A few weeks ago I noticed a lump on Nathan. After keeping an eye on it for awhile, I asked Andrew what his thoughts were. We kept waiting. I’m pretty solidly in the mindset that the body will take care of itself.
We had been out of town the week before, Andrew in Utah for Sam’s wedding and me and the kids with my family in Iowa. When we got home on Monday I decided to put grocery shopping off as long as possible to use up our stores in preparation for moving. By Thursday it became very apparent that we had to go to the store, so I meal planned during rest and read time and made a list.
I had the thought to just call the doctor and ask about Nathan. They told me he had to be seen and there was an opening at 3:30, 40 minutes after the phone call. I gathered my shopping list and the children, wishing we had snacks to bring with us to the doctors with plans to go to the store after the appointment.
The nurse practitioner took one look at Nathan and declared it a hernia. She said he would need surgery, but on the scale of things to worry about, this was very routine and not a big deal based on her 18 years of pediatric experience. He wasn’t in any pain so there wasn’t a huge rush. She said she would call the surgeons in town and get it scheduled for us while we waited in the waiting room. I felt totally calm and texted Andrew the news.
At 4:30 the nurse practitioner comes out to the waiting room where we had been coloring and doing dot-to-dots and pulls up a small kid chair to sit on. “Well, my surgeons are flaking out on me” was what she led with. Because of Nathan’s age and the number of days that the hernia was visible, we were to get in the car right now and drive straight to Riley Children’s hospital in Indianapolis for surgery that night. The receptionist at the front desk printed out a map and gave me verbal directions from the pediatricians office.
I called Andrew as we walked out and gave him the heads up I was picking him up from campus so we could say a prayer and figure out our next steps for the night. Then I called my mom who had plenty of experience with taking kids to the hospital. She told us to bring lots of food and a change of clothes. I also called a friend who had just moved to Indy three weeks prior to find out how close they were to the children’s hospital. Just down the road it turned out.
Once Andrew was in the car we prayed and started formulating a plan. We headed home to get dinner and pack for the night. I was supposed to go with our neighbor to a Relief Society meeting that night so when I canceled she showed up at the door with armfuls of food for us to take and eat for dinner. A friend stopped by on his way home from campus to give Nathan a blessing with Andrew.
30 minutes later we were on the road as a family of five for an overnight trip – a new record!
I dropped Andrew and Nathan off at the hospital and then headed to our friend’s home. I put the girls to bed and waited to hear from Andrew. By 10:00pm Nathan had a different diagnosis and was discharged from the ER. I picked them up and we were all sleeping by 11pm. Laura actually slept through the night until 7am and we all got a decent amount of sleep.
We drove Andrew straight to campus so he hardly missed a beat at work. The kids and I got home around noon in an absolute downpour. We left our key with a neighbor who offered to drive things down to us if we needed it because the doctor would only say that we would be there less than a week when we left the pediatricians office the day before. She wasn’t home so the kids and I walked around and played in the rain for a bit until we received instructions on how to get into their house, get the key, and get into our house.
The entire ordeal I felt complete and total peace. We were carried through the experience and were helped by so many people. Once I got everyone settled for naps life hit me and I was exhausted! I was wishing I didn’t have to go grocery shopping when some friends dropped off a bag of food that got us through another day. I had texted to let them know we were coming home early and didn’t need it, but they hadn’t seen the text. I’m so grateful Heavenly Father didn’t let me stop that blessing from happening.
The following Wednesday Andrew took Nathan back down to Indy for a consult while I stayed with the girls. They got surgery scheduled for a month almost a month out, on October 8. They thought it was booked until November but then the receptionist remembered there was one opening before then. We were so grateful for the timing of everything, even with the crazy emergency surgery that wasn’t, because it allowed us to have this resolved before we had to worry about moving. Grateful, grateful, grateful.
The surgery went really well on Monday. Andrew took Nathan down at 5:30am. He didn’t sleep well the night before and was in our room for the second half of the night, which was a blessing because the girls kept sleeping after they left. His surgery was scheduled for 8:30am and Emily and I prayed for him throughout the morning and asked our family to do the same. He did really well, but was delayed coming home just a little bit because he threw up the water they gave him post surgery. They got home around 2pm.
The hospital was phenomenal at working with him through the whole experience. This wasn’t even a mere reflection of my experiences as a kid at the hospital. He rode in a car when they took him away from Andrew for the surgery – no screaming separations like we expected. He came home with a new pillow, hot wheels car, fancy water cup, new socks, and lots of crackers.
We forced medicine in him around the clock for the first 36 hours but didn’t give him any the second night. When he woke up on Wednesday he was certain he didn’t need any medicine and hasn’t had any pain medicine since Tuesday night. Surgery barely slowed him down for a day. There is still plenty of healing that needs to happen but Nathan seems pretty oblivious to it.
I’m so grateful for prayer and the peace and power that it brings into our lives.