Tuesday, April 9, 2013

ER visits... plural, unfortunately!

Lately, we've been making it our goal to give all our money to the surrounding hospitals. It's really fun to get those co-pay/ deductible bills in the mail. So fun.

But of course, the experiences are broadening my horizons as a mom, for sure. You live, you freak, you learn, and then you relax (a little). At least that's my motto. On Christmas Eve, we were all getting ready for the church service at our church and I was cleaning the bathroom because my parents and grandparents were headed our way after church for dinner and we have a toddler who potties by himself. Enough said about that. Well as I was wiping, my shadow (Jack) was right beside playing with his airplane. Something happened that tripped him up a bit and he literally just bent at the waist to catch himself but managed to catch his forehead with the airplane. Now Jack is Jack- he falls ALL the time, leaps off things for fun, climbs furniture, among other dare devil things that Max would never think to try. I thought NOTHING of this little "fall" and was quite surprised that he was actually crying. I scooped him up onto my hip, and kept wiping the counter top until I felt something and looked at him-- he was dripping blood all the way down his face and onto my shoulder.

Chad was showering in the other bathroom at the time of the incident so I screamed at him that Jack was gushing blood and rushed downstairs for paper towels. I blotted just so I could see what exactly was going on-- the cut itself was TINY side to side, but so deep and wide that there could be a song about. Of course I texted our favorite Mom's on Call nurse and she said if it's gaping (aka not touching) then it needs stitches. Well that was just exactly what I wanted to do on Christmas Eve! So we met Angela and transfer Gabe to her, met my parents and gave them Max, and then headed to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta- fully expecting it to be packed and a horrid experience overall.

Well, I never cease to be amazed but our little J-man. Although he had a gaping whole in the center of his forehead and doctors and nurses poked and prodded him, he smiled and wrapped them all around his finger and got stitches without being restrained at all. Not even kidding. The doctor was blown away and said that something like that happens like once a year, and apparently this was it for the year. As they sewed his head, with just a local numbing gel on the owie, he held my fingers and told us about the light over head. Not one single tear or moan or fuss from the child. We were in and out of there, lickety split and no one was scarred too deeply by the experience, least of all Jack :)

Well that excursion to the ER didn't deplete our bank accounts or rattle my nerves quite enough, so we decided to have another go at it this weekend. On Thursday, Max got the stomach bug. It really wasn't even that bad of a stomach bug- he said for the majority of the day that he was hungry and didn't eat much, and by dinner, he complained of a stomach ache, but I thought he just needed something in his stomach so I made him eat a few bites of protein before he began to protest greatly and then we proceeded to baths and bed like normal. After I tucked him in and did his bedtime routine, I got in a hot shower- one of my favorite evening activities a big ole pregnant whale-- it's perfect for the end of the day aches. So I was in there for a long time when all of a sudden Chad deposits a crying Max right outside the curtain... I peek around and he's covered in throw up. Max got in the shower with me and it took work to get it all off of him. Gross, I know. And Chad had to wash his covers in the other shower before they could even go in the wash- double gross, believe me, we know! So once he was washed and had fresh sheets in his bed, we tucked him back in. It was up and down all night, but never more than just an upset stomach and some gagging- he was already empty after the first round. He spent Friday strictly on the BRAT diet, and we headed out for one quick errand mid-morning. Just as I pulled in the parking lot, he covered my car in throw up. I almost died and wasn't sure how I could be expected to be the adult in this situation. I texted Chad and told him I needed a new car. And to think he had only had small amounts of water and a couple bites of toast made it impossible to understand where it all came from.

He spent the rest of the day on a pallet on the living room floor with movies and he didn't move or communicate. Seemed exactly how I responded to the stomach bug so I thought nothing of it. We was whining through the night on Friday, but not throwing up, so again, I assumed we were on the mend. On Saturday morning, he woke up thirsty and famished. But I still wasn't sure what his stomach was ready for, so I gave him small amounts of water and it came back up within 4 minutes. And then I began to access the situation... he hadn't thrown up very much but that was because there wasn't much to throw up... strike 1. He wasn't moving or smiling or talking at all and that's exactly the opposite of Max... strike 2. And the worst realization yet: He hadn't gone potty for 12+ hours... strike 3 (and 4,5,6,7!) So after a quick phone conference with my mom, I called his doc and was patched through to a nurse on call who after her series of questions said we needed to take him to an ER right away. Great.

So I packed up some essentials (Chad was working) and met my parents to give them Jack, and took Max to CHOA ER. I kept pondering things in my head-- it was amazing to me how quick he got super listless and lethargic-- there was never a fever, there wasn't many rounds of an upset stomach, and yet, he was a little limp noodle in my arms. As an adult, I just kept thinking he was responding to a virus like I would- don't look at me or talk to me until I feel better- but then again, he isn't an adult- that I learned the hard way. So he got there and they ran several tests and determined that he was very dehydrated, his sugar was really low, as was his co2. I poked and prodded and gave him 2 different bags of different stuff through an IV and a couple popsicles and basically said that they needed this to work or else we'd be worried about electrolytes which is more serious. Honestly, they didn't communicate with me much at first- but after they treated him they explained more- I think they were running several tests and didn't want to give me anything to google until they knew. He was so sick and tiny in the bed, and wanted to be on my lap, so I spent the majority of our 4 hr stint there in the bed with him. Picture big pregnant mom and tiny sick Max. We were a sight. And the male nurse taking care of Max was seriously freaked that I was about to go into labor. He brought me just as many popsicles and gatorade as he brought Max.

Before we checked out, the doctor came back in to tell me that if I hadn't brought him in today, we would be admitting him tomorrow. I also learned that children under 1 need to urinate every 4 hours and children older than 1 need to urinate every 8 hours or they need to be seen. And children need to have a period of smiling and/ or play every 4 hours or they need to be seen. Even if they're sick, they're still children, so they'll still act like it! I'm really grateful for such a great Children's hospital so close to our house and also for how resilient children are and I'm also thankful that God just lets you know on your insides when something isn't right. What a blessing.

But we do intend to stay away from that place for the next decade or twenty. Thankyouverymuch.

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