As I dropped off the Boys at School today and watched Jonah walk happily into his classroom, I smiled because I am so thankful that things turned out okay with his appendix and the surgery.
On the way home, I reflected on last week.
Here are a few things I am so grateful for:
1. Modern First World Medicine – in some parts of the world appendicitis means death. I was told by the surgeon that his appendix showed large fissures already (cracks) and within 12 hours, it would have ruptured. To top it off, it had gangrene.
2. Local Support Systems – I cannot thank those people enough who took the time to call me, pray with me or for us, check up on us throughout the several days, show concern and love. Grant was able to take off and take care of the other three boys while I left Lawton in the Ambulance with Jonah and during our overnight stay in the hospital. But it is a great comfort knowing that, if Grant had not been able to take off, or if he has been deployed, that there are people around me who would have willingly taken my children in and cared for them while I could not. What a relief.
3. Virtual Support System – I recently read some negative things about Facebook and “liking” posts, etc. Then I read something from a friend who explained why those things are actually important to her and I could not agree more! Every “Like”, every comment is someone taking the time to reach out and say “I can hear you. I am listening. I am here.” I don’t take those for granted. And on the flip side, I don’t post things to be all showy, but to show those who care about us how we are doing, keep them updated, allow them to be part of our lives. So, thank you – all of you who take part in our life!
4. Jonah – I have seldom felt as lonely as I did when I was waiting all alone in the waiting area while Jonah was in surgery. I know they say, it’s routine, etc., but that does not take away the fear of the potential outcomes. My phone was down to 3% and I turned it off the reserve it for emergencies, so I had no way to talk to Grant during that time and it is a looooong wait. Especially when you have to wait an hour longer than they told you and your head starts spouting all sorts of nightmarish scenarios. When the surgeon finally came to get me and walked me back to the recovery room, it was hard to hold back the tears as I approached, still sleepy, Jonah. My firstborn. My brave little big boy. Alive and well.
5. Circumstances – I know the only reason I knew Jonah had appendicitis was because I had it myself years ago. I remember what it felt like and that is the only reason I knew what it was when I was checking his belly for pain. It is not the first time I knew someone else’s appendix was causing trouble. I hate when you go to the medical professionals and tell them what you think it is and they give you this look like “Yeah, yeah, you’ve spent too much time on google”. I am grateful that very quickly they changed their attitude, that there happened to be a pediatric doctor on duty at Urgent Care, who is the one who organized sending Jonah to the Children’s Hospital and that we could not have asked for better people to take care of Jonah.
6. God – The privilege of being able to communicate with God is the greatest blessing of all.
Here a few pictures of the little guy’s Journey!
The IV was the worst part of this experience!
Waiting for the Ambulance to come get us. They gave him pain killers for the ride.
In the Ambulance. 1.5 Hour bumpy Ride.
Before and After Surgery.
Hooked On. Hooked Off.
Going Home and Resting.
Thank you again to All of You!
In case you want to know the basics of what to look out for in regards to appendicitis, here’s a few tips:
Your appendix is located on the lower right side of your belly. If your child (or you or whoever) complains of pain localized in just that one area, you should get it checked out. Jonah had low grade fever the two nights before – that, in combination with the pain is an even greater reason to go.
Always, always follow your instincts! I called Peds to get an appointment and they did not have any that day. I was told to wait, they would try and squeeze us in and they would call back within 2 hours. I did not wait. I went straight to Urgent Care (or would have the ER, if Fort Sill still had one). Peds did call me back after 2 hours just to tell me that they still did not have an appointment…. If you KNOW something is wrong with your child, don’t wait! You know your child best. Jonah does not admit to pain, so when he does, I know it’s worse than he says. My other children would have reacted differently – take the time to listen to your child and your own gut!