My daughter watching TV from her hospital chair
My youngest daughter Jaycie was scheduled to have her appendix removed on October 4th, but the mean little appendix wouldn’t wait that long. On the night of Tuesday, September 13th, Jaycie woke up sick and had stomach pain. If she hadn’t already gone through the whole perforated appendicitis with abscesses episode back in August, I wouldn’t have worried about a stomach ache but after all that, I knew better.
She stayed home Wednesday with me and wasn’t feeling any better by mid morning so I called the surgeon’s office and they said to bring her in so the doctor could take a look. One thing led to another and we found ourselves in the emergency room getting Jaycie ready for a CT scan again. She really wasn’t happy about having to get another IV put in and I don’t blame her! Since we were close to home this time, I asked my mom to come hang out with us and she did. There was no TV in the emergency room but Jaycie had brought her tablet and there was wifi so she watched Netflix while we waited.
Jaycie had a CT scan around 5:30 p.m. and about a half hour later the doctor came and said that her appendix was inflamed again but they didn’t see any abscesses this time. So they said surgery to remove the appendix was the best course of action and I wholeheartedly agreed! Jaycie was very anxious and scared about having surgery that night but we all knew she’d do much better once the mean little appendix was out.
It was around 8 p.m. when they took Jaycie back for surgery and she was understandably scared. I kissed her and told her I loved her and my brave little girl was off to surgery. Although the surgery happened ahead of schedule, I was relieved that it was being performed by the surgeon that was supposed to do it in October. He was very nice and explained everything and I had complete faith in his abilities.
My mom, myself and Jaycie’s dad had been in the surgery waiting room for an hour watching TV when the surgeon came back to say it went well and she was all done. He told us that there had in fact been an abscess but it wasn’t visible on the CT scan because it was behind a wall of skin as Jaycie’s body tried to protect itself from it. He showed us pictures he’d of her insides during the surgery (they did it all endoscopically) and it was both interesting and somewhat disconcerting. The surgeon explained that they’d removed the appendix and done their best to clean out all the bacteria but that she’d have to be in the hospital on antibiotics for a day or two to make sure she healed properly. I thanked the surgeon for his work and was again so very relieved he’d been the one to perform the surgery.
We waited another hour before a nurse came and said we could go see Jaycie in recovery. We all followed her down a few hallways and then into the recovery room where Jaycie was the only patient. She was lying in the hospital bed covered with blankets and mostly out of it as the anesthesia slowly wore off. They had her legs in compression cuffs that would squeeze on leg and then the other to promote circulation and prevent blood clots. I was familiar with such cuffs because my father had to wear them a few times during his hospital stays. It was a somewhat scary thing seeing them on my 10 year old daughter.
Although mostly out of it, Jaycie was happy to see us and she said a loud “Yay!” that her appendix were finally gone. She was a bit silly from the drugs but still my tough little cookie and I was so happy the whole ordeal with her appendix was coming to an end. They moved her up to a private room within a half hour and by then it was after 11 p.m. and we were all exhausted. Jaycie’s emotions were out of sorts due to the surgery and the medications and tears started to run down her face when I kissed her goodbye. This about broke my heart even though I knew she was going to fall asleep soon and not even know if I was there. I kissed her goodbye a few more times before leaving and promised her I’d return early the next morning.
Driving home in the dark that night was not fun as I saw several deer and a few of them had the audacity to run out in front of exhausted me. I made it home safely and collapsed into bed, setting my alarm for 5:30 a.m. the next morning. For the next three days I woke up before the sun and arrived at the hospital just before the sunrise or just after. I was there when Jaycie woke up every day and my mom arrived around the same time I did or shortly after. My mom and I would spend the day at the hospital with Jaycie until her father and Jordan arrived to take the dinner time to bed time shift.
Arriving at the hospital before sunrise
The first time I helped her get up to use the bathroom on Thursday morning she screamed in pain and that’s the most awful sound any mother can hear. She’s not fond of pain medications but they gave her some morphine that first morning and by the end of the day, tylenol was enough. She spent her days watching Disney Channel on the hospital TV and my mom and I would talk, read books or wander the hospital to keep our sanity.
Having endured the whole situation in MA when her appendicitis flared up, the days in her hospital as she recovered from her appendectomy were all too familiar. She was grumpy, not very talkative and didn’t want to eat the first day and then improve the second day and was eager to go home the third day on Saturday. The doctor who performed the surgery was one of the most attentive doctors I’ve ever encountered in all my times in hospitals (most of that when my father was ill) and he came in at least twice a day to check on Jaycie and talk to us about what they were doing and how things looked. With everything my father went through in hospitals, they’re not my favorite place, but this surgeon’s obvious care for his patients was very reassuring and comforting. He even came in earlier than he said Saturday morning so Jaycie would be discharged earlier and that meant the world to Jaycie, my mom and myself!
Jaycie was so happy to get out of the Saturday and to come home with me for the weekend. It was supposed to be her father’s weekend, but my house is much quieter than his since it’s just me and my animals so she came with me. Jaycie relaxed on my couch enjoying her favorite shows and tablet games and eventually transformed back into her usual talkative self. She had to stay home from school for all of last week and that was fine with her! I liked having so much time with her and seeing her heal and recover was extremely reassuring for me. She kept saying how happy she was that her appendix was out and she was out of the hospital and I understand completely!
My youngest daughter returned to school this morning for the first time since having the emergency appendectomy and she’s back to her normal self. She had her follow-up appointment with the surgeon yesterday and he cleared her to resume everything she usually does including participating in gym and PT and playing in band. We’re all very relieved that the mean little appendix is finally gone and that life can return to the usual routine. This has all shown me what a blessing the usual routine is and I’m so grateful that my baby is healthy once again!