At instacare they gave him an IV to replenish fluids and took some X-rays. Those X-rays showed that there was some sort of intestional blockage. His stomach was inflated to three times its normal size! And some of his small intestine was blown up like balloons! It was just what we were hoping not to see. Sam's at a higher risk for this sort of thing because of his past surgeries.
We headed up to Primary Children's hospital and were sent to see the surgical team. They put in an NG tube and took several more X-rays. They warned us that surgery was looking like a distinct possibility, but decided to watch him over night. In the morning things looked about the same and he was miserable. He wasn't my bright and shiny Sam at all. He was so uncomfortable, sometimes he didn't even make sense when he talked. They scheduled his surgery for that afternoon.
Generally I'm a pretty private person. I don't like to let everyone know when I'm going through something hard, only once I'm already through it. But I really felt like we needed as many prayers as we could get. So, I posted a quick note to Facebook saying that we were in the hospital with Sam, and would people please send up some prayers on his behalf. The response was overwhelming. Not only were our friends, family and extended family praying for him, but TONS of friends from Facebook, even some of you from the blog that I've never met in person, were praying for Sam. Thank you!!! I think it made all the difference.
They had his surgery scheduled for 4pm. Around 3:30 the surgeon came in and looked at Sam, who was slightly perked up, but still in pain. He said, "You know, he looks a little bit better, why don't we take one more X-ray, just to be sure." This was an unplanned X-ray and I am so grateful for that conservative doctor who didn't want to rush into a surgery if it was at all possible to avoid. The X-ray showed very slight improvement but they decided to hold off on the surgery and see how he did overnight.
The next morning he was bright and perky with only a slightly sore tummy! The surgical team came in and said that it looked like his body was healing on it's own, but they wanted to see what would happen if they turned off the NG tube (it goes down into the tummy and sucks out liquid and gas so it doesn't continue to expand, due to the blockage). When they looked at the tube they discovered that someone had accidentally left it clamped ALL night long!! His body had already been on it's own for about ten hours! And he was doing great! It was totally miraculous.
From there they took out the tube, had him drink water, then a few hours later some juice, and finally a green smoothie that Clayton brought from home. (They offered him sprite and milk shakes(!), but we won't go there right now; I'm too grateful for all the good things that happened...) He was doing so well that the surgeons let us take him home that night.
Have you ever had a scary experience that you barely make it through? After you've narrowly escaped something awful and scary the sun seems to shine brighter than ever and it's like the world has never seemed so cheerful. I think Sam might be experiencing the same thing. He's been so cheerful since he's been home. We are all just so grateful for all the prayers and for those small miracles that made such a big difference. While I was praying on my own I felt so helpless, and worried that my own, small faith was too meager to do much. But realizing that SO MANY people were joining with us in sending love and faith and prayers, I just felt so supported. And I realized that I didn't need to go through it on my own.
PS In our several hospital stays we've discovered a few things that make it a bit more bearable. Food and comforts from home are a must. Visits from friends (even FaceTime!) are uplifting. And if you should be so lucky as to find yourself at a hospital with a patio garden, and they don't mind if you set to weeding, there are few things as healing as digging around in the dirt. This was the first thing we did as soon as Sam was feeling well enough to walk around (and right after putting him in some normal clothes so he didn't feel like a sick kid). It works wonders :)