Meet the Children

Blunt Abdominal Trauma with Vomiting

April 1, 2013

Blake got admitted into the hospital on Saturday, 30 March 2013. This was definitely not on our things to do over the long weekend!

It all started on Good Friday evening, when Sean and Blake went to the playground. It started to rain a little, a while after they got to the playground, but Blake insisted on playing so Sean allowed it – a little rain is seldom harmful, seeing how I was allowed out into the rain to play all the time growing up (fun times!). I honestly believe that was what build my immunity to the way it is today.

What Sean and I don’t allow was for Blake to jump from point A to point B. Watching Dora the Explorer kind of made him an active ‘jumper’, constantly wanting to jump from one point to another, from one step to another. It didn’t help that there were older children at the playground doing just that. At his current imitation stage, he did what we told him not to do, refusing to hold onto Sean’s hand as well. So what happened? He jumped from a round stand to another, only to land his entire body weight on his abdominal area. According to Sean, Blake let out a very strange type of cry – a cry we have never heard before. And instead of clamoring for Sean to cuddle him like he always does when he’s in pain, Blake actually signal to Sean to not touch him! We honestly didn’t think much about it, cos after a while, he got up and continued playing. He even threw tantrums when Sean took him home. What could be wrong with a child who is still his active self, right?

Shortly after returning home, Blake fell asleep at about 7pm. Nothing unusual on the weekends, when he refuses to take afternoon naps. I took him into his room and let him sleep. I was half-hoping that he would sleep through, cos he has done it before, otherwise it will be a major problem for us! But I also wanted him to get up within an hour to have his dinner and milk, cos the last time he had food was quite a few hours ago. Turns out, he slept through the night.

The next morning, I went in to check on my boy. He was semi-awake, but he didn’t react the way that he normally does when he sees me on weekend mornings. He was drifting in and out of sleep. He sat up for a while, only to go back down again. So what did mommy do when the little boy sat up? Pictures! Haha.

Obviously I didn’t think much about the way he was then.
I brushed it off as him being super tired.

Then I asked him if he wanted milk. He had virtually no reaction, so I made some for him. The Saturday before, he happily drank his milk in sleep mode before heading out for his school’s family day, with no problems. But that morning, he barely put the bottle in his mouth before pushing it back into my hands. I asked him, “Are you sure you don’t want milk?” Then he took the bottle back, and drank a little before regurgitating. The first round caught me off-guard, but before I could get him to sit up and clear the mess, he vomited even more out, with quite a bit flowing out from his nose too! That really scared me. It was a lot of vomit for so little milk! Hearing my panic shouts, Sean came in and took Blake away to clean and comfort him. Blake had started crying by then, probably cos he had no idea what was going on, and mommy was panicking.

While I was cleaning the bed, Blake sat on the sofa, completely dazed and vomited another two times, according to Sean. This was when we thought, something must be really wrong with Blake. He looked really pale, had absolutely no energy to even sit up on the sofa, looked like he was going to fall asleep again, and rejected everything we offered him – from his favourite snacks to sweets!

It was then that we decided, Blake had to go to the hospital. Something was definitely not right with him. I made a call to my mom, and told her what happened, hoping she would be able to watch Nakayla while Sean and I rush Blake to the hospital. It was a Saturday, the most packed day of the week for my parents. So thankful that my mom was willing to give up her Saturday activities to help me watch Nakayla for the day. Thank you, mommy!

After Nakayla was settled at my mom’s, Sean and I rushed to the hospital with Blake in a cab. I was definitely not thinking straight, cos instead of going to Gleneagles like we always do, I had asked the cab driver to take us to KKH instead. I only realize that when we were preparing to admit Blake into the hospital.

The Children’s A&E department was pretty fast, either that or me going to the vending machine to buy some sandwiches and coffee really took a long time, cos by the time I returned with the food and coffee for Sean (we haven’t had breakfast), they were already in one of the cubicles and Blake had already been checked. In a matter of minutes, we were at the back where Blake was placed under observation.

He was placed right in front of the television,
which was showing cartoons on Disney Junior. Haha.

They gave him some glucose water, and when he vomited again after taking less than 30ml of it, they said it is best to have Blake take an X-ray, and to admit him for an overnight observation while they run some tests.

So we moved to the next room where Blake had his X-ray taken. Despite crying throughout, Blake remembered his manners and said bye to the doctor and nurses in the X-ray room when they left. Quite a funny sight at such a daunting place 🙂

We then waited for the results to be out, and during this time, Blake started to become a little more active. He even took my food to eat. That’s a good sign! After waiting for quite a while, I was wondering why nobody called us, so I went back to the same doctor to ask. Turns out, we were supposed to prepare for admission after taking the X-ray.

While Sean was at the counter handling the admission stuff, I followed Blake wherever he wanted to go. He started his Dora imitation, pointing at things going, “Is this a fish? No! Is this a fish? No! Is this a fish? YES!” Yes, Blake is very much into Dora now. Another good sign!

By the time we got to his ward and room, Blake was 80% back to his normal self. While waiting for the doctors to come and check on Blake again, I went down to get some lunch (yes, from breakfast to lunch!). Nurses came in and told us that Blake cannot eat, just in case of this and that, and to let us know that after they draw the blood, they will leave the plastic thing in him, in case he has to go on drip. Sean and I were very sure that Blake wouldn’t need to go on drip – call it parents’ instinct or whatever – cos Blake seemed almost like his normal self, and he was busy snatching my food from my hand!

Then came the dreaded blood test. My poor boy was so traumatized they had to splinter both his hands down to draw the blood. They also left the plastic thing in his hand, like they said they would.

He got very agitated whenever he saw the plastic thing on his hand

Blake managed to ‘un-splinter’ himself on one hand, and attempted to pull out the plastic thing many, many times! We could see blood flowing out of the tube! Sean and I then decided, no point having Blake with that when it’s not 100% sure that he will go on drip. I’d rather they poke him a second time when there really is a need for it, than to risk him pulling it out and having blood splatter all over the place.

I spoke to the doctor, and she agreed to let me take it off Blake. I then went to get the nurse and asked them to remove it. Now, this is the first time I really got very angry and upset at a healthcare personnel. The nurse insisted on leaving the plastic thing on, and even gave me the talking-down attitude. And when I asked her, what if Blake were to pull it out, she replied, “Pull out then pull out lor.” Oh really? I know for sure Blake will pull it out on his own (by hook or by crook), and I’m asking you nicely to have it removed the proper way, but you refused to, and that’s the answer I get for asking what happens if Blake really does pull it out? This time round, I stood firm and told her straight up to remove it right away.

The next nurse who came in to remove it for Blake had the same attitude, she said, “So if later have to poke again for the drip, we just poke ar!” Again, I looked straight at her, and told her to remove it. If you ask me, getting poked twice is definitely better than being poked the entire time, and risking unnecessary loss of blood for nothing (cos it’s still not 100% that Blake has to be on drip)!

Blake was once again put through another traumatizing event when they were removing the plastic thing for him. So thankful for the husband! He went through all of this with Blake cos I’m way too scared! I remember when Blake underwent surgery in 2011, the team at Gleneagles had wrapped that plastic thing real nice for Blake, he didn’t even attempt to do anything to it, and when they came to remove it, I looked away. With the good pressure Sean had on the wound when the plastic thing was removed, Blake had no blood-soak plaster!

And while annoyed, Blake soon got back to being himself 🙂

After all that is over, I went home to pack some stuff for Blake and Sean (didn’t know he had to be admitted!), and dropped by my parents’ place to update my mom and play with Nakayla for a really short while, before dashing back to the hospital – had to get Sean his dinner before the shops at KKH Mall closed.

When I came back, dinner for Blake was served and this was what he had been up to, during the time I was gone.

A little after 8pm, I left for home while Sean stayed with Blake. It was close to Nakayla’s bed time, and I had been away from my baby girl almost the whole day! Once we got home, Nakayla got ready for bed, and I was all alone for the rest of the night.

Through this entire journey back home and settling Nakayla into her cot, Sean had taken Blake out of the hospital for a walk. It was only after they had returned that I received updates from Sean, complete with photos, from their walk and the night before sleeping.

Daddy rewarded the brave boy with ice cream!

Blake washed up and changed in the clothes provided by the hospital

He didn’t like wearing hospital clothes,
so Sean changed him into home clothes before sleeping

The next morning, Sean and I spoke over the phone and he said that Blake can be discharged. Yay! And knowing that I have already troubled my mom the day before, I decided to just bring Nakayla along with me to the hospital. After all, it will just be a couple of hours and we’ll be out of the hospital. I asked my dad for a ride to the hospital. Hehe.

A place we never want to return to!

While Sean took Blake out for a walk around the hospital, Nakayla slept in the cot

Finally! Everything is done and we can head home!

Nakayla was too low in the baby carrier and couldn’t be seen in the above photo,
so I took one with her separately. Haha.

We were told to return to the hospital for a follow-up and ultrasound scan, cos they suspect Blake might have another issue with his abdominal area (they still don’t know what really happened to him). Based on the medical term written in the report given to us, Sean did a research online about it and we found out that whatever that is, it is not dangerous, nor urgent. It is recommended to wait till he is after five years old before doing further checks as most of the time, the body would correct itself. So that’s what we plan to do. We will continue to monitor him, and will bring him for the follow-up checks after he turns five in another two years time.

Right now, I’m just glad this whole thing is over, and that my baby boy is safe.

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