Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Phoenix Rising

"Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death. "  -Harold Wilson                     
                                                                             It had been a harrowing week. My daughter had been at a hospital since Tuesday last week.

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.



sieblonde said...

oh lordie.   You are so lucky she was able to call you back and you could take control.   I hope she recovers swiftly.  ~Sie

sieblonde said...

oh lordie.   You are so lucky she was able to call you back and you could take control.   I hope she recovers swiftly.  ~Sie

klconard1 said...

My goodness dear, how scary and how harrowing to be having such a tough time!  I am so sorry and will be praying for you and your dear daughter.
loving you

jeanno43 said...

What a trauma!  My heart goes out to you.  Your girl is very lucky. Many years ago my brother had exactly the same thing and kept being told it was a stomach bug.  In the end he collapsed and was rushed in screaming. His appendix had burst and he had peritonitis.  We very nearly lost him.  I hope they get the infection sorted out and she will recover quickly.  She will be in my prayers.


mom23nca said...

{{{{Dee}}}} What a scary awful week for you.  I am so glad they figured out what was wrong with her and I hope she gets better soon.  

ryanagi said...

Holy crap! I can't believe it took them so long to figure out she had accute appendicitis! I hope she improves rapidly and come home soon.

barbpinion said...

Geez, hon, you must have been terrified. I am so glad she is alright. Too close a call, if you ask me.
Barb- http://journals.aol.com/barbpinion/HEYLETSTALK

sdoscher458 said...

(((Dee))) Oh my word...that's so scary. Saying a prayer for her and you. I can
t believe it took them that long to guess it was her appendix.  Glad you were there for her right away....let us know how she is....Sandi

jtuwliens said...

Oh my...  Reading this has absolutely terrified me!  It was like a rollercoaster, which is what you must have been on this entire time.  The ups and downs, highs and lows, feeling helpless as if you were in a tailspin, or free-fall.  Oh dear God, I wished you would have said something so I could have prayed.  Prayer, I'm kinda good at that, ya know, and I will put your daughter at the head of my personal prayer list immediately.  Oh my...  the stress and worry you have been under.  Be well, rest, stay courageous, and keep us/me updated on how your precious daughter is doing.

fasttrack58 said...

Sending lots of hugs and only good thoughts!!
Linda :)

aiibrat said...

sending lots of hugs and prayers your daughter's way & you and your family.

jouell3935 said...

Dee...sending you all my positive thoughts and energy...Your strength is incredible...

ally123130585918 said...

Dee what a roller coaster road you were on - you must have been so frightened...Your poor daughter must  have been in such pain,  glad they finally solved the problem - hope she is OK now.....Ally

acyrlicstains said...

awh , so sorry to read this!~ wishing you all well quickly back to good health!
Renee' at

astaryth said...

For Cripes Sake! They couldn't figure out she had appendicitis??? This is just scary. Sending good thoughts your way. You must be exhausted!

jouell3935 said...

Oh Dee...Sorry I am so late getting around to this...My heart is with you and her. I can only imagine the pain of your heart..
She will be fine you state she is a fighter...has all the strength in the world..Just like Mom.
Keep us updated if ya can!

flossiepumpkin said...


delela1 said...

Hoping all is well and things have stabilized, for both of you.
Sending healing thoughts and prayers.

belfastcowboy75 said...

Jaysus, Dee, what an experience. We'd take on the pain ourselves without a second thought, wouldn't we?