Yesterday, I had four happy, healthy little boys who spent the morning vigorously cleaning their toy room with their great-grandmother and playing with their visiting cousins all afternoon. I had a fifteen-month-old who was laughing and playing and hugging and kissing and being totally normal.
That’s when Eli started crying for no immediately noticeable reason. It wasn’t a ticked off cry because he wasn’t ready for bed. It seemed to be a pretty obvious “I hurt” cry. Since I couldn’t see anything wrong with him, I decided to check his diaper and make sure nothing was getting pinched.
Oh. My. Gosh.
While I’m sure it wasn’t a logical conclusion, I thought that one of his test*cles had moved to the other sided of his boy parts. Like they got tangled or something. I’m guessing that doesn’t happen but, people, that is definitely what it looked like. One side looked empty, and the other side was way too big and looked like it had two. In my book, this was not the kind of thing that you wait a day to see if it gets better. By 8:15 pm or so, Eli and I were in the car heading for the Emergency room at Children’s Hospital.
Thankfully, they were able to get him in pretty quickly, since he was having repeated bouts of inconsolable crying. No question about it, my poor boy was hurting. When the doctor came back, he determined quickly that he had a hernia. Then he went about trying to push it back where it belonged.
And I thought my son was in pain before. Wow.
He was able to get the “big part” in, but couldn’t get the rest in. He told me that we would wait a bit and try again. If that didn’t work, they would sedate him and try again. If THAT didn’t work, they’d call a surgeon and transfer him for emergency surgery. But, don’t worry, because that NEVER actually happens. They can always get them back in.
Uh, yeah. I guess they made an exception for us.
The ER doctor tried. He really did. And it was obvious that Eli did feel significantly better after he got that first big part in. The rest, however, would not budge. Plus, there was something else in there—roughly the same size and shape as his test*cle (no, not the other one…it WAS where it belonged, but that is why it looked like he had two on one side.). The surgeon was called. He decided that surgery was necessary for an incarcerated hernia (basically, that means it was stuck and could cut off the blood supply to the intestine and cause that part to die and have to be removed—it can become dangerous) and a hydrocele (that other lump). I was comforted when I realized that the surgeon on call was the same one that had done Eli’s surgery for penile adhesions when he was about six months old.
The other kids went to grandma’s house and Sean came to help me. At around 1:30 am, Eli went in for surgery. Luckily, I had brought him in quickly enough that his intestine was not damaged so the surgery was a pretty routine thing that only required about a 1 inch incision. And, while he was at it, the surgeon decided to check up on his previous work and took care of the fact that Eli was starting to to develop adhesions again. That’s right—we got a two-for-one surgery (I wonder if THAT would happen under universal health care?). By a little past 3:00 am, we were in our recovery room.
You’ve all been in hospital rooms before, right? I’m assuming you are familiar with the concept of a “bed” for visitors. You know, those weird little chairs that have to be bent and folded like a Transformer until it creates a hard, flat surface to lay on. Yeah, we had ONE of those. I tried to lay down on it (despite the fact that I haven’t even been able to sleep in my own bed for over four months). After about ten or fifteen minutes of feeling like my legs were being ripped from my hips, I gave up and told Sean to enjoy his chair-bed. I sat in what was barely a step up from an office chair and read some of the Ann Coulter book, Godless. Of course, as much as I enjoy her reasoning and snarky delivery, there comes a point where lack of sleep turned my brain to applesauce and I couldn’t even do that anymore.
When Sean woke up at 6:00, I went back to the Transformer chair and “relaxed” in pain for about two hours. That was the totality of my sleep for the night. Which means that I spent the rest of the day feeling, well, about the same as I have for the past few months. But, at least this time I had a completely understandable reason, right? Not that that stopped Sean from spending two hours at the office this afternoon (I swear, dear, I’ll only be there for less than an hour…), then came home and immediately started mowing the lawn. Because I obviously would be able to nap through that. Bless his heart, it really is in the right place (even when he’s being totally oblivious).
We were discharged from the hospital right around lunch time. As soon as they took the IV out of Eli’s hand, he insisted on being set down so he could run around the recovery room. He has been amazingly happy and normal ever since then. I am just stunned by how little it seems to be affecting him. Other than a normal dose of Tylenol at 9:00 am, he hasn’t even had any pain medication. You would never guess that he just went through all that pain and surgery last night. For that, I am incredibly grateful.
If I can get a night of serious sleep, life will be good.