Sunday, October 11, 2009

Why does it take 12 hours to get 'through' the ER, even when there are no other patients waiting?

I've always wondered that. It seems as though the time it takes from admit to dismiss is the same whether there's 1 patient, or 50, waiting.

My son started feeling under the weather early afternoon on Saturday. He and DD wanted to go to the movies and as soon as we sat down in the theater he began coughing. By the time the movie was over he was notably sick, fever, sore throat, cough, zero energy...

I gave him motrin for his fever and he went to his room to lie down. Of course I have a 'parental worry meter' that is off the charts so I couldn't rest knowing he was sick. When I checked on him late Saturday night, he was burning up and I gave him more meds and told him that if he woke up and he needed me for anything he was to come into my room and wake me up (if I actually happened to be sleeping). He said okay. I told him that because he is a very laid back 11 year old boy. He is quiet and I knew that if I did not specifically say, "Wake me up if you need me or anything at all", he wouldn't wake me up, but would rather wait until morning.

Around 330, DS and his jolly golden retriever came into my room and before he got to my bed, parental instinct kicked in and I could hear him wheezing and his breathing was labored from the inflamed bronchial tubes (I am not a doctor but I play one on TV....not really - we've just been here before). As I jumped out of bed I realized that he was sitting on the floor crying that he couldn't breathe. I talked him out of his own panic so he would stop crying and 'breathe' normally....since the crying makes it worse, he calmed down, I threw on a sweatshirt, grabbed him and his coat and we headed to the ER when in the 27 degree darkness.

As dissociative and anxious as I can be, if something happens to one of my children, parent Grace steps in and takes over and she is very good in emergency situations. DS had a fever of 103, sore throat and that stridor cough that is common with severe cases of croup. They let him keep his pj bottoms on but had him put on a gown, which sort of freaked him out - and when the nurse left the room he asked me if he was going to have to have an operation. :-( I told him no ~ just a breathing treatment and showed him how he could look at the machine to see what his blood oxygen level was and how fast his heart was beating.

Despite the local news giving constant updates of the H1N1 virus... the ER was not busy, in fact, as we walked out of the triage unit, there were at least 3 nurses surfing the internet. In the middle of our 'visit' there was, of course, a shift change, which always seems to slow things down even more. 4 hours later we finally see the Respiratory Therapist for a breathing treatment and were released.

Diagnosis: the flu ~ I hope DD doesn't get it (I'm trying to keep them seperated).
I hate it when my babies are sick.

1 comment:

  1. The poor little boy. Breathing trouble is so scary. I hope he gets well very quickly.