A true story about ER visits, poop and Twitter

Friday night started out like any other night at our house - you know, thunderstorms and the kids sleeping on the couches in the living room. Just a typical Friday night in T-town.

Once the storms settled down, we tried to put the girls back in their own beds. Olivia - who never woke up during the storms - was an easy 'put down.' Emma...not so much.

Around 10 p.m., Emma started complaining that her belly hurt. We thought at first that maybe she was hungry, because she often says 'my tummy hurts' when she wants to eat. So, we tried some applesauce. And then some graham crackers. She didn't want anything.

We tried to get her to sleep - but every time she would fall asleep she would wake up 10 minutes later, screaming and crying 'my belly hurts!'

At about midnight we decided to call the on-call nurse. We told her the symptoms and she said it might be appendicitis. She wanted us to make Emma jump up and down (one of the tests for appendicitis, apparently). Emma refused.

The nurse said she would recommend we take Emma to the ER because based "it's better to be safe than sorry."

Oh man.

And so at 2 a.m. Kevin strapped a crying and screaming Emma into the carseat and headed to the emergency room.

I stayed at home with Olivia (who was sound asleep and had no clue what was going on).

Unable to sleep and totally freaking out, I signed on to Twitter.

I was hoping that maybe one or two people I knew would be online so I could talk and not go crazy with worry at home alone. (It wasn't like I could call anyone either -- calling people at 2 a.m. for an ER visit and no diagnosis is not a great idea - all you do is (1) wake up your family members and (2) freak them out so they can't get back to sleep).

So, I tweeted out at 2:14 a.m. - well, DH is taking DD3 to the ER. she is crying and in pain and we don't know why. on call doc hasn't called us back.

I didn't know if anyone was 'listening' but soon enough, I was getting tweets sent back to me from several of my Twitter friends. I am so thankful for the words tweeted out to me that night. I had people asking my questions about Emma's pain and her temperature. They were sending out words of care and concern and it was all appreciated.

For about an hour I tweeted back and forth with the following people: @Lynne_from_Texa, @DisneyAlli, @discollegeblog, @IAmPumpkinQueen, @5minutesformom, @DisneyWorlds.

And to all of you, I want to say this: Thank you.

I had a place to go in the middle of the night when I was freaking out and didn't want to wake anyone up with a phone call that said "I don't know what is going on"...and my people were out there for me. I was able to say "I'm going a bit crazy and I'm here all alone and will anyone listen" and you listened.

And for that I am very grateful.

After about an hour, I was calm enough by 3:45 a.m. that I was able to go to bed for a short time, and then I woke up in a total panic because Kevin hadn't called.

Of course, I started panicking. WHY hadn't he called? What was going on? I paced the house for a few minutes and then, at 5:45 a.m. I called Kevin and he told me that Emma didn't have appendicitis (no, she was just constipated*....of course, because it's always about the poop, right?) and they were driving down our street, coming home.

I tweeted out the good news that she was home and healthy (and just needed to have a good poop, really)...and I would like to thank everyone who took a minute to say "so happy to hear that Emma was OK." You have no idea how much those tweets of 140 characters or less mean to me.

Yes, this time (thankfully!) the "emergency" wasn't anything more than a lot of poop ... but I think it's fair to say that if it had been something more serious, my Twitter community would have been there for me - and it's nice to know that there is an outlet for my anxiety in the middle of the night.

You might not 'get' it, but after 11,359 tweets, I can honestly say that I still love Twitter.
And to my 511 followers I say this - thank you for being there.

*(We determined that Emma was 'holding it in' for fear of going potty in her PullUp -- yet another issue with the on-going potty training drama in my house!)


  1. Oh boy...potty training scares me. It really does.

    I'm glad she's okay and just needed a good 'poo'. ;)

    Funny story because my cousin had the same incident...but she was in her early 20s at the time. Imagine how embarrassing that is!!!

  2. Traci,

    It is such a relief to know that Emma really is fine. Appendicitis . . . the idea completely terrifies me. And as I leave this comment at 2am on your blog, I completely regret not staying up on that particular night to be among the tweeters who were able to respond. :(

  3. yay for twitter... I've yet to sign up for that.

    I fear this w/ my own son, as he won't poop in the potty and I noticed him not going like he normally does.

    You are right, its all about poop (and potty training will still kill me yet!)

  4. Traci- Noah had this "withholding" issue- and it got really bad. It's usually more common for boys...and it's brought on often by being constipated...they remember the pain and hold it. UGH! I feel for you right now....it's a lot of anguish for the parents for sure. We tried a couple of medicines but ended up with 2 items that helped- Miralax is a huge benefit and it doesn't hurt the tummy like a laxative- OR 1-2 tsp. of Mineral Oil added to juice helped a lot before Miralax came along. Used that for a couple of years...if you need any help or questions just call or email. Good luck! :)

  5. Whew, gal, so glad it all "worked itself out"! (pun entirely intended!) The little rascal is certainly a smart one... and gave fodder for a good story. I only wish we were close enough that I could have helped babysit.

    Take care, and give the dollbabies a hug for me!