Saturday, August 02, 2008

Nothing like a night in the E.R....

... for some perspective.

What's today, Saturday? Right. Last week, the Peanut had a fever-and-sore-throat virus that we fully expected her to get, as our friends' kids had had it and we all went camping together last weekend. She had the fever, the sore throat, then was better, no big deal. Then Thursday night she woke at 10:00, vomiting. By 11:00 she added diarrhea, and we sat in the bathroom for two hours. My poor Peanut - she was too tired to hold up her own head, and still her body wouldn't quit purging. Wouldn't quit. By 1:00 we were thinking the hospital seemed like the place to be; a call to her doctor's office confirmed it, and I took her in, pretty dehydrated.

I will spare you the details of our wait in the E.R. lobby -- suffice to say that janitorial services were required.

We got a room and a consultation and the general consensus was to get IV fluids in her, pronto. They tried both arms, three times each. They tried her hands, twice each. They tried her feet! Various people, including a neonatal I.V. specialist, were called down. Nobody could get a line in. And my Peanut, poor thing, was crying but not making tears. She didn't yell or pull away, but said "when is it going to be DONE?", and "I don't want to do this again," and "when can we GO?" and all sorts of reasonable, polite things, even whispering a tiny "thank you" when they gave her a teddy bear and a movie to watch. She was such a trooper. Eventually everyone gave up on getting a line in, and I just kept trying tiny sips of Pedialite, licks of a Popsicle... and she kept throwing it all back up.

Stressful night.

When morning came, the pediatrician said she wasn't comfortable discharging the still-vomiting Peanut without her being better hydrated. Decision was made to transfer her to Children's Hospital in Boston. Mr. S. came up and we switched; he rode in the ambulance to Boston with Peanut, I headed home for a break.

By the time she got to Children's, the Peanut was holding down water, so they didn't bother struggling with the needle. She recovered sufficiently there to come home, so the Bean -- who by that time was in the fever stage of the original virus (remember that one?) -- and I went up to get them.

All this on 20 minutes' sleep. Somehow that was easier to pull off in college.

The professional verdict is that the Peanut got a bad stomach bug on top of the first virus. Hopefully the Bean won't get it as well. Everyone slept soundly last night, and today, the Peanut's hungry and in good spirits. Normal again.

So yes, perspective. Thursday noon, I was hollering at that Peanut to put things away when she's done playing with them. Thursday midnight, I'd have given anything to have her well again. You know -- toys on the floor just don't matter. And this wasn't even a serious illness. Real perspective is something no parent ever wants to have driven home the hard way.


  1. Poor little booger. I'm glad she's feeling better now.

  2. Poor girl.. and poor mommy! Glad to hear she's better! Taking your child to the ER is one of the least fun things I can think of. I hope I never have to do it again and I'm sure you do too!

  3. I'm SO glad she's better! Poor little critter.

    When I'm NOT dehydrated, they have trouble getting IVs or even blood draws. When I AM dehydrated, it's a nightmare. I've had a couple instances where the doctor wanted to do a cut down (they cut open your leg or arm and go straight into a large blood vessel) and I withdrew my consent to treatment and chose to chance it with the dehydration. Clearly I've survived, so far.

    My little boy had to spend a day in the hospital for rehydration last September. My big grown up six-year-old suddenly looked like a toddler again in that big hospital bed. His language skills aren't great (autism), but he very clearly said to the nurse, with big tears welling in his eyes, "Please - no more." It broke my heart.

  4. Thanks, all. She's 100% chipper again :).

    Yeah, my own veins are hard to find too. An IV never happens on the first try (and then I pass out!). But "cut down?" Jesus. No f*ing way.

  5. Being a parent is hard work, say thanks to yours once in awhile.

  6. Nice to see you reading the blog, Mom :).

  7. It always amazes me how SICK kids can get and then how FAST they bounce back. If that had been you or I, we would have been limping around gray faced for a week....

    Glad it all worked out.