this week has been an emotional roller coaster for our family…there has been such an amazing out pouring of kind words & questions about what happened, i thought i would share the whole story here…last weekend my eight year old son, Malik wasn’t feeling well….typical flu kinda stuff….fever…cough…stomach ache….on sunday evening things took a turn for the worse…as i was getting him into his pj’s he turned pale white & said he was having a hard time breathing…he had a terrible pain in his lower right abdomen…he wouldn’t let me touch it at all…i stared to feel a bit panicky….so i called his pediatrician to see what we should do….(Malik has had chronic stomach issues since he was quite young, so we were accustom to him having stomach aches….but this was different & i was scared)…our pediatrician was also concerned & suggested we take him to the ER…she thought the best one to go to was Cottage Hospital in santa barabra….so i bundled up the kids & off we went….at this point i am trying to be cool as a cucumber, so that  Malik & his sisters don’t feel my panic….we pulled up to the Cottage Hospital emergency room & i was amazed to find they have a valet in front of the ER…(whoever thought of having a valet at the ER is a genius-thank you)…so i bundled Malik in a blanket & carried him into the ER…yes, he couldn’t stand at this point, because he was in too much pain…we were taken in rather quickly (which is never a good sign-in my experience if you are waiting in the ER for 3 hours or so, they are not too worried about you….if they take you in right away-they are worried…so now i am full blown stressing & trying to keep a poker face for my son….) they ask us a series of questions….& start putting Malik through a series of tests…blood work…x-rays….ultrasound….peeing in a cup (this was a funny moment amidst the stress-i had to help him pee in a cup-his first time ever-then hold the cup to give back to the nurse…he thought that was really funny & told me “i’m gonna tell all my friends you had to hold my pee”….) anyhow, we lay on the ridiculously small ER bed together…i spooned his little body, stroked his hair & sang softly to him…hoping to make him feel safe and calm….at about 1:00am the doctor came in & told me he had acute appendicitis & would need to go in for emergency surgery….what the %$&#…as a mother you really never want to hear the word “emergency” or “surgery” in reference to your child…but putting them together in the same sentence, i think i turned pale white….my son started crying & asked me if they were going to drill a whole in him…my sweet son had no idea what “surgery” was & was terrified….at this point my mothering skills went to a new level…i calmly explained they would not drill a whole in him & that everything would be alright….the good news at this point was that his appendix had not burst….and that even though he would be the first surgery in the morning, he was in no immediate danger…ok…we were going to be ok…he was going to be ok….i explained to him that they would put him to sleep & he wouldn’t feel a thing, he was not convinced & explained sometimes when he was asleep he would wake up, so what if he woke up in the middle of surgery?? i assured him this would not happen & that i would be there as soon as he woke up….so they admitted us & he was in a proper hospital bed not too long after….id’ like to say that Malik was very brave throughout his ordeal…this little boy, who at his last vaccination literally tried to escape & had to be held down by three people to received 1 shot….actually sat still & buried his little head in my shoulder…he whimpered a little as they took his blood from one arm & inserted an IV in the other-seriously brave little boy….so the next couple of hours were a bit of a blur…i slept on & off in a chair next to his hospital bed…nurses were checking his vitals every hour or so…around 6:30am the surgeon came in & said Malik was going into surgery first thing (all the other cases were bumped back to fit him in)…ok…ok…so we were in motion….the wheeled his bed down the hall….we were taken into a room right outside of the operating room (the recovery room i think)….they put the little blue hat on him…he looked so little to me….a series of people came & talked to us…a couple of nurses…the anesthesiologist…another surgeon….at 6:45 the took him into the operating room….i kissed his little cheeks & told him it would be ok….after he was out of sight i burst into tears…i realize alot of people consider an appendectomy “routine surgery” but there is nothing routine about seeing your child go into to surgery…i would have changed places with him in a second….& to add to the stress of the situation 4 years earlier my husband’s best friend had an appendectomy & very unexpectedly passed away…so i was terrified….about 30 minutes in, someone from the hospital staff told me that my son was having some breathing problems & they were pulling him out of surgery to give him some breathing treatments…what the #&%@…after he had a series of breathing treatments he would go back in to have the surgery….what the &%$*….apparently while on the operating table about to be put under Malik had started wheezing…the anesthesiologist thought it was unsafe to put him under….at this point i think i am the one who may need a breathing treatment…ok…to make a long story short…the next 6 hours were filled with breathing treatments & tests….the breathing treatments were administered by a respiratory specialist & were meant to open up his lung capacity so he could safely handle being put under for his surgery….after 3 breathing treatments….he also had another x-ray…and went in for another ultrasound of his abdomen….while he was in his ultrasound about 6 doctors came in….his surgeon…a radiologist & a bunch of others…it was really a blur at this point…the radiologist turned to us & said, there has been a mistake (i don’t think he used the word “mistake” but it was the gist of it)…basically Malik he felt had been mis-diagnosed….what the %&$#….& he did not need surgery at all….double what the &%$#…..he new diagnosis was this…he has asthma…& he had a virus…the virus had caused a bunch of lymph nodes in his stomach to enlarge (which was quite painful & mimicked the signs of appendicitis)…the infection had also caused his appendix to be slightly enlarged, again prompting the “acute appendicitis” diagnosis…..i was having a hard time digesting (no pun intended) all of this information…as i looked at all of the doctors in the room…i had both a feeling of relief & disbelief…my son had almost had UNNECESSARY SURGERY….he was on the table…under the big lights…& because he breathing was a little off, he was spared UNNECESSARY SURGERY…i still can’t fully comprehend what happened….we are home now…he is ok…he has been diagnosed with asthma…so he has been home all week on bed-rest & is taking asthma medicine 4 times a day…we are following up with appointments with both his pediatrician & a pediatric gastroenterologist…i know he is feeling much better because he is driving me crazy…i never thought i would love to hear him talk back & irritate his sisters so much…xoxo

while in the hospital i told Malik he could have any kind
of ice cream he wanted when we got home…he chose a hot
fudge sunday with both chocolate & strawberry sauce…
with whip cream & 5 cherries….


oh & after very little sleep & an emotional roller coaster i stumbled back the ER to retrieve my care…the sweet valet attendant got my car within moments & happily handed me my keys with a smile…

a little more sweetness...

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  1. Nov 24-2011 , 07:01PM
    After reading this...and especially getting to the party that he was "spared the unnecessary surgery" All i can say is, it was Gods Grace. <3 may His goodness continue to be poured onto your family
  2. Jan 19-2012 , 10:26PM
    I am so sorry to hear you guys went through this. Thank goodness they did not perform the unnecessary surgery to your sweet son.
    Being a parent is the best thing ever, but can be so gut wrenching.
    Malik looks charming + so happy with that ice cream sundae.