When I started this blog, I thought I would only write about spinning and fibre joys, and not about my personal life. But some times there are events in our lives that effect us so totally that they become a part of us.
Just over two weeks ago my youngest daughter stayed home from school with what I thought was a stomach bug. However, 24 hours later it had turned into a ruptured appendix and peritonitis. I am still horrified that I didn’t see how much pain she was in; she wasn’t crying or doubled over, which is what I would have expected with appendicitis. She told me later she didn’t want to say it hurt a lot because she was scared to go to the doctors. (Although, many of the nurses were amazed by her calm attitude during everything, including changing her intravenous drip six times.)
When I did realise it was something much more than a “bug”, we went straight to the ER where they prepared her immediately for an operation. My husband collected our oldest daughter from school and brought her to the hospital. Then we sat and waited for the operation and for her to wake up and be transferred to the children’s ward, where we could all see her for a little while. The children’s ward at La Serena’s hospital allows parents to stay with their children 24hrs, but because she was pretty sleepy we left her alone for the night.
When we got home I realised the quickest way to tell my family what had happened was through Facebook. Not something I really wanted to do, but with family and friends scattered across the globe, it was the simplest.
The next day we were at the hospital early. The hospital only allows one parent at a time, so I went and sat with her. My husband, his sister, or his mother sat with her to give me a break for lunch, but basically I was at her side all day. We had planned to leave her alone during the night, (she is 7, not a baby), but when the evening came and she said she was scared, it broke my heart. However everyone who knows me, knows I suffer from very bad migraines, and sitting at the hospital for 24 hours would not be good. So my mother-in-law said she would spend the night with her.
And so started our routine of me sitting with her during the day and my mother-in-law during the night. The first week was the hardest. She vomited the first four days then got a fever. The doctor’s said it could be her intestines had folded over and not unfolded after the operation, which would need another operation, or it could be an abscess forming because the antibiotics weren’t working. They thought the latter so they changed her antibiotics. The fever came down and she began to eat, a week after her last meal.
The second week was spent playing the card game Uno with the other kids in her room, and slowly getting better. The change of antibiotics meant she had to stay in hospital to complete the whole dose. I sat with her knitting when I could, crying when she was asleep or when I arrived home at night, and telling her constantly that she was getting better, (she didn’t feel like she was getting better).
Now she is home with a post-operative diet and rest. She won’t go to school for at least another week, so will have missed a month of school.
I still can not believe this happened to my baby, and happened so fast. My husband was doing everything to care for me while I was with our daughter and I knew he was suffering too, but seeing your child so sick makes you feel very alone, very helpless.
I know they will never read this, but I have to thank the nurses and doctors who cared for my daughter. And especially thank my mother-in-law for sitting every night for almost two weeks with her granddaughter. And I hope all the children we met during our stay are getting better, and the families are as lucky as we are to have our baby home again…
…already fighting with her big sister.