This has been a *very long* week.
On Thursday (of last week), Matthew started feeling ill. I thought maybe he had eaten something that didn’t agree with him. We had him lie down most of the day, and just rest.
Friday, my Mom came for a visit. Paul was leaving that day and she and I decided to head north for a visit with my Grandmother.
She looked so good and we spent the better part of the day with her. I’m always impressed with Mom when I watch her with her mother. She seems to anticipate her needs and looks for ways to engage her in activities that will keep her mind fresh and active.
This week, she took PacMan. My Grandmother was tired by then end, but it was great to listen to Mom explain the in’s and out’s of avoiding the ghosts and gathering points. Grandmother did great and really seemed to have fun!
On the way home, we stopped a couple of places so I could help Mom with some shopping. While we were in the store, Courtney phoned from home to tell me Matthew was really sick to his stomach.
I feared the worst….we’ve been exposed to a stomach bug and now I’ve just spent the day with my Grandmother. Making her sick, would not have been good!
Poor Matt was puny when I arrived home, but seemed in a good mood. He just rested the remainder of the evening.
On Sunday, my Mom went home and he seemed to be feeling some better. He was still sick to his stomach, but asked if he could go and play with his siblings downstairs. I thought this was a good sign, though we did decide it would be better to stay home from church in case we might expose someone to a nasty bug.
By Sunday afternoon, Matt was back on the sofa resting. I think he went to bed that night at 8 or so, quite early for him.
On Monday morning, he was still rather sick and complaining of pain in his abdomen. I asked him to lay down so I could feel around on his tummy. As soon as I started touching him, I knew something was really wrong. He looked terrible…he was pale and had dark, dark circles under his eyes.
I called Paul (who was in North Carolina), and spoke with him about what was happening. We decided to go ahead and call the pediatrician.
This call was placed and she sent us straight to the emergency room. Jacob hopped into the truck with us, and we headed for our local Children’s Hospital. I honestly thought we would be told we had a stomach bug and sent home.
After waiting in emergency for more than two hours, Matthew was called back. Within the hour, he was sent for X-Rays, had an IV, and was on Morphine, as well as something for nausea! Though I was glad to see him out of pain, I’ll admit, it was unnerving to see all of this happening. Matthew, just seemed to be thankful for a relief to his pain and nausea. He handled all of the poking and prodding like a champ. We were told over and over how polite of a young man he was.
I found myself praying, praying, praying, as I watched my little (well, not so little), boy.
Doctor after doctor came in to talk with us….one said they were ruling out his appendix, one said he thought his liver and pancreas might be failing, one told us he was having a massive allergic reaction to something (which he did end up having in the ER that day), and then someone would come back and tell us they thought it might be viral.
Several hours after we were taken back, Paul arrived. I’m not sure I’ve ever been so grateful to see that man! This was to be, his first week off in months. I’m so thankful for God’s provision…he knows just what we need and when we need it!!
The decision was made to admit Matt. They still weren’t sure what was going on, but it was obvious he needed some pain relief and the IV fluids seemed to be making him feel better. Paul didn’t have to take off from work, and he was able to stay with us the entire time we were in the hospital.
They did perform a CT Scan which showed a slight thickening in the wall of his stomach and small intestine. This news, of course, raised quite a few brows. I decided to do some research on the internet and was shocked to see the results of my search. I’m so glad it ended up not being any of those things.
(Paul “aproned-up” for the upper GI…they only had a purple and turquoise apron. )
On Tuesday, we were sent for an upper GI and more X-Rays. Paul was able to stay with him during the upper GI. He told me that one of the older doctors in the room noted that he thought he saw something odd in Matthew’s tummy, but couldn’t be sure. In the end, this result came back normal. We thought we might be sent home.
As late Tuesday arrived, it was decided he needed to stay over again and have an endoscopy done. They would put Matthew to sleep, and go in with a camera to see exactly what was happening. While in his tummy, they would also take some biopsies to run tests and try to figure out exactly what was going on with him.
At this point, I’m realizing I have my first OB appointment the next morning (at 7:30), and it’s too late to cancel.
We woke up at 4:00 and Paul traveled to pick up Courtney who came and stayed while we went to see about our new little person. (Does this all sound fun??)
My OB is just great. He asked a lot of questions about Matthew and told us he thought endoscopy would be a good idea. I’m so glad he shared these thoughts with us– by this time, I was thinking of taking my son and running out the nearest door.
On a positive note, we did see our new little Lambert:
It seems that my due date is August 17 (two days from my original guess). Everyone in the office was so happy for us….and I was blessed to see a tiny, healthy baby growing and tucked away quietly– in the midst of what seemed a raging storm. God is good.
After our appointment, we headed back to wait on Matthew’s procedure (which they delayed for us, until we could return from my appointment).
I can so vividly remember Jessica being rolled away from us the day of her heart procedure. I didn’t think my legs would support me as Paul wrapped his arms around me and I sobbed. I guess I always imagined it would be different with my older children…I can say now, it doesn’t matter how old they are- knowing they are about to be taken from your care is a heart-wrenching experience.
The waiting room was not without it’s own drama.
I’m mentioning this because it has weighed so heavily on me since I arrived home.
Across the waiting area from us, was a mother, a man (her husband?), and her 13 or 14 year old son.
I watched as the son ripped a document from his mother’s hands, wadded it up and threw it across the floor. She told him to pick it up and he said “no” as he tilted his head and jerked so his bangs would move from over his eyes (I will never understand this hairstyle as long as I live– that probably makes me old). This conversation continued on, each time his mother making the demand and him refusing. I couldn’t believe my eyes….he had a horrible smirk on his face and his mother was embarrassed. I think I was embarrassed for her! I could envision this boy being two or three…the apple of his mother’s eye and her telling a friend, “he’s spoiled rotten, but he’s just so cute, I just can’t bring myself to discipline him!”. *sigh* I wondered who this man was, just sitting there watching the television, like none of it was happening. The entire event just made me sad.
Parents are so often told their children will just grow out of these behaviors. If this boy’s parents don’t step in and really “love” their child, they will (as the Bible so eloquently states), be a party to his death. Very sad.
In any case, by the time we were ending the endoscopy, the doctor stepped out and told is they had found four ulcers and two areas of gastritis in his tummy.
They weren’t sure if it was from his asthma meds or bacteria. The test results should give us some answers, but they will take two weeks to be complete.
In the meantime, the placed him on new meds. Within hours, he was feeling better and acting more normal. We stayed in the hospital for another day while they made sure he could keep his food down.
Matthew was terribly homesick. Courtney mentioned the webcam…that was a great idea for the entire family!
In the end, I was so grateful for the help my son received. If I had seen him originally in the ER, I probably would have sent him back home thinking he just had a virus. I’m thankful for God providing wisdom to our team of physicians.
Several things of note about this “adventure”–
1. A friend purchased a copy of “Keep a Quiet Heart” by Elizabeth Elliot for me a few months back. She said she just felt led to buy it for me…Courtney sent it to the hospital for me to read while I was waiting. I knew this book was sent for just this week. I’m thankful for Jennifer, and the Lord’s leading in her life.
2. This experience was so lonely. My Mom was good to stop by and check on Matt, as was a sweet family friend (Katie). It was nice to see a friendly face. I have to apologize to those who have had children in the hospital. I’m afraid I’m not such a good friend….I think I let the events of my life get in the way of ministering to those who are hurting sometimes. (Sherri, Tonya, I know to you both, I really owe an apology for not being there for you more while your children were ill.) This entire thing reminded me of sitting in the waiting room by myself when my mother had surgery a couple of years back. It is horrible and lonely.
3. I’m very thankful for my dear friend, Melissa, who prayed with me over the phone when we were just leaving for the hospital. I really had so many thoughts, my mind would not settle. I hope I have learned to stop and pray with those who are hurting (even over the phone). (Thank you, Melissa. <3)
4. As much as I joke with Jacob about being a big teddy bear, he’s not so snuggly when you have to share one of those hospital bed/chairs with him…..we both felt like sardines and hardly slept at all. The hospital told us that due to fire regulations, they could not bring us another bed, so we tried to make the most of it….Jacob, you know I love you, right?!
5. Never, and I mean NEVER place Paul in the room next to the thermostat. While he will tell you he is a polar bear and gets hot easily, I was shivering on the other side of the room. I’m glad to be home where there is layered clothing and a Snuggy, if I just absolutely can’t stand the cold any longer.
If you’ve made it this far, I’m sorry to be so long winded this morning. I warned you it had been a LONG week.
Thank you for your prayer this week. It has been much appreciated.
With my love,