The events of the past week will no doubt be forever written in the annals of the Kelderman family. Last week Saturday Hannah (with her long list of allergies) thought she ate something that she shouldn’t have for she had a stomach ache. Now for Hannah this is nothing new and life continued with us figuring we probably wouldn’t know what the affecting food was. She woke up on Sunday and instead of being better the situation seemed worse as she had a low grade fever and so we diagnosed her with “the flu.” This being said we figured a few days on the couch and she would be good to go. Then on Wednesday “the flu” turned into more severe pain in her stomach and side – hence we were beginning to become confused. She stopped eating and drinking and cried off and on the rest of Wednesday and through the night, even at one point dry heaving in the middle of the night. I called the Dr. in the morning and was told to go to our local hospital to meet our family physician. When we arrived he not only was not there but we were told a covering Dr. would see her. When I heard who it was I quietly but firmly told the nurse I refused to see him. She was shocked, surprised and a little angry but said it was my choice. I called our Dr's. office and was told to come right over. After our family Dr. saw her he sent her back to the local hospital where she had an ultrasound and blood work. The blood work came back with her white count only somewhat elevated. The ultrasound on the other hand proved to be a joke as 2 technicians tried but said they could not even find her appendix.
Now all this time Hannah was crying from pain and they wouldn’t give her anything for the pain or anything to drink. We were now going on 24 hours without food or water and Hannah was getting visibly dry. Finally, we saw the local surgeon who decided to send us to London Children’s hospital. I dropped my husband off at home and headed straight there. Once there, another ultrasound was ordered her appendix was “found” and she was immediately diagnosed with appendicitis. Finally at 6 pm they started an IV for fluids to prep her for surgery and gave her some morphine for pain.
At 9:30 pm the surgery team was ready and my husband had arrived at the hospital as we followed Hannah’s bed down the corridors toward the operating room. The surgeon talked a few minutes with us and told us he would do his best but really wouldn’t know what he was in for until he went inside with the camera. And then the moment came….her to go down the hall one way…. and us to go down the hall the opposite way to the waiting room. All of a sudden as a ton of bricks it hit me….WHAT IF….WHAT IF something went wrong and this was the end? All my shortcomings as a mom suddenly were before my eyes. Had I talked to her enough during her short 10 years? What about my prayers….how much had I pleaded for her salvation? I know it is not dependant on our prayers but God also blesses prayer and its our duty. For a few moments exhaustion and fear almost overtook me. All alone in this waiting room I confessed my shortcomings before the Lord begging Him to please spare her life and make all things well. And then slowly I realized I needed to leave her in the hands of the Lord who is the covenant keeping God and whatever the outcome He would still be good and just. Here then I needed to rest – it was again a point of giving over once again the child that is really not ours in the first place but only entrusted to our care. Here it was that the Lord answered my prayer when an hour later the Dr. came out with a smile on his face – I could have jumped up and hugged him! Now this surgeon was about 6'7" tall and 280 pounds and he looked down at us and so kindly said, "It looked messy but the appendix came off nicely. I know how important it is for a young girl to have a nice looking abdomen so i made a bigger incision in her belly button and a small one down low so when she grows older nobody will see any scars." Wow! what a thoughtful man coming in at 10 at night to do a surgery and then trying to keep this little girl's tummy looking nice!
As I look back I feel so strongly that we need to be our children’s advocate. If we had just gone along with the system we are very afraid that things would not have turned out well as they were just going to send us home. It’s often very hard to stand up against those who seem to have more authority over us and yet we are responsible for the care of our children as well. We are so thankful that we pushed for what we thought was best for Hannah.
And yet this whole event has really given me a renewed realization of our great responsibility as parents. We never know when our child’s last day on this earth will be. We cannot assume that they will live beyond childhood. I ask myself what lessons am I teaching my children by my walk and talk? Am I fulfilling my biblical role as mother? God has shown me my shortcomings once again and I pray that the events of this past week may only be for eternal gain.