Saturday, November 11, 2006

Another trip to the ER

I'll start the ER post this time by saying everyone is okay!

Two nights ago Eloise, who is on her, what, eight millionth cold?, started coughing. I didn't think too much of it, but it was concerning me a bit because she would cough up some phlegm and then sort of gag on it. I looked up coughing in infants online and found out that the recommendation is that if your child is under three months old that you should tell your doctor about the cough. Well, it was Friday night by this point, at about 9:00. I call the nurse at Children's Hospital and after talking to her for a bit she tells me that I should bring Eloise to the nearest emergency room. Okay, I'm a bit panicky. I thought it was just a cold, no big deal, right? So we get there and the first person I get to talk to is the intake girl whose very first question was "what hospital was she born in?" I said "she was born at home". Confused look. She then asks "well, then what hospital did you take her to?" and I say "she's never been in the hospital" and I'm starting to get annoyed by the questioning. She says "she's never been to the hospital?" "No." More confused looks. Finally the guy sitting by her says to her that if babies are born at home they don't need to go to the hospital. She still looks confused. Grrr. Annoying. So we get checked in and then they weigh her and take her temperature, which we discover is slightly elevated.

They put us in a room and a male nurse without the best bedside manner comes in and hands me a syringe of pink stuff. I forget what he says it is because I was nursing Eloise and he just handed it to me and mumbled and walked out. When he comes back I ask him what it is and he tells me it's Tylenol. Oh. Oops. I should have known. Then the doctor comes in to examine her and he was really nice. He checked her out and couldn't find an obvious source for the fever, like an ear infection. Because of her age and the fever, he tells me the standard protocol is to run some tests to make sure it isn't something more serious. Tests?! Yikers, okay. We will get a urine sample, blood test and chest x-rays, he tells me. Hmmm.

So the male nurse and a female nurse come in to insert a catheter. It was awful. We have to hold Eloise still on her back while they insert the catheter. She screams and screams and I just rubbed her hands and talked to her. Luckily they got a sample and it was over. We wait a bit and two lab folks come in to draw the blood. They keep tying up her arms with the rubberband thing to find a vein. Back and forth looking on each arm and leg. She is screaming and screaming. Finally they conclude they can't find a vein and bless their hearts they didn't just start poking her all over the place. They talk to the doctor and decide to do a heel prick and from what I remember from the PKU, heel pricks aren't that bad. Of course, this time they need to get a vial of blood from it, so he is just "milking" the blood from her foot, and it seems like an eternity. She's just red-faced and wailing and I thought my heart was going to break. After the heel prick we get taken to x-ray and luckily that part was quick. Eloise didn't like lying on the cold hard table, but at least it didn't last very long. After the x-ray we go back to our room and Eloise falls asleep on my chest. A really nice elderly man who volunteers at the hospital came in to the room to chat with me for a while. We talked about birth and breastfeeding and it was really nice. He insisted on bringing me some filtered water (he made a point of telling me it was filtered, so cute!) because the diet soda I brought along "wasn't healthy". Finally the doctor comes in and says there is nothing on the tests that shows anything abnormal is going on. We are free to go home after one more temperature reading.

It was such a stressful experience. I just wanted to be able to comfort her while they were doing all of these tests and there was nothing I could do. I knew it was important to run tests, but it really, really sucked. I kept thinking about what would happen if something really was wrong with her. And I thought about all the parents who go to the emergency room with babies who have very serious problems. I felt so grateful that my baby was just fine, just annoyed we had to go through all of that.

Today she is doing fine. No fever at all, pretty sleepy and not as crabby. I've been running around getting last minute things for the party I am hosting in the morning for Melissa's family to welcome their new baby (who is due in three weeks!). It's been a lot of work but it's worth it to do something nice for those guys. After everything they've done for me it's high time I give something back! Plus, we like parties, so it will be alot of fun when the work is over.

1 comment:

  1. Oh mama! I'm so glad everything is okay. But I know what you mean-it's so hard when you have to do something like this, because all you want to do is comfort them. I remember when Rosie at 18 months gashed open her forehead, over her eye, they had to wrap her in a sheet burrito-style while the doctor glued the gash closed. It was awful.

    And my few medical experiences have left me thinking the exact same thing-I have such empathy (sympathy?) for parents of children who are seriouly ill.

    But I'm glad Eloise is fine and starting to feel better.


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