Ahhhh Zachary. How your body perplexes me/us/doctors. Last night Zack got to have pancakes for dinner. He was happy, but still a bit distended. We had an x-ray. It showed a possible obstruction. Z’s surgeon felt it was just trapped air, so he was allowed to have pancakes again for breakfast. He was so happy. He ordered butter and two syrups to go along with it and snarfed those bad boys down.
About 15 minutes later he started asking for pain medicine. The problem was that his IV meds had expired (for lack of better description) and so he had to have oral Tylenol, but it had not yet been 6 hours….which meant he had to wait. We talked him into going to the play room. Here is what he looked like there:
I agree, he looks awfully cute. However, he also looks uncomfortable. While we were there he started looking pale and getting dizzy. Daddy had to carry him back upstairs to our floor where the surgeon on call was paged. This is how he looked then:
Yep. Voluntarily back in bed asking for pain medicine. Sigh. His stomach was distended and he was in the pain position. The surgeon on call came and told us to knock off the food for a while. He said if he vomited we would have to reinsert the dreaded NG tube. Happily, that did not happen.
Zack’s actual surgeon came in a little bit later. I love that his surgeon comes every day. She told us that when she saw his x-ray last night she was hopeful that the air would pass overnight. Because it did not move on its own, it was time to help it out. She said that his body acts like that of a child with Hirschprung’s Disease. If you have read our blog at all you will know he does NOT have this and has been tested numerous times. Nonetheless, his body acts in all sorts of goofy ways.
This next part may gross you out if you are not into medical or poopy stuff. Read on at your own risk. You have been warned. Zack required rectal irrigation. This involved putting a tube into his bottom and injecting saline water and pulling it back out. During this process a lot of air and stool was removed. Z’s surgeon said that sometimes this procedure will kick start intestines into moving again. Sometimes kids require a few more irrigations. Time will tell for Zack.
When the irrigation was done, Zack started giggling. He kept saying, “I feel SO much better!” He even kissed his surgeon. For real. He felt so great we went back to the playroom. He was still acting a little out of it then and was a bit dizzy and required being carried back to our room.
After a two hour nap, he woke happy and wanting to walk down to the main cafeteria for pizza. PIZZA people. Crazy. His surgeon said it was fine, so he was disconnected from IV fluids and off we went. He needed to stop and sit a few times, but did great on the walk. He had 1/2 a piece of pizza and some G2 Gatorade. While we were waiting for the pizza, he was acting so sleepy. As we began to walk back, he needed to sit. After that, he walked about 20 more steps and needed to be carried. He was spent.
Time will tell if his intestines fill back up with air or if they are able to move on their own. He is doing much better now, but certainly not ready to leave yet. Maybe tomorrow evening? Jim leaves to fly home tomorrow night. We feel comfortable with him doing that as Z is improving and getting closer to being well enough to be discharged. Here is a picture of him now:
He is still lying down, but this time on the sofa. He is smiling and laughing at his movie. We have already discussed how great this night will be…..hopefully. We are grateful to our surgeon. She is on this and really knows how to talk to Zack in a way that helps him understand what is happening and to be calm, even when rectal irrigation is involved. Believe me, this is huge.
Now we wait. That is fun. But, we are hopeful we are over the hard stuff now. More updates tomorrow!