As some of you are aware, on a recent visit home, my extremely healthy and health-conscious 26 year old son, Christopher, was rushed into emergency surgery for a perforated ulcer. Arriving at that diagnosis took two excruciating days and three emergency room visits.
It all started on Thursday morning when Christopher finished working out at about 6 am as he usually does and went on to work. Four hours later he had pain in his left neck and shoulder and in his left side, especially when he tried to take a deep breath. Thinking he must have pulled a muscle he went home at lunch time to apply ice and heat and return to work.
It was puzzling to him and to us when he told us what happened that the pain didn’t manifest for four hours. Usually when you pull a muscle you know it immediately. However, we figured, it could happen. He came home Friday night and used the ice and heat intermittently. He still didn’t feel much better Saturday.
Sunday morning the pain got so bad, that I drove him to the emergency room. They did x-rays to rule out problems with his lungs and spleen and decided it was a deep muscle pull, prescribing Tylenol with codeine. We filled the prescription and came home. He had a sandwich so as not to take the meds on an empty stomach and then took one dose. He took a nap and woke about an hour later with excruciating stomach pain.
We figured it had to be a reaction to the meds – but he could barely stand so he went back to the ER via ambulance. They said the meds could not cause that reaction, but changed to a different pain med and gave him something to soothe his stomach. Home we came. He got through the night but got progressively worse the next day and so back to the ER via ambulance we went.
We insisted they forget about muscle pulls and focus on the stomach pain. After what seemed like a million questions they finally did a CT scan which revealed the perforation which caused air in his abdomen – the source of that excruciating pain!
We have since learned that the neck and shoulder pain and pain in the side upon taking a deep breath are symptoms of ulcers! I wish we’d known that to begin with, but thank the good Lord, it all ended up well. He came through surgery well and is healing beautifully.
I share this because things aren’t always what they seem and even doctors don’t always figure it out right away. There is One, however, Who always knows the answer and I’m grateful He had Christopher with us so he was not alone when this happened and that He hand-picked the surgeon and is healing Christopher day-by-day.