sigh. where to start...
what to say...

What I'm going to write doesn't necessarily need to be shared,
but I need to write,
I need to record what's been going on.
...for me, for our family journal.

Some of you who follow me on twitter or facebook
probably know what we were doing all week.
It was the easiest way to keep family and friends updated
...blogging however doesn't seem to come to mind
when you're at the hospital.

2 1/2 weeks ago Vance had a stomach bug
...he wasn't feeling well for 24 hours.
And then he was back to normal.
except he wasn't
A week later he mentioned his stomach was hurting again
...hurting on the lower right side.

I rushed him to the dr.
we had xrays, 2nd opinions, 3rd opinions & 4th opinions looked like anything but a ruptured appendix
he passed the jump test, the rebound pain test.
...and then we had a cat-scan.

It was the "worst case scenario" the dr. said
We had a "very sick boy" & "a long road of recovery"

Vance's appendix had ruptured, 10 days ago.
He had a large abscess around his appendix
but his body had completely blocked the infection off.
There was nothing leaking into his body.
Praise God!

Taking his appendix out was not an option,
it was much too risky.
Instead they went in and cleaned out the abscess,
and put a port/drain in.
It was done under CT scan
and took around an hour.
I paced the floor most of the time.
Anyone who has ever left a child for an operation
...hugs to you, it is a hard thing to do.

After the operation Vance really went down.
His fever spiked, he was in horrible pain.
He was having continued muscle cramps around the port,
we were 36 hours into "no food or water"
he had IV trouble.

It was a hard day.

I went through the whole "mom guilt" over and over.
How did I not know? What did I miss?
But you know, I couldn't have done anything different.
I asked him about his stomach, I thought about the appendix or kidneys.
He didn't have pain there, he was just a little sick.
He wasn't doubled over.
He didn't have a high fever.
We went swimming and ice skating.
He ran, he played, he ate, he was fine.

He was in God's hands.
His appendix ruptured and his body protected him.
I handle stressful situations really well
...mentally that is.
Physically not as well.
I couldn't sleep and probably only slept 3-4 hours a night.
I made it through the entire hospital stay without a headache
...and then it hit when we got home.
We were so thankful to have a wonderful Dr.
It felt like we were actually on the same team was a blessing for sure!

Vance really enjoyed his Dr. too
...he even stayed and played a lego game with him.
That really lifted his mood!

Paul did amazing with the children at home.
He cooked, cleaned, played and was pretty much super dad.
All of the children handled it really well...
except Grayson.

He was very distraught seeing Vance in so much pain
...the IV, the port and drain.
Thinking about what was going on was hard for him.

The port never drained like we thought it would.
We went back and forth trying to decided if putting a chest port in for food was worth the risk.
We thought the drain port was blocked or possibly put in wrong.
Vance had horrible trouble with IV and drawing blood.
There were spiked fevers and antibiotics that didn't work.
4 days of no food or water.
We planned for Christmas in the hospital
and talk of additional operations.

Oh, God is so good!
We are still hopeful that he will only need the one operation.
The blood they pulled from finger pricks were enough.
He lowered his fever on his own.
The new antibiotic worked.
and we went home on Christmas eve.

With a port and drain
but home.

We go back today.
Praying all looks okay...
and he can have the port and drain taken out.

This was our first
... surgery
... lengthy hospital stay
... antibiotic
...serious illness
and we made it through, so far.

Thank you so much for all of your prayers and encouraging words.
Thank you for the balloons to cheer Vance up.
Thank you for caring about our family.
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  1. Poor Vance! Thank God he seems to be doing better. Praying everything continues to go smoothly in his recovery.

    My brother had severe appendicitis two days into his freshman year of college. He was notorious for getting nervous to the point of vomiting on the first day of school every year, so when he called home (his school is about an hour away), no one believed he was actually sick. He put off going to the nurse for three days before the pain got so bad he couldn't take it. The school nurse took one look at him, plopped him in a wheelchair and wheeled him across the street to the university hospital. He had emergency surgery, and we all felt terrible for accusing him of crying wolf.

  2. I am so sorry to hear this!  God has you covered.  :)

  3. How incredibly scary. That is my worst nightmare. I'm so glad that God is in control of everything and everyone! Praying for a speedy recovery for Vance.

  4. It is strange to be thrust into an intense medical scenario.  I am so glad you have a great team of doctors.  I will be praying for Vance to completely heal from all of this.  It is funny when you talk about how it hit you when you got home.  That used to happen to me when my husband was in the hospital.  I was doing a-okay at the hospital - didn't eat or sleep much...but did okay....then I'd get home and a huge wave of everything would hit.  I don't know exactly what it all is/was, but it was a wave...

    Take care - and I hope you don't have too much guilt over doesn't sound like there were any clear signs that something needed immediate attention.  I can guarantee I would have done the same thing in your situation. 

    Glad you could all be home on Christmas. Sending you warm thoughts and best wishes for a great followup appointment.

  5. Chanale Fellig-Harrel12/28/11, 1:16 PM

    What an intense week you had. Hope everything is ok and the recovery is quick!

  6. I saw your updates on Twitter, and prayed for you guys. I am so glad he's doing better, and I hope that he'll be back to 100% very soon!

  7. Briana Runde12/28/11, 1:51 PM

    Oh wow! Praying you get good results today! 

  8. Sarah-Anne Lyons12/28/11, 1:57 PM

    wow! i had no idea that all this happened...guess that's what i get for not checking your Twitter for a week ha. SO glad that Vance is back home...thankful for God watching over him & your family!!

  9. Darcie Santoyo12/28/11, 2:18 PM

    oh wow wow wow! prayers for your family. God is so good to protect him. I hope and pray everything else goes more smoother. 

  10. Wow, that is crazy. I know its hard because mom guilt is literally the hardest thing to get over, but you couldn't have known. He's on the mend. Your children are beautiful. I hope the rest of his recovery is smooth and as quick as possible.

  11. Praying for Vance and your sweet family! HE truly is amazing!

  12. I am in tears after reading this. It bring back the horrible days spent in the hospital with my baby at 5 & 6 months old, with meningitis. I wish I had pictures and a journal to document those days. I truly hope that the next steps for Vance are easy.  Easy for all of you. God is watching over Vance and the doctors. Hugs from TN.

  13. Salt in Suburbia12/28/11, 4:10 PM

    I'm so sorry you are going through this. Haven't been on FB much, but saw one of your status updates, so I knew something was going on. Thanks for sharing this on your blog so that we can lift up Vance in prayer. Hope the rest of the journey goes well.

  14. I'm so glad he is ok! I know how scary that is when your child is in pain and there isn't anything you can do to help them. You are a strong Mommy! Praying for his speedy recovery!

  15. Clanmckenna112/28/11, 7:02 PM

    I haven't been on the internet since before Christmas so I didn't realize.  I'm so sorry about your son.  Watching your child go through something like that is a most difficult thing to do.  It sounds like he's on the upswing now though and as for me and mine, we'll send up some prayers.  Get better soon Vance!

  16. Oh, wow! I can't believe it didn't hurt him badly. Thank God you decided to go to the hospital anyway. Poor boy.  What an experience.

  17. Melanie McNitt12/28/11, 7:48 PM

    So thankful all is looking better! Have you read the book Heaven is for Real? Your story reminded of his story.Both with happy endings.

  18. I have been reading your blog for awhile now (and LOVING it, by the way), but I believe this is my first time to comment.

    First, praise the Lord for protecting your son!  The reason I had to comment was because this EXACT SAME thing happened to my little sister when she was in 5th grade (she's 28 now).  She had a ruptured appendix for 10 days and she was sick, but not showing any symptoms of appendicitis.  She passed all of the tests, just like Vance.  Anyway, they took her in to do exploratory surgery (scary!) and found a mass of  ruptured appendix toxins enveloped in a "sac", protecting her from dying.  She had port tubes inserted to pull the infection out after having surgery to remove the abscess.  
    We have always known & given credit to God for performing a miracle in saving her life.  Your son has been given a miracle as well.
    I pray for a swift & speedy recovery for Vance & for your entire family to be able to get back to "normal" as soon as possible.

  19. So sorry for what you all have gone through. How merciful is our God for protecting Vance from the infection. Continued prayers are with you. 

    Do you have medical insurance? 

  20. God is ever present in your family and Vance's condition.  My nephews appendix ruptured a number of years ago and it was very bad, he did pull through with touch and go moments as well.  

  21. blueschoolmomma12/28/11, 8:58 PM

    *sigh* much love to you, friend. you did well!!

  22. your poor " baby"....praying for fast recovery. To God be the glory for protecting him!!!!!!! (((((((hugs))))))))))

  23. How awful for you!  What an ordeal for everyone.  SO glad Vance is okay, and hope all looks great when he gets checked again.

  24. Oh Goodness, I didn't know any of this was going on.  I'm so sorry he and you all had to go through that!  My Mama heart certainly goes out to you, honey.  I hope he's on the mend and that all will be better soon. Prayers being sent up... .xoxo

  25. I am so sorry to hear this.  Declaring GOD's almighty healing over that sweet boy! 

  26. PTL that he is okay!Seeing photos of Vance's hospital room brought back memories of almost one year ago when our 4 year old grandson spent 18 days in the hospital after swallowing a lithium cell battery.He recovered fully but it was a scary experience!12 years ago my sister had a ruptured appendix,she was very sick till they discovered what was going on.She was pregnant and delivered 10 weeks early.Her and"baby"are doing well today!

  27. Stephanie Precourt12/29/11, 9:23 AM

    Oh Brittany I am so sorry you had to go through all of this! You are a wonderful mom, and God is so faithful. Praying!!


  28. Mthompson52512/29/11, 11:48 AM

    He's one tough cookie and so are you all.  When I first started reading this I thought of the book called "Heaven is for Real"  you should read it.  God is good all the time, all the time God is good!  Some people might say "it just so happens that his body blocked the infection from spreading"  but you know the truth and so do I.  God was performing a miracle.  God Bless, I pray for a swift recovery for him and you all. 

  29. reading this post and feeling sorry. then i had a goose bumps when i read the bit about going home on christmas eve, its a happiest ending. hope your boy feel better!

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  31. Abbey Robertson12/29/11, 1:00 PM

    Oh you sweet momma... I'm so sorry for this!!  You give birth and you feel guilty, I can't imagine the lies that are flowing though your head that are just toxic, I'm praying for you!  I hope that your sweet boy heals and that you guys get some rest.  Praise the Lord that with all those babes and all the years of parenting that this was your first major thing!   Hope your new year starts better than this one ended...

  32. Oh, man.. This just breaks my heart.  Many, many hugs and prayers for your family.  That picture of Grayson brought tears to my eyes. My older sister was always the "protector" of all of us younger siblings and she always had a rough time when we were hurting.  I'm glad you were able to make it home for Christmas. I pray that Vance's road to recovery is much shorter than expected. Sounds like his body is strong and healthy, thanks to mom's home grown veggies :). 

  33. Praying for a complete and quick recovery.  Praying for you and husband and the other kids as well. 

  34. Brittany Cardenas12/29/11, 4:24 PM

    I am so sorry you all had to go through this. I also had my appendix out. I was in 3rd grade and it was over Christmas. Mine had burst and at that time, they tried to get everything out. All the doctors had thought they did. Except they didn't. Almost 1 year to the date, I had another surgery to clean the area again. Christmas wasn't a good time of year for me! 22 years later, I still have pains in my stomach from all the scare tissue. I will keep all of you in my thoughts!

  35. I read this entire post, and didn't get teary-eyed...until the picture of Grayson's face.  :(  I am so sorry you had to go through all this, but so thankful that Vance will be okay.  Praying that his healing is miraculously fast, and that you all get back to normal very soon.  Big hugs.

  36. Feel better soon, brave boy. 

  37. praying for your family; i saw what was going on through fb but had no idea the details! 

  38. alignabluhm112/30/11, 9:25 AM

    praying for your family!

  39. Thanks for the update- we're still praying for you all!

  40. I pray that Vance is still doing well and that his full recovery is near!


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