First, he managed to be the first of our kids to need to visit the ER. I tried to visit our primary physician, but there weren't any openings til much later in the day. And then the Urgent Care doctor poked around for a couple of minutes and just said to go ahead to the ER. I was really hoping his tummy pain wasn't just a virus or a reaction to something he ate, especially if I was going to have to now pay for an ER visit. He didn't have a lot of the other symptoms of his appendix acting up (fever, vomiting, etc.), just debilitating pain that was seeming to get worse. But they were able to diagnose it pretty quickly with an ultrasound. Within a couple of hours, he was having his appendix removed, and then a couple of hours later, they were sending us home. Easy peasy, right?
He was doing very well until about the 2 week mark. The morning of a follow-up appointment, he woke up and complained of pain in his side. I gave him some Tylenol and sent him off to school. (Yep, that's the kind of mom I am). By the time he got home from school and it was time to leave for his appointment, he was clearly in physical pain, although no fever or other issues. The doctor was concerned about his pain and sent us around the corner to get bloodwork done. When the results came back, they said his white blood cell count was crazy high which means there is likely an infection. They pointed us in the direction of the ER. (I believe I said, "Really? There's no other way to handle this....?") So, we waited in the ER. For a pretty long time. Poor kid hadn't had anything to eat since lunch. By the time they determined there was an infection and he had an abscess (basically, a pocket of pus), it was now 9:00pm. Oh, and its REALLY hard to find decent little kid's programming on TV channels once it gets past 8:00pm. We were going to have to be admitted and have a procedure done the next day. Because it was going to be the next day, he was now allowed to finally eat something (me too!). I then convinced the ER nurse to bring us all the food she possibly could.....applesauce, graham crackers, milk, jell-o, popcicles. We had a grand feast. By the time he was wheeled up to a room, it was almost 10:30pm. He was beyond tired. They had some issues writing the correct prescription for pain, so he was a bit of a mess. But overall, he handled it all really well. The worst part is when he wails when he knows they are going to poke him with a needle and I have to help hold him down.
With the help of antibiotics, the abscess was already shrinking by the time they went in him to drain it the next day. If it hadn't, they would have likely had to have left a drain in his side for a week or two. I would have had to learn how to empty a drain bag. Eww. Thankfully, they determined it was not necessary and certainly not ideal for a little boy. We had to spend another night for monitoring and to keep antibiotics pumping into him. Thankfully, we had a few visitors and people who sent gifts. Made the time go a little faster. Plus, in the pediatric wing, they had an activity bag and movies to choose from.
The medical bills have finally started rolling in mixed in with Christmas Cards. We'll meet our deductible for the year pretty quickly. Do you think the rest of us can opt-in to have our appendixes taken out also so that they aren't an issue in the future?.......
And then a week later, Heath turned 6! We kept it pretty chill. He invited 1 friend over to play and have dinner and cake with us and open presents. He chose chicken wings, yeast rolls, and green beans for dinner.
Our church happened to have a fun family event going on that same night. So, we all went to that also. Heath got to go up on stage where he was wished a happy birthday. And then he got to participate in one of the on-stage competitions (and broke a record for the game!). I'm still trying to figure this kid out and wasn't sure if he would like all of that attention as he can still get pretty shy when addressed by people he doesn't know very well. But by the smile on his face, he seemed to love it.
We love this kid and are so thankful that God has blessed our family with him!
Here's a snapshot of what Heath is like at 6:
- Still favors his momma. Will frequently ask to snuggle. Or will randomly show up and ask me for a "huggie" and then turn and walk away once he's gotten it.
- Doing great at picking up reading and kindergarten math skills.
- He can be slow to wake up in the mornings.
- He likes frogs, turtles, and cute dogs (unless they get up in his business too much).
- He doesn't sleep with stuffed animals very often anymore. He says they "keep him awake." Although, he still has a special snuggie (blanket) that he is insistent upon.
- He is a hot little body. Still wants to sleep in just shorts most evenings (even though our thermostat is set at 60!).
- Likes wrestling and being very physical.
- A bit dramatic at times when things don't go his way.
- Can be a bit of a homebody. If he's been away a lot or just doing social things, he oftentimes will just want to have some time at home. Even at the end of a school week, you can tell he just wants to be home.
- Loves to eat pineapple. You leave a container of fresh pineapple in front of him and turn your back....it will likely be gone.
|This is a zoomed-in shot during a recent family photo session.|