Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tales From The ER

I spent a fair chunk of last night in the ER with Austin. I don't know if it's mother's intuition or if I'm just a genius, but once his fever spiked, I just KNEW we were dealing with a urinary tract infection. Even though they are quite rare in little boys. Even though I've never had one. Even though my name is not followed by a big M.D.

I just knew.

On the drive over I said the following prayer repeatedly:

"Please let the waiting room be empty. Please let all the sickies and crazies be at home. Please let my time there be brief. Please let Austin not scream continuously. Please make it all go fast. Please let my co-pay with the new insurance be cheaper than the old one. Oh, and please make sure Auzzie is ok and feeling better soon. Amen."

I'm paraphrasing there. But you get the idea.

I don't know if it's like this everywhere, but in our little town, a trip to the ER usually constitutes a several hour procedure. Like 6 or more. I've been there in the middle of the morning, day and night and it is always the same. Brad wished me well as I left around 5:30, secretly hoping I'd be back before he had to leave in the morning.

When I walked in, I almost fell over. Partly because The Auzz currently weighs 35ish pounds and I was toting him, his blanket, a life-size Buzz/Woody doll and my purse and partly because the waiting room was PACKED. To the gills, standing room only packed. And nasty packed, with people wheezing and bleeding and coughing and wearing face masks. I readied myself for battle and made my way to the check-in nurse.

She looked up at me wearily but welcomed me with a smile and asked what was going on. I told her of Austin's troubles and she let me know that I had at least a two hour wait before being called back to a room. Trying to take in the news like a champ, I signed us in and made my way around to find a chair.

And here's the thing with ER people: I realize that they are stressed and not feeling well and/or concerned for a loved one, but when you see a woman wandering around with her arms full of sick baby, kindly get your (healthy) 11-year-old up out of that chair and give her a break. Or you baby daddies? Get UP, hold that screaming child that knows your face from when you bring around the monthly check, and show some common courtesy.

Seriously. I was so annoyed.

I was making my way to a spot ON THE FLOOR when another mother holding her screaming son made room for us on a bench. Thanking her repeatedly, Austin and I sank in for The Wait.

About twenty minutes later, I realized that if it was a UTI, they would need a urine sample from Auzz, and realizing how difficult it would be to get a not-quite-three-year-old to pee in a cup, I wanted to be ready when the situation presented itself. I made my way back up to the original nurse and asked for a specimen cup. She told me I was a great mom for being so on top of things and handed me my cup. And I felt like a great mom for being ahead of the game for once. We returned to our perch and kept up with The Wait.

A few minutes later, the same nurse returned and told me and my bench partner to quietly follow her. We gathered our things and did so and were led to a whole other wing in the hospital.

All was quiet.

No other patients were around.

And we were the next to be treated.

I'd been there less than an hour and we were on our way. Thank you, kind nurse, thank you.

Things moved pretty quickly after that although we did wait for a bit while his urine was cultured and tested, but we did find out that Austin has a UTI as well as an ear infection so he is now being treated for both. He was pretty clingy this morning but is definitely on the mend.

Lessons from the night?

ER's are always busy, ALWAYS. No other way around it.

People in an ER are too distracted to do what's right OR are just really stupid and inconsiderate.

Being nice goes a long way.

Prayer helps things.

Mothers's intuition never fails.


tharker said...

I'm sorry Auzzie is feeling so yucky. Poor kid, he's been through the ringer (as you all have) these last few weeks. Hopefully those meds will help and he'll be back to his happy, Buzz/Woody loving self very soon.

That has to be one of the fastest ER stories I've ever heard.

Anonymous said...

Did you know that Tri cities has a walk in clinic that is open until 8:00 p.m. and it is a pediatric one? Maybe for insurance purpose you had to go to the ER I don't know. but just so you know. there is a KGH walk in clinic over on grandridge off of columbia center that is open late...

Sarah said...

Nothing is worse than having to wait with an injured/sick child in the emergency room. So sad for little ones to be miserable like that. Hope Austin starts feeling better soon.

Sara said...

I believe my sister was there with you dealing with the horrible nightmare that the er can be. Hope he is feeling better.

PRP said...

She was Sara! I felt so horrible for her. Poor little man was so miserable. I hope he's feeling better too!

Marilyn said...

I've had pretty good luck at Kadlec ER ever since they started the fast track. They get us in a room pretty quickly.

So sorry about a sick babe. Hope he recovers quickly!