Some months ago I thought I’d hit a low in my life when my then 7 week old daughter had to undergo surgery for intestinal invagination. Well, this midsummer’s eve was even worse. Natalie had been sick for almost two days. We had called the hospital, which told us that the flu was at large among small kids in Stockholm right now, and that we had nothing to worry about. The second day she actually seemed to be better. She got to keep some food. Well, two hours after eating she started vomiting again. She didn’t even get to keep water, so we went straight for the hospital. At the hospital they gave her antibiotics and put her on IV since she was dehydrated. Sure enough – X-rays showed that the intestines were obstructed and we went by ambulance (again) to Karolinska (the hospital where the surgeons for infants are located).
When we arrived at the hospital, she was fairly lucid but weak. They connected her to telemetry equipment monitoring her heart rate and oxygen levels and then we went for another round of X-rays. That’s when the scariest moment in my life so far happened. We were almost done with the X-rays when the Natalie’s oxygen saturation levels started to crash. The nurse standing next to Natalie got stressed out and yelled “Call the doctor. Call him now!”, while running for an oxygen bottle next to the entrance to the room. She started giving Natalie oxygen whilst rather incoherently discussing with one of the other nurses what emergency code to use on one of the handsets. During all this I was standing next to the X-ray machine, holding Natalie’s hand. My mind was racing to horrible conclusions and I was thinking “shit, ohpleaseohpleaseohplease, nononono, I really can’t loose her”. I glanced at Malin, and she looked just about as terrified as I felt. I watched the oxygen work it’s magic, and the saturation levels started to improve.
They put a probe through her nose down her stomach, through which they sent contrast fluid. Then they took X-ray images every now and then to find out where the obstruction was. The diagnosis was Ileus, and they decided surgery was necessary. Once they opened her up, they couldn’t believe how bad it was. She had, after all, been fairly lucid during all this. They had to cut away 90cm of her small intestine.
Now we’re at home again, and they expect her to make a full recovery, despite the heavy surgery. I’m just glad it is over, and I pray my lovely little daughter never have to go through something like this again. Ever.