What A Trip To The Emergency Room Taught Me

Ive been quiet lately(again) on here and on Facebook. Sick kids, a broken computer, a house needing to be winterized before the first snow starts to fall. Madness! 🙂

I want to write this out while I have a laptop to use.

My littlest young one had an ER visit this past Friday night and we are still recovering from a 7 hour visit there. But so much happened in that one night that made me laugh, cry and get mad and I want to share my experience with you.

My littlest young one(11m now. Time flies!!) was burning a fever pretty much all day Friday. At 5PM she awoke from her nap burning hot. I took her temp and it was 104. I called her dad and told him he needed to come home from work so I could take her to the ER. I was really afraid since fibril seizures run on my side of the family and my youngest son had already had one spring of 2011. I didn’t want to take any chances and her fever was just way too high for having had Tylenol an hour before. He told me he would meet me there to get the older kids and off we went.

Lesson 1.
Look at things with a little humor:

We get to the ER and are called back. We wait to see the doctor in our little room with a glass door and a curtain. Littlest was getting impatient and cranky so I decided to feed her. She was nursing when the doctor #1 came in. He stopped dead in the door way and said ‘WHOA! I can come back in a few!’ shocked at what he just walked in on. I said ‘No. We are fine. I can stop for a little while’ and popped littlest off the breast. Doctor #1 then said ‘you can close this curtain. You’re entitled to your privacy!’ and he shut the curtain. I laughed and said we were fine either way. To me, its a HUGE ER and I could care less who saw us. I wasn’t there for that. My baby was sick. That’s all that mattered.

Lesson 2.
Stand up and be my child’s voice when s/he cannot speak:

Doctor #1(White male in his late 40’s. Typical internal meds doctor stuck on the ER rotaion) ordered blood work and a urinalysis for littlest. We waited around, my husband came and picked up the older 3 kids just in time for the nurse to come in and tell me that they wanted to do a catheter on Littlest. I  asked her if we could do a collection bag instead and she said it was what the doctor wanted so we could get results quicker. Ive gone through this process before with my oldest young one. Its not fun at all. I’m also a Medical Assistant and know the different techniques that can be used in collecting urine samples. The nurse poked my little one 3 times before she went and got a new nurse. The new nurse poked my little one 4 times before I told them I wasn’t going to let them poke her anymore. I told them we were going to do the wee-bag(basically a bag that is stuck around the genital area to catch urine). Nurse #1 went and ran it by the doctor and came back with the collection bag. I stood up for my daughter. As all parent should. It didn’t feel right. If it doesn’t feel right, DON’T DO IT! I cried with her for a little while and told her I was sorry

Lesson 3.
Patience and appreciation:

So our night goes on. Doctor #2(Indian male in his late 40’s. Came down from his rotation up on the peds floor) who was a Pediatric doctor from Children’s Hospital in Washington, DC came in and had the blood work results. He said her WBC was very high but everything else checked out fine. We just needed a urine sample which was the missing puzzle piece since he was almost sure it was a UTI. He sat down and we went over everything we could think of and he asked me if she was up to dates on her shots. I said she has had all her shots up to 6 months and that was it. He looked puzzled but moved on.

Doctor #2 was amazing. He was so soft with little one. He comforted her when she cried. Took the time to talk to us and make sure we didn’t miss anything. VERY breastfeeding friendly. He told me I needed to keep nursing her as much as I could. Even though each nurse that came in asked me if I needed a bottle of formula for the baby so she would drink and pee. Doctor #1 even asked me if I needed one for her. Each one looked surprised when I said she has never had a bottle and wont take one.

At one point a housekeeping lady(Black female in her late 60’s, sweetest smile and kindest eyes) came in to remove the trash. She smiled and asked how I was doing and then asked if little one was a boy or girl. ‘Girl’ I replied. Then she walked out to get a new bag for the trash and before she walked back out said ‘she must be nursing and walked over to steal a peak of my little one. ‘So precious’ she proclaimed. I thanked her and we told one another to have a nice night. Its people like Doctor #2 and her that make me feel comfortable in my own skin when I nurse my little one openly. I appreciate their open mindedness. To them I say a sincere ‘Thank You’.

Still waiting for littlest to pee in the bag. I was nursing her like crazy. She had not urinated in over 5 hours. I couldn’t blame her if she was holding it after the failed catheter placement. Id hold her and whisper to her that it was okay and that I would wait as long as it took for her to be ready. She eventually fell asleep while nursing. About 5 minutes later I feel her wee bag that is sticking out of her diaper and its full. By this time we are 6 hours into our ER visit. I call the nurse and we do a quiet little happy dance lol Little one is, I’m sure relieved also. No pun intended!

Lesson 4.
Bite my tongue. Collect my eggs then count them as they hatch.

As we were waiting for the last of our test results to get processed, I was flipping through the channels on the TV trying to stay awake. They have a channel at this hospital called the Newborn Channel. Its a station that plays a video that goes over newborn care and different things to help educate soon to be or new parents who are patients in the hospital. When I stopped on the channel, it was discussing circumcision. I stopped there and decided to listen to what they had to say. I don’t remember ever coming across it when I had little one back in December of last year so I was interested in hearing what they had to say about it.

It went a little something like this:
*Its a parents choice.
*You need to care for the child’s circumcised penis by doing x and x.
*Risks of infection and bleeding if you try to peel the foreskin back or remove the scab on purpose on on accident(but they failed to say that it can cause hemorrhage which can lead to death because chances are you are no where near a hospital and all it takes is a small amount of blood for a newborn to bleed out).
*The couple they had on as testimonial said they did their research and decided to do it because it was cleaner and healthier. Even though the mom was against it at first and thought it was awful to do that to her sweet baby.
*The guest doctors were offering biased information and to be honest it wasn’t very helpful information.
*The whole segment was FOR RIC.

This made me angry.

Why? Because this is shown to hundreds of women and men who are in this hospital. New parents who are so vulnerable to this type of misinformation. This pushes them in one direction if they are undecided on what they should do. The influence this video has is a life or death issue. A young mother who doesn’t know what to do can see this and make a decision that can change her life forever. That can change her child’s life forever.

Its really unfair to have such misinformation presented to new parents like that.

Ive already started a letter to the hospital administration. I need to make a few calls to get the name of the production company that makes the videos that they sell to the hospitals so I can write them. Ive already been in contact with some people from Doctors Opposing Circumcision. I’m getting the ball rolling.

So I had to sit there the remainder of the ER visit on stew in my own angry thoughts. Its not the staffs fault so I kept it to myself.

Lesson 5.
Everything will be okay.

It was a long night. She was finally given her diagnosis of a UTI, given an antibiotic shot and when we were finally released, it was the middle of he night. I came home and cried myself to sleep while holding my little one close as she nursed. It seems that both of us drifted off into a troubled sleep after everything we experienced together that night.

It was a night that opened my eyes and made me practice what I preach and put into place everything Ive been learning the last few years.

I’m sure my daughter would thank me if she could. Im sure I saw a smile in there somewhere. Ill take what I am given.

Have you ever had to stand up and be your child’s voice in front of medical professionals when you felt like something was off/wrong with the way they handled your child’s care?

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