Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Visit to the E.R.

Last night was not a good night. Or rather, this morning was not a good morning. At shortly after three am, my 18 month old son woke me up screaming. Not the normal screaming, but the something-is-seriously-wrong-hurry-up-mommy screaming. When I ran into his room, he was on his hands and knees in his crib. When he realized I was in the room, he stood with stiff legs and reached for me. He was so hot I immediately went in search of the Tylenol we keep in his room (out of his reach of course). Looks like the flu-shot they gave him was not agreeing with him, poor baby. He refused to take it and continued crying. That's when I noticed he'd been sick to his stomach. In that moment, it dawned on me he'd been sick in his sleep, a little scary as he could have choked. No time to dwell though, I had to change his sheets and try to get him back down. So, I set him on the floor, which didn't go over well, and changed his sheets. Before laying him back down, I tried to get some medicine in him again. A little luck this time.

Twenty minutes later I heard him gagging over the baby monitor. I rushed back in and this time the sheets were the least of my concerns. He was still burning to the touch. I couldn't ignore this temperature situation anymore, I had to find the thermometer. We have four, I could only find one. As the numbers climbed, so did my panic. When the rapid beep finally sounded, I looked at the display and almost cried. 103.6. I've never seen a person with a temperature so high, and this one belonged to my baby. I didn't know what to do, go straight to the Emergency room or call my doctor and get his advice? I tried the doctor. After a half hour of waiting, he never called. So I decided I'd better go see a doctor who was awake, because this mommy wasn't taking any chances.

At the E.R. they treated me like an overprotective mother. Who else brings their kid in with nothing more than a high fever at four in the morning? After taking all his vitals, we waited. A few minutes later she came in with an extremely high dose of Tylenol, 4 mL to be exact. For those of you who don't have little ones (or it's been a long time) the standard dose for a child under two is 0.8 mL. I didn't want to give it to him, but what choice did I have? The 0.8 I'd managed to give him before he threw up hadn't worked, so this had to. Thankfully he took it and he kept it down. The doctor did his obligatory exam and sent us home, me feeling all the more foolish. There was nothing wrong with my child. My doctor confirmed this in the morning. Having a high fever after a flu shot isn't abnormal. In fact, they can get higher. I didn't want to tell her, any higher and I'd have called an ambulance...

As we sat there in the exam room though, exhausted, worried, I couldn't help but wonder, how many people don't come? How many choose not to let the doctors see them at their worst, or most fearful? What does it take to actually get in the car and drive to the E.R.? For my family, not much, my husband is ever cautious and always follows the adage "better safe than sorry". We go at least twice a year for someone in my family. Growing up wasn't much different. Actually we had a Christmas tradition. Every Christmas someone was going to be at the E.R. in my family. I still remember my year.

Do you think I was being too cautious or would you have done the same thing?



  1. When it's your baby you don't take chances. Now if you are in the ER every week, maybe think twice...But seriously, I would have done the same.

  2. Oh good, cause they were seriously treating it like I was wasting their time... And I had to wonder if I was. My husband said I wasn't, didn't matter what they thought, it was our kid and we were needed to make sure he wasn't dying, LOL!