Hospitals, Hernias & Holidays

July 2, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Posted in emergency room, Grief, hospital, parents, twins | 10 Comments
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Yesterday I called Evan and told him to come home immediately.  As I hung up the phone, I questioned if I overreacted.  We had been at a close friend’s house playing.  All was normal except when we left one twin ran to the car and the other was dragging his left foot.  I asked if he wanted me to pick him up.  It is not unusual for him to get tired and ask to be carried.  However, when I picked him up he screamed to be put down.

Finally I got everybody in the car.  As I drove I thought maybe he was having an allergic reaction.  Maybe he could not walk because his feet were swollen.  Or maybe his shoes were too small and he needed new shoes.  I opted to stop at CVS rather than the shoe store.  At this point, they both were screaming.  She wanted ice cream.  He wanted to sit down.  After buying Benadryl, 2 toy cars and frozen yogurt to go, we were back in the car.  I made the call to Evan.  One of us needed to take him to the doctor.

At home I stripped him down to look for hives.  He was very swollen in his groin area.  Evan got home and took him to the after hours pediatric urgent care.  I fully expected a call telling me there was an unexplainable allergic reaction (like many others in the past) and the hives would be gone in the morning.

Instead Evan called to tell me that he was on his way to the ER.   The hive was actually a hernia.  I needed to go to the ER.   Luckily, I was able to drop off the well twin back at our friend’s house.  Thank you again!!

I got to the ER just in time for the ultrasound.  He screamed, cried and begged (politely) for the ultrasound technician to please stop.  Evan and I held him down.  Ok, Evan held him down.  I had to go cry in the hall.

After the ultrasound we waited to speak to the surgeon.  While waiting, I went to the bathroom.  The bathroom was right across from this hospital’s “consult room.”  The “consult room” was where Evan and I held Jake for the last time.  It was where we were when the ER doctor told us that Sawyer was dead.  They were different “consult rooms,” in different hospitals but they looked the same.  Standard issue plastic couch and chair.  Generic flowery art.  Striped carpet.

As I reached the door of our ER room I looked through the glass panel of the door.  Evan was holding hands with our very much alive son.  I thought of the glass partition which Alice Wisler so insightfully used to describe bereaved parent’s desire to be so close and so distant from their living children.  I walked back into the room.

The surgeon arrived.  He originally said that we would be checked in and surgery would be the next morning.   An hour or so later, we were told that due to life threatening cases and the holiday weekend we would need to go home.  We were discharged early this morning.  Surgery will be scheduled for this week.  I am going to kiss the twins one more time right now.


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  1. I’m so sorry about the hernia!! What a pain. All will go well. Hang in there honey. xo xo

  2. Dahlin’…just thinking of you and Fletcher and Alyssa and Evan. Take care of yourselves. I can’t imagine what it was like to be back in the hospital and flash back to other times. You are a strong woman. My love to you. – Amy

  3. that must have been frightening… kiss fletcher and I hope all goes well this week. will try to give you a call. happy 4th!

  4. It has to be hard to stay positive when you are called back into the realm of your worst nightmares. I can’t imagine your emotions being any less stretched than the action of a yo yo in full swing. My heart is with you and your loved ones.

  5. So much of our lives is out of our control. The fear you must have been feeling would have brought a lesser person to their knees. I will keep your little hernia guy in my thoughts and prayers as he faces the necessary repair. HANG IN THERE!!


  6. I will be praying the surgery goes well. I will be praying for you all. I am sure that it is not easy. Sending hugs!

  7. Thinking of you guys–in particular Fletcher as you wait to get his hernia taken care of! In the meantime, it would appear that the kids at least got a new toy out of the deal!

  8. Just heard your news. I’m sending you positive thoughts and feel sure that all will go well for Fletcher. Love and hugs (gently) to all. — Aunt SusanY

  9. Good luck with the surgery — I do know a couple of little guys who had to have the same thing and they came sailing through it fine. I wish the same for Fletcher. And the best for you as you go through it.

  10. Dear Lanie and Evan – I don’t know, if Fletcher’s surgery has already happened but I send my fastest wishes for a totally successful operation! May Fletcher recover quickly and completely and may you all enjoy a good summer after. Though it is never good when children have to be hospitalized, it is so much better when you can do a procedure to actually help. May it all go well!
    I have you all in my thoughts and send much love.

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