Super fun adventures at the ER.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

(I'd be totally surprised if anybody reads this entire post. Really.)

You know those days where everything that could possibly go wrong, does? That was my yesterday. Yesterday is going to go down in my own personal history book as crap-day. Yeah that sounds right. Crappy is probably the most accurate word to describe it.

The previous night, my 2 and a half year old, Eleanore, was sitting on the kitchen counter "helping", like she always does, her Daddy chop mushrooms (or, mushroomses). I was in the living room, sitting on the couch feeding the baby, who at this point was half asleep and milk was flowing freely onto my pants. So we're going about our night, tra la la, like usual, and the next thing I know I hear a loud crash/thump, and then screaming and crying. Eleanore is a tough girl, taught that when you fall you stand back up and brush off your knees. So for her to wail like that, she must have fallen pretty hard. Or, ugly hard. I suck at jokes. Anyways, I didn't see the actual fall, so the story is kind of fuzzy. When the comforts took effect and the sobbing stopped, she went to take a step away from the scene of the accident, and went tumbling down like a ton of those cute paper bricks (shes a 2 year old after all, so make them pink fluffy paper bricks. Filled with sand?). We poked at her, pushed on her, but couldn't find an actual "boo boo" spot. So we got her cozied up to where she didn't have to walk, and figured it would mend itself overnight. ...Wrong. The next morning repeat the trying-to-walk scene, and then insert me calling a nurse here. The nurse sent us to the ER. That might sound serious to most of you, but we have Military medical. I like how I ended the sentance there, as if everyone knows how sucky Tricare is. Anytime anything happens to any of us, its off to the urgent care, and then usually the ER. They don't do anything for us here on base, other than pass out referrals, and write you a prescription for ibuprofen. You have an ongoing illness that's been slowly shutting down your body? Well here... have some ibuprofen and check back in a month. I should bite my tongue and stop with my rant here. So, fast forward through a really weird tasting fruit/veggie combo smoothie, and we're at the ER. All 4 of us. If I had any idea that we'd be there for 6 hours, I would have stayed home with the baby and let Christopher and Elie go alone. We're not usually away from the house for more than 2 or 3 hours at a time, ever. So 6, was a bit of a challenge. I've never fed the baby in public. And it just so happens, that right when they call Eleanore back to check her vitals and get her pre registered, Charlie wakes up and is hungry. OK, I got this. I asked the front desk if there was a room I could use to feed him (I don't have dainty breasts, and we make a mess. I can't candy coat it), but they were all booked. Instead, they gave me a large blanket. So there I am, in a room packed full of strangers coughing and bleeding, and I have no choice but to sit down cross legged on the floor, throw the blanket over me, and give it a go. Oh, I'm engorged? Perfect! So now not only am I feeding my baby, but apparently I'm feeding Charlie's clothes, the blanket, my clothes, the floor, everything. I especially loved the part where he was choking on my milk, and everyone in the previously silent waiting room looked over at me. Oh hi, here we are, look at us! Yes, my child is choking from an overabundant milk supply. No big deal, really. Charlie screams and kicks and does all that cute baby stuff while I'm trying to burp him... and then off in the distance, through a teeny tiny window, I can see Eleanore clinging to Christopher for dear life, and screaming like a banshee. Awww, they must be trying to weigh her, haha. I can see Christopher kind of bouncing her, as the color of her face goes from pink to purple. Shes pissed. Charlie finally burps, which I'm sure everyone in the waiting room loved, and is back on the boob. Again with the overactive letdown... milk everywhere. When I tell you we're soaked, I'm not kidding. I could wring out his onesie if I wanted to. I'm struggling to keep the blanket covering my half naked body. The guy straight across from me keeps staring at me and then looking away when I look at him, and Charlie is choking again... we're having a good ol' time! Then Christopher comes walking out of the torture chamber, holding our injured princess, and says "I got peed on". What... by who? By Eleanore? Seriously? He sets her down in a seat, and reveals a giant wet spot on his uniform. Cute. He really did get peed on. One of the straps on her diaper broke, and they're both covered in pee. We didn't bring a spare outfit for her, and of course we didn't bring a spare uniform for him. He takes off his jacket and her pants (hey isn't that a Blink 182 album? OK, another dumb joke, sorry), and they both sit there recovering from the awful experience they've just endured. Eleanore seems to be happy in no time, getting loads of attention from Mommy and Daddy. When I finish feeding Charlie, I get up out of my ghetto blanket tent, it looks like we've set up camp in the corner of the ER by the way, and take him into the bathroom to change his diaper and outfit. On the way back, he pukes on me. A lot. Its running down my arm, and I have no way to stop it. Christopher helps me wipe it up when I get back to Corner-Camp-Crappy... now we're all soaked. Oh, and while all of this is going on, the waiting room is completely silent and still. We've been a great source of entertainment, and probably disgust for a good half hour. Thanks folks, for tuning into the Herman show, we're here for one day only so get your thrills while you can! As time goes by, we all run out of gas. We're exhausted. I make Eleanore a pretend house out of her blanket and the stroller. She seems more than happy to be playing in it. The waiting room phone starts ringing. Its nowhere near us. Everyone hears it. Ring, ring, ring. Are you kidding me? There are people sitting on either side of it, being complete assholes ignoring it. After about 15 rings, Christopher gets up (continuing coverage of the Herman show), walks over there, practically stepping on the people sitting right by the damn thing, and answers it. Obviously, its not for him. He calls out the name of whoever they're calling for, and then comes back and sits down. Way to go people. I especially like how the guy directly next to the phone (who couldn't take his face away from his blackberry for more than a second), was also Military, and Christopher said he had seen him around quite a few times. And then soon, finally, we're called back into our room. Too bad it was the size of a small bathroom, and as cold as the arctic tundra. I asked Christopher to go get me a blanket. By now, I've consumed only enough calories to make lunch for Charlie, and I feel like I'm going to pass out. Eleanore is tired and sucking on her fingers (a built in pacifier), and I've made a tally sheet of the 100 and something times Christopher has nodded off while sitting or standing. Charlie is starting to fuss for round two of lunch. Will it ever end?! ...OK. I'm about to sound horrible, try not to hate me, but I have to bring it up. When our doctor comes in, he has messed up eyes. One eye is lazy, and looking off to the right. The other has a big scar above it, and is staring straight ahead. I'm sure hes a nice doctor, and good at his job, but for the love of God... can we get a freakin' break here? So um, which eye do I try to make eye contact with? The lazy one, or the scarred one? Which one can he see out of? Can he see out of both of them? The entire time hes talking to me, I'm nodding and saying yes, and answering all those mom-daughter questions. But really, I'm trying to avoid eye contact with him, because I don't which eye to look at. I figure hes probably used to this, and probably doesn't even notice when people react anymore. I feel like a big jerk, which after 5 hours in the ER with 2 kids under 2, I am. Eleanore gets Xrays of her hip and ankle, and we leave hours later with a diagnosis of a sprain, and possible hidden fracture. There had been offers of codeine and mentions of pediatric surgeons. No, I'm not going to drug her up, shes just fine and Motrin will be enough I'm sure. And whoa Mister, a surgeon? You can't even tell if its her ankle or hip thats hurting her!! After the (crap) diagnosis, we waited in the igloo for way too long, so I took Charlie outside into the 90 degree weather for a walk and let Elie and Christopher spend some time alone for some Eskimo bonding. Only 7 hours after we left for the ER... we were finally home, with nothing more than an ice pack, and a print out on sprains. I'd like to thank the Military hospital here on base for being super awesome and never seeing patients. A big shout out to Tricare, for always sending us to the ER when it isn't necessary. And a special thanks to the folks of the Abilene Regional waiting room, for having no shame in turning the TV off and watching us instead. You wouldn't believe how good it felt to get out of my puke soaked shirt...

-"Tawriffic Limted Edition laser print", by tsktsk, $12.00.


April Horsman February 26, 2009 at 8:27 AM  

BEST ER STORY EVER. Hands down. You win.

Hope everyone has recovered, dried out and rested up.

EVER. for real.


NONtRENDY February 26, 2009 at 8:53 AM  

eep! That sucks and I'm sorry.

The Alchemist's Star February 26, 2009 at 8:54 AM  

I can sympathize completely!

Here's my horror story:

My husband is TDY (all the shit seems to go down when someone is TDY, dammit) and I'm about 8 weeks pregnant. I've already been to the base hospital's "pregnancy meeting" where they tell all the active duty girls about their "options" and inform them that they will have several months to make a "decision" before they will be allowed to have their first OB/GYN appointment. I was, of course, active duty at the time but I decided to piss off a few officers and continue my pregnancy (that's a whole other story, to be honest). Anyway, while husband is gone, I begin feeling super weak, tired, and I start cramping and spotting. I phoned my mum (who lived 4 hours north) to tell her and she instructed me to get to a hospital immediately. Fortunately, my best friend lived a few doors down (off base apartment complex) so she loaded me up and we proceeded to the base hospital. I spent 3 1/2 hours in the ER waiting. Some E-4 came out and told me "if you're having a miscarriage, then there's nothing we can do anyway so just stay here until it's your turn". WTF??? Finally, I'm taken back to a curtain area and some snot nosed butter bar comes in to tell me that I'll have to wait another hour or so until a tech can get there to perform a sonogram. Fortunately, the little guy is thorough enough to ask a few history questions. It turns out that because of my blood type and husband's blood type, I should have had at least one shot of rogham (sp?) by now due to a negative RH. He gives me the shot and I wait another 1 1/2 hours for the tech. Once the sonogram is underway, the tech points out my baby and tells me that he thinks I may have been carrying twins and my body aborted one. Now, I don't know much about sonograms, but I highly doubt you can make that sort of diagnoses from a frakking picture. The doc gives me a prescription for 800mg Motrin (military cure-all) and sends me on my way. Total time: just under 5 hours.

Fortunately, we moved to a different base before daughter was born. Unfortunately, though she was born healthy, that hospital misdiagnosed her and flew my newborn baby to a civilian hospital 5 hours away. That's another story, entirely though.

miznyc February 26, 2009 at 8:55 AM  

good lord that is awful. Yet you made a joke in there so good on you!

The Shop Of Beth February 26, 2009 at 9:10 AM  

Hopefully Ellie is okay and that you never have to make that trip again.

Art Kitten February 26, 2009 at 12:20 PM  

Oh my god, Tia! That is so terrible! I feel for you. But thank you for sharing your horrible but entertaining story!

jessicajane February 26, 2009 at 12:48 PM  

you should write a book.

and i had a dream about Elie last night...and I was carrying her veerywhere because she had a booboo on her leg and head.

kcroteau February 26, 2009 at 1:14 PM  

I read the whole thing.

Military Medical sounds like what my school offered on campus.

Pay $300 for the school year and all you'll get is some cough drops, sudafed, and ibuprofen no matter WHAT you go in there for.

Strep throat? Here are some cough drops. Get some rest.

UTI? Here's some ibuprofen. get some rest.

I hope Eleanore feels better soon!

BeckyKay February 26, 2009 at 3:55 PM  

ROFL, Tia! Oh my gosh! I admit to finding the eye part especially hilarious...

LeaKarts February 26, 2009 at 10:15 PM  

First I have to say, :( I'm sorry you had such an incredibly crap-tacular day! Yikes.

Makes me think of a school nurse I had in elementary school. No matter what you came in for, she took your temperature. I fell and scraped my knees--she took my temp before bandaging me up. Finally my friend Todd went in for a nose bleed. She tried to stick a thermometer in his mouth, but instead he stopped pinching his nose, leaned forward, and bled all over her. He has been my hero ever since!

I hope the rest of your week is much better!

Hyla February 27, 2009 at 12:43 PM  

Oh my gosh Ive totally had those damn moments (hours) and with this one due in less than 100 days, Im sure that we havent seen the end of it.

When someone says ER, remember to stay home with the baby. And also remember you can leave the ER, and go home, they just dont like it when you do that.

ElegantSnobbery February 28, 2009 at 11:12 AM  

Well, I certainly don't envy you the incidents - HOW AWFUL!!!... but I do envy you the military care!! Annelie has been to the ER 4 times in 2 years... and it always costs us a fortune. Last month she had stitches in her lip, the other 3 times she had to have x-rays... and Gracie has been to the ER twice, both needing x-rays. I wonder if the doctors think I beat my kids :(

Even with insurance, we have to dish out about $300 per child, per trip.

:( Maybe I should join the military. Its looking good right now.

fly tie February 28, 2009 at 12:16 PM  

ummm, wow. terrible but quite funny in the way you told it.

there's nothing like that moment when something dreadful is finally over!

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