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  • Megan

{Worst} Spring Break Ever

Our 2016 Spring Break will forever be etched in our minds as the "Worst Spring Break Ever". Nothing went like were hoping but honestly, now that we are a few weeks past it, we are clearly seeing so much good that was also a part of it. It all started on Sunday, March 20th . . . Ian just was not feeling good, but I didn't think much of it until around noon, when he started in with a fever. His throat was hurting so I took him to the doctor on Monday. They did a strep test, which came back negative in the office, but they went ahead and sent it off to the labs for a second test. By Tuesday morning, he seemed to be feeling much better, so I thought we were good to go. In the afternoon, I had a message from the pharmacy, saying that they had medicine ready for Ian. Apparently, they got the message before the nurse had time to call me, letting me know that his strep test WAS positive, so he needed to start in on antibiotics.

Tuesday during the night, he started having severe stomach pains. Ian is our kid with the highest pain tolerance (& least amount of drama when he is sick), so you know that if he is moaning around and hardly getting ANY sleep, something is definitely not right. By Wednesday morning, we decided to take Ian to the ER first thing. Something didn't seem quite with me but I wasn't sure if it was just a cold or what I was coming down with. So Mark opted to take him in instead of going to work.

Once at the ER, they did some bloodwork and checked his stomach, but since he wasn't really showing the usual symptoms of appendicitis, they decided that it was just a side effect of the strep and sent him back home. By this time, I was running a fever and was feeling like I had gotten run over by a truck, so Mark stayed home from work that day to take care of us.

Ian's stomach pains lessened maybe a tiny bit, but not like we were hoping. So, on Thursday morning, I called in to his pediatrician to get their opinion, and I didn't hear back from them until supper time. By this point Ian was starting in with a fever, so Mark took him back to the ER in hopes of getting some answers and relief. This time around, the doctors didn't mess around. They gave Ian some morphine for the pain (which also made him very loopy) and they did more bloodwork and did a CAT scan. It didn't take long at all to see that it WAS his appendix, and it had a perforation in it.

During the night on Thursday, they transferred Mark & Ian to Akron Children's Hospital via ambulance and then we had to wait until Friday afternoon for surgery. They got him started on antibiotics right away to help fight the infection from the tear in the appendix. Of course, when I found out that he was going to need surgery, this momma a mess of tears. I knew that with my fever, aches, and body chills, I could not go up to the hospital even though everything in me ached to be there with them.

Surgery happened around 4:00 on Friday afternoon, and in about an hour, they were done. The doctor said it went as well as can be expected with the tear, and having to clean up as much of the infection as they could. Mimi & Papa and Cole were up there all day Friday, and came home once Ian was out of surgery.

Sleepy boy recovering from surgery . . .

Even though I would've much rather been up at the hospital with my little guy, I was at least thankful for technology that allowed us to FaceTime and see each other on the screens. It was one of the hardest things I've ever been through to have to be stuck at home, feeling absolutely miserable, and knowing that my little guy was recovering from surgery.

First attempt at eating or drinking anything . . . ice chips!

On Easter Sunday, Mimi & Papa picked up the boys and took them up to the hospital for the day.

One of the hardest things to see was the breakdowns my boys were having when they would come home in the evening after spending time with Daddy & Ian. It was so hard for them to have our routine so out-of-whack. Seeing my 13yr. old sobbing just broke this mommy's heart . . . he missed Daddy so much, and there was nothing I could do about it.

Trying to get a little bit of nourishment into my body even though nothing tasted or sounded good at all.

On Sunday night, I woke up after several hours of sleep and decided to try the couch as a better option. My body could only take once sleeping place for a bit before I had to change it up. When I stood up to go downstairs, I could immediately tell that I was about to pass out. I laid back down, and called my friend Kristi, who only lives several minutes away. Then I tried to go downstairs to unlock the door for her, but woke up on the landing after passing out. By this point, she was here, but couldn't get in. I finally made it down to unlock the door, and she stayed here with me until early morning just to make sure I was going to be okay.

I called my mom in the morning, and we were both crying on the phone (as had become our custom over the past week). I just couldn't take much more! After the boys were off to school on Monday morning, my mother-in-law came over and took me to the ER. I knew that I was dehydrated, and was so miserable that I was desperate for SOMETHING that would help me. They pumped fluids into me, and ordered blood work and a chest x-ray. I still thought that I just had the flu, since that is what the urgent care doctor had told me on Saturday when I had went in. Turns out, they looked at my x-ray and discovered I had pneumonia. I also got a phone call while at the ER that Mom had found a last-minute plane ticket and was going to be arriving out here later that evening. Best news ever! God had totally made it possible that there was 1 ticket remaining at a discounted rate, and Mom was on her way!

After getting some fluids and starting on antibiotics, I headed back home to rest up. Ian was making some progress as well, even though he still was not eating or drinking very much. On Tuesday, Mimi & Papa came over to take Mom and the boys up to see Ian. He got to eat his first tomato soup, and he was thrilled!

Gavin was loving checking out all of Ian's gifts (in hopes that Ian might share with him at some point)

Passing time by playing on the Wii . . . the hospital staff were absolutely amazing and had so many different things to try and keep him occupied during recovery.

We were blessed over and over again by people stopping by with food, flowers, & gifts, or texting and letting us know that they were praying for us. Those prayers are what carried us through each day!

My hero . . . this man spent 12 days in the hospital with Ian and not only helped out in taking care of him and pushing him to go on walks and drink fluids, but he also kept a daily journal. He kept track of Ian's nurses, and the details of each day he was in the hospital. And he even took pictures throughout the stay, since Mommy couldn't be there capturing the journey.

Ian wasn't allowed to shower yet, but this was their way of "washing" his hair. It was like a shower cap filled with dry shampoo that you massaged into the hair. I don't think Ian was very impressed :)

Thursday seemed to be the low point of the journey for all of us. I went back to the doctor as I was still not feeling much better. And I ended up taking both Cole & Gavin in as well. I was able to get an inhaler and some additional antibiotics to help kick this thing. Cole ended up being fine, but Gavin had to get more medicine for an ear infection that wasn't quite healed up from the last round. During the night on Thursday, Ian's IV came out, and the nurses tried for over an hour to get it back in. Such a rough thing for him to go through! Not to mention the lack of sleep throughout the night for both Mark & Ian.

Thankfully, Friday seemed to be a much better day. They decided to put a PICC line instead of messing around with the IV again. This was a much easier procedure, and by mid-morning, things were looking up. I felt stronger and was FINALLY feeling up to visiting my boys. Mom & I drove up to Akron around noon and arrived just before they took Ian for his CAT scan. They wanted to check on a pocket of fluid to see if it needed to be drained. He was in the restroom when I arrived at his room, and when he came out, he gave me a big hug and just started crying. It was such a huge relief to finally be there and be able to see both Mark & Ian!

Enjoying his animal book that his cousin Henry sent for him (thanks Kevin & Emily!)

Ian got to FaceTime his cousin Wells, and they were busy talking about animals. These two would get into so much trouble if they would live closer together--they are so much alike!

Gavin's artwork on the pain scale :)

The best medicine=being together again!

After over a week of being separated, this right here was one of the most amazing feelings ever. Our family was finally all together in the same place!

Cole & Ian playing on the Wii together . . .

On Saturday morning, Cole & I drove up to the hospital. Ian was in good spirits again and he & Cole put together a Lego set that was a gift.

Some of the student nurses made these targets for him so he could have something to shoot at with his rubber band gun that the Spitler's had given him . . . I walked into his room on Saturday with him shooting the different targets.

The CAT scan from the day before showed several abscesses that needed to be drained, so they took him down around 12:30 for that procedure. Once they got in there, though, they only ended up draining one of them, since the other one was too small to bother with. While he was having his drainage tube put in, we went and grabbed a bite to eat at the cafeteria. By the time we came back, he was in recovery and waking up again.

Cole thought the waiting room toys looked fun (& brought back memories from when he was younger). Too bad, they weren't quite as entertaining as he thought they would be :)

In the afternoon, my sister Carla and her family traveled up from Columbus. They stopped at our house and picked up Mom and then they all came up to the hospital to visit. We ate dinner together in the cafeteria, and then spent some time down in the family lounge area since Ian's room was pretty small for all of us.

On Sunday, we just rested in the morning, and then we drove up to the hospital again in the afternoon. Ian was allowed to start eating solids again, so even though the grilled chicken sounded good, he couldn't eat very much without getting nauseous. It seemed that the drain tube was affecting how his tummy felt.

On Monday morning, I had a follow-up appointment with the doctor, and she was pleased with how much better I was doing (we all were!). I still had low energy, but she said it could take several weeks to get my strength back. At least I wasn't confined to the house anymore, and had been able to get up to the hospital--that was the best part!

Mom had a little bit of time before her flight left on Monday, so we stopped in at the hospital to see Ian again. A volunteer came into his room and helped him make some cut-out cookies. That was a special treat for him!

Grandma & Ian . . .

I can't even begin to explain how much this dear lady helped us out while she was here for the week. She cooked and cleaned and got our laundry caught up. I don't know what we would've done without her, and are so thankful for the miracle plane ticket she was able to get! Love you, Mom!

On Monday, we were given the news that Ian would most likely be able to come home on Tuesday. So, the boys got to work making a welcome home sign for him. We all couldn't wait to be home together again!

On Tuesday morning, Ian was officially released from the hospital. We were ecstatic that this journey was finally coming to an end! I picked up Cole from school around noon, and we headed up to the hospital to bring our boys home!

So very excited at the healing God has done in Ian's body & in mine. We are finally on the mend!

Words cannot even begin to express how much we have been cared for my our family, friends, & church family during this time. People have sent gift cards, text messages, meals, $$, flowers . . . the list just goes on, and I could just cry thinking about how loved we are by those around us. Even though I would never want to go through this again, it did open our eyes to see many blessings and to see the faithfulness of God in carrying us through. It has definitely been a journey but we are so very thankful to be on this side of it, and to be getting back to "normal" again here at the Sarver household.

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