This is a story about poop.

28 Jan

Um, yeah, so this is a story about poop. If you’re squeamish you should Skype me so I can laugh at you while you read this. Barf, sorry, that was even a little gross for me.

It all started after my last post on Friday night- I should have expected some blow-back after birthing all that rollicking hilarity into the world. You know, tit for tat, no good deed goes unpunished? Whatever.

As I was saying…it all started when we arrived at the cabin. Big brother only took a couple bites of his deliciously cheesy dinner, so I had a suspicion something was about to go terribly wrong. Then I accidentally grabbed the generic brand of ibuprofen at Walgreens, at which point I knew all hell had broken loose. I canceled our plans to ski the next day, put the kid in bed, and drowned my fears in wine (side note, I made it to Friday with no wine, yaaayyy!).

The next morning big bro woke up and pointed his hot little finger at his appendix. I immediately threw open my laptop and rushed to the expert advice of WebMD, my informative and oh-so-affordable family doctor. Symptoms: fever between 99 and 102, localized abdomen pain, decreased appetite, lack of elimination (eew). Diagnosis: BAM. Appendicitis. Shit, damn, F#@*. Oh, and a big fat thank-you to the interweb for providing such valuable one-on-one care.

It was heartbreaking, to the fullest extent, the little dude all curled up in a ball, feverish and crying. My mama instinct made time slow down all super-hero like, and my adrenaline started pumping since – no offense, small mountain town – this is the last effing place on the planet my child will be undergoing emergency surgery. Airlift our asses out and send me the bill, thank-you.

Still, I knew we were boxed in. I could either risk the two hours driving him home to a doctor, or head on over to the local ER. Not really knowing how bad of shape the little dude was in, I rushed him into the ER at light speed. And there we sat. And sat. And sat. As he cried. And cried. And cried. As I cursed (who, me?!) the hospital staff and steady stream of bruised snowboarders that poured through the door, I had the pleasure of learning how to cook “healthy” Superbowl nachos courtesy of the sweet 22 inch plasma screen right above my face.

I also learned that there’s a trend amongst 22 year-old party people to crash the ER after long nights of drinking for a therapeutic saline drip and a few nausea tablets which I assume are delivered in suppository form. My son sat crumpled in my lap, writhing in the saddest six year old pain you’ll ever see, while Alpha Phi swore she’d never drink again. Good luck with that sister, I tried once, and it doesn’t stick.

Once inside the examining room I was informed that my son would undergo a CAT scan and blood work to see if he had appendicitis, since all signs pointed to YES. Oh, except for that one sign, you know, the 90% accurate appendicitis test that costs all of Zero, and takes 12 seconds? The one where they tap on your feet and heels, and see if it increases the pain in your appendix? My son passed that test with flying colors. And I know I’m super joke-y, but this part is not a joke.

For real, if you think your child, or anyone for that matter, may have appendicitis, tap firmly on their heels, or have them jump up and down. If they are able to do it sans excruciating pain, then there’s about a 90% chance you’re in the clear. But, you know, doctor’s gotta get paid, sooooo…let’s stick the kid with needles, yaaayyyy!

Okay, see that’s me actually being joke-y. Because right now I’m the kind of pissed that ends in a) a quip and a lesson learned, or b) heads rolling. I’m a mama bear. Grrrr. And my instinct was telling me to get the hell out. There’s nothing my son hates more in this world than needles and Darth Vader. The latter has long since fallen victim to the dark forces, so I’m not checking my back for him too much these days, but needles on the other hand – do not stick my son unless his appendix is about to burst, kapish?

And since I was led to believe that this was a foreseeable possibility, we went ahead with the testing. My heart is so aching and broken over this choice, and it’s really a sad sad picture to paint. Lemme just say that my six year old is super sensitive in every possible six year old way. He is also cerebral, inquisitive, and brilliantly insightful. None of this really matters, because any child screaming “I want my mommy” while being restrained by the nursing staff is unbearable. I understand that many mothers, children, and families have experienced far worse than this, and I am so so sorry for you, if you have. I also know that the doctors very well may have been doing what they believed was best. But I also know who my son is, and the fact that I allowed them to put my little man through any freaking degree of trauma is a solid slap in the face.

Alright. So that’s how I really feel.

Now for the diagnosis. My son did not have appendicitis! Did you guess it? Well done, you. Now here is where I need you to grab a pen and a piece of paper, and write down what, dear reader and friend, YOUR diagnosis would be in this situation. A hernia? Light saber wound? Whatever your guess, write it down NOW…because I’m about to go into the big reveal and I need to know your thoughts on this later…

Drumroll please…the CAT scan revealed…a whole boatload of CRAP. Yup, as in the crap he hadn’t crapped out in the last three days? As in the crap I told the doctor earlier that he hadn’t crapped for, um, right, about 72 hours? No shit, doc, thank-you for that! (oh, and WedbMD, I am so not judging or blaming you for this. I still love and adore you like my guru. Forever faithful, me.)

For effect let me reiterate: My poor small-ish six year old hadn’t pooped in days, so that poop blocked up all the other poop, which maybe gave him a fever (or maybe he also had a flu) and then that certainly made him not want to eat, so then there was no new food going in to push the old food out soooooo, you get the idea. And thanks to newfangled technology, we have the image to prove it! For the sake of his teenage years and because my husband says nothing on the internet ever dies, I’m not posting the picture. But son, if you ever read this, I have the photo on disc so you might want to think twice before you cross me…

The treatment was a fizzy bottle of Sprite-like magnesium that pretty effectively delivered the results promised on it’s label. This same concoction can be bought over the counter at Walgreens, and I’m sure that even the non-generic, name brand version is exponentially less costly than the $83 they will most definitely bill my insurance for. But the good news is that the poop is out, people! It wasn’t quick, it wasn’t painless, but the job is done.

And now is when I need some consolation. Please tell me two things. 1) Did you know it was poop? Because I kinda’ started this post with “this is a story about poop.” To be honest, I kinda’ knew it was about poop too. Even when this all was going down, I should have been like, “Doc, shit happens, yo”, and stormed right out of there. And 2) I also need you to (..not the first time you’ve heard this plea…) please tell me I’m not the only one? Please tell me that this was all just a result of best intentions? Please tell me he’ll forget it all soon, and if not then at least forgive me someday? Please tell me you had your kid’s appendix removed to find that, oops, no infection! Because that story would be WAY worse than mine.

Thanks for listening, and thanks in advance for sharing with me too. Let’s drink to bad mommies, yaaayyyyyy! Good night peeps.

17 Responses to “This is a story about poop.”

  1. Sarah (@lksarah) January 28, 2013 at 10:38 pm #

    HA!! POOP!!??? I did think it was kinda odd that a 6 year old had appendicitis, but POOP!? That musta been a fun day on the toilet. His poor little bum!

    • FreeTheMom January 28, 2013 at 10:41 pm #

      Ha, the evil voice in my head says to keep some of that Sprite-goo on hand as a threat…the nice mommy voice in my head agrees it may not be a bad idea…

  2. Trina McElroy January 28, 2013 at 11:52 pm #

    Whoa! Wow! Holy crap (Sorry – I couldn’t resist). That is CRAZY and I am pretty sure I would have done the same exact thing. I have been under the spell of WebMD for years. I hope it’s ok if I share something I think it kinda related to this story. I have a holistic nutritionist that I have been using for the past 10 years. When I told her today that I spiked a 103.9 fever this past Saturday. She responded with “you must have a bug in your intestines – enema time!”

    Thank you for creating this blog! Sometimes it’s so difficult to know if the choices we make as mother’s are the “right” ones. My husband and I have a funny saying when we’ve found we’ve made a less than ideal parenting choice: “Look me up on to see the stupid thing I did today.”

    (sooo happy to hear little man is doing better).


    • FreeTheMom January 29, 2013 at 7:19 am #

      Thank-you Trina! That is really exactly what I needed to wake up to. In the midst of trying to make the “right” choices I so often feel like I took a wrong turn. And uh, how’d that enema work out for ya 😉

  3. Aryan January 28, 2013 at 11:55 pm #

    Poop issues are no joke especially when they feel like “little crab coming out” as my younger one used to say! One day, I had a call from school that my younger one complains of stomach pain and he cannot walk….. so we rush to ER, after hours we get the same diagnosis : poops are stock! It’s funny but not fun, I am so glad he is all OK ❤

    • FreeTheMom January 29, 2013 at 7:22 am #

      OMG poor little one! And how much closer could out stories get? Apparently pooping problems are common in the ER, huh? Heartbreaking that it can cause our babes so much pain 😦

  4. Pam Redela January 29, 2013 at 6:49 am #

    Similar situation happened with Averi in 2nd grade 🙂 I get to school to pick her up to find her teacher RUNNING out of the classroom with her screaming in his arms. Mommy nightmare come true. She cannot stand up or straighten her legs because of the pain. We rush to the pediatrician who, despite the pain being on the left and not the right side, sends us to the ER at Children’s Hospital – 45 minutes away in Friday traffic. On the way down, the burps and farts start resulting in her being able to walk into the hospital. $50 co-pay to learn about gas!

    • FreeTheMom January 29, 2013 at 7:27 am #

      Okay, that settles it. I am starting a cautionary compilation of poop and fart stories to be distributed to all new parents as the leave the hospital with their babies. It will save the medical industry millions in poop related ER visits, which they can then funnel into WebMD so we can continue to inaccurately self diagnose ourselves and our children. Brilliant!

    • FreeTheMom January 29, 2013 at 7:27 am #

      And poor, poor Averi 😦 that sounds so not fun at all 😦

  5. rpit January 29, 2013 at 8:43 am #

    You did the right thing taking him to the ER Anj. I once diagnosed our little guy with “poop” when he suffered severe abdominal pain and was crying, because I DID THE TAP THE FOOT TEST and he passed. Guess what… he was suffering intussusception pain. When I finally relente and took him to the ER, I was informed the condition is sometimes fatal, sometimes requires surgical intervention, and sometimes just magically clears up on its own. He fortunately had the latter outcome, but not before he suffered for 8 hours of excruciating pain. Always listen to the mama instincts, and let WebMD be your guide as necessary.

    • FreeTheMom January 29, 2013 at 9:01 am #

      So sorry to hear it, Rys. And you are right – the thing holding me there was the “what if”. Any version of appendicitis is a bad version, so we had to know for sure. And actually, I’d lost sight of that fact. So thanks 🙂

  6. Cass January 29, 2013 at 9:18 am #

    You would NOT believe how common this is! It happened to my oldest too. And being a nurse, you would think I’d know better. But seriously, it’s so common in school age kids.
    You did the right thing! What if you didn’t take him and it was an appendicitis? You would have never forgiven yourself. I’m just happy he’s ok. And remember…you’re not alone! Love ya! xo

    • FreeTheMom January 29, 2013 at 9:36 am #

      Gah, and this from a nurse! Love love love 🙂

  7. Michelle January 29, 2013 at 5:52 pm #

    Ah, Lay!! This actually happened to me too!! hahaha. And I think I was actually a bit older. My family was making so much fun of me– but that pain ain’t no joke. (and thus I have a bottle of magnesium pills on me at all times.) 😉 Love you so much sister- you’re such a wonderful mother and those boys are incredibly lucky to have you. xxoo

    • FreeTheMom January 29, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

      Oh sad story!!! Magnesium pills…check. Thx for the advice sweetie! xx


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