Avery, Avery, Avery. I wish this was a funny story about some crazy antic that she cooked up…but it’s not.
The kids have all had the flu this past week and so things have been a little crazy in our household. Each kid had it for a day or two and then quickly got over it. With Avery, it just seemed to linger a little bit longer. Then, on Tuesday night, things got really different - she woke up screaming in pain and holding her stomach.
Avery has always been our high pain tolerance child. She just doesn’t feel pain like the rest of them and it has caused issues in the past: ear infections that get severe, before we even know what’s going on, cuts on the bottom of her feet that turn into an infection and require antibiotic shots, because she never let us know she was hurt…that kind of thing. So, when this girl says she is in pain, we listen.
I assumed it was constipation, following all the vomiting she had done over the weekend. So, we tried a heating pad, rubbing her tummy and giving her some children’s laxative. After a horrible night, she finally slept some and woke up fine. Wednesday went pretty good, but then come afternoon, she did it again - started screaming in pain, holding her stomach. We used the same routine and calmed her down again. Wednesday night…same thing. By yesterday afternoon, we knew something had to be up, because nothing we were doing, was working. She had refused to eat all day and had another screaming fit.
I had school last night and I just couldn’t miss it since I had a quiz in one class and a test in the other. I called Gail and she was able to take Bailey and Ryleigh, while Josh took the rest of them up to an urgent care. Right before my class with my quiz was about to start, Josh called and said that urgent care did a strep test (because at this point she also developed a strange little rash) and a urinalysis. They both came back clean, but with her recent vomiting and the location of the pain (right at her navel), they couldn’t rule out appendicitis and sent her directly over to the emergency room.
I was just going to take my quiz and then meet him at the hospital (because we had been told previously that even death was not a good reason for missing quizzes/tests), but my classmates told the professor what was going on and he told me to leave. He didn’t have an issue with me making up the quiz later. I knew that the professor I had the test with would be okay with me rescheduling, so I left and got to the hospital within a few minutes.
After a 30 minute wait in the waiting room, they took us back. They also weren’t sure about appendicitis, so they decided to start with x-rays and some blood work. Avery is not a needle-loving kid (find me one that is!) so I knew that the blood work would be an issue.
She did great with the x-rays and when the nurse showed up for the blood work, I warned him how strong Avery was. I don’t think that he believed me at first…but he quickly called for “back up”. Between the two of them, me and two needle pokes, they got their blood sample and put in an IV. She was rewarded with a cute teddy bear, which she named, “Mr. Cutie Pants.” By this point, she was exhausted. Days of not sleeping well, mixed with fighting off the needle, had worn her out. She took a little nap, while I sat there fighting off a panic attack.
I called Josh and suggested that he bring Luke to Gail’s house too (he had taken him to McDonald’s to let him get some energy out) and then come back to the hospital because it looked like it was going to be a while longer.
Thankfully, Gail was willing to take him and Josh made it back right as they gave us the test results. Her white blood cell count and electrolytes looked good, indicating that she most likely didn’t have an infection anywhere, or issues with her pancreas. However, when the doctor palpitated her abdomen again, he just didn’t like how she was reacting. He just felt that, “something wasn’t right” and so he decided to call Primary Children’s Hospital and talk to them, since they were obviously more prepared for pediatric issues. He was thinking it could be a bowel obstruction and surgery may be necessary.
After speaking with them, they agreed that they wanted her there, so we grabbed her (hospital gown and IV still in place) and drove her right there. When we arrived, we advised them that our hospital had referred us, and we were sent to the waiting room.
About THREE HOURS later, I was worried about her IV, since they still hadn’t seen us and I was sure that it needed to be flushed. I had already had to hold her down once…I sure as hell didn’t want to do it again if that IV went bad. We talked to the nurse and she agreed that it needed to be done. After causing her more pain, they were finally able to flush it. Then…we were sent back to the waiting room.
At this point, it was now 1:00 am and we were all exhausted and frustrated. It actually got to the point that as they were calling other people back, they were refusing their room, until Avery got one. Anyone could see that this little girl was in pain, in a hospital gown, with an IV and she needed to be seen!
Three and a half hours after we arrived…we finally got a room and were able to see the doctor. After additional x-rays and tests they determined that it was not a bowel obstruction, or her small intestine slipping into her large intestine. I honestly can’t remember what her diagnosis ended up being (something to do with how her bowel was shaped, due to all her recent vomiting…but it wasn’t serious and should fix itself in the coming week) because by this point it was almost 4:00 am and Presley was screaming from exhaustion.
They made Avery drink a little Gatorade and told me that if the screaming episodes happen again, or she develops a fever or has more vomiting, to bring her back in.
We finally slipped into bed around 5:30 am and collapsed from exhaustion.
Thankful…that our little girl was okay.