Monday, May 31, 2010

judah in the hospital - as posted on facebook

(for those of you who are not on facebook, this is what's happening:)
okay, i'm gonna try to get all of this down because there are a lot of questions out there and i hope to address most of them right here.

it's 7:54 am on monday, memorial day. i am so thankful for the people who have and who continue to protect, aid, fight for and serve our country. i'm not always proud to be an american but i am ALWAYS thankful! i thought about that exact thing while driving judah to the emergency room two days ago. but i'll start from the beginning:

judah and i came down to southern california for the weekend to watch my "nephew" owen while his parents went to a wedding in las vegas. we arrived thursday evening. early friday morning, about 4 am, judah woke up and told me her tummy hurt. she couldn't keep still. she was squirming, crawling and climbing. then she began to vomit. a lot. after trying to clean everything and calm her down, we both slept fitfully for about an hour. so, around 8ish (?) we got up and my friends got ready to leave for vegas. judah was listless but i suspected she was worn out. throughout the day i offered her sips of anything she might be interested in drinking. that evening my friend shannon visited. she was gracious to purchase some pedialyte for judah. that evening and night judah sipped a bit more, but was still wiped out. around 3 am she started running a fever. i gave her tylenol and wiped her down with damp washcloths. owen woke at 5:30 and i had to take care of him. i was thankful to get them both sleeping for a little bit and took a nap myself. however, that morning judah's temperature rose and rose instead of coming down. i called her pediatrician back in oakhurst and he told me to take her to the e.r.
immediately i was on the phone with jessica, owen's aunt. she said to absolutely bring him right over to her house and not think anything more about it. which i did.
judah and i went to the e.r. and i was overwhelmed with the "convenience" of it. the ability to drive merely blocks, walk into the e.r., fill out two pieces of paper and then be seen was just shocking. yes, it took a long time once we were in, but we were in! we were in a clean, sterile hospital and we would be seen. how gracious is our God? i relived so many haitian hospital visits, or times when there should have been hospital visits, in my mind all the while.
brendie, my other best friend, arrived in her perfectly brendie fashion. see, i didn't have a cell phone and i didn't know what hospital i was going to when i left bren a message on facebook. i simply said, "i am taking judah to the hospital, i don't know what it's called, and i don't have a phone. emily gave me directions." from that message, bren was able to a) reach emily and ascertain the name of the hospital; b) get directions from her location to mine; and c) purchase a cell phone for me on the way. this is small example of the amazingness of brendie.
i had been doing a great job of being tough while judah was being checked out until i saw bren. then i cried just a bit.
we were worried about dehydration. judah hadn't been taking in enough fluids. they started an i.v. right away. they took urine and blood samples. they took an xray of her abdomen and of her chest. and then we waited. and waited. the (very nice) doctor came back and said the cultures were all clear as were the xrays. he was still concerned with the tenderness of her (distended and taunt) abdomen so he ordered a cat scan. i was very grateful for his desire to be thorough.
the cat scan showed some indefinite "blocking" of her . . . well, that wasn't definite either. the doc said he wanted to admit her and continue putting fluids in her overnight. however, holy cross medical center does not have a pediatric unit. that meant judah and i were going to go to another hospital via ambulance. scary. but also, i was thanking the Lord again that i was here in the states and had this amazing access to medial help!
so i rode on my first gurney and in my first ambulance. we were admitted to providence tarzana (still don't know exactly where i am) medical center at about midnight. the nurses here are superb. the paramedics, it should be said, were also very kind. one of them was the first to call judah by name. i could see she noticed; she followed him closely with her eyes and head.
we were admitted to a nice sized room and that is when i first heard the word "surgeon." i didn't like it. up until then, i was thinking they simply needed to hydrate her and that would make things start moving again and clear up the "blockage." the nurse told me the doctor and the surgeon would be coming by shortly. at that point they had to put in an N/G (nasal gastric) tube. yes, that's a tube in her nose emptying her intestine of disgustingness. i hated this part. her wide eyes. her asking me, "hold judah, mama." "mama, it hurts." hated hated that.
next i was told that i'd see the surgeon in the morning, rather than that night. we tried sleeping. i held her hand so she wouldn't rip out the NG tube. my parents arrived from home around 1am. praise God! they brought essentials (change of clothes, etc.) and prayed with judah and i before checking into a hotel.
saturday we waited and waited all day for the surgeon to come and tell us the next step. we did some more xrays and waited. dr. upperman came to see us after 5pm, i think. he was kind, patient, very informative, and certain of himself. he said, "common things are common." basically, there is no surgical history, no reason for judah to have a twisted or abscessed bowel. most likely, it was appendicitis. we then had to go for a "contrast cat scan" which was supposed to be more conclusive. i know i've harped on people for sharing TOO MUCH on facebook , so i'll just say, this was not a pleasant procedure.
they ordered a stat read on the cat scan and got it. but the scan was not conclusive re: appendicitis. dr. upperman decided to go in laparoscopically, still believing he would find appendicitis. he didn't.
as soon as he saw her intestine, he knew he'd have to open her up. a portion of it had died. this was the low point for me. the nurse came to the waiting room and said, "i just came out to tell you that we're opening her up." i suppose she said something more, but i don't know that she did. she certainly wasn't very comforting. then she walked away. i started to cry and made my dad make some phone calls for me. one of which sent brendie back down (now her third visit) to us. i was crying and praying and i took comfort in the fact that the Lord has a plan for me and for judah. a plan for a future and a hope. i also felt the Lord reminding me to be still and know that He is God. He told me that the peace He gives me is not the peace of this world, but a far greater, a true peace. i rested in that. scared, but believing in Christ.

dr upperman found that the intestine had twisted on itself and that about 8ish inches had simply become dead tissue. what was unknown was why this had happened. it would be understandable if judah had a history of surgery. in that case, she could have built up some scar tissue that could possibly block or contort the intestine. but she has no such history. (well, i guess she does NOW, but she didn't last night.)
dr. upperman had to take out that section of the intestine and repair the remaining length. can you believe that after surgery he came out and showed me pictures of my daughter's intestines on his iphone? it was so obvious which part was healthy and which part was dead. it was crazy to look at those pictures that had been taken just within that hour of the inside of my child. crazy.

my mom was standing in the hallway, anxious, when she saw them transporting judah to the PICU. she motioned and we all went running to catch a glimpse. then i just cried while my parents and bren hugged me. what a relief to see her being moved into recovery!! praise the Lord!!

what happens now? now we wait some more. a minimum of 7-8 days. minimum. we have to see that there is no leaking of the repair sight. that she doesn't get an infection. that she can handle drinking and eating. but it's so fragile he won't even let her try drinking for 4 more days. painful when she wakes up asking for exactly that: something to drink.
i've been drinking water with my back to her only when she's asleep. i just feel awful doing it in front of her. she can't understand why she can't have anything.

judah is a fighter. she's a smart girl. she has an incredible memory. and she is my blessing from the Lord. i know she will fight to get better. please pray that she wins that battle. please pray that she does not have an infection. please pray that there are no further complications in the near or far future.

last night as i was sitting with my parents in the waiting room, my mom said, "i don't know about you, but i can feel everyone's prayers." i shared that i could too. the image in my head was the verizon map. all those red spots showing up across the country were not indicating cell phone coverage, rather those were people praying to our Almighty God for judah and myself. we felt it. please keep 'em coming.

love and thankfulness for you all,
angela (grateful mama of judah icky-licky googob)


jean bernard said...

God is God of justice . God provide Goods for anyone who allows them B4 him < God had already had David's plans B4 Goliath , so I think and I'm Sure that God has a plan for My Pretty J > He'll Make her Happy again and the big smile won't Stranded !

Brian said...

We are praying for you and Judah. I cried reading your pain as you watch your child. It brought back many memories of those emotions watching our sons.
I (and am sure you as well) would have taken their place to spare them from the pain.
This is not possible for us but God the Father did that very thing for us.
How great is the Fathers love.
He Loves you and Judah and we love you too.
Brian Fikkert

alyssa rae said...

Hello, i'm Elias' friend Alyssa from CBC. Elias sent me a link to your blog a while back and i've been following it ever since. I enjoy seeing the pictures of Judah from her proud uncle. I will definitely be praying for you and for your daughter as well! We have a great God that can do GREAT things!

Kel said...

This made me cry. i hope and pray your little one is doing well. God bless her!