The past two weeks have been nothing short of disastrous, as well as scary and overwhelming.
On Feb 25th I headed to Missoula, MT (10 hr drive) to help my mom recover from major back surgery. She had a difficult time coming out of the anesthesia, so after a gripping ten hours, she seemed to be okay and I took her home two days later. We spent the next week in a daily routine of basic survival, as well as short walks and LOTS of home-improvement shows. :)
Mom was doing amazingly well, but my MS was starting to rear its ugly head and I had this overwhelming sense of urgency to get back home. After I was assured that the proper in-home care was in place by Friday afternoon, (March 6th) I finalized my plans to head back home the following morning.
About an hour later, I received that phone call that ALL parents dread. My son, Brandon, had been injured at track practice and was in the ER. Based on what I was being told, I suspected it was a major injury to his right ankle. He is a sophomore at Western Washington University and has a partial scholarship for track. They were just starting their outdoor season, and he had big plans (realistic) to go far in discus, shot put and the hammer throw. This was a season-ending injury, as he broke his fibula and ruptured the main stabilizing tendon of his ankle. He had emergency reconstructive surgery Friday night (8 pins in the bone, open reduction and tendon repair), while I waited by tensely several states away. (It would make no sense to leave that night. I wouldn't get home until four in the morning, long after the surgery, and there are three passes to get over.)
My son got back home on Saturday afternoon, just a few hours before I arrived. It's an incredibly painful injury, and a week later, he is still laid up on the couch. He's a major athlete and normally works out nearly every day, so this is a tough one for him.
By Monday we were starting to fall into a routine of medication and brain-numbing activities while he tried to keep himself from going crazy. I had thought we over the worst of things. Then Tuesday morning happened.
My fifteen-year-old daughter, Megan, woke up feeling quite sick. She threw up, felt better, but then took a turn for the worse. About eight hours later, after non-stop vomiting and inability to keep anything in, I took her to the ER for fluids. They treated her for a stomach flu and sent us home. She went to her dads since we were all afraid of Brandon catching it, too...which would be horrible.
After the pain meds wore off (her lower back was hurting), she was right back to where she had been earlier in the day. In addition to the nausea, back pain and general malaise, she had this overwhelming sense of dread. The only other time I had seen her this way was four years earlier when her appendix ruptured. I took her seriously. Back to the hospital she went, but to the bigger one this time, where they have pediatricians.
Thankfully, they ran a full abdominal blood panel, otherwise they would have never thought to look at her pancreas: she's just way too young. She had acute appendicitis, with her lipase over 500 (should be under 50) The docs were shocked. The pediatrician called in said that in his 45 years, he had never seen it in someone so young. After a thankfully normal ultra sound, she was admitted to the hospital.
I spent the next couple of days sleeping at the hospital and going back and forth to make sure that Brandon was okay, medicated and fed. I also had to change his bandages daily, and just try and give him some company. Talk about a horrible feeling. BOTH of my kids were either seriously hurt or sick and I wanted nothing more than to take away their pain.
Thank God Megan made an amazing recovery. There had been talk of transferring her to children's hospital in Seattle if she didn't, because they really didn't know how to deal with a pediatric pancreatitis case. (they consulted with a specialist)
SO...today marks one week since Brandon was discharged from the hospital and Megan is home and doing well. My son is facing several more painful weeks and a difficult few months of healing and rehab, but I know he will come back stronger than ever. That's just who he is.
Megan will be seen at Children's soon, to try and determine what caused the pancreatitis. Hopefully we can get answers so that we can prevent it from happening again.
I love my kids...I'm extremely blessed. I don't need these traumatic incidents to remind me of this, but man-oh-man, does it make me appreciate the 'boring' days!! I hope to get back out into my fifth-wheel soon and start recording again. If I happen to see any mouse droppings...I don't think that I'll complain. ;)