December 7, 2013

Scary Weekend

Hannah Jane had a pretty scary weekend.  Well, we all did.  

Thursday the kids each went in for some dental work.  Hannah Jane was the only one who wanted the laughing gas, which she said made her feel sick to her stomach, but she was afraid so she wanted it anyway.  We left the office and came home to get back to school work, but Hannah Jane never got back out of bed.  She stayed curled up, saying she felt too sick to eat or drink.  I assumed her filling was hurting, and she was just needed an afternoon off, so I didn't push much.  By bedtime, she had eaten just a handful of noodles and gone back to bed.  

At 2 am, she was throwing up and I spent the rest of the night sleeping on the foot of her bed, keeping an eye on her.  She never quite bounced back after her dental appointment and she was sure that the gas had made her stomach feel this way.  It seemed like a reasonable assumption to me.

In the morning she could barely move.  After digging around online, looking for any connections between nitrous oxide and nausea, I found one journal that said that 0.7% of patients experience gastrointestinal side effects and several children's hospitals that ask parents to call if their kids are still vomiting after 24 hours, so I called our dentist.    The receptionist said that there is no link between nausea and the gas, and that she was either sick before she came or she was just so worked up about dental work that she was throwing up with anxiety.  She wasn't about to put me through to the doctor.  

I floated the thought on facebook (you, know, where all of the experts live) to see if anyone else's kids had ever had such a reaction.  Everyone agreed that the receptionist shouldn't be dispensing medical advice, but no one had a kid who was that ill from dental work.  

By lunch, she was screaming in pain and couldn't walk so I shot her to the ER.  She's never cried over stomach pain before and something was just not right.  I called Joe and he met us in the parking lot, and carried her in while I parked the van.  

She did this awful thing where she'd say she was scared and then say I love you in that tone that sounded like she was saying her last goodbyes.  Joe and I weer freaking, but trying to look calm.  She's always affectionate, but when she's writhing in pain and delivering especially sweet I love you's, affection feels pretty terrifying.  

Long story short, her appendix was bigger than it should be, but not so big that they wanted to rush in and remove it.  They gave her IV fluids, took some blood, and ultrasounded her to death, and decided that we should watch her for a while and see if things get better or worse before making a move.  Apparently, there are lots of things that mess with the appendix and most of them will go away over time. 

Today we went back in and had her IV removed.  She still hurts and she's still exhausted by the mere act of putting on pants, but she's able to carry on a quiet conversation now, which feels huge after yesterday when she could barely keep eye contact.  Her pain is less than it was, and she's mostly just bored out of her mind staying still, but hurting too much to get up and go.

Oh, what a weekend!  We cancelled all of our weekend plans and just plan on hanging around her bed for the rest of the weekend, trying to keep her entertained.  We're relieved, but still watchful.


  1. There is nothing more stressful to a parent than watching their child suffer pain. We are praying for HJ's swift healing and for peace of mind for you and Joe. We love you all dearly. ///D&D

  2. Oh my goodness I'm so glad she is okay!!!! Will be praying for you all that everything gets better and you can go home soon. xx

  3. Wow, what a scary time! I'm glad she is doing better. I know you didn't ask for advice here, so feel free to ignore, but I've taken some classes in natural medicine and one thing that is supposed to be good for appendicitis is a castor oil fomentation. You just soak a cloth in castor oil (choose a cloth you don't care about, because you'll be throwing it out when you're done). Lay it over the appendix area, cover with plastic wrap and apply alternating hot and cold packs. 12 minutes of heat, followed by 4 minutes of cold is the basic rule of thumb, but you can change between hot and cold whenever one of them starts to not feel as good.

    So there's my piece of amateur advice. Take it or leave it. (I haven't had a chance to try it since we haven't had appendicitis, knock on wood, but it doesn't seem like it could do any harm) Either way, I hope she returns to full health soon!

  4. Thanks, everyone! She's MUCH better today. Still taking it easy, but much, much better. The surgeon on her case just called and said that she's probably looking at another 6-10 days of discomfort, but should make a recovery without surgery.


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