That Dreaded Call at 3:00 A.M.

fullsizeoutput_ea32020 Update:
I’m going to re-post this one from 2014 because I just saw this meme that triggered a memory. There have been many other moments like this, but the one that came first to my mind was at the hospital where we waited hours for the surgeon to walk off the elevator and tell us what the hell happened to my baby boy, and IF he was going to survive. Or not. I was strong, I was calm, I didn’t cry at all in front of anyone, but at one point, I remember going to the bathroom to cry a bit in private so I wouldn’t scare DIL, and I looked at myself in the mirror and told myself that if I cried, he died, so STOP IT and I forced myself to only think positive thoughts about the outcome, I’m not one that likes the anxiety of a cliffhanger, so I’ll tell you that he DID survive AND thrive, and that’s why we now have Angel Boy 2.0 and Angel Girl 2.0. But on that day and for two months after that, every day might have been his last, and I’m grateful for his every breath. If you know me IRL, you’ll know that is a very true statement.


May 2014

free_wallpaper_of_baby_a_cute_baby_holding_a_teddy_bearThey are always our babies, no matter their age, ya know?

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?

The Universe was in alignment and we were able to get the last seats on 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.

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.




84 thoughts on “That Dreaded Call at 3:00 A.M.

  1. Ohmigosh!!!
    So glad the surgery went well and he is recovering swiftly.
    I can’t even imagine what you went through…
    Though, in a way, I guess I can now.
    I hope things continue to go smoothly for him in the recovery department. If he ever needs to talk to someone who has been through something similar (with having sections of intestines removed) let me know and I can get him in touch with someone I know in Thousand Oaks.


  2. I haven’t been around for a while, but this got my attention. Glad everything worked out. Scary as hell. Poor boy. And yes, they ARE always our babies. 😉 Hugs to you. After that, I’m sure you could use one.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh my goodness! What a close call! So glad you were able to get to him and the surgery was a success! Happy Mother’s Day indeed! (Also glad the Captain was with you!)


  4. I nominated you for the Team Member Readership Award and wanted you to know. I understand if you don’t accept awards or don’t wish to do this. Just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate you and for your visits to my blog!


  5. Thank God for a good outcome! You poor dear.I had a call a few months ago at 2:30 Am from a hospital ER.My mind rushed…where were my sons and grandkids?One of my sons was working. I could hardly breathe. But the call was about an elderly couple, friends of ours for many years, who had been involved in a terrible accident hours before.None of their relatives were in-state and our number was in the man’s wallet.The wife was worse off but has made a miraculous recovery.The husband who had been slipping in doing downhill, He has had a full life, but no, there are no good calls in the wee hours UNLESS one is waiting for a birth announcement!


  6. I am crying with happiness for you. Yes, they are always our babies. I am so thankful for our medical teams – they perform miracles every day. Happy Happy Mother’s Day. ❤


      • He’ll be with us in SoCal for a couple of weeks and then go up to live with his wife in SF (she has a start up in silicon valley). He will prob take a teaching job at a uni out west altho he just told me he was offered a position at rutgers so we’re not sure. i’m just happy to have him home with me where I can cook for him and do his laundry ha ha. I’m doing good, thanks for asking! My mom was an RN and I have lots of docs in my family so I know my way around a hospital. It’s super important to have someone who can advocate for the patient to get optimal care so that’s why I’m here. I’ll be glad to get home, go the gym, and get my roots done!!!!


  7. I can only say three things: 1) I feel horrible for not knowing about this, 2) Holy Shit, and 3) Thank God. -head shaking- my heart goes out to you and yours. I’m so glad he’s fine. The thought of your boy in crisis is enough to make me cry. Please follow up with us. Love you. Love you soooo.


    • You are SO sweet! It’s been tough with NO access to my FB page to let everyone know and updates and all…it was touch and go for a bit, but he’s very fit and healthy and we’re getting discharged tonight or tomorrow morning. then it’s on to New Haven to clear out his office/apt and he’s coming home to recuperate with us. We’ll fly home by mother’s day. pretty awesome MD for me this year, that’s for sure. I’ll be blogging updates!


  8. OMG that is nerve wrecking call to receive and I can’t even imagine your stress flying across the country. Thank goodness he went to the hospital and didn’t try to tough it out. Blessings to you all.


  9. OMG, I am so grateful your story had a happy ending. I am sorry you had to deal with this; it is certainly my worst nightmare. I think we are all just one phone call away from being brought to our knees. Happy Mother’s Day!


  10. And, when I clicked on the “Like” it was because I “like” the ending to the story! What a scary time for everyone involved. All the best to all of you!


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  12. Girl! I’m so sorry to hear what happened to Angel Boy and so relieved that he will be making a full recovery! Can’t imagine how scary that must have been for you and your family. Sending all of my warm, fuzzy and good karma Angel Boy’s way! XOXOXO


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