‘Timan’s ruptured appendix with complications (surgery 1)

No parent wants his child to be sick and not really getting better but at one point you might realize it’s actually happening and there is not much you can do about it but trust the medical professionals. That’s what has happened to our family. These last months February and March 2011 were the worst months in Hubs’ and my live, by far, and certainly in ‘Timan’s young live.

These recent events were also the reason I did not write any posts or used the computer at all. But let me start from the beginning, how all begun:

‘Timan’ was sick with stomach problems off and on during the whole month of February and I already wrote about his belly pain, his focus on his belly and that something else there isn’t quite right. After the antibiotic course he finished towards the end of February he was doing really great and we all thought he’s cured and well again … until the late evening of March 2, when the pain came back with full force.

After a joyful day spent with Hubs who was off and eating lots of tasty food he was suffering again. We thought he simply had too much to eat but in the early morning hours, after a more or less restless night, I knew it was not the food, this was going to be really bad.

3rd of March:

I started to examine his lower tummy, first slightly pressed under his belly button than moving to the right and even though he said ‘no pain, mommy, no, no’ I saw his face twitching. When I applied the slight pressure on the left side, no reaction at all. At that point it was all clear to me. I woke up Hubs, made ‘Timan’ ready, called the doctor’s office, luckily they were open already and off we went.

This time the pediatrician came to the same result, suspected appendicitis, we left for the main hospital and asked for the surgeon on call. And we had to wait, and wait, and finally around lunchtime he got examined, his blood was taken for tests and his abdomen checked with ultra sound, the results were diffuse so ‘Timan’ got admitted to the pediatric ward for a 24hr monitoring.

4th of March:

The next morning, the main surgeon examined his stomach and set the operation for 12 noon (unfortunately another doctor had allowed ‘Timan’ to eat some breakfast early morning).

I was carrying him to the operating theater, we entered the main door (it does not look too reassuring, I can tell you, worse on the inside).

It was dark inside and a dark man in green with a cover over nose and mouth took ‘Timan’ away. I was not allowed to go any further and I heard his frantic screaming ‘Mommy, Mommy stay, Mommy, Mommy’ for several minutes as I made my way out to the waiting area, until it stopped. And my tears began to flow.

I told myself ‘hang in there, it’s just a minor operation, that’s been done thousands of times, he’s going to have 2 or 3 little marks and all will be over within half an hour. Just relax, all will be good.’

And time passed … 1/2 hour … 1 hour … Hubs got a break from work and joined me … 1 1/2 hours. I thought ‘don’t worry, it takes time for the anesthesia to work properly, to operate and to wake up. And more time passed … 2 hours … 2 1/2 hours … and finally a doctor came and told us that the operation is going to be finished, they were stitching now. But it has been a difficult surgery … after another 45 minutes the surgeon came and told us that ‘Timan’ is stable and slowly waking up. The appendix had been clogged by mucus and tissue and was perforated at the base. They had to clean out a big part around it. I was allowed to the recovering area and after a short while ‘Timan’ was brought back to the ward.

5th of March:

‘Timan’ was slowly recovering, but did not say much or move around much, he just lay in his bed and looked around. Maybe because of the paracetamol he was constantly given, to keep pain and fever in check.

6th of March:

‘Timan’ was allowed to drink clear liquid. The nurse emptied the drain bag full of blood tinted liquid from the wound inside his abdomen. But this night, around 2am he had a sudden fever peak of 40C (104F) after his temperature slowly has been going down, back to almost normal. But in the ward was a viral fever going around, I started to feel some symptoms and ‘Timan’ had a runny nose and was coughing, so I did not feel very worried about he sudden high fever, and apparently so didn’t the nurse.

7th of March:

‘Timan’ was allowed to eat soft food but did not feel like eating anything. But I got him to drink water and juice diluted with water and around 5pm I changed his last wet diaper. In the evening he wanted to eat instant noodles and I was happy he finally started eating.

I felt more relaxed, even tough the pediatric ward was overfull. In our room were 5 kids with 5 mothers and the room was 7m x 7m max. There were two beds in the ward’s main hallway and the only two single rooms were taken already.

Since ‘Timan’ is so young, just slightly older than 2 1/2 years, I know it’s difficult to diagnose appendicitis. Because I had to take him to the doctor so many times this February because of his stomach problems, I think he did not tell me all the time when he was in pain, because he knew I would take him to see the pediatrician again.

Could or should I have done something different? Maybe reacting earlier, so it would have been an easy appendix removal? Would it have been different if we were living in Europe? Or should I have listened to my gut feeling and insisted on thoroughly checking him through when we went to the doctor during his former stomach episodes? Was it a kind of rumbling appendix all this time? These thoughts kept coming and I will never know.

Did you already have a similar experience concerning a late or almost too late correct diagnose ? Please tell me about it.

But now ‘Timan’s ruptured appendix was taken out, he was still on strong antibiotic medicine administered by IV to fight bacteria and fungus and from now on it can only get better, so I thought. … (to be continued)


Posted on March 30, 2011, in 'Timan', Appendicitis, Doctor, Hospital, Sick, Surgery, Toddler and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. How scary! Through so much of this, I was tearing up for you because of the fear and the guilt, and for Timan for the pain and fear. I am SO glad he is OK now!

    Visiting from Shell’s

  2. I just discovered your blog (thank you for commenting on mine!). It looks lovely where you live.

    But your experience is far from lovely. I am so sorry you and your son and husband had to go through that. Don’t blame yourself for not figuring it out earlier! We have all gone through that in some way.

    My daughter went through countless painful ear infections and many treatments of antibiotics before she had ear tubes put in. Through the sleepless nights and endless head colds I kept wondering – should we try to do the ear tubes now? Or wait and see? We waited. We were scared of the surgery, even though it’s a very minor one. We hoped that Sophia would outgrow it and be fine this past winter. But she wasn’t. Ear tubes went in this past December and she hasn’t had a problem since.

    I definitely wish we went to an ear, nose, and throat specialist last winter. I feel like I should have insisted on it. Maybe then we wouldn’t have flooded poor Sophia’s little body with all those antibiotics. But she’s fine now, and that’s what matters. Second guessing will only make me crazy(er).

    I hope Timan is feeling better! 🙂

    • Thank you so much for your words. ‘Timan’ is doing much better, is doing most of the things he used to do before the ordeal and from here on it can only get better.

      I am sorry to hear about your girl’s ear problems. The thing is, looking back you always know more and you might have chosen a different path if you would have known everything from the beginning. I am very glad Sophia’s ears are ok now.

  3. Oh no. I was expecting happy ending, but I see there’s more(for the worse). I hope he’s ok. It really sounds like you did everything you could. Sometimes we’re at the mercy of the doctors. Sigh..it’s a frustrating postion. Stopped by from Shell’s PYHO link.

    • Unfortunately you are right, there is more to come. He is still recovering but I see he’s getting back to his old self by the way he’s playing, running around and interacting with everyone. I just hope the scars, the physical and mental ones, will fade as he grows.

  4. It sounds like you did all you could. Poor Tinman! Glad that he is okay!

    • Thanks Shell. But the ‘and what if I only …’ is not easy to get rid of. And he had to suffer a lot. I hope these thoughts will disappear when the scars are healed and he stays without problems.

  5. Oh that poor little sweet boy. That is so scary and absolutely heartbreaking as a parent. I hope he is feeling better and that you are recovering from all the stress of it, too.

    • Thank you Caitlin. You know, it’s horrible when you see your child screaming in fear and pain and you cannot do anything about it. Just hope that the pain is over soon and everything will be all right. I would have changed places with him anytime to prevent his suffering.

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