Monday, March 24, 2008

Our real life episode of ER

This year's ER visit was not as scary as last year's. You may remember the emergency room adventure last year on Amy’s birthday when Connery's temperature reached 104.3, and he was vomiting. He just stared blankly and was sweating through his clothes--the most pitiful we've ever seen either of the boys. We rushed him to the ER, where they gave him Motrin and determined that he had severe double ear infections. He had already been on two antibiotics which obviously hadn't helped, so the last option was shots of Rocephin. He was given an IV for fluids--an AWFUL experience for us to watch, and for him, too, if his crying is any indication--so he got the first "shot" through the IV. He seemed to feel somewhat better by the time we left the hospital, thanks to the fluid and the lower temperature. The next two mornings we visited his pediatrician to get the other two shots. We worried that the infections would still linger, and he would have to get tubes put in his ears, but fortunately that never became an issue again.

This year, the ear infections were back, but thankfully, not with a vengeance. This time, just one ear was infected, but he wound up getting the Rocephin shots because he’s allergic to the antibiotic the doctor said would surely rid him of it. The problem was that he has to get one shot each day for three days…and our van was packed and ready to go to Tennessee for Easter weekend. Thank God for the Internet and cell phones, because we called around and around until we found a doctor in Crossville who would see him and administer the shot on Friday, then write an outpatient order for the ER at the hospital to give it on Saturday (since all the dr. offices and walk-in clinics were closed for the holiday).

It turns out that the last shot was the worst. He and I waited in the ER for an hour, then went upstairs where they put us in an actual room to wait for another hour. We curled up on the hospital bed, watched some TV, roamed the hall, talked about the clown paintings on the walls, played in front of the mirror and ate the bag of Froot Loops Amy luckily had in her purse. Then FINALLY the nurse came in, and I think Connery got suspicious…after all he had done this twice in as many days. He started to cry. Then the nurse told me that this shot did not have Lidocaine in it like the others did—apparently the medicine itself is really painful, so the syringe usually has Lidocaine in it to help ease the pain—but the doctor who wrote the outpatient order failed to prescribe it. So I helped the nurse hold him down, dreading it, though I'm sure not as much as he was. Then the nurse said, “I can’t believe it. The needle broke.” By the time I turned to see, she had pulled the broken needle out of his leg…which she had poked twice. She got another needle and another nurse to “help” her hold him down. (Geez! He’s a year and a half!) Finally, she got the shot in him…and he cried all the way out of the hospital. So I took him to Dairy Queen. He deserved it.

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