22 February 2008

Oh. So THIS is the ER, huh?

ER. As in Emergency Room. As in the REAL Emergency Room. As in that's where I spent last evening with The Husband and poor, little Ms. Baby.

It was just a bit surreal.

And scary. Yeah, it was definitely scary.

Although I have to say, the scariest part was before we ever left the house.

Ms. Baby had been vomiting every 2-8 minutes for 7 hours straight - that's not the scary part, that's the gross part - and her pediatrician said if she seemed at all lethargic (she did) that we should just go ahead and take her to the ER. That was the scary part - being whacked over the head with 'YES, something really is very wrong with your baby'.

I went sort of numb. Then I was on autopilot: pack the diaper bag, grab extra washclothes and towels for Ms. Baby to puke in, check that my insurance card was in my wallet. We're only a 2 minute drive from the hospital, so the next thing I knew I was hustling through raindrops, filling out an intake form and trying to find a place to sit down (it was pretty busy).

And then we sat. And sat. And the novelty of where we were wore off pretty quickly.

I mean, I don't know what I was expecting. The sound of ambulance sirens? Gurneys rushing through the automatic doors? Blood spurting all over the place? More excitement, I guess. As it turned out, there were just a lot of people like us: there because they had sick kids or were sick themselves.

Naturally, Ms. Baby's bouts of vomiting began slowing down as soon as we got there - she only puked twice in the waiting room in the hour that we were there - and by the time they put us in a treatment room, she was getting all happy and wanting to play. Which made me feel really stupid for bringing her in. Obviously, she was going to be fine - what were thinking?

I figured the doctors and nurses would see this immediately, roll their eyes and admonish us for taking up their valuable time and bed space.

Nothing of the sort happened, of course.

Quite the contrary. The waiting room nurse who first assessed us was sweet and attentive to Ms. Baby, even though she was clearly very busy. The ER doc was wonderful - sympathetic and reassuring. And the nurse we had in our treatment room, John, was simply fantastic.

So other than the needle they had to stick in Ms. Baby's arm (she was very tough about it, actually), it was not nearly as traumatic an experience as I was bracing myself for. They gave Ms. Baby a couple hundred milliters of IV fluids and something to stop the vomiting, then made sure she could keep some water down and sent us home.

And that was it.

I suppose, based on my previous experiences with hospitals (i.e., labor and delivery) and with things being wrong with my baby (i.e., Monsieur Helmet), the back of my mind was all revved up for the Making of a Big Decision (i.e., Episiotomy! - Yes or No? Helmet or Deformed Head - your choice!).

But there was none to be made. At least, not by me. Not last night.

And I'm thankful for that.

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