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Truly Giving Thanks

August 12, 2013
  1. I’m thankful we have one of the best children’s hospitals in the world in Philadelphia.
  2. I’m thankful that hospital is a 10-minute drive from our home.
  3. I’m grateful to the staff at CHOP for the help they provided my son.

Technically, I missed yesterday’s journal entry and testament of thanks, but I have a really, really good excuse. And this will also serve as an education for you about a wonderful condition called “intussusception.”

Yesterday, Sunday, we attended a memorial service for Bob, my mother-in-law’s father and the man we fondly remember as “Pops.” Owen had a lot of fun with his Aunt Sissy, Uncle Deuce, his Gigi, and Ben, Sandy, Brad and Steven. He had the opportunity to sing two of his favorite tunes, “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and “Fly, Eagles, Fly.”

When we got home, after relaxing for a bit, Owen started experiencing abdominal pain, saying “Belly hurt” over and over again.

Then the pain really started setting in for him.

In addition, he had some devastating diarrhea going on, too. Originally, I thought he was just dealing with cramping from the diarrhea, but the pain he was experiencing was just beyond reason, so Meg, wisely, put a call in to Owen’s pediatrician. When she mentioned the consistency and gave a description of the last poop, the pediatrician, Dr. Alexis, said “Go to the hospital, now.”

Off we went for the most stressful drive I’ve had since Meg was in labor with Owen.

We arrived at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Emergency Room, and, after a relatively short but scream-filled wait, we were brought back.

The doctor who examined Owen narrowed the probable causes of the pain to intussusception or testicular torsion. An ultrasound and X-rays were ordered. As was morphine. At this point, it took every bit of strength I had to not fall apart. IV line started, morphine administered, and Owen was alright with the world.

(Side note: A board and wrap were put on his IV arm to keep him from pulling everything out, so Meg and I referred to it as his “robot arm” for our hospital stay.)

The initial ultrasound showed that, in fact, intussusception was probably the problem, so we were told the most likely solution: The radiology surgical team, with help, would place tubing up my son’s butt, to have air pumped in to straighten his intestines and bowels out. “Simple procedure,” we were told, and, it seems, fairly common. The radiologist said ours was her third that week, and she’s done over 5,000 in her career.

Owen was less than pleased when the three nurses and two doctors held him down, inserted a tube in his rectum, and started blowing air up his ass. However, the procedure took care of everything and he was great, if farty, pretty much immediately.

We were told Owen would be kept overnight for observation. The process started around 10 p.m., and we were in our room around 1 a.m. With paperwork, rounds, and everything else, it made for a less-than-great night’s sleep.

When he woke up, Owen was his old self again. For proof, look below:

We had to wait until he was cleared to have clear fluids, then solid foods, then eat a whole meal. In the end, we were there until around 6:30 p.m., making for a 24-hour stay at the hospital.

I wish I could remember all the people I want to thank. Unfortunately, panic, exhaustion, and a crap memory restrict my recollections to Kalal, Megan, Walt, Dr. Liu, Caitlyn, and Sanna. For everyone else, I offer my most sincere thanks.

Oh yeah, everyone agreed that not only was Owen the smartest child they’ve ever seen, he’s also the most gorgeous. That’s my boy.

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