At least the Full House episode had a monkey…

March 10, 2007

Oh, the splendor of the Children’s Hospital ER. Oh, the cross-section of humanity one encounters (she says judgmentally). But really, I did see a guy in handcuffs and another with a house arrest ankle tag. I also met a lovely couple whose ten month old son had lost two pounds in a week due to a wicked stomach virus. That poor sweet boy with his sunken cheeks and hollow eyes!

The noise alone is staggering. Between nurses calling out names of patients and new patients streaming in — some of whom look better than I feel on my best day and some of whom look scary-sick, the crying babies and toddlers, the moaning, the vomiting (some done by my daughter, admittedly), the various calls on the intercom…wow…

But the TV adds a whole special element. Yeah, Nick at Nite…Spongebob (whose appearance on the screen causes my IQ to drop 3-5 points per episode), Growing Pains (ever wondered what happened to Alan Thicke? No, me either), and yes, Full House, a show that somehow refuses to die even as Mary-Kate and Ashley approach their dotage. Sadly, I actually watched the episode. DJ dyed Kimmie’s hair red and Joey fell in love with Danny’s sister, the monkey trainer. And there was way more sexual innuendo between Uncle Jesse and Becky than I ever remembered…okay, we’ll all take a moment to meditate on the sad fact that I actually know the characters’ names. Maybe there’s therapy for this.

Yes, Abby started vomiting again last night, after she tried the pediatrician-recommended Gatorade and crackers. Poor kid just couldn’t hold anything down. I talked to the new pediatrican’s office and they recommended that we take Abby to the ER.

I recognize that ER workers have nearly impossible jobs of trying to slot kids via triage into a limited number of rooms. And I must say that everyone we encountered last night was kind and sympathetic. When Abby was barfing bile on the sidewalk outside the hospital, another parent rushed over with a wheel chair so that she could sit down. It’s almost like as parents we form some kind of informal hellish club when we get to the ER. God help those parents whose kids have far worse, more serious diseases and conditions.

We stayed about 3 hours in the big waiting refugee-camp room. And the first doctor we saw, a resident, listened, actually listened to my concerns and then consulted his colleagues. A higher-up-the-doctor-food-chain doctor, a fellow (though she was a girl who appeared to me to be about 19), came in and said we would follow the protocol and give Abby some maintenance fluids. Another needle, another IV. Needless to say, Abby was not enthused, but she hung in there pretty well.

When the resident came back in after a couple of hours of fluids and anti-nausea meds, I asked him what we should do if we went home and she began another cycle of intense vomiting. He said that our pediatrician could call and that the hospital would probably directly admit her to the GI floor to try to help her. “What?” I say. “But our former pediatrician said that the hospital only direct admits from 9-5 Monday through Friday.” He looked at me oddly. “No,” he says slowly. “We can direct admit whenever it’s necessary.” Oh. Of course. That really does make more sense. So apparently my former pediatrician (who hereafter will be known as Dr. Pontius Pilate on this blog) should have actually said, “Our office only deals with direct admissions when it’s convenient for us.” Because, you know, all kids time their illnesses according to banking hours. Um, would what Dr. Pilate said to me then be maybe…oh I don’t know…a lie? Either complete incompetence or a lie — take your pick.

When Abby got home last night around 3:30, she sat down on the couch and felt suddenly sick. I executed a maneuver not unlike an ice skater landing the perfect triple lutz and managed to get the kidney-shaped, mustard colored container underneath her right in time. I feared a bad night after that, but THANK GOD, she slept great and has woken up feeling much much better — lots of energy (and talking, omg) and even hunger!

The medical field has its many flaws, too many to innumerate here. I still question if maybe people could get out of the ER faster — it seems like it takes way too long to get release paperwork. But mostly, I’m just grateful that I live in a city and a country where IV fluids are so readily available, where people (despite the whole Full House thing) can help make my kid better.

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2 Responses to “At least the Full House episode had a monkey…”

  1. Liz said

    I am so glad to hear that Abby is feeling better! I just started reading your blog recently.I hope that today is a good day for you and Abby and the resto of your family.

  2. Beth Koruna said

    Thanks Liz! We ARE having a better weekend, in fact. No barfing and lots more energy. Thanks for reading!

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