Perhaps I finally have time to write about how I came to be sitting in the PICU (pediatric intensive care unit) for a week. You are not obliged to read this, but since this is my journal, I am writing this more for me than all of you.
Three weeks ago Jared went to scout camp and had a great time. He came home tired, but that seemed normal. That week after camp June 22 -27th, he seemed fine, although one day he went to work with me and complained that his knees were hurting. I wondered if he was faking at the time, but it seemed unusual for him. He still continued to go ice skating the rest of the week, which is his latest obsession.
Saturday, June 28th, he went skating at noon and came home at 3:00. He seemed a bit tired that afternoon. That night when it was time for the evening session, he said that he was too tired and wasn't going to go. That was my first clue that something was wrong. I figured that he must be sick because he had never missed a skate before.
Sunday, June 29th, he woke up and said that his throat hurt. I wasn't totally convinced he was sick, since sometimes lately he has been sick on Sunday. But I let him stay home from church. Later that afternoon he started complaining that his right leg hurt. So I just let him rest.
Monday, June 30th, he still didn't feel any better and was complaining more and more about his leg. I gave him some Tylenol and went to work at my job with Diana for 4 hours. I still had no idea it was anything serious. During the night he would text me once or twice to come and help him. I was not impressed.
Tuesday, July 1, was more of the same. Jared was suppose to go out and help hand out fliers for the scout fund raiser. He was too sick and said there was no way he could walk that far. That night was a joint activity at the church. I couldn't believe it, but Jared said he wanted to go. I thought this was a sign that he was getting better. They were playing dodge ball and backwards soccer. Jared came, but he was mostly just lying on the ground. About half way through, he said he hurt too much and would I take him home. So I did. Later that night he threw up. I think all that movement was too much for him. Tuesday night was another hard night. I started giving him loritab that was left over from his wisdom teeth extraction. I would only let him have one at night hoping that it would help him sleep.
Wednesday, July 2, I took Diana to choir in the morning and got back at 10:30. At this point Jared was just writhing in pain. I had already made an appointment with the pediatrician for 3:00 but I didn't think we should wait that long. So I decided to take him to urgent care. It was really hard to get him down the stairs and into the car, since he could barely walk. While he was waiting for me to pull the car out of the garage, he threw up again. We got to Urgent care and I got a wheel chair for him. They took us right back to triage at 11:00. I can't even remember what any of his stats were. He did have a fever of about 101. I wish I could remember what his blood pressure was, but I don't.
They got him into a bed and after his urine and blood test, they decided that he was extremely dehydrated. So they gave him two liters of saline. They did an x-ray which looked good. They did all kinds of tests to his blood. And we waited for 3 hours for an ultrasound to make sure that he did not have a blood clot. The ultrasound looked normal. So after being there for 7 hours, they said that he had a pulled muscle and the flu. They sent us home with crutches and ibuprofen.
On Thursday and Friday he continued to get worse. He pretty much refused to get up at all. The crutches they sent home did not help him at all. It was strange because his fever broke on Friday and so we really thought he was on the mend. Sadly there was talk of Suck it up" and "push through the pain". Boy is he going to say "I told you so", when he wakes up. Friday night Marion did help him to the car and we went over to the neighbors to watch some fireworks. I think he wished he hadn't gone. He was still in a lot of pain. It was so bad that he would ask for a bag to pee in so he didn't have to walk to the bathroom. Not a Fourth of July he will ever want to repeat. It was so sad because there was a fun skating party that he had to miss, but he felt so badly that he didn't even care or complain. Not a good sign.
Saturday, July 5th, he just laid on the couch all day complaining. Marion showed him some way to try and stretch out the muscle. At this point we were still telling him that he needed to push through the pain of the pulled muscle. Also that morning I had the thought to put some heat on the sore spot and that seemed to help. The poor kid suffered all day long. At one point he told me that it hurt so bad that he wanted to die. I feel horribly guilty that I didn't take him back in that day.
Sunday, July 7th, of course he stayed home from church. My brother, who is the head trainer at UVSU was on his way home from California to Utah. I had been talking to him all week about Jared and he said he would stop and see if he could tell anything.
He put Jared through some tests and felt around his leg. Andrew called the doctor that he works with and told her what was going on. The doctor said you need to take him back in. Marion and Andrew gave Jared a blessing of healing before I took him in. There was a good peaceful feeling that things would be OK. Also Marion blessed that the doctors would be able to find out what was wrong.
Andrew and Marion helped Jared get to the car. The trip back to urgent care was the longest 30 minutes of my life. He was hurting so badly and complained about each bump in the road. He kept saying that he was going to pass out. It was so hard to try and hurry, yet drive carefully. I was on my way to the same place we went to earlier that week, when I called and found out they were closed. This was a blessing because I don't think those people could have helped him. Instead we went to the urgent care that is just a block from the hospital.
We got to urgent care at 6 pm. Once I got there I got another wheelchair for him. I think getting him out of the car almost killed both of us. He is so heavy and really had no strength to help me at all. Of course there was a security guard sitting right there, but he did not help me. I don't think he could due to liability. Stupid lawyers. Once we were inside, we had to wait in line to go to triage. Jared was really complaining that he was gong to pass out. Finally they took us back. This is when all the panicking began. The nurse took his initial blood pressure and it was 63/40. I am not that familiar with blood pressure to be as worried as she was, but she called for help STAT. In fact she was so worried about him, that she actually called our house later last week to see if he was OK.
I can't remember how much of this I wrote about already. They put IV fluids in immediately and were preparing to do a CT scan of his leg. But even after two liters of fluids his blood pressure never came above 80/47. That is when they called the ambulance with a code 3. They were there within minutes. Jared's first worry was that they were going to strap him down to a back board like after our accident. The paramedics were quick to reassure him that it would be as soft as possible. I of course had my camera and was excited to document this dramatic even I Jared's life. Jared said absolutely not, and if I did take a picture he would delete all the pictures on my camera including my BYU pictures. So I figured he was suffering enough, I would not add to his misery. I did snap a picture of the ambulance, but I don't have it on this computer. Poor kid to be burdened with a mother so obsessed with photo documenting every phase of life for the Blog. Because it was only a block away, I did not ride in the ambulance. This was hard, but I was amazingly calm. By seven o'clock he was at the hospital.
It took me a few minutes to find him and fill out paper work. I hate that part of insurance. Once I got up to the pediatric ER, there were about seven to ten people working on him. They would not give him anything for his pain because it would drop his blood pressure even more. This was awful to see him hurting and not have them do anything for it. Looking back I can see how he had all the classic signs of shock: his skin was white as a ghost, cold and clammy to name a few. The doctors asked us what was going on. By this time the pain had spread up into his abdomen. He showed all the classic signs of it being a burst appendix. They did a chest x-ray, which the technician accidentally snagged one of his IVs and yanked it out of his hand. Not good and blood spurted everywhere. The nurses were not impressed because then they had to put the IV back in. This was kind of good because we got Jared to smile about all the pretty women who were working on him.
I called Marion to give him an update and let him know that Jared was scheduled for surgery at midnight. He found a friend to let Diana spend the night at and headed down to the hospital. He has a hard time finding us, because by the time he got here they had moved Jared from the emergency room to the PICU. I was so relieved to see him. I'm sure Jared was glad as well. Jared was feeling nervous about the surgery and so Marion was able to give him another blessing of comfort. What would we do without the priesthood? I don't ever want to find out.
We went down to wait with him until he went to surgery. And I think that brings us up to date with where I started posting last Monday.
I am still dumbfounded at how a perfectly healthy, strong boy can be at scout camp one week, and then two weeks later be near death in the hospital. Life is never boring or what we expect it to be, I guess.