The longest night in my life

The frustration, stress and anger so many parents have endured because their baby’s life-destroying vomiting has been met with sloppy care and diagnostic work of hospital accident and emergency departments and/or condescending brush-offs by medical doctors and specialists – it is simply unbelievable, except that there are so many “cries from the heart” on the web.

True, when babies vomit, there could be a number of reasons, but when a baby sicks up in increasing measure, starts to lose condition, and the parents have good reason to suspect pyloric stenosis (a blockage of the stomach outlet), it is surely time for the medical world to do more than it all-too-often does.

I pass on a rather typical story Marcy Massura (from Orange County, California) posted in 2008 about her unforgettable pyloric stenosis experience with her 8 week old son.

The longest night of my life

I am not putting up a photo of me at all.  But instead it is a photo of my son Tucker at 8 weeks old.  AND YES it is super mega can’t-believe-she-calls-herself-a-photographer BLURRY.  There is a REASON.

From the time I brought Tucker home he threw up.  Bottle in, bottle back out.  He didn’t just spit up… he THREW up.  Like in a poltergeist sorta way.  I am talking on the sofa, on the curtains, and once ON the CEILING fan.  My doctor would condescendingly say…. “Oh, you have a spitter there.  It will get better, blah, blah, blah… it’s your fault, blah, blah blah,” and send me home.  Well, that went on for 8 solid weeks.

Until one morning when I was feeding him and he threw up before he had taken an ounce and it went – IN MY MOUTH – I decided to get in control.  Hmmm, what to do?  Go to the Internet of course!!!!  Where I stayed all day researching.  By late afternoon I was VERY certain my poor baby had Pyloric Stenosis.  I drove to the ER at 4:00 pm.  I told them my self-diagnosis.  They nearly LAUGHED at me, but I persisted.  They agreed to do an ultra-sound.  They agreed, I think just to get rid of me.

Tucker 8 weeks

Around 11:00 pm they came to me and said, “Your son has severe Pyloric Stenosis and needs surgery within 8 hours”.  I was overcome with TRIUMPH at the IN YOUR FACE STUPID CONDESCENDING DOCTOR and the obvious total fear that my poor 8 week old infant had to undergo surgery.  Then he said “He cannot eat for the next 8 hours until the surgery”.  So I sat in a hospital room with a screaming infant for 8 solid hours.  He was looking and me and begging me to FEED him.  And I could not.  It was a living hell.  Something I will never ever forget.  Every mother should be able to feed her children when they are hungry.  Sadly this is not a reality.  Sometime during that night I took this photo.

Cameras were not allowed in the hospital and it was night time so I could not use a flash, so that is why it is blurry.  And I was shaking from exhaustion and fear.  So this is not a photo you will ever find framed on my mantle… but it IS in his scrapbook.  Along with a piece of paper the doctor doodled on to explain the surgery.  All went well.  We all came thru it… and I learnt that a mother’s instinct and the internet make a powerful combination.

1 thought on “The longest night in my life

  1. Wendy

    Wow, I wish my mother had had the Internet in 1952 when I was suffering with PS as an infant and the obstetrician told my mother she was feeding me improperly. My mother discovered my problem by reading Dr. Spock. (She still had the article in her files when she died at age 95.) But she didn’t have the hutspah (sp?) or verve to march into an ER and announce her diagnosis. Kudos to Marcy! What happened to me was shortly after my mother realized what I was suffering from, she asked my brother’s pediatrician to look in on me when he came to our home on a house call. He affirmed her diagnosis right away. I was whisked out of our house and operated on within twelve hours! I had come close to dying because of a “STUDID CONDESCENDING” doctor. Bravo to Marcy and Tucker!!!!!!! Thanks for sharing this post, Fred.


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