Stories about: appendix

Our patients’ stories: The other side of the drape

The following blog was written by a doctor whose son was recently treated at Boston Children’s Hospital for appendicitis. In it she discusses what it was like to experience a medical emergency and describes the level of care he received at Children’s. It originally appeared on her personal blog, Notes of an Anesthesioboist, and was mentioned on Paul Levy’s blog, Not Running a Hospital.

But this is more than just a nice story; it’s a reminder that the true heart of Boston Children’s is our patients and their families. Do you have a Boston Children’s story you’d like to share with your fellow Boston Children’s parents? If so, please let us know in the comments section bellow or on our Facebook page.

My son had been having episodes of pain right around his belly button for several weeks. Between these bouts of mild abdominal pain he was completely fine—healthy appetite, active, happy. But I had a feeling something was brewing. The disease finally declared itself: several nights ago his belly pain was severe and unremitting. He was in tears. He couldn’t sleep. The pain had shifted a little bit to the right. Sometimes walking made it worse, and when I examined his abdomen, pressing on the area and abruptly letting go increased the pain. I suspected appendicitis, so we headed to our local hospital.

“Where would you rate your pain on a scale of 1 to 10?” asked the Emergency Department (ED) nurse once we arrived.

“Um…6.5,” my son answered. His dad and I had to chuckle. This ultra-mathematically-precise answer was so in keeping with his personality.

Some community hospitals evaluate and treat children for appendicitis, but many refer patients directly to Boston Children’s Hospital, which is what ours did. When I heard we were going to Children’s I was glad; it’s a terrific hospital, with complex, well-oiled systems that include quality health care delivery, and family and child supports.

My son and I walked into Children’s just after midnight. It should have felt like home turf in a way—I had learned to anesthetize children here—but that night it felt utterly foreign.

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