Saturday, December 19, 2009

Green Card and appendix

Yet another six weeks of blog-abuse by neglect. It has been a year packed with both minor misfortunes and triumphs but whatever the case these events have managed to swallow up large amounts of my time. Poor Gabriel got appendicitis - some of us thought it was stomach flu!! We were called by the school one day and I came to pick up a deathly green boy who could not bear to eat. There were several other green-looking children waiting to be picked up so I assumed it was all the same bug..perhaps even the swine flu. To my shame I decided to wait to see if the "bug ' passed only to watch the normally robust energetic and cheeky prankster slide into semi conciousness. No matter how ill Gabe has been in the past there has always been some enthusiasm about food..but the mere mention of it seemed to repulse him. I finally went into full on panic and we rushed him to our wonderful pediatrician Dr Sachs . Strangely enough the nurse also thought he had flu but one look from the good Doctor and we were sent straight away to our local emergency room at Cedars Hospital. Within minutes Gabreil was being examined by the surgeon Dr Chen and his assistant also named Dr Chen . A burst appendix was diagnosed and Gabe was whisked into the operating theatre while I sobbed. Parents reading this will know that there is nothing worse than watching your gravely ill child suffer. I cursed myself for the misdiagnosis.
The wonders of modern medicine ..Gabe was out after half an hour. They had operated laprascopicaly using a tiny camera and four tiny incisions to his abdomen. I remember the appendix casualties as a child with their four inch scars across the belly. Oh releif and so much gratitude to Dr Chen and Dr Chen. Then began the 4 day vigil at Cedars with Gabriel in his hospital room. It was challenging. I slept in a fold down bed designed for a Dwarf . Every 2 hours the bleeber would scream to remind the nurse to change the IV . Sometimes the nurse would come and sometimes not ,leaving the torturous bleeber screeching for 20 minutes. If it was not our bleeper going it was some other patients as these things are designed so the nurse can hear them from some distance. I wondered how any of these children got any rest with all the interruptions throughout the night.
Mercifully on visiting Gabe Dr Sachs could see that my mental health was being effected and persuaded the Doctors Chen to discharge Gabriel after 4 days rather than a week. Again we were thankful for good insurance and wondered about other children who might not be so fortunate.