Hello my dear friends and readers!
This is just a quick shout out to with my thanks, love and gratitude to all who have sent their love and support to me (yet again!) via twitter, FB and instagram on the Boy.
For those who are in the dark, here’s a summary of what happened to us in the last week.
I am sharing this story with you, so that you learn to recognise the symptoms, and not to leave things too late!
Remember, if in doubt, head into the emergency ward immediately. The worst that can happen is for the Triage nurses at the Emergency Ward to tell you that you are being a bit of a hypochondriac and you should go home.
*Warning – you may not want to read on it if you are icky about detailed accounts of sickness
So late Tuesday night (last week), the poor Boy fell rather ill but thought nothing more about it. He complaint of sharp pains in the middle of his tummy and thought that he had contracted gastro.
He spent that night throwing up 3-4 times.
In the morning, as I got ready for work, I made him promise to book in an appointment with our local GP to see what was wrong.
When he went in to see his GP, the diagnoses was that it could be either mild gastro, constipation or at the very worst case, appendicitis.
He prescribed the Boy with some anti-nausea pills and told him to get some hydralite to keep hydrated and go home for some rest.
At this point, the Boy was having a mild fever and decided to take it easy and pop some Panadol.
As I was a bit worried with him, I rushed home during lunch time to find him shivering and shaking with fever in bed.
Unknown to the both of us, his appendix had apparently ruptured and was already being infected (which was why he had a fever, as his body was fighting the infection).
He kept reassuring me that it was probably just a really bad gastro he contracted and he wasn’t too clear on how bad the pain in his abdomen was.
For the rest of that Wednesday he was wavering in and out of fevers and kept complaining it was cold.
On Thursday morning, still not quite happy with his condition, I decided to stay home to monitor him in the morning.
At around 10am, his condition still showed no signs of improvement and that’s when I decided to force him to the Emergency Ward at Monash Medical, Clayton.
He finally relented (which scared me a bit, as that meant he was really not feeling well) and I bundled him up and off we went. The pain he had felt in his centre had by now moved to the lower right side of his abdomen (near the pelvic region).
When we got to the Triage nurse (the counter where they assess the situation before putting you on the wait list to be attended), his fever had broken again, and he showed no signs of a temperature. However, I described his symptoms as best as I could and managed to get into the waiting list.
We were told we had to wait 3.5 hours before we would be attended (joys of public hospital). After 2 hours or so, we were called in and the Boy was examined. At this stage, his fever was back and was reading at 38.9. The nurse took blood samples from him and we were left alone for a bit.
After what seemed like an eternity, he was moved to one of the waiting areas for the doctor to assess him. At around 2.30pm, we were told that by the doctor that he needed the day surgeons to come around to check if it was really appendicitis or something else.
At this stage, I had requested a drip for the poor Boy as he was looking quite pale as he hadn’t eaten in more than 24 hours. They also gave him some Panadol for the pain.
The day surgeon came by and did some physical examinations on the Boy and told us, that it was quite likely an appendicitis, and that it had probably ruptured which meant he needed to be operated on as soon as possible. His white blood cell count (WCC) reading was also off the charts, reading at 23 (normal reading for a healthy person is below 11). So it was likely, something nasty was going on.
Not once did anyone mention to us, that before any surgery a patient is required to fast for at least 6-8 hours beforehand. Never having experience any form of surgeries, the Boy and I were clueless about this rule as well. So, when one of the PSAs came by around 5pm to hand out sandwiches as it was tea time and when I questioned her if it was alright for the Boy to eat, she said, “Yes, he can eat”.
I realised that I should have checked with a further 2-3 other people before following her instructions, but I was tired and worn out and wasn’t thinking too clearly at that stage, so the Boy ate half a sandwich.
At 6pm, one of the nurses arrived and announced that they would have to put the Boy through surgery in the next 5 minutes. She began running through the usual questions of allergies, name, food and did a double take when we responded “yes!” to the “have you eaten anything?” question. From there, both the doctors, head nurse, nurse and examiner came by to check on him and to tell us off for allowing him to eat something. The finger-pointing began, and it ended up being “the patient’s fault”. However, all water under the bridge and we had to move on.
So, we were told that he could no longer be operated upon and he had to wait a further 6-8 hours before anything further could happen and that the next likely operation would happen at 8-9am the next morning.
In all that hoo-ha, I managed to get the Boy transferred to Jessie McPherson (the private wing attached to Monash Medical) as our basic Medibank insurance covered appendicitis. So we moved the poor thing to more comfortable surroundings due to my negligence and bungle up of his food.
At 9.30pm, I left for home, as there was nothing more for me to do except wait for his surgery the next morning. At 3.50am I received a messaged from the Boy saying he overheard the doctor say that his blood cultures had come back positive and he may have to go into surgery. At 5.45am his day surgeon rang to say that he was currently in the operation theatre.
His appendix had ruptured and was gangrenous and had started to infect his blood. They had to rush him for surgery as there was signs of blood poisoning. He would also be required to stay at the hospital for a further 48 hours. With that in mind, I packed his clothes and rushed in only to find that he was still at the operating theatre waiting to be transferred back into his ward.
However, all was well and the surgery was successful. I can only give thanks and say a little prayer that it wasn’t anything worst (apparently when an appendix ruptures, it can get quite dangerous and infect the other organs surrounding the area, which may then have to be cut out to prevent further spread of infection).
I have to commend the surgeon for his wonderful work as well as the amazing nurses at the Jessie McPherson Ward 51 area. They made his stay and treatment the last few days so much easier with their confidence, attention and warmth.
The Boy came home today, he still has a way to go in his recovery, but one little step at a time. I am just glad he is home now in comfortable surroundings. He is still not 100% but he seems much chirpier to be out of the hospital (who wouldn’t?)
So if you made it this far down my long-winded story, I applaud you.
The moral of the story is, if you’re unwell and in pain seek medical advice ASAP and head to Emergency if you are not satisfied.
Also get yourself private insurance. Trust me, it’ll be worth it in the long run.
For now, I’m going to wake him up for his antibiotics dose and then head to bed. I’m exhausted but happy that it’s all for the best 🙂
Love and Peace.