Wednesday, February 22, 2006

the good the bad the ugly

so julie and i had an overnight by ourselves (!) last weekend, and it was divine. we drove to ohio friday afternoon/evening (about 7 hours), stayed the night with julie's sister and sister-in-law, ditched the kids around noon, and headed off for about 30 hours of bliss. we stayed at a beautiful place in holmes county called the inn at honey run, which is just the most exquisite place, if you ever find yourself in ohio amish country. ate well, managed to work in two movies on either end of the inn stay (capote, because we're trying to see most of the major academy nominated films before the awards; and firewall, because nothing better was playing at the time we had, and as bad as it was, it was still a movie!). we both feel rejuvinated, and no longer like ships passing in the night.

which is a good thing, because we were already in pretty dire need of some serious relaxation even before micah was hospitalized last week with intussusception, a condition where the intestine telescopes in on itself, causing intense, cyclical pain. micah endured this pain every 15 minutes for 14 hours after our arrival at the emergency room of the children's hospital while a trio of bungling residents wrung their hands over his confusing symptoms ("he has pain, yes, but no vomiting or diarrhea, oh dear, what could that mean???"); ordered tests and then canceled them (but not until after micah had been strapped into the cat scan machine for a good five minutes); and seemed genuinely startled when they finally witnessed one of his episodes of pain, hours and hours after we'd been telling them how serious it seemed to us ("oh, wow, he really is in pain, isn't he?"). and still it took a fellow the next morning, after micah had slept at most in 15 minute spurts, to say "of course it's intussusception! this is not confusing at all! let's fix it!" and then a couple more hours, while they roused an attending to performe a simple enema with air under the x-ray machine, which both confirmed what it was and fixed it (the air pressure pops the telescoped part of the intestine out). and then, as a final indignity, they kept us for another 24 hours of observation, and wouldn't let the poor kid eat or drink anything.

i'm not sure whether it's good or bad that i didn't understand how serious his condition was at the time. certainly, i would have been way more assertive had i known.... as it turns out, this condition is very serious, and if left untreated, will always lead to death within two to five days. micah finally got treated 23 hours after his pain began. i also read (simple google search which produced the article linked above as one of the top three or four hits) that the trio of pain, vomiting and diarrhea appear in only 21% of cases, so why those first three residents were so freaking confused is just beyond me.

i don't know what it is about hospitals that just lulls you into some sort of altered reality. maybe it's all the waiting, and the expectation that you will wait. that waiting is just part of it, and if it were truly an emergency, things would move faster. and that if you try to make too big a deal of your kid's pain, they will just roll their eyes at you behind your back and make you wait even more. i dunno. i really wish i had been more assertive. i certainly will be in the future. lesson learned.

unfortunately, micah was really the one who had to endure our lesson learned, the hard way. he's such an amazing kid. i don't think i could have coped as well as he did, nor could i have bounced back as quickly. finally i made them let us go, once they took the iv out of his hand and i could no longer keep him from dashing out of the room and laughing maniacally as he flew up and down the halls.

what a kid. i'm still in awe that he's mine.


At February 23, 2006 10:00 PM, Blogger susan said...

Wow...what a story, Marta. I'm glad Micah has recovered. It's so hard to watch a child be in such pain. I hope it's not a condition that you can expect to recur (although I guess if it did, you'd know what it was). What a trouper he is.

At February 24, 2006 11:09 AM, Blogger Jo said...

Oh, gosh, Marta, I had no idea how serious that could be! It makes my stomach hurt thinking about it: the ordeal at the hospital, the bungling residents, the realization after the fact. Poor little Micah, and poor you and Julie. I'm glad it's over, and I hope you never get a chance to use what you've learned. (Although life being what it is...sigh.)

I'm glad you got your time with Julie, too. (And I'm jealous you got to see Capote.)

Let's get together soon, no?

At February 24, 2006 7:53 PM, Blogger afrindiemum said...

woah. wow. i'm so sorry for your poor baby! ouch.

and - mamamarta? i love you.

big smooches from portland.

At February 24, 2006 8:31 PM, Anonymous Beth A. said...

How scary. I'm so glad Micah is doing better. And glad that you got to decompress after your ordeal.

At February 26, 2006 5:36 AM, Blogger That one chick said...

Hi, I came over from Afrindimum's site,where I saw your discussion about breastfeeding, and read that you were a La Leche League leader. I live in an area where going to meetings is pretty much an impossibiility for me right now and if it's ok with you I would love to possibly be able to email with you for some advice on breastfeeding my 4 month old son a bit better. I'm leavinga comment here b/c I couldn't find an email address on your site. I hope this is ok.....

At February 26, 2006 10:33 PM, Anonymous mamacate said...

Oh hon, I'm so sorry. That sounds like a terrible ordeal, and I'm so glad you are all okay (it sounds like Micah's back to his old self, but you two will probably be reeling for a good old while).

You know my number if you ever want to call. Sometimes we get out of touch, but you're never far from my mind.

Much love.


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