Last Wednesday we went through something I never expected. It was quite... horrific is the only word that first comes to mind. Looking back, I guess we were all in a bit of shock when we went to the emergency room for Jacob. And when it happened again on Thursday, you couldn't help but look up and ask "why?"
On Thursday morning, I tried to write down what I was feeling at that moment. I was fried and emotionally drained. Julie called soon after I finished writing this and I didn't post it. So here it is...
At 2:30 yesterday afternoon Julie called me at work. She was panicked because Jacob had something called RECTAL PROLAPSE. It’s something that can happen with Cf patients. To best define it, I’ll refer to this definition I found online: “Rectal prolapse is a condition in which the rectum (the lower end of the colon, located just above the anus) turns itself inside out. In the earliest phases of this condition, the rectum does not stick out of the body, but as the condition worsens, it may protrude.”
Julie and Jake were in the bathroom and all seemed normal, but when she went to lift him up, she saw his rectum sticking out of his bottom. Needless to say, she was distressed. How would you react? When she called, she was close to tears. I didn’t know what to do. She called Jake’s G/I doctor and he instructed her to try and push it back into Jake’s body. Julie tried, but to no avail. So, they went to the emergency room.
Thank God Heather Cruz was there. She had come by to pick up her son, Ben. Julie was babysitting him while Heather and Vill were at a movie. But Heather drove Julie and Jake to the hospital while I rushed home from Hollywood.
It’s always stressful going into a hospital, especially for something you know nothing about. Luckily, Julie had read about this condition before and looked at am illustration. She knew what was wrong when she called the doctor and took Jake into the hospital. When I got there, they were already in an examination area and had been spoken to by a doctor. Heather and Ben left and we waited until the staff was ready to fix up Jake.
They had to sedate him and that was scary in itself. You hear stories about complications from medicines. But Jake did fine. The poor guy was so out of it when he woke up with a bandage taped to his bottom. During the time when the doctor was putting everything back in order, I felt light headed for a couple of minutes. I didn’t get a look at his body. Still, I was overwhelmed with emotion and stress… I thought ˆ was going to get sick. Julie, on the other hand, really held it together. But both of us were on the verge of crying the whole time. Even now, as I write this, I full of anger and fear and sorrow and I’m clouding up.
After everything was done they did a cat scan of his belly, wanting to check if he was backed up. He’s obviously malnourishing. And this seems like an extension of a problem he had early last year when he got backed up and stopped eating. Here we thought he was just being 2 and not wanting to eat, and maybe he’s been clogged up and feels full all of the time. Who knows?
Our neighbor, Missy Miler, had picked up Sophie from school and thank god she did. Soph would have freaked out in the hospital. As it was, I believe she started to get scared, especially when she learned that we were in the hospital and not just the doctor’s office. When we got home she got really upset. Man, it was hard for all of us to keep it together.
Later on, when I went out to pick up Jake’s medicine (a strong laxative called Miralax), I had to pull over to the side of the road and bawl my eyes out. These past two weeks seem to come to a head at that moment and I couldn’t keep it in anymore. Still, it’s pretty emotional sitting here writing about everything.
Before he went to bed, Jake had to go to the bathroom again. Jules couldn’t even sit in the room with him she was so anxious. And I was trying to keep a smile on my face while Jake threw his Elmo ball to me every couple of seconds (and, hey, he’s learned how to catch a ball…. Good for him). Thankfully, everything was fine when we lifted him off the toilet. But I know Julie was freaked out, waiting for the next day when he has to go to the bathroom. She confirmed that this morning when I spoke to her briefly.
As the night came to an end and the kids finally fell asleep, Julie and I sat like zombies, staring at whatever mindless sitcom we could find on the television. We hardly laughed. Instead, we just watched in silence as inane plots played out in front of us.
As you can tell, come Thursday night, I was in no mood to be writing about CF or running a damn marathon. I know Sophie had a hard time on Thursday. That day, we took here to Karyn's house. She knew we were at the hospital but still did not know why. She has been through a lot of hospital trips. She endured a lot when Julie was in the hospital before Jake was born. Man, that was a stressful time. And when Jake was in the hospital for a week with pneumonia back in 2002, I'm afraid Sophie took the brunt of my fears and concerns.
I hate that I ever lashed out at my little girl. She doesn't deserve that. And last week, when everything was going down, I could feel that kind of pressure building up inside of me.
I know this guy named Jay Marr, known him since junior high. Back in high school, he once got so angry with a girlfriend that he punched the windshield of his car and actually cracked it. That's how much anger he felt. And that's the kind of anger and aggression I was feeling Wednesday night. I wanted to lash out at something. I wanted to have my drums down from the rafters to pound the hell out of them. I just wanted to release. And that opportunity never presented itself. Yes, I did break down and cry after I pulled over to the side of the road. Somehow I overcame my own... embarrassment to let myself sob. That helped a little. But more and more, I can feel this pressure building up.
Jake took everything in stride on Thursday. When I arrived at the hospital to meet Julie and him, he was smiling and said, "Daddy, my butt hurt again."
I made myself look at his rectal prolapse on Thursday. I needed to see what it looked like in case I was ever alone with him and it happened. I was surprised how much it looked like... like raw meat. I guess that's what organs look like, isn't it? I wasn't grossed out and I didn't get light headed or anything like that. It was kind of surreal that this large piece of his insides could come out of that tiny hole in his bottom.
Since Thursday and being placed on the laxative, we haven't had any other incidents. Jake has had some major blowouts sitting on the pot. I guess that's good. He still complains that his tummy hurts and he won't eat anything. Is he just being 2 or is there something else?
Who the hell knows?
It really is a day-to-day thing, you know? That phrase "one day at a time" isn't just some bad McKenzie Phillips sitcom that ran for too many years. It's a fact of life... ugh, another bad sitcom reference. And on that note....