Tuesday, April 3rd, the ER doctor sent us home after the CT scan & ultrasound showed her appendix was fine. We had instructions to call my surgeon because she had a hernia but it wasn't urgent enough for emergency surgery.
Amazing Grace was given pain meds stayed home from school Wednesday. I called the surgeon & was told her scans hadn't been faxed over from the ER like I was told they would be. They had to look for them in the system & would call me back. At 3:15, just as the other kids walked in the door from school, I got a call from the surgeon with this, "Go straight to the ER, there's an ambulance waiting to take her to Children's Hospital in Milwaukee & the surgeon there is waiting for her. Time is not on your side with this."
I immediately started sobbing. The nurse asked me if I had someone to drive us because I was obviously too upset to drive. I assured her I would call someone. Before I even hung up I was telling the other children to grab their phones & call Grandma, Grampa, and Ethel (who is "Auntie" to them) & get them over to the house NOW. This sent the 8 year old (who turned 9 6 days later) into a hysterical fit.
As I'm trying to hold my red head & calm her down, I'm calling hubby at work to tell him he needed to get home now. If I need to talk to him while he's at work, I send him a chat that says "call me" so the fact that I called his cell told him it was an emergency. He left a meeting as soon as I told him what was going on.
It was pure chaos in our house: waking Amazing Grace & getting her ready to go, holding a hysterical child, me calling hubby & my ex-husband, 2 children calling Grandma who wasn't answering her cell or work phones. I called Ethel & left her a message to meet me at the hospital. I called my Dad to find my Mom & I left the house with the children & me Dad calling my Mom & a hysterical child who I literally had to peel off of my leg so I could get into the truck.
It was so difficult to leave with all 3 children so upset. They understood the urgency & were very scared for their oldest sister who they all look up to & is the one they rely on to keep everything calm whenever I'm sick or having surgery. Now their rock was the one needing their strength.
While I was driving, one of the kids called to tell me they'd gotten ahold of Grandma & she was on her way to be with them. Hubby called to say he was on the way to the hospital. Amazing Grace's father called to ask if he really needed to be there. Um...yeah, whatever.
We got to the hospital & they took her back immediately & hooked her up to an IV because she was very dehydrated & needed pain meds because what they sent us home with had not worked all day. They waited until hubby & Ethel got there so that I wouldn't be alone when she was sent.
As they were prepping her for the ambulance, the ambulance got sent on a call for a car accident. Then the other ambulances got sent out too. After hubby & Ethel got there, they gave me the option to drive Amazing Grace to Milwaukee instead of the ambulance. Just then her blood pressure dropped extremely low. The nurse tried to downplay it so I wouldn't worry, but I know what it means.
As Amazing Grace was laying there begging me not to send her in an ambulance, I had to make a very difficult decision, which turned out to be the start of many difficult decisions to come. I waited to see if her blood pressure would go up & it did a little bit but not enough for me to feel safe driving her the 2 1/2 hours myself. I knew I would constantly be worried about her & the ambulance was the safest place for her so they could monitor her & take care of anything that could happen. I would be too nervous to drive with her like that & with the kind of traffic that I'd have to go through & not knowing where the Children's Hospital is, I knew the ambulance was the best choice for her.
I waited for her father to get to the hospital because I didn't want to make that decision on my own. When her blood pressure wouldn't go up after an hour, I said, "We won't wait for him. We'll use the ambulance." Amazing Grace started sobbing begging me not to make her go by herself & she was scared. It was so hard to stay strong & tell my baby girl that I was making the choice that was best for her, when I wanted so badly to not leave her. It was killing me inside to watch her crying, begging me to not leave her.
I asked the nurse to give her an anti-anxiety to calm her down & relax her for the ride. All the ambulances from 3 counties around us were out on calls, so we had to wait for one an hour away. During that wait hubby ran home & packed a bag for both of us & grabbed both of our special blankets & pillows, so we would have a little comfort from home while in a hospital far away.
At about 8:00 that night they loaded her on the ambulance. I will never forget her holding out her arm, crying, "Mommy, I don't want to go without you! Mommy, please!" I stayed strong until the stretcher was out of my sight & then I laid my head on hubby & cried that I'd never forced her to be away from me & I've always been by her side for everything. I was informed the anti-anxiety did kick in & she calmed down for the ride. I wish they'd given me some because I needed it. 2 1/2 hours is a long time to think.
My ex drove us in my truck because hubby & I decided I was too upset to safely drive. We were to follow the ambulance & I knew if those lights went on, I would drive right off the freeway.
That was a very interesting ride. Let's just say that if the memories of how he treated me while we were married were starting to fade, he made sure I remembered. Some Memory Lanes are not enjoyable. The way he talked to me & things he brought up made me realize some people never change. It also made me grateful for the strength I found years ago to kick his ass to the curb so I haven't had to deal with his special brand of abuse.
When we finally found which entrance we were supposed to go in, after what felt like hours of driving around & parking in the wrong places & getting directions from a random nurse walking to her car, I couldn't get to my baby girl fast enough. She was texting hubby & her friends & holding her Mickey (the blanket she has slept with since I wrapped her up in it the day she was born) when I walked into her room.
Amazing Grace sleeping with her pillow & blanket, Mickey (the raggedy white thing) next to her, and of course her phone. And the teddy bear a nurse gave her for the ambulance ride.
To be continued...