Saturday, November 24, 2007

Workin' the Night Shift

So, am I one of those mothers that lugs her kid to the emergency room everytime his poop changes color? I sort of felt like that today, tho I must say 1) I was right and 2) I was able to stay very present "in the moment" the whole time we were at the hospital--more on that later. Lets start with the set-up:

Donny has had a cough for about 2 weeks now. In that time, we've called the doctor and he also had his "well baby" exam and shots, so he was looked at as well. The verdict was he probably has some normal baby reflux that will go away but, until then, he's going to cough. That's all fine and good but it wasn't going away and this morning he woke himself up coughing. When I went to pick him up I could feel him breathing heavy and heard the congestion. Then, after he ate breakfast, he coughed so hard he threw up. Three times. So we called the practitioner on duty for our doctor's office. Mike spoke to them first but had to leave for work so I took over the phone. I kind of got the feeling the guy asked us to come in to appease me but, whatever. I bundled up the boy and we caught the 54C to West Penn.

Folks, I could make this a very long post but, as the child of octogenarians, I know that long medical stories are only of interest to the person telling them and octogenarians. That being said, let me skip to my other point about being in the moment. If you remember, last month (I think) we took Donny into the emergency room for yet another cough. I thought we'd get a $200 jar of Vapo-Rub but, instead, I watched them give my 6 month old a spinal tap. What got me later was when I realized I didn't even ask any of the people involved for their credentials--or for another opinion or anything. Sometimes, when Donovan has night terrors, I wonder if that is what he's dreaming of since he's an otherwise lucky boy and probably doesn't have a large nightmare repertoire. ANYhow, I made sure to ask questions and press some points. The end result is that I navigated the shoals between 4 different doctors and turned down an offer to keep him overnight, nixed giving him a full dose of steroids when the first dose made him projectile vomit, asked for applejuice as a mixer for the illfated steroids, and after the steroid vomit launch, I announced that it had been 6 lovely hours in one room but it was time to go. Please note I mean no disrespect to the doctors involved--I understand Donovan's condition bordered on leave-it-alone and let's-try-this. I also understand that everyone involved wanted the best for the kid. I'm just glad I didn't collapse into mute acquiesce like last time.

The upshot of all of this is that I'm typing away in the office with my ears pricked for whimpering in the next room. The poor kid is having a rough time going to sleep and I've had to run in and roll him on his side/rub his back/replace his pacifier a good number of times already. This is one of the few instances in life where I don't feel good about being "right." I mean about him being sick enough for a doctor to look at. And as fussy as he's being, I don't think the hospital was the right option.

O Sweet Jesus, please don't let me have jinxed it...

2 comments:

A & G & Stella Dot (and poodles, too) said...

Hey Jennie:

Ugh. All I can say is "ugh."

Well, not really. I can say more. Stella Dot has what we call "kennel cough." She's had it for months and months (3 months to the day that she started daycare, to be exact.) She's coughed so hard she's vomited, she wakes herself up, but every time I take her to the doctor they say, "Yep. That's a cough alright. Nothin' you can do." I feel bad enough that she goes to daycare all day, but now her little body, which should be focusing on growing, has to also focus on fighting this horrid cough. My coworker said that his kid's cough (said kid started daycare at 3 months) started to taper off at about 12 months.

Not that any of this is a consolation, but sometimes it is nice to know that you are not alone.

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