They said it was an Ulcer, But it Wasn’t.

Little Miss A in shoulder Pads

They say when it rains, it pours and recently I’ve been looking for that umbrella. It all started 6 weeks ago with stomach pain, but really it started before that with a funeral.

Within about 2 weeks time my grandfather passed away (my second grandpa to pass this year), I was hospitalized for emergency surgery, I had to cancel my travel plans for my grandfather’s funeral and miss seeing family that have moved all over the US, I was diagnosed with cancer, I had to reschedule my autistic son’s first friend birthday party weeks out- making it back to back weekend parties with my other son, who also wanted his first friend birthday party, and cancel a Disney cruise that we had planned well over a year for.

Basically trying to figure out how to share all of this on my blog has taken time for me to process all of it enough to find words to type out. I’m hoping to make a post for each part; the emergency surgery, the funeral, the cancer- that my kids don’t know about, and maybe the Disney cruise? I don’t know about that yet, maybe that will fit in on the recovery section of my surgery, and I already shared my son’s successful party.

I’m Smiling with an Ice Pack.

But today’s post is not about an ulcer, or inflamed cysts on my ovaries like the male ER doctor originally diagnosed me with and sent me home for. No, I drove myself to the ER after 11 at night for my appendix not liking me anymore. But after CT scans, blood work, an ultrasound and an internal ultrasound, I drove myself home well after midnight to lay in bed until I had thrown up enough times and had spiked a fever over 103, that my husband insisted on taking me back to the hospital.

My husband and daughter brought me into the ER and because ER’s have no sense of time and space, my husband reluctantly took my daughter home. But after more blood work, another CT scan and who knows how long laying in pain… A different Dr came in practically jumping for joy as she announced that I needed emergency surgery because my appendix had probably already burst!

Umm thanks for being so excited Miss ER doctor for being a part of a team at a hospital that misdiagnosed me with “women problems” and sent me home. And because of this you are now treating me for sepsis, ya know… Something people die from. But I get it, it’s nice to finally have an answer when my typically healthy body came here and stumped you all when it was basic appendicitis. Great.

Waiting in the ER

So I called my husband to let him know I was going into surgery. I thought that was it, just me, by myself going in for my first surgery alone. That’s parenting my friends. I literally had no expectations or intentions to have anyone with me or waiting for me when I got out. My husband and I don’t live near family and we’ve lived in our current home for just recently a year. Who was I expecting help from? My kids come first, they needed to be home, and I assumed my husband was going to be the safe adult who would stay with them.

But thankfully a really good friend from church came to my family’s rescue. She ran over to watch my kids so that my sweet husband could make it just in time to see the hospital staff finish their prepping me for surgery. It was nice to have my best friend close by for this new experience.

I honestly don’t remember much of my hospital recovery. I had a few nice nurses- including a lovely lady who looked and sounded just like Dolly Parton and a surgeon who signed my release form without checking on me first. When my nurse told me I could go home and I started to cry, she quickly changed some things and I stayed until I was ready to be wheeled out… By an excited teen who had a need for speed. As I was being flung down the hall like we were in the Daytona 500 I quickly realized I was going to need to hold onto my ice pack or it would probably get left behind!

But I’m glad to report that my hospital recovery was pretty uneventful. My sister in law helped at home for a few days and then my father in law helped take my kids to all their things for a few more days until I needed to drag myself back into the saddle to mom my kids again. I was blessed to have a friend drop off a meal and another friend brought by some groceries.

Honestly it’s hard to accept help when my autistic son has such set routines and specific ways he is used to having things done. And meals are complicated enough for me to figure out, so accepting meals is also a tricky game. I’m working on teaching my son flexibility, but he had been stretched enough with having me in the hospital, then basically laid up in bed for days, then having others in the house helping, and his Disney vacation being ripped away. It was a lot for him to process and I was grateful for how well he handled all the crazy.

I mean I really did try to keep the cruise on the calendar. I planned on taking my ice pack and even got permission from my doctors… But I would have been useless to my husband and he wouldn’t have had half as much fun having to help me and tackling all that Disney offers. Mr. Handsome husband would have made a great travel nurse, but who wants to spend that kind of money on a vacation, just to sit in your room for most of it?

However when we canceled with a promise of rescheduling, I felt like a total failure of a parent. Why couldn’t I hack it, suck it up, and just take my kids?? At least my kids weren’t mad. Mr. C respectfully and graciously accepted a reschedule. Little Miss A was confused and was confident that we would just go the following week… For a few weeks she was convinced this was the plan. I wish we could, but it just wasn’t to be.

My Boys visiting me while I was Stuck in bed.

But Mr. L was heartbroken, confused, and had a strenuous time processing the change of not going on a cruise that was: written on the calendar, he had watched YouTube videos for, had read social stories for, and had packed half his suitcase for already. I will repeat that Mr. L was never mad. But heartbroken and let down which was probably worse for me to help him through. I felt like a total loser for letting my kids down with such a big thing.

That’s life for you sometimes though. You can plan, save, prep and do all the right things, and life is still going to sneak up and sucker punch you right in the appendix… And there is nothing you can do. I could apologize to my kids, follow my surgeons instructions, keep my doctors appointments and just keep showing up for my kids as best I can, because sometimes that’s all you can do.

So there’s a bit of an update as to where I’ve been the past couple of weeks… I hope things have been more smooth for you 🌼



  1. Oh, Rachel, I’m so sorry you’re having to go through all of this. It sounds like your family is rising to the challenge – each of them in their own way, which shows what a wonderful job you and your husband have been doing as parents. Right now you need to let them take care of YOU! God speed.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rachel, I so admire you. What an example you are to me. I wish you a speedy recovery. And sending prayers for you. If we were closer, I would so be there for you and your family. Just finished our mission so have some time if you’d like me to come help? Sending lots of hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Rachel! My goodness what a crazy ordeal! You handled things so well! And you are a wonderful mom 💓 I pray sunny skies will be coming to you soon! 🙏 Sending prayers and love your way

    Liked by 1 person

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