12 December 2013

The Silent Sufferer

Abigail has this way of being heartbreakingly good when it really counts. It's heartbreaking because I know she's suffering, but she is just so patient through all the pain.

We had to stop food last night at bedtime for a test that wasn't scheduled until 12:30pm today and didn't even happen until almost 2:30pm. 19 hours of fasting is a long time for an adult, and to place that misery on a two-year-old is hard to watch. We spent this morning toddling walking laps at the mall - she's gotten to be such a good walker, it doesn't really look like a toddle anymore - in order to distract her from food. She did incredible, making it two full laps before getting tired. At one point we found a kid area with some kid-sized bean bag chairs, so I plopped her down on one. She promptly crawled off and started speed-walking back toward the mall walkers' circuit behind some old men in sweat pants. One and a half hours and she never asked for more than juice.

We had to stop fluids at 10:30am this morning and shortly after, they gave her meds to dry up the saliva in her mouth. That's four hours of dry mouth. For a two-year-old. We sat in a rocking chair in the pre-op room for a good two hours before we found out that the surgeon ahead of us was running behind. They then moved a girl into the space next to us who spent the next two hours scream-whining. For four hours Abigail sat on my lap in that rocking chair looking at the stack of books we'd brought with us. Hungry, thirsty, and with a screaming child next to us. Four hours and she never once cried or tried to get down. I'm honestly tearing up right now.

I don't know why they called it "surgery" or had us wait in the "pre-op room" before sending Abigail to the "OR," because she didn't actually have any surgery. Briefly: Abigail has had severe projectile vomiting her entire life, but a medication she was on for her lungs had the unintentional (and incredibly rare) side effect of halting the vomiting. Well, she doesn't need the lung meds anymore and the vomiting came back. So now we're working with a digestive doctor (gastroenterologist) to find out why. He ran a few less-invasive tests earlier in the fall, but they all came back normal. So he needed to knock her out and send a tiny camera through the mouth, esophagus, stomach, and small intestines, and take some biopsies. It'll take a week to get the full results, but his initial impressions indicate some mild irritation that isn't a clear marker of any one thing.

So she went under general anesthesia for the second time in her two short years, had a breathing tube and camera down her throat, and had random parts of her digestive track scraped for tissue. She woke up with a pretty sore throat and really raspy breathing. But did she complain? Hell no, she didn't. Not even barely. She just cuddled up with me in another rocking chair until she was approved for discharge. She sat quietly in the car while we picked up Matt (he works about 2 miles from the hospital), and drove home. She sat quietly on the couch while I unpacked our duffle bag, and she spent most of the night on the couch eating pudding and ice cream and watching Mary Poppins.

She breaks my heart, that kid. She's two-years-old and she's got a saint's level of patience for dealing with suffering.


Kate Sherwood said...

Hugs to you and sweet Abigail. I hope you get some helpful answers.

Kate @ BJJ, Law, and Living

Diane said...

Bless her little heart.