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The Return of the Stone

     
I don't have the energy or the attention span Write Pretty Words about this, but I figure I should summarize the current situation so that I can point people here for more info.

This past Monday morning at 4am Benjamin started throwing up. This continued all day, and after twelve hours with no improvement we took him to the Emergency Room. He was evaluated, the doctors verified that he did not have Appendicitis or Pancreatitis, his gallbladder was fine, and according to the ER doc his abdominal X-ray was "normal". They sent us home at midnight with instructions to follow up with Ben's regular GI doctor the next day.

On Tuesday morning we got in to see the GI doc, who looked at the X-ray from the night before and said that it was in fact not normal at all. Ben was blocked up, which has happened in the past. That being said, an impacted colon has never caused acute nausea in Ben. It has also never come on so suddenly. There are a whole host of other symptoms that we see when he is having issues with bowel movements, and those symptoms were completely absent. In the end the GI doc sent us back to the hospital where Ben was admitted. The working theory at that time was that Ben had contracted a stomach virus, and that his bowel had stopped moving as a side effect. This did not sound right to us, but at least we would be in the hospital getting proper care.

We spent Tuesday, Wedneasay, and Thursday at the hospital with Ben under constant care. He has been a real trooper, very patient with all of the nurses and doctors, and has not fussed at his IV at all.  He received plenty of IV fluids to address his dehydration (which does tend to happen when a person throws everything up and then does not eat or drink anything for days on end).

As a side note, during this exact same time period my mother had shoulder surgery. I spent all day Thursday shuttling back and forth between two different hospitals in two different cities. It was a complicated day. The good news is my mom's surgery went well, she stayed overnight at the hospital for recovery, and she went home today and is doing fine.

By Thursday night Ben requested food for the first time in five days. We gave him some dinner, and he tolerated it very well. We went to bed on Thursday night thinking that the worst had passed, and that Ben wold probably go home on Friday. If I was reading this blog post aloud, this is the part where the background music would change to a minor key and perhaps there would be an ominous thunderclap in the background.

This morning he was still not doing as well as the doctors expected. They sent him for an ultrasound first thing this morning, which was extremely thorough. It took several hours to get the results, and they were not good. The ultrasound showed that Ben had "sludge" in his left kidney caused by the dehydration, that his pancreatic ducts were dilated, that he had pancreatic calcification, and most importantly that he had at least one stone in his pancreas. It was essentially like being taken back seven years to Ben's "Five Weeks of Hell" the last time he hand pancreatic stones. And just like last time, we got all of this news on a Friday afternoon, too late in the day for anything to be done. The procedure he needs cannot be performed at the pediatric hospital where he is currently staying, it needs to be done across town at a different hospital. Because this is a holiday weekend, the soonest the procedure can be performed is next Tuesday. We won't know what is really going on in his pancreas until after the procedure is done. So all we can do right now is wait.

The good news is that generally speaking Ben is filling significantly better this evening than he has all week. He was able to eat again this evening, and tolerated the food well with an increase in the dosage of the pancreatic enzymes he takes with his meals. There is even a chance that he will be released from the hospital tomorrow afternoon, so that he can spend the weekend resting at home in his own bed. Since he is fully hydrated and able to drink adequate fluids now, he even had the IV line removed tonight. Odds are that he will sleep well tonight.

We will see the doctors again tomorrow morning, and they want to observe him throughout the morning and early afternoon. Either he will go home to rest, or he will continue resting in the hospital until he has his procedure on Tuesday.  There is nothing else we can do now except wait.

Thank you all for your continued support and encouragement, our family truly appreciates it.

2 Comments:
Kris Snyder
So sorry that Benjamin is having a reoccurrence of his GI issues. So good that you are better prepared this time and can get him the help he needs, even though the waiting is so hard. I hope Benjamin is able rest at home or at least peacefully until the necessary procedures can be done and he can get back to his normal routine. Hopefully, you will soon be singing "heigh-ho, heigh-ho it's home from here we go!" :)
Barb Riley
Been through the situation of taking care of parent and child at the same time. Remember to take care of yourself during this trying and stressful time. I did not and it was a hard learned lesson. Glad to hear your mom is doing better. Everyone is thinking about Ben and I'm sure he'll get through this fine, hang in there!

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The word "shmoolok" is a mashup of the longtime computer handles for my wife and myself ("Shmooby" and "Lokheed", respectively).

I originally created this website to be a place for my family to connect, but it has since grown into something a little different.

As for me -- I am a father, a husband, a son, a software developer, and a writer. On any given day I am not sure how good I am at any of those particular things, but I do try my best.

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