Tabby’s Tummy

Those of you who I’m friendly with on FB already know that we had quite the eventful Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesday morning Tabby complained of a mild tummy ache. It wasn’t bad enough apparently to induce her to stay home and Matt sent her off. She was, it seems, perfectly fine throughout the morning but after nap, her tummy started to really hurt her. By the time Matt arrived to pick her up she was on the verge of tears.

I got home about 30 minutes after them (I was at the doctor and long story short, I probably have asthma) and by that time, she was crying out in pain pretty regularly. Matt and Ben then departed for tumbling and I started making dinner. Before long, Tabby was full on crying continuously and I went over to check her out. I barely glanced her tummy with my hand and she screamed out as though I’d pulled  a tooth without Novocaine. I asked her to point to where it hurt on her tummy and she pointed without hesitation to the region just below her belly button.

I called the after hours nurse line and hearing Tabby in the background was enough to have the receptionist put us to the top of the queue. The verdict was swift. Take her in right now. So I loaded her in the car and off we went. Luckily we have a great regional hospital that specializes in pediatric care and they run urgent care clinics at some of our other local hospitals including one about 20 minutes away from us. So we went there and checked in.

Matt and Ben finished tumbling and Matt dropped Ben off at my sister’s house and came to join us. We saw a nurse and doctor almost right away. Tabby was sobbing and couldn’t seem to walk on her own or stand up straight. On the gurney she curled into the fetal position and wouldn’t let anyone touch her. This started our hours of waiting. There were loads of doctors, nurses, tests and examinations. We saw at least three doctors, two nurses and a few techs. Tabby had an IV placed, lots of blood drawn, countless abdominal exams and an x-ray. White count up. UTI ruled out. Abdominal exam inconclusive (but hard to do properly with her in such pain). Obviously she was in pain, but why? Appendicitis was the likely culprit but it couldn’t be proven. For that we needed a CT scan and to get that we had to move on to the main campus.

It wasn’t done lightly, but the doctor said she couldn’t send us home with this unknown. With 95% of cases she said, she would send home without a second thought, but not this time. By this time it was after midnight and we’d checked in around 7. So we left my car and took Matt’s out to the main campus which is about 40 minutes away, though that late, probably a bit quicker. We had all her data and a contact on the ground and got in quickly and efficiently.

Then we got to start a new round of hurry up and wait. Vitals taken, more blood drawn, more urine sampled. The worst part was when they did the CT … let’s just say that getting the contrasting agent into the right spot for an abdominal CT is pretty terrible. But she soldiered on pretty well and really seemed to improve. Still, over 4 hours in we were told that in all likelihood, an appendectomy was in Tabby’s future, despite the fact that Tabby’s CT was pretty normal looking – there were enough other symptoms that they thought appendicitis was likely.

Tabby continued to improve and sleep (we did a bit as well) and before long it seemed unlikely that surgery was imminent – our happy little girl returned. Then they wanted to make extra extra sure nothing had been missed. Early hours CTs are read by outside contractors online and results aren’t always super reliable. They also wanted the attending surgeon to look at her before they discharged and he was busy with emergencies and scheduled surgeries. So we waited and waited and waited. I appreciate their caution on many levels but it got pretty bleak inside the four walls of the ER room. Tabby wasn’t allowed food for a very long time and was exhausted and starving.

Finally the attending appeared (along with his very hot resident) and gave Tabby a clean bill of health. In the end they couldn’t diagnose it as anything and they said that tummy pain, even severe, in younger kids is not uncommon and frequently goes away without a diagnosis. After he left, It took a bit longer for discharge but finally we were on our way. Tabby had downed half of a giant breakfast burrito and was much improved mood wise. She fell asleep before we left the parking lot.

Meanwhile, we had amazing elves helping us out on the homefront. My sister hosted Ben for a sleepover. She and he had picnics and played with her bunnies and watched Max and Ruby. She informs me he is a bit of a bed hog. Surprise suprise. Our wonderful sitter was kind enough to pick him up from her apartment so she could get to work on time and because in all the confusion, Matt had forgotten to leave a carseat for her.

My parents came over to our house to check in on Loki. They also got Tabby’s room ready for her new bed to be delivered (scheduled last week of course, next to impossible to move), moving her old bed and nightstand to our room to make way. They even took out the trash and then my mom cleaned our kitchen (!!) while the delivery people assembled Tabby’s new bed.

It’s times like these that reaffirm how incredibly blessed we are to have the great people in our lives. And of course how blessed we’ve been with generally healthy kids. At some point in time I sort of wished she had appendicitis because at least then we’d have a course instead of the interminable waiting and wondering with her in excruciating pain. But just the thought of her going in for surgery made want to throw up. I’m in awe of those who support their kids through serious illness. It cannot be easy.

So now we are at home, counting our blessings and very much looking forward to a good night’s sleep in our OWN BEDS.

3 Comment

  1. Quite the ordeal! I must admit, a few lines in, I was all, “it’s appendicitis” … Glad it wasn’t!!! 🙂

  2. Ani says:

    I was following as many updates as you can give. And I am so glad Tabby is alright and that the ordeal is behind you. It is scary with a little one. And you do have such a wonderful family. It is great!!!

    I have asthma too but mine have to do with allergies. I hope you get wonderful care like Tabby did:)

    Oh side funny sort of related story to Tabby’s. Though not funny at the time. While I was pregnant with Niel I thought I had appendicitis. Turns out after many hours in the ER that it was just ahem gas. Thankfully it was just that and no surgery was needed..

  3. Katie says:

    I’m glad she’s OK. I hope you’ve all caught up on your sleep now.

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