year-old boy and 10-year-old boys tend to eat everything. The pains would come and go and seemed to dissipate after eating, so we didn't think much of it.

Last Friday night he started complaining that it was really hurting.   Brad took him to Children's emergency and they did a blood test; his white blood cell count was through the roof. It was shortly thereafter that they diagnosed him with acute appendicitis.

Trouble is, the operating rooms were full with other life threatening emergencies and there wouldn't be one available Saturday afternoon.

Logan and I went up to the children's ward to wait for his surgery. They got him hooked up to some morphine and gave him Popsicles for pain. I have discovered that morphine and Popsicles heal a lot of things.

One of the lovely side effects of appendicitis is that you get really sick, poor kid was throwing up all night; which is less than ideal if you are having abdominal pains!

He did manage to freak the night shift nurse out. In the children's ward (and other wards as well I assume), they turn off the nights at night.

Logan started getting violently sick so pressed the call button for some help.   The nurse came in with a wee little flashlight. Logan had a roommate and they didn't want to wake him up. Although if someone was getting violently sick 3 feet away from me, I'm pretty sure I would wake up.

When the nurse moved the light over to Logan's bed he let out an audible gasp.  For the first time I looked down at the bed, sheets and floor. It had been dark so I hadn't seen it previously.

Everything was bright red. Scary red.  But then it dawned on me and I shouted out "RED POPSICLES!!"  That calmed us both down considerably.

In the morning the surgeon came to see us. A physical exam reconfirmed the initial diagnosis. Surgery was set for noon.

I was so impressed with Logan. He was tough. As much pain as the kid was in, he never cried. The only exception was when they were wheeling him in for surgery and the orderlies set him up in a staging area. He and I were left to our own devices for a few minutes. Logan let his guard down and confessed he was nervous.  Hello Kid!!! Adults get nervous of surgery!!! Totally normal.

The second the orderlies came back though, the tears stopped.

While Logan was in surgery, Brad was trying to find me. He had taken Zach home for the night. HSC is connected to Children's and is a total labyrinth. Brad, who I now affectionately refer to as Magellan was completely and utterly lost. I had to text him pictures of signs so he could find his way to the surgery waiting room. He finally arrived, exasperated with a useless map in hand.

Surgery was fast, about 45 minutes and Logan looked great and was resting.


They can diagnose an appendicitis in about 85-90% of cases with a physical exam and a blood test. An ultrasound will increase that accuracy to about 99%. However in emergency situations you don't want to have to waste days waiting to have a test done.  So even though they weren't a 100% sure going into surgery, we knew something was up because of his white cell count.

So it was a relief when the surgeon came out and told us that it was definitely his appendix. She told us it was very inflamed and was surprised Logan hadn't been complaining more.

Remember back at the beginning with the Hunger Pains? Yeah, those weren't hunger pains. Yikes. 

Back up on the ward, Logan and I took a nap. About 2hrs later he and I both were woken up ( I spent the night at Children's and neither one of us slept a wink) by the sound of whining.

The other 10-year-old beside us had also had his appendix out the day before.  He was sore, but didn't want to take the Tylenol. For kids, Tylenol comes in a liquid form that they administer in a plastic syringe thing. It's not a needle but rather more like a squirt gun that helps to avoid spilling (and allow for more accurate dispensing) than if they used a spoon.

No word of a lie, for an HOUR we heard...

Kid: "I don't wanna to take it!!!!"
Mum: "But you have to buddy..."

On loop.

For an HOUR.

Logan was trying so hard to be polite, but he'd had enough. He whispered, "Mum can we got for a walk?", I asked him if he was up to it and he assured me he was, so up we went.

3 laps around the ward and a reprieve for the endless acetaminophen war in our room. Nice.

Over the course of the day, Logan looked better and better. Yes he was sore, but he was in good spirits. The soreness was better than the shooting pains he'd had before.

He started on food Saturday night.  His nurse asked him what he felt up for and offered up tummy friendly suggestions like soup and toast. Logan's request? "Got any meat?...."  

think he was half expecting them to be able to whip up a Rib eye steak for him.


Early Sunday morning we were told we'd be released. Only to find out that the doctors forgot to sign the discharge form and had to be called back in.  By the time we then got out it was mid afternoon.

There was lots of love waiting for Logan. His friend Seth came over to check on him; Alex from his hockey team came over with a care package; his friends Connor and Rylan made get well cards, it was all so very sweet.

Logan stayed home Monday and Tuesday, but by Tuesday night he was getting cabin fever and declared himself well enough for school.

He hadn't had any Tylenol for awhile, so we checked his incisions and all was healing well (he has two pin holes in his abdomen and a few stitches in his belly button).

So back to school he went. I called the school and got him exempt from Gym and Cross Country for the rest of the week.  Kids are amazing, every adult I know would have taken the week off for sure.

So while I didn't expect the weekend to go like that, I am relieved that we came out the other side of it with Logan happy and healthy.

And in case you ever forgot...Hospital food still sucks; never request meat.











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