(This break from The Love Dare brought to you by REAL LIFE)
Early Monday morning about 2 AM:
The Hunk woke up with a stomach ache. He thought maybe he was just hungry so he proceeded to the kitchen for a glass of water. He then was extremely nauseous and had to run to the bathroom. The stomach pain and vomiting continued throughout the night.
I was completely oblivious since I was sleeping soundly as a rock until 6 am when the Blue-Eyed Boy and the Red-Haired Girl awoke. The Hunk then informed me that he had been up all night vomiting and that I needed to get up with the children (normally he gets up with the children while I sleep for an uninterrupted hour of bliss) I was not happy with this, and proceeded to grumble my way out of the bedroom (I’m so sweet aren’t I?).
He got up a little bit later and looked awful. He was running to the bathroom every half hour or so and running a low grade fever, so I figured he had the flu.
It was the Blue-Eyed Boy’s very first field trip for preschool that day and I had already arranged for my sister to watch the Red-Haired Girl. So, I left the Hunk home feeling awful (and desperately trying to find someone to fill in for him at work) and had a blast on the field trip with my boy.
I came home to find my husband not only looking worse but in massive amounts of pain. He kept insisting to me that I needed to take him to the doctor because he was having “the worst pain of his life”. I being the very kind and compassionate wife that I am basically told him to “suck it up” and that he would feel better the next day (I was certain he just had the flu!!!–regular not swine).
Now I must explain a little something here. We have no health insurance for the Hunk and I. We are poor enough that the kids qualify for Medicaid so they are covered, but Medicaid doesn’t cover adults-unless they’re pregnant females or have some sort of medical condition (I know it’s more complex than that, but that’s my quick 2 second explanation). We have signed up for insurance through the Hunks new job, but it’s a NEW job so the insurance wouldn’t kick in for 6 months after his start date. 6 months is November 6th(in case you’re not paying attention Monday was October 5th–perfect timing-no?).
This is why I was willing to leave my poor husband writhing on the couch in pain (and because I’m a horribly unsympathetic wife). I also seriously believed he had the flu and there was nothing a doctor could do. But my husband kept insisting he needed to be seen by a doctor. So, I said “okay, fine, lets go”, thinking that we were just going to waste a couple hundred bucks for the doctor to tell him to go home and rest.
So, around 4:30pm I load the kids into the car, pack the diaper bag full of diapers and clothes and books and toys. Then I practically carry my very sick husband out to the van.
Even though I grew up here, this does not mean that I know where things are anymore (I do have a bad memory and things have changed). So, before we left I did a quick search for an Urgent Care Center (UCC from now on, okay?). There was supposedly one about 6 minutes from our house. 20 minutes later we had yet to locate this UCC. I had remembered seeing a walk-in clinic so we tried there. After carting my children and practically carrying my husband up a huge hill and down a very long hall to the walk-in clinic we were told that they couldn’t see us (because they didn’t have Urgent Care capabilities). Thankfully they told us where the nearest UCC was and we finally found one right where they said it would be. Unfortunately for my husband this 5 minute drive turned into an hour of lostness–poor guy, he was in A LOT of pain (you’ll find out why in a few seconds).
Thankfully the UCC was empty and they brought us back in about 10 minutes. The nurse asked us questions, took his temperature (99.9). Then she took his blood pressure–160/98. (If you don’t know that is HIGH, but actually one of the lowest ones he will have). They were concerned about this so they were going to recheck him in a little bit. The doctor came in and checked him out -pushing on my Hunks abdomen and looking really concerned (this is when I started to think that maaaaybe he didn’t have the flu). He then said, “I’m thinking it’s probably appendicitis, but I can’t diagnose that for sure here because we don’t have a CT machine so I’m going to have to send you to the emergency room”.
He also said a lot of other stuff, but I was too busy alternating between disbelief, extreme panic, and feeling awful for not believing my husband and for letting him writhe in pain for so long on our couch at home. The Hunk of course was perfectly fine because he had thought that this must be what it is.
His blood pressure at this point: 172/103
So, they give us a map to the closest hospital and call ahead to talk to the surgeon on call, and let them know we’re coming.
We arrive at the hospital around 7:30pm. We had to wait for what seemed like FOREVER. But around 8 they took him back for some blood work and were going to “be right back with him”. Next thing I know I see them wheeling him into the triage area. So, I had to grab a nurse and figure out what was going on.
While I was waiting for that info. My very tired and wore out children were doing remarkably well, and completely oblivious to the fact that their mommy was freaking out and their daddy was very sick. They did have a nice little kid sized table with tons of books for them to play with so that helped a lot. Until the Blue-Eyed Boy toppled his chair over backwards and smacked his head on the hard tile floor. He had a pretty good sized goose-egg on the back of his head for that. And OH DID HE SCREAM. Which didn’t help Mommy’s stress level–especially with the check in nurse glaring at me(probably figuring I was a horribly unfit mother).
Finally get to go back and see the Hunk and he is hooked up to every machine they have because of his high blood pressure. They had also started an I.V. and had given him some Morphine for the pain. We then decide that it would be best for me to take the kids home and put them to bed, and then come back(we live with my sister who was going to watch the children for me, I don’t know what we would have done without her).
When I got back they had pumped him full of morphine and were making him drink this Contrast stuff (which he said tasted REALLY REALLY BAD) in preparation of his CT scan. It was 10:15pm. His labs showed his white blood cell count was up to 21.0 (normal is between 4.0-10.0). Because of this they had him hooked up to an I.V. and were pumping him full of antibiotics.
They were taking his blood pressure every few minutes at this point. The lowest I ever saw it was 165/99 and the highest I saw was 176/106.
The CT scan showed that his appendix was indeed inflamed, and there was some fluid around it. They suspected that it may have already burst, but were going to let the doctor look at it before they decided anything. The reason this is important is because if his appendix had already burst they would have to do a full on slice his belly open and clean him out surgery (obviously much more complex) rather than the laproscopic surgery where there are just three one inch incisions (less invasive=much easier recovery).
It was now after midnight and the surgeon, Dr. Cooper, was on his way in.
I get fuzzy on time right now because so many things happened. But eventually the nurse came and took us up to the surgery floor and we got to meet Dr. Cooper and the anesthesiologists and other nurses who would be doing his surgery. Everything was explained really well to us, including risks and what exactly would happen. All of our questions were listened too and answered very well. Dr. Cooper decided that he would start the surgery laproscopically but if he got in there and the appendix was already burst they would have to switch to the other way (Thankfully the surgery was done laproscopically–his appendix had not burst).
Around 1:45am they sent me off to the surgical waiting room and said the surgery would be done in about an hour. Let me tell you it was the longest wait of my life. But just as Dr. Cooper had said at 2:45am he came bursting into the waiting room to tell me everything went well. The only problem during the surgery was that the Hunks blood pressure spiked dangerously high (he didn’t tell me numbers and I was so relieved that everything was okay that I didn’t have the presence of mind to ask intelligent questions—all I could think was “don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry”). I wish I had asked when I would get to see him because I was not prepared for another long wait. But that is what happened. Around 3:15ish the recovery nurse called me back saying he was awake.
Needless to say the sight of my husbands beautiful green eyes looking at me were a very welcome sight.
He stayed in the recovery room for another 30 minutes or so. They continued taking his blood pressure every 5-10 minutes. The lowest I saw was 146/98 and the highest was 165/102. Then he was brought up to his room and settled in. I had to fill out some paper work and then I left him there to sleep.
He ended up staying in the hospital until Wednesday afternoon because of his blood pressure. He had to meet with the heart specialist and do all kinds of testing to try to figure out why he is having high blood pressure. We are hoping they will figure it out soon. We have a lot more tests for him to go through in the coming weeks. In the meantime they have him on some hypertension medicine. When we left the hospital his blood pressure was 132/80–MUCH improved.
Thankfully he is home now and while his recovery is slow and pain-filled he is doing remarkably well. We are all just so happy to have him here. The hospital staff was fabulous- I can not say enough good things about everyone we met. And in other good news–due to a hospital program and Medicaid we should have zero hospital bills from this stint (Praise the Lord).
Yesterday was my 27th birthday and I couldn’t think of anything more that I could want then my husband alive and well.