Sunday, April 08, 2012

Who Needs a Gall Bladder Anyway?

The week began in dramatic fashion as Hallie, still feeling lots of abdominal pain, went to a third ER (one with a CT scanner) at her primary care physician’s urging on Monday. Turns out she had a gallstone the size of a golf ball and a very inflamed gall bladder that had to get extracted, stat. While she was moved from the ER to the main hospital in preparation for surgery, Mike ran the kids on their errands.
Check out the sweet ride the kids found at the grocery store!
Landon was recently diagnosed with a mild form of sensory processing disorder (we have always thought he was a sensational kid. Now we have proof!), so he gets to go to physical therapy. We say gets to because therapy involves a zip line, giant swings, trampolines, shaving cream mixed with tempura paint, and a variety of other fun activities. We took Landon first to therapy and then to gymnastics, all the while keeping tabs with Hallie regarding her status and eventual diagnosis. Mike got the kiddos to bed as Hallie got settled into her digs at the main hospital with Sara’s welcome support. Mike and Derek went back in the evening to give Hallie a blessing and retrieve the Buick while Jen and Bryan looked after the kids. Sometime in the middle of the night both children made their way into Dad’s bed to share their slumber time. We think Eliza has been teething and/or sick. Poor girl! She finds it hard to breathe at night with all the snot. She seems to be sharing the love with Dad, whose symptoms have progressively worsened through the week.

The hospital scheduled surgery for Tuesday morning, so Hallie stayed overnight and Mike played primary caretaker for the duration of her stay. He and the kids came back to the hospital early Tuesday morning and ended up staying all day. Originally we thought she would go in at 10:30 for a 1 1/2 hour laparoscopic surgery and possibly be ready to come home Tuesday night. Nope. Surgery didn’t start until about noon, and it didn’t end until after 3. Hallie was wheeled up to her recovery room at around 5 PM. It turns out that Hallie is something of a medical rarity. When the gall bladder is removed, the surgeon cuts off a duct that takes bile from the liver to the gall bladder. Most people have one duct. Not so with Hallie. She is (was) doubly blessed. As a result, her surgery was not routine, as the surgeon had to figure out where the extra tube coming out of Hallie’s gall bladder went to and whether it was something that should not be cut. He came out and told Mike the whole story (with pictures). Gross, but fascinating!

Anyway, Mike and the kids did not expect to be at the hospital all day, so they took some small excursions to pass the time while they waited and while the delays passed. With a pager supplied by the hospital in hand, they bought Mom flowers and explored the corridors on the first floor. They ventured outside and clambered up poles. They even met a therapy dog! 
Who knew "drop the pager"could be so fun? 
Just hanging around
Eventually after Mom was out of recovery and in her room for the night, they headed home. No one slept well Monday night into Tuesday, but Dad and the kids slept like the dead Tuesday into Wednesday.

We thought Hallie might come home Wednesday, but by late morning we were informed that she would stay one more day. Mike came up to see Hallie before going to a work meeting. Later in the afternoon he took the kids along with Sara and Chase to the Easter activity down at the local park. We had beautiful weather for hunting for Easter eggs, petting farm animals, and dancing with the Merry Music Maker.

What do I do with this? 
Oh! I get it! 
Spontaneous friends
She's enjoying this.
No, seriously! Blame the photographer. She's enjoying this! 

Hallie was finally ready to come home on Thursday, and we were glad to show her that the house had not fallen apart in her absence. Kind friends had brought food, flowers, and well wishes in Hallie’s absence, and Dad had put the kids to work ensuring that all the chores were done and the house looked ship shape (with more than a little help from Priscilia). The remainder of the day found Hallie resting in the den or in bed while Mike continued trying to entertain the kids. Fortunately, the sunny weather has made digging around in the backyard a realistic option. We feel grateful for meals brought in, as this has made Mike’s task of getting something prepared with two kids underfoot very much easier.
Flowers from Grandma

Mike had a couple of errands to run for work on Friday, and Eliza came along while Landon looked after Hallie.

On Saturday, Mike attempted to take the kids to the zoo for the Easter activities there. Apparently most of metro Detroit also decided to go to the zoo, judging by the Los Angeles-sized traffic snarl leading to the entrance. Rather than spend an hour waiting to get into the zoo only to leave an hour later to pick up Diamond from the airport, Mike opted to take the kids to the local park. Strangely, almost no one was at the park (they all went to the zoo?), so Landon and Eliza played to their hearts’ content on the swings and other equipment. Mike tried to get his kite to fly, but the wind wouldn’t cooperate.

After Mike and Eliza picked Diamond up from the airport and dropped her off at her parents’ house (welcome back to Detroit, Diamond!), the kids participated in some pre-Easter activities. In the meantime Sara had dropped off a basket of scones from a local bakery and Landon was sure to make quick eating of his share of the scones. Mike and Hallie made sure to help him with their share as well. We made resurrection rolls (the marshmallow body “disappears” leaving the hollowed out pastry tomb behind) and dyed eggs.

We made a bit of a mess of our hands as we colored the eggs, and the mess got Mike to thinking (dangerous proposition). He decided to paint tattoos on his and Landon’s arms. By bedtime Hallie had two dashing pirates on her hands and kids hopped up on sugar.    

Easter morning brought surprises to both of the kids. They were so happy to see the baskets that were left by the Easter Bunny. When not in church Landon has been able to keep himself quite entertained with the new goodies he received, including a LEGO camera from his grandparents. Here’s a sample of some of his work:

Mom and Dad took a few too:

The week has wound down, and we are hoping for no more excitement for a while. Yeah, right.

1 comment:

Mike & Lila Family said...

wow! happy recovery... for everyone. lol. poor things.