Wednesday, January 5, 2011

When Your Big Boy Gets Sick

A couple of days ago I posted about our first day to the mountain cabin for our Family Christmas Vacation. I saved one very big detail that began that night that was at the center of our hearts and minds during our entire stay.

After hours of driving we were on our last stretch of freeway when my cell phone rang. It was my daughter in law (the mother to the grandson I had with me). Her voice was cracking and I knew something was wrong. She told me that my grown son was in a lot of pain and that he had left to drive himself to urgent care while she stayed home with their little ones but in route the pain got so bad that he took himself to the hospital emergency room instead.

The pain was in his back and upper belly and the pain was so unbearable that no one could even touch him. To add to my worries and to the risk of him being sick is that he is a type 1 diabetic.

At that point my cell phone lost service. Once we arrived my husband was able to call back using his phone. We learned that he had made it to the ER and that they were doing tests to find out what the problem was. He was still in severe pain. The update was quietly shared among all of the adults. We did not want to worry his young son who was with us.

We anxiously awaited the diagnosis. The first detail that came in was that there was something wrong with his pancreas. I couldn't help but to consider "cancer" and I kept a constant prayer in my heart that it wasn't. Everyone's Blackberry's came out and began searching for pancreatic problems. My daughter who has been to nursing school had guessed the pancreas because of the location of the pain before we had gotten the word from home.

In her research, she was putting some pieces of the medical puzzle together. He had been having shoulder pain for quite some time. The docs didn't know what the cause was but treated him with pain meds. The Sunday before he had had an episode of severe pain that radiated from his back to his upper belly then passed.

Another phone call came in that he had been diagnosed with severe pancreatitis but further testing was needed to find the cause. On the home front our oldest daughter and her family were still in town. She went over and stayed with my son's little ones so that my daughter in law could go be with my son.

Our son assured us that he was fine and that he was being taken care of. He wanted us to continue our vacation as planned. He stayed in very close contact with us. Some time during the night he was admitted to the hospital.

By morning it was determined that a gall stone was causing his problem. One had become lodged in the pancreas. They began treating the pancreas, He was on morphine for the pain. The question now, is the stone still lodged? If so, they would have to deal with that first before dealing with the gall bladder.

He waited all day Friday.... as we did for the specialist to arrive. He never showed and it would be Monday before he returned. They were guessing from his stats that the stone had passed because the Pancreas was improving. That was very good news to hear!

My daughter..... had got it right during her internet search. Even the shoulder pain was related as was the Sunday episode of pain! She had even guessed that it was gall stones causing the problem. 

We made the plan for our daughter to bring up our son's second son so that they would only have the baby at home. I sat my grandson who was with us down and told him that his daddy was sick but the doctors were taking very good care of him. I also shared that his little brother was on his way up to join us! He took the news just fine.

The doctors worked all weekend to get the pancreas healthy enough for surgery. My son had been on a liquid diabetic diet since Thursday. 

By Monday the pancreas was healthy enough for surgery and the decision was made to remove his gall bladder. He had gall bladder surgery on Monday afternoon and he got to go home the next day.

He had lost 20 pounds during his 6 day hospital stay and he came home with a hearty appetite that had to be liquid for a few more days.

We truly missed our son, his wife, and our youngest grandson on our Christmas vacation but as he wished we continued our vacation and we took very good care of his little boys while they had a great time with their cousins!

It was very nice to be reunited as an entire family unit on Christmas Eve.

my hubby, youngest daughter, and my recovering son

It was my honor to make his plate of "real food" on Christmas Eve.

Our traditional Prime Rib Christmas Eve Dinner!

1 comment:

  1. So happy to hear he is going to be fine. His plate looks like a man's meal for sure, not liquid. Bet it tasted so good, the picture certainly looks good. yum. Love the picture of the grandchildren on the stairs. The smiles on the other picture are great too.