Monday, July 16, 2007

Recap of "A Week I Wish I Could Forget, but Fear I Won't Be Able"

During this entire post, any time I use the word vacation, please put "air quotes" around it. I fear I may forget to do that, but it is important to the flow of the story. There is OMINOUS FORESHADOWING that must occur during this as well. We'll see if I can figure out how to put it into a spooky font for goes.

So, by Friday, we were feeling well enough that I got a blog post out in snappy highlight/lowlight fashion. The diarrhea had somewhat subsided for Chuckles, the sniffles were completely gone, and the vomiting had mostly disappeared. So, Saturday morning, we decided to set out for our scheduled-for-a-year vacation, oh wait, that's "vacation". We made excellent time. Chuckles was so docile and content in the car and slept a lot. (I have decided that blue is the color of OMINOUS FORESHADOWING).

Without a child in tow, it's a six-hour trip. It only took us about 6.5 hours, which is truly excellent. We arrived and it was hot and sunny and absolutely beautiful. We went for a good dinner of hummus and vegetable gyros and came back to our cabin. Oh, my in-laws were on "vacation" with us as well. I am not sure whether to put that sentence in blue, but it is relevent to later events.

I had, in my sickness induced haze, forgotten to pack a changing cloth or blanket or something to cover teh bed when changing diapers. As diarrhea was still a very real possibility, this was definitely not good. My mother-in-law came to the rescue with a beach towel that I covered in cloth diapers.

Sunday was a beautiful day as well. We had breakfast on the deck overlooking the lake (well, I had breakfast, Chuckles just sat there not eating or drinking). I attempted to convince Chuckles to swim in the lake, but every time I touched him, he shooed my hands off of him or cried (who could blame him as I was mostly touching him to change diapers at this point and that was a painful proposition by now his butt was so raw, swollen, red and bleeding, I cannot imagine how much it hurt). I did end up putting him on a raft and sending him out to sea for a bit. I took him in to get him out of wet clothes and he promptly threw up on the changing towel. I just wadded the whole mess up and tossed it on the deck. Eventually, he fell asleep (which, as you know, is not like him at all). He still had a fever, but all seemed well enough. Until....he woke up from his nap.

The ear thermometer read something like one-zero-five-point-one. Yes, that's right 105.1 deg-F. We gave him ibuprofen and left immediately for the nearest hospital. It was exactly 5 pm and it was dinner time and I was hungry, but there was no time to delay. By now, it was pouring rain and dinner was supposed to be done on teh grill, so there was no telling what time we'd eat and we couldn't wait. Our car seat had been moved into the in-laws' car the night before, so we ended up driving their old people car to the hospital. Mr. Long-Suffering drove (without the windshield wipers on as he couldn't find the switch) and I sat in teh back with Chuckles holding a bucket and telling him about the adventure we were on.

We got to the hospital in good time as traffic was exceedingly light what with the driving rain storm. We were registered and triaged quickly. While sitting in the ER waiting room (after seeing the triage nurse), Chuckles threw up all over me and ding. The ibuprofen was gone. Ding was puked on. I was puked on. BUT, there was a spare ding in the bag, thank goodness---good mommy packed a supreme diaper bag. Do you think we'd have been seen sooner if he had retched on the triage nurse?

We were placed in a private room in the ER and Chuckles fell asleep on my lap. That's right, Mr. Nap Resistant fell asleep without any convincing whatsoever. By now, of course, I was a leetle bit worried. Steel on the outside, but mom mush on teh inside. A man entered the room. He was some kind of medical student and as near as I can tell, he was very nervous. I think he is hard-of-hearing as I speak clearly and loudly and he kept asking me to repeat. This annoyed me to no end. He had poor clinical skills, but he was nice. He didn't know how to open a tongue depresser package and in fact, did not realize he'd need to one to look in Chuckles's mouth. I had to suggest it. I think the student should go into podiatry or geriatrics. Halfway through the physical exam, Chuckles woke up. He was unhappy, but didn't make a big fuss at all.

The student came back to tell us that the real doctor would be in shortly to do teh exam but that he was pretty sure there'd need to be tests and blood, x-rays and possibly an IV and wanted to make sure we were OK with that. Which we were. Please, make my baby better. Chuckles fell back asleep. By now, with all this sleeping, for my kid, I was getting just the tiniest bit nervous.

The real doctor, who let me tell you was an emergency medicine physician and a reference to George Clooney would not be out-of-line at all, came in and had no trouble locating a tongue depresser and examining the child, who again woke up half-way through the exam, but didn't say so much as boo despite having his mouth opened by a piece of wood. We were told they'd need to draw blood, do an IV for possible administering of drugs and to give fluids, do a chest x-ray, and some other stuff that I don't mumbo jumbo nervous remember.

Chuckles fell back asleep. They sent a team of 4 in to get the IV line in (which after the failed IV on Thursday, I thought was reasonable). There was on to do it, two to hold (one was named Emily - she's a good holder they said), and one to hand things to the person doing it. They started positioning him for the IV and Chuckles did not wake up. I stroked him and called his name and he did not wake up. After about 30 seconds of that, I was a teeny tiny bit freaked out, but he woke up. They inserted the needle but it was in the wrong place, so they poked him again. He said plainly, "Ouch." They were using the same port to draw teh blood for the tests as they were for the fluids, so there was blood everywhere. I shed about 3 tears, none of which Chuckles saw, but Mr. Long-Suffering saw it. He couldn't see what was happening with the blood and the digging for the vein. Chuckles was naked on the table, with his arm strapped to a board. There was blood on the blankets and the sheets and the adult-sized gown that I was using to cover him. It was air conditioned in the room and we were all wet from teh rain, so despite the ridiculously high fever, I was worried he'd get chilled. I was cold and shivering (or maybe just shaking - hard to say).

I remembered why I love Mr. Long-Suffering. He held Chuckles's hand for four hours. We needed to keep him from twisting his arm, even though it was all gauzed to a board. So, Mr. Long-Suffering held Chuckles's hand. It was touching and in fact, right now, this is the thought that makes me want to tear up.

Now, we just needed to wait for the test results. The more fluids that were pumped into Chuckles, the more alert and talkative he became. I hadn't realized just how sick and lethargic he had been until he lighted right back up. It was amazing. Emily came back. She was sweet, probably only 20 years old, a student and she brought beanie babies. A bear and a striped kitty. I am so thankful for Emily. She came back again later and blew bubbles with Chuckles. Emily needs to go into some kind of pediatrics.

Chuckles's fever came down with the fluids. The test results were inconclusive. We were free to go but we were to follow up with the local pediatrician the next day.

I think I'll stop here and pick up right here next time.

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