Saturday, August 30, 2014

Indappendix Day

July 4, 2014 will forever go down in Clapp Family history.  In our family, we have proclaimed it "Indappendix Day".   I know this is a milestone event in Sam's life that he will never forget, but I want to record the details for him.  I am pretty sure he was so delirious at points that there are many things he may not remember.  
The story began at 5:00 AM the morning of July 3. Sam woke me up complaining of a stomach ache.  My first thought was, "GREAT, just what we need before we leave for Africa, a stomach virus"(our trip was only 2 days away).  The last thing I wanted was to be battling that while we were on an airplane!!  It wasn't long before he started vomiting.  It was violent, and he had multiple episodes.  Looking back now, I can remember how uncomfortable he was.  He could not get comfortable and experienced no relief between episodes.  He also developed some diarrhea.  This went on until about 1:00PM.   Then, he seemed to be over the worst of it.  He settled down and took a long nap.  

The really tricky thing was that Cody started feeling kind of icky that afternoon.  So, it seemed logical that we were dealing with a typical stomach virus.  He never threw up and now, looking back, I think he was just exhausted, but, at the time, it made sense.  Sam woke up and said he was feeling a little better.  He even ate some pasta.  As the evening approached, he kept saying, "I feel a little better, but my side just really hurts(pointing to his right side).  I thought, it was probably just a pulled muscle from all the vomiting.  

We progressed through the evening and he kept complaining about his side.  At one point, my mom said, "Do you think it could be his appendix?"  I was like, "No Way!  Besides, we are going to Africa in 2 days!"  BUT, I couldn't get that thought out of my mind.  You see, appendicitis runs in Rick's family.  No one in Rick's or his siblings' families had ever had it, but his brother did at this age and some cousins and their kids have.  So, I decided to google it.  I know that can be dangerous, but I am really glad I did.  As I read the symptoms and thought through our day, I was getting concerned.  I decided to take his temperature.  He had a low grade fever.  He hadn't had one all day.  Then, I checked it every half hour and it was getting higher.  His pain was increasing.  The real kicker was that when I pressed on it, he had rebound pain, hurting worse when I let go than when I pushed down.  Rick and I had a small "conference."  I was getting worried.  I had to put aside thoughts of the Africa trip and think only about Sam and his health.  At 10:30PM, we asked Sam if he felt like he needed to see a doctor.  He said, "yes."  So off to the ER we went.
A little side note here.  We are very familiar with this ER.  This is the hospital where I was born.  This is the hospital Sam went to when he broke his leg at 10 months old.  This is the hospital Isaiah stayed at over one of our Thanksgiving trips to KY when he was having breathing issues.  Rick's sister works at this hospital.  I was the second grade teacher of two of Sam's ER doctor's children!!  CrAzY!!

They were not busy AT ALL and yet, we sat in the waiting room for over an hour.  Then, once we got into a room at 11:45, we waited another hour before the doctor came in.  Cody came with us to the hospital and since Rick's sister was working, she came down for a while to chat with us.
My poor boy was in SO MUCH PAIN!!
He did like those warm blankets!
 They immediately did blood work.  Once that was complete, the nurse came in to say that his white blood count was normal.  So, we needed to do a  CAT scan.  He drank the solution and then had to wait an hour before they could do the scan.  Thankfully, he fell asleep.  When they came to get him, it was hard to wake him up and get him over to the CAT scan room.  He was weak and shaking.  The minute we arrived in the room he started vomiting violently again.  My sweet little guy was shaking, covered in vomit and we had to help him get on the machine.  It was truly pitiful and broke my heart.  As I was standing in the room, watching them do the scan, I was praying it would be his appendix so we would have some answers.  I just wanted to have a solution so we could move forward with a plan to make him better.
 The results came back that it was his appendix.  
This was right after we told him the news.
 We had to break the news to him that he was not going to Swaziland and that I would stay home with him.
 Once they found out what it was for sure, they wanted to do the surgery ASAP!
They transferred us to a regular room at 6:45 AM.
 They gave him some pain medicine as we waited for the surgery.
 We prayed with him before they took him into surgery.
 Both of our moms were there to see him off
 He got a cool race car surgical hat
 Hugs before he left with Grandma(Rick's mom)
 I felt so bad for him.  He looked scared.  He said he was nervous.
 Hugging Grammy(my mom) before he went in
 Our last pic as we left him with the anesthesiologist
 While he was in surgery, we went back to his room to wait with our moms.  Rick's sister came by before she left to go home from her shift and my brother came by as well.  After being up for over 24 hours at this point, Starbucks was a HUGE blessing.  
White Chocolate Mocha don't fail me now!
 Since it was the 4th of July, the hospital was very empty and there were no scheduled surgeries for the day.  So, after his 45 minute surgery, we got to go into recovery with him.  He was so out of it.  He could not rouse from his slumber.  They even gave him a picture of his appendix to keep.
 Once he got cleared from recovery, we went back to our room, and we all slept.  We were able to sleep for about 1 1/2 hours.  The flight to Africa the following morning was leaving very early from Nashville.  We had planned to go to Nashville that day and spend the night.  So, Rick had to go home to get his things packed to leave.  When we said goodbye to him, we weren't expecting to see him again until he returned from Africa.
 Sam finally woke up that afternoon and he had some visitors. 
His cousins, Jordan, Brooklyn, and Zachary and his Aunt Kimberly and Uncle Andrew
His brothers and sisters came to see him that afternoon.  They brought him some gifts and a balloon.
Papa and Grammy(my parents)
 He looks so pitiful in this picture.  He needed to get out of the bed and walk around.
 They moved us to another room for the night because he was the only child on the pediatric ward.  Our one stipulation when they moved us was that they get us a DVD player so we could watch movies that night to entertain us.  We watch the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" movies.  We said our goodbyes to Rick, he left for Nashville, and we settled in for the night.  By the time I went to sleep that night, I had only had 1 1/2 hours of sleep in the last 42 hours.  I was exhausted.  Of course, being in a hospital is never restful because they come in and out of the room all night, but we slept pretty well.  Any sleep was welcomed!!
Rick's mom works the night shift at a nursing home so, the next morning, she came to see us after her shift and brought The Lego Movie for him.  That was a nice treat!
 Sam's recovery was going really well.  He had no fevers even though a low-grade one would have been normal.  He did not have any negative response to the anesthesia.  He was really doing great.  The doctor said that by day 3, he would probably not even act like he had surgery.  His surgeon was Dr. Thistlethwaite.  When he came in to see him on Saturday, he gave the okay for him to be released from the hospital.  He even added that he could travel to Africa in a few days if we brought him in that Monday morning to be cleared.  For the first time, we started to entertain the idea that we might be able to go!  
 After getting the good news that we could go home(to Papa and Grammy's house)
 Traveling in style
That blanket in the picture was with him through the whole process.  It is a very special blanket that was a very special friend's of his.  He doesn't leave home without his "Hadley blanket".
 Grammy came to pick us up.
 Grammy's chair on the porch was the perfect place to relax and recover
 The surgery was laparoscopic so he had two tiny incisions(under the big bandage) and one - 1 inch incision(the lower one) where they took out his appendix.
 He felt so good that night that we went out to eat at Cracker Barrel.  
When I took this picture, he said, "I feel like I am in Las Vegas with my beer(root beer) and playing poker."  This boy is so full of it.
 The girls were at a "girls' sleepover" at Grandma's house.  
Let's play a game of "Find Isaiah."  He is camouflaged in this picture.  I promise he is in there!
 The really crazy thing was that we saw his surgeon at Cracker Barrel that night.  He was glad to see Sam out and about.  
When we got home, Sam had his very own little 4th of July celebration.  The Barbours(neighbors) gave Sam some poppers and Uncle Brian and Aunt Ashley had brought him some sparklers and candy.  There was also someone in the neighborhood shooting off fireworks so we even got to see those!
 We definitely had a reason to celebrate!
Happy Indappendix Day!!

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