Sunday, April 28, 2013

Adventures in the Emergency Room

The Matron is a fan of Mondays:  her children go to school!

Mostly.

Last Monday, JJ Hill Montessori Elementary welcomed Merrick at 8:20 a.m. and spit him out at 9:30 a.m.    Yes, she received the dreaded School Nurse Phone Call, this time announcing that her child had a fever of 100. -- with a wee tenor of "how could you miss this, Mom?"

Merrick languished at home through Wednesday, in a state vaguely reminiscent of his Vitamin D haze.   The Matron, who likes occasional moments ALONE, was in her own state:  agitated.  She could not wait to send that child to school.   Unfortunately, Merrick's relatively languid, low-grade fever and discomfort spiked into tummy ache agony and Thursday morning found him at the doctor's office instead of in school.   With his mother, of course.

The pediatrician promptly sent Merrick to the ER, certain this was appendicitis.  The Matron, who has been down that road before with her oldest, knew enough to grab her favorite take-out on the way to the hospital.

Merrick, waiting for his mother's food at the restaurant:  "Aren't I an emergency?"

Matron (appraises her son):  "Not really.  You're not bleeding or choking, right?"

Merrick (umbrage, taken):  "Well, my APPENDIX IS PROBABLY BURSTING."

Minnesota Matron:  "You betcha."   That's just what we say here -- works for nearly every situation.

However, it would turn out that the Matron did not need to stock up on food or other hospital-stay supplies.  One ultrasound and x-ray later and the diagnosis:  poop!

Matron to doctor:  "But he hasn't been constipated.  All systems have seemed quite normal."

Doctor:  "Then he's a big producer--there's more waiting."

So they slumped home, Merrick still clutching his stomach and the Matron, in a thorough and complete funk on several time-wasting, bad-parenting, over-reacting levels.    She poured her son a big glass of Metamucil and pondered the many benefits of similarly sized wine.

Imagine her surprise when the phone rang and "Children's Hospital" popped up on caller ID.   Certain that she was about to be upbraided for something, she nearly didn't answer the phone.  Nearly.

ER Doctor:  "Is this Merrick's Mom?  Mom, you don't have to rush back to the ER after spending the day here, but . . . "

Let's pause here, to fully experience that gap between "you don't have to rush back to the ER, but" and what comes next.   How long was that gap?  A second between 'but' and --what?

 Forever can indeed be an instant.

ER Doctor:  " . . . the radiologist found an abnormality."

And the Matron sat down.

It turns out that Merrick has calcification around his adrenal gland.   That slim bit of information is all that the doctor would give her -- that and instructions to schedule another ultrasound, ct scan, and blood work as soon as possible.

Thanks to her highly efficient internet skills, the Matron has been able to come to some conclusions while they wait for the tests (Tuesday).

Calcification  =   Bad News.  Universally -- there is no way around this.   But calcification is also  a frequent companion to Vitamin D deficiency -- involving some odd imbalance of Vitamins D, K, and calcium.  An although calcification is also a marker for cancer, tumors of various incarnations, and autoimmune disease, the Matron has done what any sensible parent would do and has selected Door Number One -- Vitamin D--as the culprit.   She also discovered that repairing the Vitamin D deficiency with the mega-doses Merrick has been slurping causes . . . (drum roll):  constipation.

Damned if you do and calcified if you don't.

Still.  

Tests on Tuesday.   And that mistaken appendicitis diagnosis and half day in the ER?  Doesn't feel so much like wasted-time any more, but great good luck.




11 comments:

Jocelyn said...

I've never even heard of calcification of the adrenal gland, so, um, well, thanks for teaching me.

And I'm so sorry for Merrick. And his mum. And the whole ball of it.

Gail said...

Oh, we hate when the kids have something really wrong, no matter their age. Vitamin D deficiency, calcification, gall bladder, bad tooth that will not get better with a root canal and crown...and on and on.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I was once rushed to the hospital in an ambulance from the pediatrician's office because of my burst appendix. Which turned out to be . . . yes, poop.

I hope it's the best scenario diagnosis for Merrick.

Minnesota Matron said...

Oh my goodness, Jenn. That is too funny!

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

"She poured her son a big glass of Metamucil and pondered the many benefits of similarly sized wine."
Around our house we always ask about poop... which merely means that no one has gone to the ER for constipation (but not for lack of whimpering).

I'm glad you aren't busily freaking out right now. I'm focusing on the calcium-needing-Vitamin-D (or is it the other way around?) and-that's-why-they-add-it-to-milk,-right? You-betcha! mode of thinking.

JFSinIL said...

How many white hairs has that child given you to date?

Poor Merrick - I hope he feels better soon!

Is there a supplement he can take to counteract side effects from the vitamin D?

Suburban Correspondent said...

I'm wondering if I would have even had the sense to go to the ER.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

(umbrage taken)--that has to be my favorite line in this hysterical post. Poor Merrick, though. If it helps, we had a similar situation here--tummy cramps that ended up with a diagnosis of constipation.

Cheri @ Blog This Mom!® said...

After a false alarm that I won't bother to detail here (but it was one of my more awesome parenting moments to be sure), Laura's pediatrician told me that he made the following note in her chart: "WCDM." Of course, I foolishly (twice the fool in one day!) asked what that meant. He replied with a smile, "Well child. Dumb mother."

I hope all comes out okay on Tuesday, too, so to speak.

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FlourGirl said...

Hoping all goes well with Merrick's u/s today. I've also had the pleasure of having a child diagnosed with constipation. Much to my son's chagrin, I asked the doctor if my son truly was 'full of sh!t' and if so, could I get a note from him saying so? I wanted to put it in his baby book and/or use it for blackmail, evil mom that I am.