Thursday, October 29, 2009

Journey to the ER (Updated with pictures).

You never realize how quickly your life can be thrown into upheaval until it is. One day K was feeling just fine and then all of a sudden not. As you can read from the previous posts we had a lot of fun this weekend at the pumpkin patch and SS was just eating up all the Halloween fun. We had no indication about what witch's concoction was brewing in my wife's bowels. Mind you, K has had her fair share of pain over the years, but this was a new experience and not one we will soon forget. She's given birth, had her leg shredded by an ATV wheel, fallen 10 feet onto her back while rock climbing, and knee injuries that have required two laparoscopic surgeries. For all of you who've given birth, present company not included (although I have heard it's painful), the pain from this recent experience was the same if not worse than childbirth.

It started Monday during the day. When I came home for lunch K was experiencing some abdominal discomfort. This is not an unusual occurrence because my wife tends to have boa constrictor cramps during that very special time of thee month. Unfortunately (or should I say fortunately ;) ), it wasn't that time of the month. Needless to say the pain got worse but wasn't unbearable.

One thing you need to know about K is that she tolerates pain well. What would have me bowled over crying like a baby is akin to a hang nail to her. Monday night she had a fitful night of sleep and woke up around three in the morning with a fever and unable to sleep because of the pain. I gave her one of my Vicodin but that didn't really help so she just sucked it up.

By the time I was ready to go to work Tuesday K seemed to be doing a little better, she wasn't complaining of a fever with the pain subsiding a bit. I returned home for lunch at noon. I did suggest that she go to the Dr,, but my wife is more stubborn than the soap scum on our shower doors and thought she should wait a little longer. She didn't have to wait long. I got a call from K shortly after returning to work. She said she was struck with a excruciating pain in her abdomen and had been vomiting for the last 30 minutes. I felt awful for her and decided to make the decision for her to go to the Dr. She seemed scared and K does not do scared.

I rushed home from work and off to urgent care we went. SS was a trooper through it all. K was really concerned how she was going to handle seeing her Mama in so much pain. The pain was so bad K couldn't get from the bathroom to the living room to get the phone to call me. She felt so guilty that she asked SS to fetch her cell phone. I pointed out that SS really wants to help us and that's what's important. Later, K told me that SS handed her the phone, then kissed her forehead.

At urgent care K was seen promptly, which is a first. The nurse gave his own presumptive diagnosis that it was probably the flu, since that's what's been going around. If only it were that simple. Fortunately, the Dr. did a thorough examination and decided to look past the common flu and what was causing the pain. At this point K did not have a fever, but something bothered the Dr. when it came to the intense pain and he felt she could have one of two possible diagnoses, either a left side appendicitis or diverticulitis. Without the equipment to make a proper diagnosis and because of the seriousness of the situation he referred us to the ER and called ahead for them to await our arrival.

We went to the ER and like urgent care, were seen promptly. They didn't even ask for the insurance card straight away. A CT scan of K's abdomen was ordered and soon after we got the results. It was diverticulitis with a perforation of her colon. The nurses were surprised that she wasn't expressing more pain considering the diagnosis and were also surprised that she had no clue that she had diverticulitis. By this time K was running a fever of 102 and as you can imagine not feeling so great. Then we got our surprise, she would require emergency surgery to repair the perforation. Okay, K is used to having surgery so no big deal, right? Wrong! The surgeon arrived to tell us what the surgery would entail. Not as simple as we thought it would be. The part of her colon that was perforated and inflamed would have to be removed, but because it was infected could not simply be reattached to her intestines. Instead she would require a colostomy. The first thing we though was, oh God, is this permanent? The good news is no, but it would require a stay of 3-5 days in the hospital, a wound that would remain open to heal over the course of six weeks, followed with a second surgery to reattach the ends in 3 months.

So with that we waited for K to be taken in for surgery. It was backed up in the OR Tuesday night and K was taken in around 9:30. SS and I stayed in the waiting room, alone for what should have been a 1 1/2 hour surgery that turned into almost three hours. The first hour and a half went by fine. Then SS fell asleep and my worrying got the best of me. I kept asking recovery how she was doing and they kept saying she's not out of surgery yet. That was the worst, not knowing if it was going okay or not. Then I started thinking, how can I make it without her? She's the better parent of the two of us and I could never do all that she does. Makes you realize how much you love, care, and need someone when you might lose them. It took me back to when JJ suffered his PE and was in the ICU, but at that time I had K to hold on to. This was different, SS was sleeping and I was all alone. So scary.

At 12:20 the Dr. came out to tell me the surgery went fine. She would be in recovery for the next two hours and that now would be a good time to take the baby home. I made phone calls to let the family know she was out of surgery and I took SS home. I was so relieved that K was okay. I thanked God and tucked SS into dreamland.


Cutest little devil.

Don't worry, everyone is taken by my skull tutu and baby horns. No one will notice that I'm up to no good.

BTW, that is the remote.


2china4S said...

"... my wife is more stubborn than the soap scum on our shower doors." Oh P, 15 years together and you are still such a hopeless romantic. Snort

Brenda said...

OK guys - how is the recovery going? I'm DYIN' here wanting to know how K is doing!