25 April 2005
What a day! (or an unusual way to potty-train)

Today has been a very long, very stressful, strange, strange day. I had my final appointment in London today before my surgery--discussing methods and scheduling of the 5th (and hopefully final) surgery in 5 months.
It all started normally enough. We left home just past 8 this morning to make it to the 1 pm appt. It's only about 160 miles, but a good chunk of that is driving through London traffic; on a good day we can make it in under 4 hours. Anyway, Liam (our 3 y/o son) came with us, while Amelia went to school and is staying overnight at a friend's house. Liam travels really well, and doesn't seem to mind sitting in the car all day, so we always bring him with us.

Today though, he wasn't his usual cheeky self. Around 11, or about an hour from the hospital, he started acting very strangely. Within 10 minutes, he'd deteriorated into screaming, "My tummy hurts! My tummy hurts!" Now, it isn't like him to cry, so we were a bit worried. After the screaming went on for awhile longer, we got very concerned. I climbed in the back with him. "Mommy, I want the seatbelt off--it hurts my tummy!", "Mommy, I want a cuddle!" Finally, out of desperation to make the poor little man feel better, I took him out of his seat and snuggled him in the back for the last few miles. We finally arrived, about an hour early for my appointment, and took him straight to the A&E (ER).

Now, before you start thinking we're rookie parents who can't console a sick child, I have to give a little history. When Liam was 10 months old, we were on holiday at my sister Jen's house. He woke up one night screaming--and he wouldn't stop. It didn't take us long to figure out that it was something with his tummy--and we took him to the ER. Within a couple hours, he was in taken into emergency surgery to correct an intussuception. That condition is fatal within 2-3 days without treatment. Scary!

So, when he started doing the same thing today, we acted quickly. Amazingly for the NHS, we didn't have to wait at all. They took us straight back, and the dr saw him right away. Liam was screaming too much for a physical to be done, so they gave him pain meds (they gave my baby morphine!!) and had to wait for them to kick in.

Finally, he was more comfortable (but still in pain, poor baby!) and they were able to do an abdominal ultrasound. His bladder was extremely distended, and they diagnosed acute urinary retention. Ironically, amongst all the joyful post-op complications I've had, acute urinary retention was one of them--so I knew exactly how the poor little guy felt. If you've never experienced it---just hope you never will!

With some more meds, they were able to get him to pee on his own, and thus spared him a catheter. The bed, his clothes, and the floor weren't spared--but he sure felt better fast!! Thinking it might be a UTI, the nurse informed us they wanted a sample---and they didn't have the cool little bags you can stick right on the non-potty trained kids. So she gave us a small bowl and left us to it.

Liam has fought potty training with all his might. For some reason, the potty is NOT where he wants to be, EVER. I mean, he's almost 4, can change his own diaper (!), but will NOT use the potty. Couple that with the fact that he had just created a reasonable facsimile of the great flood, I figured there was no way this was going to happen.

But--wonder of wonders--he peed in the bowl! And what's more--he thought it was fun! Yea! They cleared us soon after that, and we headed off home.

But the drama wasn't quite over yet. About half an hour after leaving, Liam started making funny noises in the back seat. I turned around just in time to see his juice and snack coming out his nose, his mouth, and covering, well, basically everything. Keep in mind he'd already flooded us out, so he was wearing his spare clothes. We managed to pull over, strip him on the sidewalk, and the lucky little boy got to wear daddy's shirt home!

The silver lining? He's peed in the potty twice now at home! He now thinks going to the potty is super-cool and is very proud of himself.

We never did get an explanation as to why he went into retention today--so we're keeping our fingers crossed it NEVER happens again--and that he keeps on thinking the potty is great!

Oh--and BTW, my surgery will be on 7 May.

posted by Julie at 9:33 PM 3 comments


Blogger Jen said...

Wow, that sucks, then GOOD FOR HIM, then that sucks, then Woohoo you've got a date for your surgery!

What an uppy-downy post! I hope he doesn't just want to pee in bowls from now on!

Tue Apr 26, 03:46:00 AM GMT+1  
Anonymous Scott said...

Well as one who was there for both patients, worrying enough for everybody, this was a very traumatic day, I don't think I could have taken the news that Argyle had lost as well....good job they weren't playing!
It was great to see Liam not in pain and bacvk to his old self after his unscheduled bodily fluid release and was great to see Julie with a smile, both relief for Liam and the good news she had recieved.
I may even get a big thankyou for being the chauffuer and carer of the patients one day...Julie's Husband and friend

Tue Apr 26, 12:50:00 PM GMT+1  
Blogger Sheri said...

Oh what a rough day! Poor little guy!

Wed Apr 27, 04:14:00 PM GMT+1  

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