The plans were made, vacation time had been taken from work, and we were counting down the hours to when we would be leaving for Alabama for a mini family reunion. We were driving down to visit Chad's brother and family. His dad and another brother and family were flying out to be with us as well. We were excited! The day before we were supposed to leave I was just trying to get packed and tie up a few loose ends to be gone for a week. That morning I was babysitting for a friend. Porter usually loves having his little friends over. That day, however, he complained of an ouchie tummy and didn't want to play. I told him to lay on the couch until he felt better. I later saw him laying there and tears just streaming out of his eyes. Porter doesn't handle discomfort well, so I often go about my regular day when he "doesn't feel well." By mid-afternoon I decided to give him some pain killer. Still he was very whiny. I carried him up the stairs that evening. With every gentle step I took he winced. We decided this was the real deal (it very hard to tell with him), and we couldn't risk a trip out of state without having him checked out.
At Chad's request I took him to Dayton Children's E.R late in the evening. Porter had all of the classic symptoms, and after some tests it was confirmed. He had appendicitis. The doctors where somewhat surprised. Not many four year olds come in with appendicitis, and even fewer come in before it has ruptured. Porter's low pain tolerance turned out to be a huge blessing. With the diagnosis confirmed, we called our family and canceled the trip. Luckily for the flyer's we let them know just in time for them to turn around at the airport and drive back home.
Porter and I spent the most of the night getting him ready for surgery the next morning. Because he was hurting so much he didn't have the energy to fight the multiple attempts it took to start his IV. They started pain meds and antibiotics. By about 3 in the morning they finally took us to a room out of the ER to rest until morning, and let me borrow a breast pump so that I didn't explode.
Chad called our awesome neighbor to take the other kids bright and early the next morning so that he could be there before Porter was taken into surgery. He also brought me some make-up so that I could feel somewhat normal.
Everything went smoothly, as expected. It did give Chad a chance to be on the other side of surgery. We both felt like this would be a blessing as he interacts with patients and their families, and will help him be more empathetic.
Over the next four days, we had the privilege of spending some one-on-one time with Porter, and getting to know Dayton Children's Hospital. The staff there was so kind and sweet to the entire family as Porter recovered, Chad and I tag teamed the care of all of our children, and we witnessed the blessings of our Heavenly Father to our family.
The day after surgery, was Super Hero Day at the hospital. Porter was treated to visits by several of them. Also, several staff came bearing gifts. Porter was given everything from lunch boxes, to action figures. He got to make his own super hero cape, as well as one for Aimee, who was at school, and May, who was with Daddy. Pratt got to tag along and make his own.
Porter received so many gifts, that it actually became a problem. He was having a difficult time receiving his pain medication through his IV. It wasn't in quite right, but they did feel they couldn't improve it. Each time he received medicine, his smitten nurses would bring him a prize. We had to ask them to stop because at one point, Porter began asking what they were going to give him each time they came to care for him.
-Dr. Meager called this Porter's "worm removal." He did a fantastic job helping Porter see and understand what was happening.-While spending Chad's vacation at the hospital wasn't what we had planned, we can't imagine things having worked out better. We felt so blessed that both of us were able to work together during this time, and that we were able to see such kindness to our family by friends and hospital staff. Our Father in Heaven took such good care of our Porter, and our entire family, and we were grateful to so obviously see the hand of the Lord in our lives.