I never thought I'd see myself on a children's ward again and I am SO frigging tired that I don't think I'll catch up on my sleep for at least another week. But it's weird how your body copes with what is thrown at it, how it reacts and then how it shuts down.
Over the past year Jake (age 14) has had a lot of time off school due to illness. I know he hasn't been faking it - you just know with your own child, don't you? He has spent whole weekends hanging over the toilet, weak from repeated bouts of sickness and diarrhea. He has been sent home from school with similar symptoms and has consistently been diagnosed with a 'virus', told to 'ride it out' and been told to take paracetamol and/or ibuprofen. He was once treated for glandular fever and three sets of blood and stool samples have come back from testing marked 'clear'. His attendance for the school year 2012/13 stands at 80%.
For those that know my child (or who are lucky enough to be my 'friend' on Facebook or follow me on Twitter) will know what an active person he is, plus the fact that he has ADHD. It's not normal for an active teenager to be almost crying with pain and be completely fed up with being ill.
We had a whole weekend of it again last weekend so, on Monday morning, I booked an appointment for the doctor's again. More so that I was keeping a record of his illness in case the school decided to investigate - and having to think like this when you have a sick child beggers belief. Over the weekend he had been up most nights, had not been able to keep any food down, was drinking only water and looked like death warmed up. We had an evening appointment at the doctor and it was one from the team of GPs that hadn't seen Jake previously. She went over his notes, examined him, diagnosed acute appendicitis and sent us up to the local hospital for immediate admission.
This was at 6.45pm. By 1am, Jake was in the operating theatre having his appendix removed. A junior registrar suggested a scan in the morning but a couple of hours later the senior registrar recommended that he operate immediately. It all went a bit Holby City after that.
And that, my friends, is how fucking brilliant our NHS service is.
My boy kept me amused though. He wanted to keep his appendix (he wasn't allowed), he wanted the surgeon to film the operation, or at least take a picture of the open wound for Facebook (they wouldn't comply - 'regulations' or something - spoilsports), he was SO laid back about it all that he shocked everyone and in recovery I asked him if he wanted anything to which he replied, "black socks, no holes".
It was during the long hours of Monday night/Tuesday morning, when sleep wouldn't/couldn't come during that limbo period, that it hit me how serious this whole situation could be. Of course I thought about cancer again - who wouldn't after it being part of our family history already. I learnt that it wasn't a smooth appendectomy as the appendix was swollen, sticky, ready to rupture and had tucked itself behind the small bowel. It also makes me wonder if any of the previous year's sicknesses have been related to this situation and if we could have done anything to fix it sooner.
This morning I rang our GP's surgery and left a message thanking the doctor that sent us up to the hospital. The receptionist was shocked as (apparently) they don't normally receive phone calls like that. To me, it's basic good manners that you show your appreciation where appropriate. That doctor could have saved my son's life And if she hadn't sent us straight up to the hospital I dread to think what would have happened.
I also had to work today due to a catalogue of circumstances where, even though I was on emergency leave (thank you, work) there was no-one to cover my sessions. One colleague jumped in at the 11th hour on Tuesday but couldn't help out for the rest of the week due to prior arrangements. Last night I came home for some well-needed sleep, went back up to the hospital for a couple of hours this morning and then on to work. There were 'issues' with some of our students yesterday so I put my "I'M TAKING NO SHIT" face on and dealt with it. I think they knew not to fuck with me.
The most coincidental thing is this week is normally the week that we go away for our annual family holiday only this year we haven't booked anything. We were also invited to join Royal Caribbean to have a nosy round one of their ships this weekend but I had to refuse due to the amount of time that Jake has already had off school this year. I guess some things are just left to fate?
All in all, he's doing ok. He's tired and sore but he's home already!! He has a 2-4 week recovery period (HELLO even lower attendance percentage at school) which is going to KILL him but he has been warned repeatedly that he has to adhere to this. It's a cliché but he really has been a trooper!
This is a bit of a rambling post. I just needed to get it all down. I have absolutely no idea what day it is but I do know that I need some more sleep before work tomorrow. I am WOMAN, hear me snore... zzzzzzzzzzzzzz