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When The Flu is NOT the Flu

It is flu season.

For weeks, I have been seeing post on my Facebook News Feed about all my "friends" who were battling the flu. I was just silently praying that it would skip my family.

Then at 3:00 a.m. on Tuesday, the dreaded "middle-of-the-night-shoulder-shake" occurred. The Boy was standing there asking me if I had anything to help with an upset stomach. Well, I knew I did not because recently I had gone one of my get rid of all outdated medications kick. But I looked, just in case. Instead I settled for making him some Ginger Tea. Then I settled myself at the foot of his bed and tried to sleep until the next phase began.

Around 3:30 when The Boy started vomiting. Every half hour. Finally he is stomach was empty of all food and the dry heaves started. Throughout the day, every half hour. We actually had one reprieve, of two hours and then we were back to more vomiting. By late afternoon, we are exhausted. His body had worked hard  and I had been up forever! I noticed he was falling asleep sitting upright but he would not lay down. I made a note to tell The Husband how weird this was but never thought of it any more.

There are certain things you do just because you think you are suppose to. One of those things, flu means lots of blankets. At six, I picked up a blanket to put on him. I must have touched him and he jumped, telling me how badly his stomach hurt.  I asked him to show me and he pointed to an area lower than the belly button maybe in the groin area. I told The Husband about it, asked if it was where his appendix was. The Husband was pretty sure the appendix was up higher.

We ate dinner, then I settled in to call my Aunt. I told her that the flu had hit our home. I told her about the pain in his stomach and she said to me, "watch him, if he starts vomiting, it is probably his appendix."  Immediate fear set in!

He was already vomiting. What if the vomiting was not the flu but something more serious?

I started texting Miss Medical Student. She verified where the appendix was. She also told me that if I poked on the left side of his body, the right side would hurt. I took two fingers and poked on his left side. He about jumped through the ceiling. Thank you to Apple iphone, Miss Medical Student and I were able to facetime each other. Her only concern was that The Boy did not look to be in the pain she had seen previously but she acknowledged that maybe he has a high threshold for pain. So she said, this was worth a trip to the ER to have it checked out. She told me not to wait till the morning and go to our primary care physician. She also said not to go to Urgent Care, we needed a hospital that also had an operating room.

She prepared me for the diagnostic test and that IF it was his appendix, they would remove it immediately. She suggested I pack an overnight bag.

At 7:15, we headed off to the Emergency Room.  I can not even begin to tell you how packed the ER was. We had to wait in line to check-in.  We waited a good twenty minutes to see the triage nurse, who gave me two heart palpitation. First he asked how tall The Boy was. Well, I am not really sure, but I think he is about 5'7". He measured him. No, he is 5'10"! {REALLY?}  The second heart palpitation came when he told me that The Boy's fever was 102.9. {I had checked it at home and it was 99.9. Miss Medical Students book said that a low grade fever was typical of a appendix attack and a high fever was typical of a appendix perforation.  Now, this seemed serious. Well, except for The Boy. He did not look like he was in pain. More like in discomfort.}

An hour later we were escorted back to the ER. As soon as the ER doctor saw him, he told us he was sure The Boy was having an appendix attack but of course he had to wait on the test results. Then he added he was already calling the surgeon.

Long story made short all the test came back that The Boy was having an appendicitis attack. We were rushed into emergency surgery at 11:15 p.m. One of the hardest things a Momma has to do is have her child wheeled one way towards surgery and be escorted the opposite way towards a waiting room. That is the longest hour you will ever spend. The surgeon told me that his appendix would have burst before morning. {OMG, if I just would have waited till morning, if would have been too late!} We stayed in recovery an hour and a half before we were escorted to an inpatient room at 1:30 a.m.
Right after his appendectomy

So, when is the flu not the flu. When it is an appendicitis attack. Believe in whatever high power you choose to, but I know my higher power put me in contact with my Aunt that night. He also put a very busy medical student at home studying on my night in crisis. And then he sent me an additional Angel.

The Husband stayed home with The Short Chic. My mom lives an hour away and the weather was yucky. The Boys' father lives over an hour away. So, my Higher Power sent me my friend Jen. She came to the hospital while we were in the Emergency Room, she stayed through surgery, and she sat with The Boy post-op so I could get a few hours of sleep. I know she went home to be awake with her own children all day after she sacrificed herself for The Boy and I the night prior.

My advice from going through this experience: Listen to your children. Listen to your inner voices. Listen to the Angels in your life. The Boy was sleeping upright because it hurt to much to lay flat. Sitting up, put some pressure on his appendix that brought him some relief.  I knew it was off. I just did not know why.

We are home now. He is on medication for the pain. I have slept a lot trying to recover from the loss of sleep. {These old bodies just do not bounce back like they use to!}
At home, sleeping. Along with a few gifts he has received since being home.


  1. Good to see you've got Mr. Boy back home on the mend! I put my mom through this when I was about 11 on the day after Christmas, and I still remember her saying how annoyed she would be if it turned out I'd OD'ed on the candy....that was not the case. Lucky you with angels hovering!! He'll be lacing up the bball shoes before you know it.
    -deb t.


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