My family should have its own bench at the local hospital. Mind you, I am fortunate in every way I can think of. Most people call it “blessed” and I call it that, too…sometimes. But I’m often afraid that what that means is more to God than it is to me–and I worry that I may not even deserve the term.
Still, since October, we have been getting hailed by the strangest things, mostly Sue and Peanut and between them, mostly Sue. She, poor lady, seems mostly out of the woods–though I don’t like to say that too loudly because…well, OK yeah, I’m superstitious I guess.
However, last night, just after 9:00 P.M., Peanut awoke from bed complaining that the stomachache she’d had for more than a day was getting worse. At first, we merely thought she was thinking about it too much, playing us–the way 8 year-olds can do. It became apparent that this wasn’t the case and we were off to the hospital E.R. Again.
I had my appendix out when I was 18 and I remember it well. The nausea, the sickening and fever, the pain in my abdomen. It was at its worst when I was flying home on a plane from Washington D.C. to Los Angeles. I had just spent Thanksgiving with my father, Aunt, Uncle, Grandmother and cousins in Pittsburgh, PA. I had a wonderful time and it was one of the last times I would be in Pittsburgh at my grandma’s house. It may have been the last time.
Anyway, I flew home and two hours into the flight, I got pretty sick. I was sweating and uncomfortable, several head calls, and I guess I looked pretty miserable. The attendant on the American Airlines flight took pity on me and brought me a Coke. “You OK, hun?” I told her I was fairly ill, it wasn’t air-sickness but I thought I would be OK. The Coke helped quite a bit, actually.
Shortly after we landed, I told my mom what was going on-but I was OK at that point. I went to bed and to the doc the next day after my morning college classes. Blood tests, probing and that night, I was checked into the hospital. The next morning, I had my appendix removed.
So it was that here after Thanksgiving, my own young daughter complaining of similar pain sent me right back to that DC-10, right back to that seat on the plane, right back to my doctor’s office and right back to the hospital bed where a young woman came to visit me with her then boyfriend after my operation. I was in and out that night and they argued, the young man leaving at some point. I had a crush on the young woman that never left me. I married her 10 years later.
So, we went to the hospital and we sat until about 11:00 P.M. in the Saturday night waiting room, watching ambulances come and go, my daughter frightened by some of what she saw and wondering why her belly hurt so much.
We got into the exam room and a very kind nurse named Kelly went to work calming her down. He was fantastic. His wife is pregnant and he wanted to engage and interact with her and she took to him. He asked her questions, felt her belly and listened to it and he said, “well, Doctor Bajwa will be in soon. But she seems OK for now. Let’s get a urinalysis first,” and he taught her how to pee in a cup with mom watching mindfully.
Dr. Bajwa was also a delightfully kind young woman who was very good with Peanut and in short order, she examined and probed and asked questions. “She just seems so..normal. Usually, kids with appys feel pretty sick. She doesn’t have any of that,” she said. “Maybe the urinalysis will tell us…” and Kelly walked in with the preliminary results.
Indeed- not an appendix–a bladder infection. Her little belly hurt because she had an infection and so, they gave her a dose of antibiotic, a prescription for more, and the lab got a good look at the urinalysis and pronounced it the real deal. We were home and in bed around midnight.
Earlier in the week, Tuesday, I was diagnosed with a kidney and bladder infection. I’m on meds–all is well. The fact that Peanut got one is bizarre in the extreme. We both went camping the previous weekend and it wasn’t the cleanest of bathrooms–at least not the men’s and Peanut assures me similar conditions existed in the women’s. So, I’m left with that possibility–or a remarkable coincidence. But hey, it happens.
I’m glad my daughter didn’t need surgery. I’m glad they can medicate and cure what she has. I’m glad we’re home and I’m glad that, for now, this is over.
Back to the schedule Monday.