She drove to Tallahassee and Orlando for the weekend and came back on a Sunday evening. She said she started throwing up on the way back to her dorm. She thought she ate something that did not agree with her so she went to sleep. She woke up on Monday with a stomach pain so she went to the emergency room. They told her that she was just dehydrated from the trip so they intravenously hydrated her and sent her back to her dorm. She was supposed to have dinner with me that day and see her brother's Stage Fright show. She did not show up so I left several messages on her cell phone to give me a call. I told myself that she must be exhausted from all the malaise so she was sleeping it off.
The next morning, I was just so worried about her that I left another message on her cell phone stating that I was worried about her and that I will break into her dorm if I do not hear from her immediately. My cell phone rang after a few minutes. It was my daughter. She said that she was still feeling really bad and her vomiting and stomach pain seemed to have intensified. I picked her up from her dorm and brought her to the emergency room. An emergency room doctor immediately saw her because she was doubled in pain and was spewing greenish fluid all over the waiting room.
I was told that she probably had a viral gastroenteritis, food poisoning or an intestinal obstruction. They ran several tests on her including x-rays and EKGs. They gave her more saline IVs and some meds for her vomiting. She was still in great pain, still vomiting and generally miserable by that evening. I was told that all they can do was wait because intestinal obstruction was ruled out and time will take care of the other two diagnoses.
All these times, she was feverish, and her heart rate and blood pressure started creeping up. She looked delirious and in pain. I never felt as helpless and scared in my life. I knew there was something wrong with her but I could not do anything about it. She was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit before midnight. They gave her sleeping pills and some pain medication and the vigil started.
She woke up early the next morning with the same symptoms: stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea. She still had a high fever, plummeting heart rate and erratic blood pressure. She was in a bad way. At 10 AM her stomach ballooned as if she was in her third trimester and she was disoriented. Several specialists were called to the floor and suddenly a swarm of technicians with portable CT scanners, EKGs and other medical equipments were all over her. I watched the commotion with an overwhelming fear. One of the specialists, a surgeon, told me that there seem to be a lot of fluid in her stomach and he needed to do a surgery on her to find out what was going on. He told me about the possibilities: a leaky intestine, a diseased ovary, liver or kidney, a stomach cancer or a ruptured appendix. He said the surgery needed to be done at that moment because my daughter could die from any of the possible diagnoses without it.
They started preparing her for the surgery and when the nasogastric tube was inserted in her and her nose started bleeding, I broke down. I told the medical staff that I was going outside because I do not want her to see me that way. My daughter did not cry or exhibit any fear and I was glad because I probably would need to be sedated if I ever see her scared and in more pain. The operating room nurse walked with me and told me that she will call me during and after the operation to let me know what was going on.
The operation was a success. The surgeons opened an eight inches incision on her stomach and found her appendix ruptured. One of the surgeons said all her organs were bathed in bile so they cleaned her insides up and took care of the appendix remains.
She was transferred back to ICU where she was put on a regimen of intravenous antibiotic, narcotic drip, saline solution and potassium chloride. Yesterday, her vital signs were back to normal, she was able to get up and walk, and she had her first intake of fluids. She was transferred to a regular hospital room. She seemed to be doing well, but this morning she started having high-grade fever indicative of infection. The surgeon said that she might have an abscess in her incision site so a CT scan will be done and a tube will be inserted to drain fluids off the abscess.
That was how I spent my week: on my toes trying very hard not to have a nervous breakdown or cardiac arrest. I would not wish it to happen to my worst enemy. The fear of losing a child is a mother’s worst nightmare. Iam still worried about her but I have known this child all her life. She is a fighter. She will be well, and out and about soon.