It took two years, but in March Keaton took his first trip to the ER. It all started Sunday morning. We were getting ready for church, and I grabbed Keaton by the waist to pull him toward me to change his diaper before getting him dressed. When I did, I felt a hard lump in the side of Keaton’s stomach that felt much bigger than a golf ball. I laid Keaton down and sure enough there was a hard lump in his stomach. I even had Clint feel it. Keaton hadn’t been feeling well, and had actually thrown up early Saturday morning and still had diarrhea despite his stomach being huge. He probably had no business going to church, but I was on this “we need to go to church kick.”
I put church on hold and immediately started Googling “lump in stomach.” Word to the wise, don’t do this. It will only freak you out and send your mind into a tailspin. But before completely panicking that our child had a tumor in his stomach, I called the Texas Children’s Pediatrics after-hours nurse line. I talked with one of their experienced nurses for over twenty minutes in depth, and she concluded that Keaton probably had a strangulated hernia (don’t Google that one either) and needed to go to the Urgent Care or ER right away.
Prudently, we decided to first take Keaton to the Texas Children’s Urgent Care. Clint took the other kids to church and I took Keaton down the street to the Urgent Care. Keaton was not himself, kept wincing in pain, and I started to become a little more freaked out. Finally, we got to see a doctor (a “seasoned” Indian lady). I remember her examining Keaton and then saying to me, “A lump this size in children is never a good thing.” And then she continued, “I usually don’t do this, but I’m going to order some x-rays.”
I hugged little Keaton tighter than I had ever hugged him before, and I carried him down the hall to the x-ray room. I laid his tiny little body down on the table while Keaton got his first set of x-rays. He was such a goodsie. The doctor examined the x-rays while we were in the room and showed me the small orange-sized mass on the screen. She then proceeded to explain to me how the mass had completely pushed his intestines to one side. She then asked me over and over if any doctor had ever mentioned this mass to me or made note of it in any way because clearly this “mass had been growing since Keaton was born.” The doctor than told me I needed to take Keaton to Texas Children’s Hospital right away to get a CT scan.
I called Clint, told him to leave church immediately, and that we needed to take poor little Widdy Fox to Texas Children’s. My stomach was in complete knots. My motherly instinct kept telling me that Keaton was okay, but it didn’t make sense for him to be okay. He had a mass growing in his stomach that was the size of a small orange.
When Clint and I got to Texas Children’s with Keaton we were triaged almost right away. Usually you go into triage and then back to the waiting for a few hours until you’re ready to be seen. But after triage, we went straight to a room. This was not a good sign. Thankfully, the sweetest nurse came in with bubbles and made Keaton the happiest he’d been in days. When we finally saw the doctor she wanted to do a CT Scan on Keaton’s abdomen. I resisted and asked if we could please do an ultrasound instead. She agreed.
We went to the ultrasound room and Keaton sat perfectly still like a little angel during his 20 minute ultrasound. I kept asking the technician if she could tell us anything. She said she couldn’t. I kept trying to read her face, but she remained calm the whole time. Was this a good sign? I couldn’t tell. We were then sent back to our little tiny room for over TWO hours. This was definitely not a good sign. If it was nothing, they’d come right back in and tell us we could go home, right?
Finally, the doctor came back in. The “strangulated hernia” and the “orange-sized mass that had been growing since Keaton was born” turned out to be nothing more than POOP!! POOP!!!! Poor little guy!! All the pain, all that agony, was nothing more than poop. Apparently, Keaton was SO clogged up that nothing could get through, but water, hence the diarrhea and the throwing up. I was so relieved, but felt so guilty at the same time. How did I not know this? No wonder Keaton had been so whiney and grumpy in Las Vegas the previous week. He was probably in SO much pain! For what it’s worth, the doctor told us that 70% of what she sees in the ER is poop related.
Later the two nurses came back in and gave Keaton a water enema. Keaton was NOT at all happy having water shoot up his butt, but it completely flushed him out. Oh my gosh! That enema worked wonders!! His stomach went from being completely distended to nothing more than little ribs. We weighed Keaton when we got home. He was two pounds lighter. I must have said a million prayers of gratitude. As for Keaton and has been on Mirelax ever since!