We've had an interesting few days around our house!
Thursday night, I was awakened by the horrible sound of retching. Mind you, Max is no delicate flower when it comes to the world of retching and vomiting. I woke me out of a deep sleep, and immediately I knew something was brewing.
We kept a close eye on him the rest of the night, and by morning I was already calling doctors, and making plans towards taking him into Children's Hospital.
We have one rule when Max is sick...if he throws up his special sick day diet, which is a solution of carbs and water, and keep his medicine down, he has to go in through the ER. He ate very slowly over an hour, but as soon as I turned it off, it was like I turned a reverse pump on his stomach. He was bringing up everything that was in his tummy, and then some!
We got everyone sorted, Abbey wanted to stay home with the dogs, and our friends visiting from out of town went on to do their thing. Steve and I loaded Max in the van and set out for the hospital. Max vomited all the way there. All I can say is I'm glad his chair is plastic/rubber, and the van has a washable floor board!
Because we didn't know exactly what was going on, we had his Metabolic doctors call ahead to get the ball rolling before we got there. This usually ensures we get back very quickly and are seen quickly. Tests were run, and labs drawn. It was starting to look like he was having another bowel issue.
Max has a history of volvulus of his intestines, meaning they flip and twist on themselves. He's had 3 surgeries to address this issue, so if we bring him with the same symptoms they tend to narrow in on that first.
It took a long time to get there, mostly because of all the tests they ran, but by hour 12, (at 1:00am) the surgeons were taking him back for a fourth surgery to fix a blockage in his small intestine this time, rather than the large. Because of all of the scarring from the previous 3 surgeries on his intestines, and two surgeries on hernias/testicle torsions, he's got a lot of scar tissue, or adhesions in his abdomen.
The surgeon told us that this was like spider webs that needed to be cut because the intestine will wrap around and sometimes get pinched trying to move around it. We were also told this is something that may be an issue going forward with Max since he's had so many surgeries on his bowels.
The surgery itself was about 2.5 hours. The surgeon told us that we caught it at the soonest possible time, and it was just a partial blockage. But, we would have had a bigger issue if we would have waited, so I guess score for team Watson for paying attention and bringing him in quickly.
They tried to do the operation laparoscopically, but found he had one area that was especially wound up and kinked, and needed to cut him open. So, for the third time, in 2 years, Max has about a 6 inch incision down his middle of his tummy. We haven't seen the actual wound yet, as it's still dressed, but they did tell us that they stitched it up differently this time to try to avoid infections.
He is in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. He's uncomfortable when he wakes, and cries out for us. He is on a good amount of pain medicine, including a spinal block. He has had a small fever off and on all day. And he's also on a double dose of seizure medicine, as we're seeing some seizures from the shock to his body from surgery.
The surgeon let us know that it will likely be a week that he is inpatient, at least. He has a central line put in, so he's able to get the medicines and total nutrition through IV that he needs. So, really it's just a wait and see game.
The past couple of surgeries, he's had complications in the recovery. We're trying to take as many precautions as possible to avoid that this time. He's in the PICU to be watched closely for the first couple of days, and is on an IV antibiotic to try to fend off any infection that could be brewing. Then he will be moving up to a floor with doctors that are familiar with him, and nurses that have been with him before. This is why we go to the same hospital every time! They remember the history as well, and are quick to make sure we don't face the same problems twice. And I admit, it was nice to listen to Max's surgeon tell her Fellow, "Listen to these parents, they have Spidey Sense when it comes to Max. If they say he's not ready for something, he's not ready. They know him better than anyone, so listen to what they say.".
We really thought we had made it through the Summer without a long trip to Camp Children's, but it was not to be. Let's just hope we can get home to enjoy the rest of Summer before school starts in a couple of weeks!!
Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. We will certainly try to update the blog regularly, but will definitely be updating Max's Facebook page throughout the day with updates and photos. You can get to that by clicking this link, and liking his page.