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Trust Your Instinct

Friday, 3 October 2008

Does it kick in right away? Right when the baby is born? Or does it develop in those first few weeks of parenthood?

Whenever it happens, let’s hear it for a mother’s instinct. Because it was that instinct that probably saved PC’s life.

So last week, life was chugging along. PC was home after the surgery to remove his ruptured appendix. He wasn’t getting appreciably better but we figured that he must be a slow healer. We saw the surgeon and though she thought his recovery was on the slow side, there was nothing to trigger an alarms.

Late Friday, he began to run a low-grade fever. By Saturday, he was feeling worse. I looked at the incision site and discovered that it was very red, hard, warm to the touch, and had a very foul odor. In other words, something wasn’t right. The surgeon responded to the page immediately and told me to rush him into the ER.

MomGiraffe, who had only just gotten home after taking Beernut to his special karate program, turned around and headed back to our home.

There was no question that PC had developed a post-op infection. All that was left to determine was where it was and what kind it was. Late Saturday night, tests confirmed that it was indeed an infection but it was contained in the abdominal wall only and was not in the abdominal cavity. They were able to take a culture of the infected fluid because it was now leaking through the sutures. He was in terrible pain and his fever was getting higher and higher. An I & D (incision and drainage) would be the only way to rid his body of the infection.

Our wonderful surgeon went back in and cleaned out every layer of skin to make certain that it was free of the bacteria — which we later learned was E.Coli. This was VERY good news in that E.Coli is far less serious than a staph infection.

When the appendix was first removed, the incision was able to be closed because it was a dry wound. However, now that it had been reopened due to infection, it would need to remain open in order to prevent any bacterial regrowth. The doctor packed it very tightly with gauze and each day, the gauze is removed, the wound is cleaned, and then repacked.

Imagine delivering a baby without any anesthetics. And then imagine the doctor saying “great job! I’ll be back again tomorrow at the same time and we’ll do it again.”

This will be PC’s reality for the next SIX weeks. Every day a nurse will come to the house for wound irrigation and dressing.

So now we are home. After another six days in the hospital, I brought PC home late yesterday afternoon. He misses the adjustable bed but that is ALL he misses! And the children. We both desparately miss the children. They will come home this weekend once we’ve had a chance to get into a comfortable routine.

SO — if you think that something doesn’t look or feel just right, chances are that you are right! Trust your instinct. That’s why you have it.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. jack39 permalink
    Friday, 3 October 2008 8:14 pm

    Oy. Refuah Shleimah. Sounds like you have your hands full.

  2. Saturday, 4 October 2008 6:48 pm

    wow. good advice, friend. hang in there….

  3. meira permalink
    Monday, 6 October 2008 1:39 pm

    Refuah Shlemah. Hope you’re all on the mend sometime soon.

  4. Monday, 6 October 2008 2:47 pm

    That’s really terrible. {unhelpful comment here}

    Unhelpful comment choices:
    This, too, shall pass.
    What does not kill you makes you stronger.
    It could be a lot worse.
    God doesn’t give anyone more than he can handle.

  5. Thursday, 16 October 2008 8:44 pm

    Wow, that’s so hard! May he have a refuah shelaima, and may you get some respite as the caretaker. I’m so glad the surgeon responded so completely and quickly, and (please G-d) effectively.

    Looking forward to hearing good news…

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