I’ve been so tardy to blog about the past month. I’m really tired of talking about it actually. But it hasn’t been that long since my head has popped out of the clouds and I am looking backwards like I told myself I would when I was in the middle of it. We’re all in the middle of something, right? I’m still telling myself I’ll understand more in another [insert time period here].
So, Eden got sick. We were at the doctor’s office getting Josiah’s stitches taken out. (he bashed his head laughing–no seriously). Eden threw up and she laid on the couch the rest of the day, throwing up now and then. I sent her to bed that night promising her that she’d feel better in the morning. She didn’t act any better. By 11am I noticed she was holding her lower abdomen, not typical for her with a tummy bug. I took her temp, it was normal. She also wasn’t seeing any action from the other end, if you know what I mean. So I asked her where it hurt and she showed me where. It was sorta close to the lower right. I looked up appendicitis in the good old Focus on the Family Childcare book. Oh boy. I then gently pressed on the lower right and other places on her belly. She only winced once on the right. I called Dr. bro-in-law, neither one of us were convinced. Then Eden got a little better and I felt a little relief. She took a nap, and two hours later she felt worse. I had her go pee and she said it hurt, “It feels like my leg is broken!!!” She hollered. I called a local doctor friend, my bro-in-law said Eden probably should be seen by someone local. I described the new stuff to him and he said,”Yeah, if it was my kid, I wouldn’t take a chance. Sorry for giving you an 8hr adventure.” So off to the ER we went. That was 5pm.
I watched Eden turn grey. I saw her writhe, as if in labor on the flimsy papered ER bed. I saw her fall in and out of sleep. The adventure was just beginning. It climaxed with the ER doc palpitating Eden’s belly. I almost grabbed her hand I saw how badly it was hurting her. Eden got wide eyed and barfed all over. Oh Lord, no fun.
Eden got an IV (she was amazing about it), she got lots of blood drawn, she went to the bathroom. As it got to be hour 4 in the ER the surgeon popped in,”Oh yeah, she’s got the look! We’ll get her started on antibiotics and we’ll take that nasty bit out at 9am.” That was that. I scurried to find a sub for my art classes. I called my parents. I arranged childcare. Joel went back and forth getting overnight stuff, calling everyone, getting me some food, getting Eden her favorite stuffed animals. Joel went home, returning that next morning for the surgery. I stayed in the ER til 2am getting a lesson plan together for my sub who also was up until 1:30 waiting for the lesson. God is truly our Shepherd. What a needy, desperate sheep I am.
When we got set up in our room, I’m not sure if I actually relaxed. But I felt like it was the next step. It was. We had a bathroom, and a TV and a door. I tucked Eden in, I turned off the lights. Then when I was in the middle of telling the symptoms and saga to another nurse a familiar face showed up,”Fernando!” I said in my most enthusiastic tone for 3am. An old college friend who we bump into occasionally. I knew he worked there and he was on the night shift. His field had nothing to do with what was wrong with Eden but he sat down and we chit-chatted. I told him my oldest kid was 9, he said I was an old lady. It was great to talk to someone else. Someone who was awake, who has little kids, who makes me laugh. It’s the little things. Yeah, he got a thank you card! Going to sleep was not easy, but it came.
The next day started three hours later. Surgical folks are like cold zombies, but they got the info out, and the job done. The nurses were beautiful and so giving. What a job to enter into a family’s life at a very vulnerable point and listen, relate, talk, comfort, execute tasks patiently, and rely information. And get me beverages! Joel got there a little after 8 with coffee and homemade oatmeal. I love my husband. They told us Eden’s surgery would be at 9am, but we waited until 10. And in a flash we were taking our morphined little girl downstairs. She was upset, she whimpered and said she didn’t want to go. I couldn’t keep it in. We held her, we told her the pain would be gone. The surgical nurses hooked up her anesthesia and as we watched her drift we talked about what was on TV and the nurses admired her freckles. The older nurse hugged my shoulder, “This is the hardest part for me, I hate seeing Mamas cry.” I had nothing left to keep it in, and I think tears in the hospital is totally acceptable. Eden drifted off and Joel pulled me to him and we walked back up to Eden’s room. We cried, and prayed, and talked about how good God is. That what we were going through was not a mystery, it wasn’t grim, everything would be fine. It seems we just did that for 45 minutes, and it was over. I went downstairs and got groggy Eden from post-op. Again, more wonderful nurses, more quiet tears. Eden was all pink and morphined and beautiful. I wish I had a picture of her rosy cheeks.
The next couple days were full of taking vital signs, getting her to go pee (absolutely NO FUN). Getting her to drink and eventually eat stuff. Eden is a terrible sick person when it comes to eating and drinking. She doesn’t like the BRAT diet. She doesn’t like juice or soda. They kept wanting her to drink juice, heh. Oh well. We discovered the magic food groups: chocolate milk and Coco puffs. She got visitors. The most precious times. My friend Sarah came with a whole Madeline collection that her daughter was willing to pass on to Eden. Sarah also gave Eden a Madeline doll. Equipped with appendix scar. I had never heard the story, and Sarah sat down and read it to her, I couldn’t hold it in, so sweet to have someone else love on Eden too. Sarah also painted her toes gold. Eden got sticker books, reading books, shrinky dinks, coloring books, foam stickers, notepads. We were a regular Craftin’ Corner! Balloons, Barbies, and stuffed animals were also gathering. My parents came to visit too, and I had no idea how freaked my mom was until a couple weeks later. I know her prayers were answered after all the horror stories she was hearing. I’m glad she didn’t share them with me, that’s one reason she’s an awesome mom. She loved on Eden with more stories and books. Another special guest was Ms. Agee, Eden’s teacher, who had her appendix out when she was younger and that is just another little gift out of this whole event. She brought cards from all her classmates, and more presents! Josiah and Eden visited in the evenings, and Josiah drank all Eden’s juice and Tessa “shared” Eden’s Fruit Loops. Eden loved seeing her sibs.
The Lord’s mercies are new every morning. This we knew. I spent the second night at home with my two healthy kids, and Joel stayed at the hospital with Eden. Although there was much to be done, there was chili and mac and cheese and lasagna in the fridge. And my bed felt awesome to sleep in. Then, Eden blew everyone away with her amazing ability to heal quickly. Although her appendix had ruptured, she never had a fever. She started walking to the bathroom by day two. She was handling her pain better than I had ever imagined. She’s not known for a high pain tolerance. Day three to was trucking around in a wheelchair and walking to the craft room. We made more stuff! Of course. She met lots of therapy dogs too, what fun. We were in the hospital with a friend too. My friend Tessa had had a baby 5 days prior to having to come to the hospital. Her baby Charlie was having seizures. Ugh. So when Eden was able to move around, we went and visited Charlie. She was nervous about seeing a “sick baby” but one look at him and we knew he wasn’t the kind of “sick” she thought he would be. He was rosy and cute. And again, it was good to see familiar faces.There came a point on that Wednesday that I missed Eden being in bed. Because once she was feeling better she was keeping me way busy. It was just the waiting game of being told when we could go home. I was sleep deprived and coffee deprived on Thursday morning, and a nurse came in with discharge papers, just like that! Man, again, I couldn’t hold it in. Happy tears. It was so good to get Eden home, and plop her on the couch. The medicines were yucky, and we had to do some readjustments to antibiotics, but she now has her belly button back, with a much smaller scar than Madeline has. I still feel like she looks thinner, but it might just be a right of passage. She didn’t act like a baby, she was a big kid going through this. Now she’s got a scar and a story and no more baby fat. My girl Eden, what a chapter! I look back and I just wonder why I worry about anything ANYTHING at all. Everything was laid out perfectly.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33