Christmastime at the ER

Again with the fever.

Kids get sick. Kids get fevers. That’s the way it goes. But not every kid has to go the emergency room every time she has a fever. Yet that’s our reality and sometimes I just get tired of taking Maddie every time she gets one. Not because it’s a drag spending hours there (because it is) but because it feels like we’re torturing her each time we go.

Maddie’s sudden temperature at the end of the day, too late to sneak in to see her pediatrician, required that I take her to the hospital to rule out a life-threatening infection. Plus, we had to make sure that whatever it was could be remedied before Christmas. At least she could wear her red sparkly shoes to cheer her up a little, along with “monster pillow” and the rolls of stickers they always give her after the procedures are finished.

But we had some breakthroughs this visit. One is that Maddie is working on toilet training, so instead of using the urinary catheter (which is the most traumatic), she could pee in a cup to provide her sample. (She actually did that the last time when Colin took her, though I forgot to note it.) The other seemed so simple but really made such a difference. Maddie has always refused to allow any doctor to look in her mouth to examine her throat and they’re always forced to use the tongue depressor. Big mistake! That always makes her puke. I told her, in one of our many moments alone waiting, that the doctor was going to look at her body, including in her mouth, and if she’d just open and say, “Ahhh,” he wouldn’t use the stick. The pep talk worked. She did it. She willingly opened her mouth for him. Thank goodness for small favors!

We also learned that the ER has a portable TV and VCR set that patients can use to kill time. Because it was Christmastime, and because their selection was limited at best, we watched “Casper’s Haunted Christmas.” Please, unless you are trying to kill time in the emergency room, do not watch this movie. Regardless of the content, it’s nice to have a distraction so this technology was a good find.

It was a long 6 hours of waiting, and testing, and waiting some more. As with recent visits, nothing ugly turned up in the urine, blood, or respiratory tests, thank goodness. She was given a more tolerable antibiotic (Septra), instead of the Azithromycin that she refuses to take, and we were sent home.

I couldn’t help but speak my thoughts out loud to the doctor. Do we still need to bring her to the hospital every time she has a fever? She can communicate a little better with us now, was the rush so necessary? Could we possibly avoid this trauma? His answer was sobering. Lacking her spleen, we just can’t be too careful. We wouldn’t know for sure that it wasn’t something deadly. Tylenol would only suppress the fever not fix the cause. With all of her heart complications, we just can’t afford the risk. I sighed and knew that he was right. So, we’ll continue with this plan and pray that she’ll just become more tolerant of the procedures.

4 thoughts on “Christmastime at the ER”

  1. You should be proud she is growing up so well. Really, I find it impressive that she is gaining such an understanding of her life and trials and how to make them easier, and is listening to your guidance about how to make it easier on herself. I’m glad she’s up for cooperating a bit :).

  2. Yeah for the perk of potty training! She is such a toughie. You are too for always having to drop everything any time she has a fever and trudging on in. I admire you guys so much.

  3. It must be difficult to need to do this every time there is a fever. Just knowing it will take hours is never fun with littles. You have such a good attitude about it. I really admire you. Hopefully as she continues to grow they will be easier trips because she can help the process. So glad she is doing well and it wasn’t anything serious.

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