Generally, I write about career stuff--auditions, performances, etc. but this week my life was interrupted by taking care of my child. As I'm writing this, my daughter has been in the hospital for a week now for a burst appendix.* She's 22 months old.
Last Thursday, we had dinner and everything was pretty normal. Then as we were getting ready for bed she threw up; three times. Each time we thought she was done, so we changed her sheets; ooh-boy there was so much laundry. On Friday morning she threw up twice more (more laundry), and though we generally don't do a ton of screen time, we basically had a veg-out movie day. She wasn't eating much-- just a few crackers, but she was still drinking water and milk, so we saw that as a good sign. We gave her a bottle before bed, and she threw that up! In the middle of the night she got really upset for over an hour. She was crying a lot and whimpering. We noticed her stomach was hard, so we figured she must have cramps, or be constipated. When she pooped in the morning, we were pleased that that was resolved. Saturday was another movie day, and all was pretty calm. Then around 4pm she had another freak-out, similar to the one in the middle of the night. Again, we noticed her stomach was hard all over, and I was about to send my husband out to buy some prune juice or something.
But there was just this nagging feeling that I should call the consulting nurse. So I did. She asked a ton of questions and seemed particularly concerned that our normally active child wasn't walking. We had thought--well, she has a stomach bug, of course she wants to sit, and be carried. The nurse asked us to set her down and see if she would walk, and when we put her on her feet she just cried. Between that and the hard stomach, this amazing nurse said we should go to Seattle Children's Emergency Department.
We put on some shoes and socks and grabbed her diaper bag. The whole time thinking that this was a bit overkill. She was so calm and it didn't seem like an EMERGENCY.
We got to the hospital and were in a room pretty quickly. The doctor wanted to see her stand, and she wouldn't put her right foot down when standing. He figured it could be a stomach issue or a hip infection. We were sent to get an ultrasound for both. The ultrasound tech did all the stomach parts, which Lo seemed really scared by. The tech said, "I'm going to go consult with the doctors, I'll be right back." when she returned she said, "Well, we don't need to do the hip scan. We have everything we need. The doctors will be the ones to tell you what all this means. It's possible surgical may come by--they're really good at assessing stomach issues."
Okay...so we went back down to our room and the resident came in and told us it was appendicitis. To which we were like--okay. He then said, "You guys are oddly calm about this!" Here's the deal; we are at Children's Hospital--if there is ANYTHING wrong, this is where you want to be. Also, in the grand scheme of medical issues, appendicitis is one of the lowest worries for me. Yes, I know there are risks with surgery and infection, but I knew we were in capable hands.
They said if it hadn't burst, we'd be out in about 24 hours. If it had, we would be here for about 7 days, because they need to do IV antibiotics, and it's a more complicated recovery process healing from a burst appendix. The surgeon said that the younger the person is, the earlier it bursts, and he expected it had.
Here's where it gets sad: this meant we would not be getting to see the matinee of Hamilton we had been so looking forward to seeing the next day. That Sunday was going to be a very special day--My husband was getting a massage I had scheduled as a birthday present for him, then we were going to have a lunch date, then see Hamilton. Sigh...it'll come around again, right? Would I rather have been there than in a Hospital? Yes. Obviously. But when my kid is in the hospital I will clear my schedule to be with her. That is the easiest choice to make.
I am very lucky to have insurance, and jobs that are understanding of medical stuff. I also have a husband whose work is understanding of him taking time off for this. Not everyone is this lucky. An ER visit, plus surgery, and a week in the hospital could ruin someone else and that breaks my heart.
*Update: Later that night we were able to go home. She's returning to her normal self!