Right now, things have calmed down a bit. Fingers crossed, we’ve avoided a crisis of nightmare proportions…
…Monday 3:00 a.m., the incessant ringing of my cell jolts me awake.
I can’t find the damn phone and it stops ringing only to start again.
This time I found it buried under a pile of clean laundry.
When I saw my daughter-in-law’s name on the screen, I almost didn’t want to answer it.
Nothing good comes from a phone call at 3:00 a.m.
And not this time, either.
With a bad connection and dropped words, trying to hear/not wanting to hear, she told me that my son, Angel Boy, was taken to an ER in Rhode Island because of excruciating stomach pains and vomiting.
“What?” That’s all I could say. She had to repeat herself a few times and talk slowly. I wasn’t comprehending.
The pain was worsening and his belly had become distended and was filling with fluid.
The first thing you think of is appendicitis or even a burst appendix, but the tests were inconclusive.
There were other diagnoses floating around but none of the tests pointed to a specific diagnosis: gastritis, diverticulitis, colitis…
The pain was overwhelming and not responsive to morphine.
There seemed to be no other alternative than to admit him and prepare for more invasive testing.
A surgical team was hastily thrown together as exploratory surgery seemed to be the only option.
We’re in California. I’s 3:00 a.m. What do we do?
My tugboat man and I were able to get a direct flight out first thing in the morning and we arrived at the hospital in time to discuss Angel Boy’s medical condition.
Whatever it was, was serious, and needed immediate intervention.
Or. Or I won’t say, but you get the picture. OR is NOT good.
Because his belly was continuing to distend as it filled with fluid and the pain was increasing, there seemed no alternative than a laparascopy with a camera.
The head surgeon speculated about what he might find: a possible bowel obstruction AND something with his appendix.
We gave him the go ahead to fix what he saw, no matter what he found.
We all kissed him goodbye as the first pre-op drugs entered his body and the surgery commenced at 8:00 p.m.
At 10:30 the surgeon came out with a smile.
Apparently, my son had a congenital defect we were never aware of — because up until then it had never caused a problem.
An abnormal sac or pouch that develops at a weak point in the intestines is known as a diverticulum. In some instances, people are born with a diverticulum in their intestines. This condition is called Meckel’s diverticulum.
Meckel’s diverticulum develops between the 5th and 7th weeks of fetal growth.
Because the condition is present at birth, it is classified as a congenital health issue. Although it generally remains silent, life threatening complications may arise.
And they did.
It was a perfect storm of a worst case scenario.
He had a massive bowel obstruction; intestines were strangulated and all knotted up. By the time the surgery started, two feet (24 inches!!!) of intestine had lost blood supply and died, all within a time span of twelve hours. The surgeon removed the necrotic part, did a resection, including eight inches of colon and removal of his appendix.
Without this life-saving surgery, there is no doubt that this Mother’s Day would not have been. It’s anticipated that he’ll have a rapid recovery — he’s already walking around around due in large part to his overall good health and fitness level.
Now, as soon as he’s released and we can fly him back to SoCal, my Mother’s Day will be spent caring for my Angel Boy and nursing him back to health.
His future is as bright as it ever was; this was just a brief course change in a life full of joy and adventure.
My tugboat man and Angel Boy have plans to surf the south swell in SoCal this summer and that’s the best Mother’s Day gift I could ever imagine.
P.S. The surgical team at Rhode Island Hospital were/are AMAZING. We lucked out with a guy who clearly enjoys what he does, who knew his way around this type of surgery, and explained it all to us with intelligence and humor.