Closing Out 2016 with a Surgery

Sometimes I forget that at any given moment, life can take a sharp, unexpected turn. And as a parent, there’s probably a higher statistical chance that that will happen. Yet, we sail along with the usual small bumps in the road, and it’s easy to start cruising. This morning at 6 a.m., we encountered one of those sharp turns.

Keana woke me up a little after 7 a.m., she had already been sick, and now the pain was too much to lie down or get comfortable. Sharp pain in the gut, lower right. She was light-headed, dizzy, and on the verge of passing out. Sarah took one look at her and said we gotta take her in right away.

I hurried to get her boots, got my shoes, grabbed my jacket, hat, and glasses. Within a few minutes, I half-carried her to the car and we were on our way to the ER at Children’s hospital.

We had actually done this once before, sometime last year, and it ended up being a virus. But this was different. The pain was much greater and I had never seen Keana so out of it. I was scared and focused and checking in to keep her talking and holding her across the chest from time-to-time to keep her from hitting the door or the dash as we sped up the highway.

When we arrived she was sick again in the parking lot, and could barely walk. I got her inside and into a wheelchair, and luckily it wasn’t very busy yet. We got in pretty quickly, did some labs and an ultrasound, and it was clear what needed to be done. Today was the day Keana would say goodbye to her appendix.

Most of the day was spent managing pain and killing time, waiting for an operating room to open. We watched Tackle My Ride on and off, discussing the various paint treatments, and chatted in between Keana taking short naps. She was quite funny and kept me laughing with her one-liners, but I had to hold pack because laughing made her hurt too much.

Sarah arrived around 2 p.m. with food for me and the tender care that only a mom can produce. I hadn’t eaten anything all day and Keana was ready for Mom. Pretty soon after, an OR opened up and Keana was prepped for surgery and on her way. She was out by 4:15 after only spending about 50 minutes under. The appendix was angry but intact, and removed without incident.

So far, recovery has been smooth. She was immediately hungry when she woke up and hasn’t been sick at all. We’re in a private room that’s spacious, quiet, and even has wifi. She ate a burger and I brought her some sushi. Maia, Aliya, and Grandma Jennie came by for a short visit and they were thrilled to see their sister alert and happy.

Sarah had to go to put the others to bed, and Keana and I are writing, separate but together. She’s writing a poem about the day’s events and then I think we’ll watch a movie. It’s almost normal. Just part of what was planned for the day—we just didn’t know it when we went to bed last night. It was truly a day of reminders to take each moment as it comes because I really never know what’s coming next.