December 04, 2010

bowels in an uproar

A section of Brave's intestine slid inside of itself this week, much like the pieces of a telescope.  The condition, called Intussusception, is completely treatable if caught in time, but becomes more critical if not treated quickly.  Left untreated it would lead to death.  Our big problem was that by the time we discovered what was going on, via ultrasound on Friday morning, he had been having unexplainable stomach pain around the clock for 5 days.  Time was of the essence, and Brave and I caught the next flight to Bangkok.
After a quick ultrasound-confirmed diagnosis from the Thai doctors, Brave was raced in for a barium enema.  This is a non-surgical way of straightening the intestine, and is always tried first.  It has an 80% success rate.  In our case, it worked!  Brave endured a very painful and messy 30 minutes with his pants down, but what could have been horrible was corrected in less than an hour without a scalpel, and after a few days of fluids and observation, we will be headed home.
What caused it?  An infection, determined by the discovery of swollen lymph glands.  How common is it?  1 in 1,000 kids will get it.  How blessed are we that we have access to good medical care and therefore our kid is sleeping peacefully with nothing but a sedation hangover?  VERY.

My dad used to say, "Calm down, now.  Don't get you're bowels in an uproar."  I wish Brave would listen more closely to his Grandpa!