Thursday, March 29, 2012

The ER Experience

Dear Olive,

You had your first visit to the emergency room last night.  Let it be known that I am not an over protective crazy mom, but at the same time, when you act this weird even I question what is going on.

You are a solid sleeper. You sleep 12 hours every night, even when you're sick. The only time you have not slept good was when you had an ear infection. However you were able to sleep soundly as long as you were propped up on our chests during the night.

We are staying in Fallbrook this week and last night you would not sleep. Around three in the morning I could not even calm you down, and after a couple hours I grew tired. Grandmakin suggested I take you down to the ER so you could get some meds for your ear infection, because we assumed that's what was going on. You had been walking really funny and off balanced all day, which is what you did last time too.

When I got there, they did some tests to see if it was indeed an ear infection. The Dr. seemed very awkward around you and didn't do a good job examining you in my opinion. After determining you did not have an ear infection, nor the same cough/cold that I have, the nurse came back in wheeling a cart of tools with her. She explained that you might have some sort of infection but they needed to do a blood and urine test to find out what. They said your heart rate was 200 which is really, really high, even for a crying baby. The Dr. said since you were not pulling on your ears, it must not be an ear infection. He even checked your ears and said nothing looked bad. They just stood there staring at you puzzled, it was so awkward.

They were going to put a catheter in you and also draw blood, plus hook up an IV because she said if your white blood cell count came back high you would have to go Children's hospital down in San Diego.

WOAH WOAH WOAH. Let's slow down here. Put a little baby through all that trauma because you want to get to the bottom of her crankiness? He said, "She's obviously upset, and we have to find out why."

Of course you were upset! You had not slept and you were being poked at by total strangers in the middle of the night! My mother intuition kicked in right away and I told them to just hold on and let me think. We live in San Diego, so if they are going to do a bunch of uncomfortable testing, I'd rather do it down there and once, not twice. I'd rather Luke be with me, and I'd rather not rush something so extreme.

They gave me a huge guilt trip for denying their care and made me sign a release, which I did as I bolted out of there. They don't know you at all, and they stared at you like they had never seen a baby before. I know, I know, they are emergency room doctors, not pediatricians, but even more reason I didn't trust them.

They seemed sure you had something very wrong with you, and it really scared me. But I know you best, and I had a feeling they were mistaken. Of course I'm not going to take a risk and not investigate further, so I just drove back down to San Diego and we took you to your regular Dr. What does he find out? Lo and behold, you have a double ear infection after all.

The exam was quick and easy, plus the Dr. removed some ear wax that was blocking his ability to tell if you had an ear infection or not. We got you some medicine and you are on your way to good health I hope. He informed us if there was not an ear infection he'd probably have proceeded with some urine tests too, but all we'd have to do was put a baggy diaper thing on you to collect it, not jam a catheter up your poor little baby bladder.

They agreed 200 is not a good heart rate, and that yes, it's high. But a really dangerous one is more like 240 and I feel like the ER had really been trying to scare me into submission.

It just maddens and sickens me how rash some health "professionals" are. I am so grateful they are here for when we need them, but this was an instance when I am glad I used some good common sense and intuition.

Nobody wants to hear that their baby has a double ear infection. But I can't tell you in this case how relieving it was to find out that's all you had.

1 comment:

  1. Whew. So happy you are doing better Olive and very happy that ER experience is over. I think when your mommy and uncle were little Granmakin took them to the ER because that is what we did on the air force base - but next time you are visiting us here in Fallbrook and get sick, we will pass on the local resource for a San Diego doctor. Your mommy was so smart.