Until 8:00 Saturday evening, I was enjoying a fairly relaxing weekend. Emily, the Man–Cub and I had ventured to Neighboring City to peruse the newly released Hallmark Christmas ornaments and, after brief stops at Old Navy and Barnes & Noble, had enjoyed a pleasant ride home.
I had grocery shopping to do and, while the Man-Cub just loves to follow me around the grocery store, begging for treats and being routinely and consistently denied; he instead chose to stay with Oscar and Emily for the day.
The Teenager had just returned from a slumber party and was in no mood to haul groceries, either and Hugh was working so; I was on my own. It was kind of nice, quiet and unrushed and, in hindsight, totally the calm before the storm.
Oscar and Emily dropped the Man-Cub back at our house shortly after dinner. Emily said that the Cub had started complaining of a stomachache a few hours previously and that he was starting to complain of nausea and, as evidence to support his claims, while we were in the kitchen discussing the possibility of sunstroke, the Cub was in the bathroom revisiting his chicken dinner, in a not good way.
Oscar and Emily said goodbye and The Teenager and I did our best to make the Cub comfortable. When he was still complaining about the pain in his right side thirty minutes later, I decided that it was no ordinary stomachache and, after consulting my personal crack medical team (Mom, my sister and Dr. Google); Hugh, The Teenager and I loaded the Cub in the car and headed for the emergency room.
During the ten minute drive, the Cub stopped complaining about the pain, which seemed worse when he moved (pulled muscle?) and was joking around with his sister which made Hugh question why, exactly, we were about to sign ourselves up for monetary rape. I had my doubts as well but, figured better safe than sorry and, that is how we found ourselves in the ER waiting room at 8:00 Saturday night.
The admitting nurse listened to the Cub’s symptoms and agreed that appendicitis was the most likely culprit behind the pain but, like us; was amazed at the Cub’s good humor and positive attitude so, maybe it was just a stomach bug after all, but, better safe than sorry (Better safe than sorry would become our motto for the evening).
The Cub’s temperature registered at 100.8. We found out later that his white blood count was 16,000 and that the appendix was inflamed to nearly the point of bursting. Had we waited even an hour longer to get him to the hospital, it probably would have burst and the relatively good experience that we had would have been dramatically different.
As it was, the Cub cheerfully endured the insertion of an IV, an ultrasound, surgery and recovery from anesthesia, all in less than twelve hours time.
I’m still kind of amazed at how quickly it happened. The surgical team was called in at 10:00, they rolled the Cub into the OR at 11:00 and he was in the recovery room by 11:45. We had a private room by 12:45 and, after taking The Teenager home, grabbing some clothing for the Cub and myself and whipping out a few quick texts to family and driving back to the hospital; the Cub and I were settled in for the night.
Hugh went home to stay with The Teenager and, the Cub and I managed to get a few hours of sleep (in a hospital, shocking!).
By 10:30 Sunday morning, the Cub was able to walk around a bit, had peed in a bottle (You want me to do what? Suh-weet!) five times and was complaining of pain only when he laughed, coughed, moved too quickly or stretched in a certain way so; the surgeon discharged him into our care and, following a wheelchair ride out of the hospital (You want me to ride in what? Suh-weet!), we were on our way.
Before heading home, we stopped at a restaurant for breakfast and the Cub polished off a bowl of jello (courtesy of a very nice waitress who inquired about the hospital bracelet still on the Cub’s wrist and who felt sorry for him and his HUGE one inch incision), a baseball shaped pancake, two sausages, a slice of bacon and a large chocolate milkshake (which was supposed to be a kid’s sized shake but, once again, thanks to the very kind waitress).
The Cub spent the rest of yesterday on the couch with the remote control and a stack of DVDs. I puttered around the house, doing laundry, cutting lettuce from the garden (bounty! Mother lode! Story for another day!) and thanking God for giving me the good sense to listen to the little voice inside my head that told me the Cub wasn’t just having a little rumbly in the tumbly.
And, you know, thanking Him for the Man-Cub in general.
Today, the Man-Cub is happy to report that his soreness is “not that bad” and that he can’t wait until school starts so he can show the girls his cool scar and, maybe, just maybe, that is why God gave little boys appendixes; they certainly have no other use as far as I can tell.